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Top tips for doing laundry while in Southeast Asia

If you are travelling around Southeast Asia for an extended period of time, you will need to do laundry. Here are some top tips on how to do so.

  • Pack smartly
  • Travel with mini laundry detergents
  • Don’t forget a laundry bag 
  • Never use hotels
  • Bring a makeshift clothesline 
  • Dry your clothes inside
  • Carry plenty of coins 
  • Plan your laundry time
  • The bag method 
  • Laundryheap

Pack smartly

The most important thing to remember is to pack light and pack materials that are easy to wash. There are several ways to do laundry in Southeast Asia, from using a launderettes to washing your clothes in the sink, regardless of the method you decide to use you don’t want to spend an extended period of time, or money, doing it. In addition, it’s best to pack clothes that are durable and easy to wash, such as cotton

Image by Stefan Coders from Pixabay

Travel with mini laundry detergents 

There are several launderettes across Southeast Asia that you can use. To make your laundry experience quick and easy, travel with mini laundry detergents. They are pre-measured for one or two washes, and will prevent you from having to carry, or buy, a full-sized detergent that you will not use. 

Don’t forget a laundry bag

Laundry bags are handy to take wherever you travel to. As soon as an item of your clothing is dirty, simply put it in your laundry bag so that you can differentiate between your clean and dirty clothes. As soon as your laundry bag is full, or you are running low on clean clothes, you can decide how best to clean them. In addition, if your clothing is still wet or damp, but you need to pack them away, putting your clothes in your laundry bag will prevent the smell of damp clothing spreading to your other packed belongings. 

Never use hotels 

If you are staying in a hotel whilst travelling around Southeast Asia there will more than likely be a laundry service provided. Do not use it. Hotel laundry services will usually charge per item of clothing that needs to be laundered rather than by weight. This can result in an extortionate laundry bill by the time you have washed all of your clothes. It may be convenient to use the hotels services, but, if you are looking to save some money, its best to look around for local launderettes or alternative ways to wash your clothes. 

Image by John

Bring a makeshift clothes line 

Unless you know that there are tumble dryers available where you are planning to wash your clothes, it’s always best to pack a makeshift clothes line. Your clothesline can be something as simple as some strong rope, as long as you have something that you can hang your clothes on to dry. Some laundrettes will have clothes lines available for you to use, however, this is not a guarantee so it’s always better to bring your own.

Dry your clothes inside 

Southeast Asia is known for its warm and sunny climate, however, it is also extremely humid. If you are planning on hanging your clothes out to dry, it’s best to do so indoors rather than outside. The humidity from the air will slow down the drying process, making it more time efficient to simply hang your clothing in your hostel/hotel room. 

Carry plenty of coins 

There is no shortage of coin-operated laundrettes in Southeast Asia, but you have to make sure that you have the coins to use them. There is nothing worse than turning up to a laundrettes, filling a machine with your washing, only to find out that you don’t have enough coins to operate the machine. To save yourself the hassle, make sure that you have plenty of coins with you to get your washing done. 

Plan your laundry time 

If you are going to do laundry whilst in Southeast Asia it’s best to plan your time effectively. There are a lot of things you need to consider, such as drying times, pick-up times, and when laundrettes are opened. Plan your method of laundry prior to going on your travels and it will help you manage your laundry time much more efficiently.

The bag method 

This is a slightly unusual method for doing laundry, but is a handy alternative if you do not have access to a laundrette. 

For the bag method you will need a vinyl bag, water, and laundry detergent. 

Begin by filling your vinyl bag until it is half filled and put your clothes in it. Next, add in your detergent and let your clothes soak for a few minutes. After a few minute, use a plunging motion to rotate your clothing. Once you are satisfied with the cleanliness of your clothing, take each item out and rinse off the detergent with water. 

Laundryheap 

If you don’t want to take care of your clothing yourself whilst travelling in Southeast Asia, use Laundryheap. We will pick up, dry clean, and re-deliver your laundry to you, completely contactless, and on you schedule. 

To book your Laundryheap service head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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Top places to eat in Singapore

Image by Eric Lee from Pixabay

Singapore is home to some of the best cuisine in the world. Here are just ten of the top restaurants we would recommend trying whilst in Singapore. 

  • Candlenut
  • 328 Katong Laska 
  • Sushi Kimura 
  • Burnt Ends 
  • Keng Eng Kee Seafood
  • Warong Nasi Pariaman 
  • Corner House
  • Samy’s Curry
  • J.B Ah Meng 
  • Spring Court

Candlenut

Candlenut was the first Peranakan restaurant to earn a Michelin star. At Candlenut, Singaporean chef Malcolm Lee taps into his heritage to deliver his modern interpretation of traditional Chinese cuisine. Many of the recipes you can sample have been passed down through generations and you can taste the heritage of each dish in every bite. Make sure to try the bakwan kepiting. 

Image by benhosg_old

328 Katong Laksa

Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup, and there is nowhere better to get it than at Katong Laksa. If you are looking for a fancy dining experience you won’t find it here, but if you are looking for delicious, authentic, Singaporean food, you have come to the right place. The menu at 328 Katong Laksa is limited, so making your choice is fast and easy- perfect for enjoying your noodles as quickly as possible. 

Sushi Kimura 

Chef and owner of Sushi Kimura, Tomoo Kimura, has over 20 years of sushi-crafting experience. He offers an incredible Japanese sushi experience, that includes artisan ingredients that change with the seasons. Since Sushi Kimura gained its Michelin star it has become increasingly popular, so it’s best to book a table in advance.

Image by Ella Olsson

Burnt Ends

If you are a fan of BBQ then you have to try Burnt Ends, Singapore’s best BBQ joint. Surrounded by a burnt wood and iron exterior, you immediately become immersed in the BBQ experience as you sit facing a line of chefs intensely BBQing chunks of meat. Everyday the menu changes, with only a few staple dishes remaining all season, such as the pulled-pork Sanger.

Keng Eng Kee Seafood

Keng Eng Kee Seafood offers cooked-to-order wok-fried dishes. You will find everything here, from moonlight hor fun to Singapore’s best claypot pork liver.  Located on Bukit Merah Lane, it is constantly buzzing with people trying to secure a seat so make sure that you book well in advance. 

Image by Choo Yut Shing

Warong Nasi Pariaman 

Having served nasi padang since 1948, Warong Nasi Pariaman is the longest-running nasi padang joint in Singapore. At this Halal-certified restaurant, you can find traditional dishes such as ayam bakar, barbecued chicken served in thick coconut gravy, and sambal goreng, a type of spicy stir fry. It is important to note that because this restaurant is Halal there is no alcohol served on the premises.

Image by Shi Lin Tan from Pixabay

 Corner House 

Corner House resides in the historic home of a 20th century British Botanist, which is very fitting with the botanical theme of the restaurant. Singaporean chef, Jason Tan, showcases his gastro-botanical menu in his residence, which is built from the finest ingredients from across the world. The highlight of his eclectic menu is the Cevennes Onion, which is built using several different methods of cooking onions. 

Image by Jack at Wikipedia

Samy’s Curry 

Samy’s Curry was opened in the 1950’s, and continues to be run by the same family today. At Samy’s Curry, you will find an array of classic, home-style, curry’s, including chicken masala and fish cutlets. This is far from a fine-dining experience as servers ladle curry and rice onto sheets of banana leaves. It is recommended that you enjoy your curry with your hands. Sinks are provided at the back of the restaurant so that you can adequately clean yourself up at the end. 

Image by su-lin

J.B. Ah Meng

If you want a true taste of Singapore, head to J.B. Ah Meng. There is nothing fancy about this restaurant, however, it is where Singapore chefs come for their post-work meal, so you know it’s good. You will find J.B. Ah Meng in the heart of Singapore’s red-light district, in a simply furnished, two-story building. For the best tze char in Singapore, head to J.B. Ah Meng and enjoy the relaxing setting. 

Image by City Foodsters

Spring Court 

Spring Court is Singapore’s oldest family-owned restaurants. It sells traditional dishes that have been served for generations, including deep-fried boneless chicken and prawn paste, and crab meat rolls stuffed with chicken liver and salted egg. Originally, Spring Court was a purely Cantonese restaurant, but, as Singapore began to diversify, so did Spring Court. This restaurant offers a wonderful reflection on Singaporean food and how it has developed over the years, whilst holding onto its traditional roots.

Image by Choo Yut Shing

Whilst you enjoy the amazing foods of Singapore, we will take care of your laundry. Book your Laundryheap service by heading to the Laundryheap website or by downloading the free Laundryheap app.


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Tourists tips when visiting Singapore

Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

If you have booked yourself a trip to Singapore these tourist tips will help you make the most of your holiday. 

  • Pack smart
  • Hostels and hotels
  • Know the law
  • Use public transportation
  • Carry cash
  • Eat like a local
  • Stick to happy hour
  • Be smart with tipping
  • Head to the free attractions
  • Ride the Singapore Flyer

Pack smart 

Singapore is not only hot but also incredibly humid all year round. You need to pack lightweight clothing, such as cotton and linen, that will be comfortable and won’t stick to your skin. Asides from comfortable, lightweight clothing, make sure that you also pack some waterproofs. Rain is a common occurrence in Singapore, and when it rains it comes down hard.

Hostels and hotels  

Singapore is much more expensive than many other Asian cities, which means their hotels are also incredibly expensive. If money is no object on your Singapore holiday, there is an array of luxury hotels that offer 5-star rooms, complete with breathtaking views. If you are looking for cheaper accommodation for your stay, there are plenty of hostels scattered throughout the city. 

Top tourist tip: If you are travelling to Singapore during the peak holiday season make sure that you book your accommodation in advance. 

Know the law 

Singapore is rated as one of the safest cities in the world. This status has only been achieved due to its many laws and regulations, some of which are harsher than others. Before travelling to Singapore, make sure that you have a base knowledge of the rules and regulations that you must abide by or you may find yourself with a $500 fine for eating on the MRT (Singapore’s subway system).

Use public transportation  

The easiest, and cheapest, way to explore Singapore is by using public transport. Singapore MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is the equivalent to a tube or subway- it can get you pretty much wherever you want to go. If you aren’t a fan of underground transportation, Singapore has a collection of buses that you can hop on and off at leisure. To make your journeys around Singapore easier, buy a Tourist Pass. You can choose either a 1,2 or 3-day pass, and once bought you can use the pass to get on all of Singapore’s public transport. Simply tap your pass, and away you go. 

Carry cash 

Like many countries, Singapore is making the move to becoming cashless. This being said, there are still areas where only cash is accepted. In places such as residential shops and kopi-tiams eateries (coffee shops), there are no card machines for card and contactless payments. It’s always best to carry between $50 and $100 with you just in case. 

Eat like a local 

Singapore is home to some of the best food in the world, and the place to find that food is the food centres and hawker stalls around China Town and Marina Bay. Here you will find local delicacies, such as chili crab and laksa, at affordable prices. These informal eateries will provide you will a high-quality meal without having to spend a fortune. Even if money is not an object on your holiday, make sure to have at least one local meal. 

Stick to happy hour  

Alcohol is incredibly expensive in Singapore. On average, a cocktail will set you back $20, whilst a beer can cost upwards of $10. That being said, from 5 pm to 9 pm, in bars across the city happy hour drastically reduces the price of these alcoholic drinks. If you are looking for an evening tipple, but don’t want to spend a fortune, make sure to check out the happy hour deals that are on offer. 

Be smart with tipping 

Unlike countries such as America, in Singapore, it is not mandatory to tip. This means that you do not have to add service charge on top of your meal. That being said, if you do think that the service was particularly good, it is always appreciated when a tip is given. 

Head to the free attractions 

As already established, Singapore is an expensive city for a holiday. That being said, there are plenty of free activities and attractions that will save you some money. Some of the free attractions to visit include the multitude of parks throughout the city, Chinese and Indian temples, the Singapore Botanical Gardens, and the Festive Light-up’s. 

Ride The Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer is an amazing way to get panoramic views of the city. At 165 meters tall, it is one of the highest Ferris wheels in the world. One full rotation will take 30 minutes to complete, in which time you can view the whole city. An adult ticket is $33, and tickets can be bought on the day, however, there are online discounts available. Just be sure that you aren’t afraid of heights before taking on the wheel. 

Whilst holidaying in Singapore, let us take care of your laundry. We can pick up your laundry from your accommodation and, whilst you enjoy the city, we can have your clothes dry cleaned and re-delivered to you. To book your service simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 


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What to pack in your travel backpack

Whether you’re backpacking across the world or going on a hiking holiday, these are your backpacking essentials. 

  • Essential documents 
  • Money
  • Chargers
  • Shoes for all occasions 
  • Plenty of underwear
  • Suitable clothing
  • Medicine
  • Essential toiletries 
  • Backpack rain cover 
  • Reading material

Essential documents

The most important thing to make sure you pack is your essential documents. This includes your passport, visas, transport tickets, and any other documents that will allow you to freely travel. Without these documents, you will not be able to travel so you must make sure that you have them with you at all times. 

Money

Asides from your essential documents, the most important thing to pack in your travel backpack is money. You must make sure that you have enough money for the whole of your trip. If you are travelling to numerous countries with different currencies, you must make sure that you have a suitable amount of money in each currency you will be using. It’s always best to take extra money with you when you’re travelling just in case you run out before the end of your trip.

Chargers 

Firstly, decide what electrical items you want to take with you. Whilst making your decision, think about the space that you will have in your backpack, how heavy your appliances are, and whether you will have access to charging ports. Once you have decided on your electrical items make sure that you pack your chargers. For backpacking, it’s always best to take portable chargers so that you can charge on the go.

Shoes for all occasions 

There is limited space in a travel backpack, however, you must make sure that you pack shoes for all occasions. If you are planning on going on long walks or hikes make sure that you pack hiking boots. A comfortable pair of trainers is always essential whenever you go travelling. If you are staying in a hostel during your travels make sure that you pack a pair of flip flops for the showers. 

Plenty of underwear

Whilst you’re travelling you may not always be able to find facilities to wash your clothes. This is why you must make sure to pack plenty of underwear. In addition to this, you may want to pack extra socks for when you’re walking as hiking boots tend to rub the heels of your feet. The more underwear you have the more prepared you will be for any situation. 

Suitable clothing 

Think about where it is you are travelling to and how active you are going to be. Use this as a guide to help you choose what clothing you are going to pack. If you are going to a warm destination you want to choose lighter materials. If you are going to a cold destination you may want to pack thermals. Regardless of where you are going make sure that you pack comfortably and practically. It’s always best to pack at least one waterproof jacket. 

Medicine 

If you suffer from allergies or need to take medication on a regular basis, make sure that you pack it. Ideally, you want any medication to be near the top of your bag so that it is easily accessible. Asides from medication that you take on a regular basis, make sure that you pack some basic medical essentials. Paracetamol, ibuprofen, plasters, sun cream, bug spray, etc. You want to make sure that you are equipped for any low-level injuries that you may face whilst on your travels. 

Photo by Senior Airman Kirby Turbak

Essential toiletries 

As previously mentioned, you do not have a lot of room in your travel backpack, so you need to bring essential toiletries only with you. Essential toiletries include toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, lip balm, and any contact lens solution you may need should you wear contacts. You may also want to take skincare products, however, these are not a priority and should be taken out if there is not enough room. You should store your essential toiletries at the top of your bag with your medicine as you never know when you may want to quickly freshen up. 

Backpack rain cover

Your travel backpack will store all of your belongings for the duration of your travels. It will be the most important item on your trip. This is why it is essential that you invest in a backpack rain cover. You don’t want to get stuck in the rain with your backpack and risk getting your belongings wet, and potentially destroyed. A backpack rain cover will protect your backpack, and all of your belongings, from the rain, ensuring a safe and dry journey. 

Reading material 

When your travelling you need to conserve the battery on your devices, such as your phone, as you won’t always have access to charging portals. This means that when you aren’t exploring, you will have to find other ways to entertain yourself. Take some reading material on your travels as a way to entertain yourself. You could even take books on your destination(s) so that you can do some pre-reading on where you are going. Make sure that you don’t pack too many books though as you don’t want to make your bag too heavy. 

woman, reading, book

Laundryheap is available in several countries across the world, including Bahrain, Singapore, and Kuwait. If you are looking to get your laundry done whilst on your travels, head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app to book your service. 


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Top tips for packing a travel backpack

Whether you’re camping for a week, or travelling the world on a gap year, packing a travel backpack is difficult. Here are some tips to help you out. 

  • Make a list
  • Pockets, pockets, pockets
  • Be versatile 
  • Roll your clothes
  • Toiletries at the top
  • Don’t forget a plastic bag
  • Make sure it’s waterproof
  • Weight distribution
  • Make your bag distinctive
  • Lock it up

Make a list 

Before you even begin packing you need to write a list. Write down everything that you need- clothes, shoes, underwear, toiletries, etc. Writing a list will help you to visualise exactly what you will need to fit in your backpack and can help you eliminate the unnecessary items. Additionally, writing down what you will need could help you to think of essentials that you may have forgotten about. Once you have made your list, you can then begin to think about the space that your backpack provides you and how everything is going to fit into it. 

Pockets, pockets, pockets

You may have noticed that your travel backpack has an abundance of pockets. You need to utilise the space that these pockets provide. They are perfect for separating your clothes, storing important items, such as money and your passport, and even storing your water bottle in an accessible place. Take note of the location of these pockets and, before you begin packing, evaluate what items will be best to put in them.

Be versatile 

When it comes to the clothing that you pack be as versatile as possible. You don’t have a lot of room, so you need to be smart about the clothing you choose. You need to pack suitable clothing for the climate that you are travelling to, that can be worn on multiple occasions. Remember, whilst your travelling you may not always have access to cleaning facilities, so think about investing in easily washable, and stain-resistant clothing. 

Roll your clothes

Once you have made a list and decided on your items, you can begin packing. It’s important to always be conscious of the amount of space that you have in your backpack. To conserve as much space as possible, roll your clothes rather than fold them. Not only will this conserve space, but it will also prevent your clothes from becoming overly wrinkled

Image by WordRidden

Toiletries at the top

It’s always best to leave your toiletries until last so that they rest at the top of your backpack. As you are travelling there will be times when you want to quickly freshen up, maybe after a long hike or particularly gruelling plane ride, and the easier your toiletries can be accessible the sooner you can continue your adventure. You never know when you will need a deodorant top-up, so it’s best to keep it somewhere accessible, just in case. 

Image by Jack Kennard

Don’t forget a plastic bag 

Unlike when packing for a normal holiday, when you’re packing a travel backpack you need to think about things that you will need for every scenario. Plastic bags, for example, are a staple for any backpacker. They can be used to store dirty and/or wet clothes so, when you do come across a cleaning facility, you will know what items need to be washed. This delays the amount of time you spend doing laundry and gives you more time to explore.

Make sure it’s waterproof

No matter what climate you are travelling to your backpack must be waterproof. You don’t want your clothing, possessions, and important travel documents to become water-logged on your travels. If your backpack is not already waterproof, or if you would like an extra waterproof layer for protection, you can buy a waterproof bag cover. 

Image by Kevin Teague

Weight distribution

It’s important to remember that you will be carrying your backpack with you most, if not at all, times whilst you are travelling. This means that you have to make sure that your backpack is not too heavy or difficult for you to carry. The best way to ensure this is to put the heaviest items nearest to your spine, meaning that they are packed first and towards the middle of the bag. Medium-weighted items should be put towards the top of your backpack, with the lightest items, such as clothing, being put at the bottom. The aim is to keep the weight centred and close to your body so that it doesn’t pull painfully at your back and shoulders. 

Make your bag distinctive 

There are only a certain number of different travel backpack designs. This means that you may come into contact with other people who have the same, or at least a very similar, backpack as yourself. To avoid any potential bag mix-up make sure that your backpack is very distinctive looking. This way, if you do lose it for any reason, you can easily describe it. Use bright colours and embellishments to make your bag stand out. Think outside of the box and get creative. 

Lock it up 

You need to make sure that your backpack is as safe and secure as possible. Buy yourself a lock that can be looped around your backpack and prevent people without a key from accessing the contents of it. The easiest way to prevent anything from happening to your bag is to make sure that it is with you at all times. Try not to let your bag out of your sight if you can. 

Luckily, Laundryheap is fully operational in several countries around the world, including Singapore, Kuwait and the US. Whilst your travelling don’t forget to use our postcode checker to see if we can take the stress of doing laundry away from you. Head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app to book your slot now. 


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The ultimate guide to moving to Dublin

Blue Night Sky Cityscape Urban Dublin City

Dublin is the capital city of Ireland. It’s home to 1,273,069 people and has an unrivaled mix of historic buildings, open green spaces, and vibrant nightlife. If you’re moving to Dublin, here is everything you will need to know.

  • Housing 
  • Jobs
  • Transferring money
  • Education
  • Transport
  • Culture

Housing 

Before you begin looking at properties in Dublin, first consider how long you will be staying for and what space you need. There are several options for housing in Dublin, including a house, flat, or even a room share. The price of housing is dependant on the space that you acquire and how close to the city centre you are located. For example, on average, a one-bedroom apartment in Dublin city centre would cost you €1,013 to rent per month. In comparison, a one-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre would cost you €835 on average per month. If you are moving alone, and want to save some money, then consider moving into a house share. You will be given your own room, but you will share communal areas with other individuals in the house.

Jobs

Dublin has become a center for international business. Google, eBay, and Amazon all have offices in and around the Dublin area. Asides from international business, tourism is a big moneymaker in Dublin. Being home to Guinness and Jameson whiskey, in addition to the array of historic buildings there are to visit, there are plenty of jobs available in the tourism sector of Dublin.

Transferring money

Once you have moved to Dublin you will need to transfer your money into euros. When transferring your money it’s best to look for somewhere that will give you the best exchange rate. This could be your bank or an outside company. You need to make sure that your money is transferred in a safe and secure way, so do plenty of research before you decide how to transfer your money. 

Education

Education is mandatory in Dublin from the age of 4 to 18. There are both public and private schools available, however, it is important to remember that private schools charge fees to attend whereas public schools do not. For those who want to continue their education after mandatory education, there are a number of prestigious universities in Dublin including Trinity College, which is notoriously difficult to get into. 

SONY DSC

Transport 

There are several ways to get around the city of Dublin including bus, tram, and bike.

There are over 900 buses, and 18 night busses, that service Dublin and its surrounding suburbs. The price of a bus ride is dependent on how far you are traveling, however, it usually falls around €3. 

The Luas Tram is the most time-efficient way to travel around Dublin. It consists of two tram lines, the Green Line and the Red Line, which connect suburban areas of Dublin to the city center. Similarly to the buses, the prices of the tram vary. On average a one-way ticket costs €2.50, however, if you are regularly traveling in and out of Dublin, you can purchase a week pass for €24, or a monthly pass for €95. 

If you want to get some exercise whilst travelling through the city, there are Coca-Cola Zero Dublin Bikes available to hire. These bikes are a self-service rental system that can be used across Dublin. What is more, the first 30 minutes of your bike ride is completely free of charge. If you are planning on using the bikes more than once you may want to consider buying an annual card for €20. 

Image by William Murphy

Culture 

Dublin is the cultural epicentre of Irish life. The city has homed some of the most renowned talents from history, including legendary playwright Oscar Wilde, novelist Bram Stoker, and, of course, lead singer of U2 Bono.

There are a plethora of museums and art galleries in Dublin that showcase both ancient and modern history. If you are a lover of the arts, there are daily concerts, theatre performances, and exhibitions that are waiting to be explored. 

Aside from the abundance of art, history, and performances that can be enjoyed in and around Dublin, the city is also well-known for its spectacular food. Home to five Michelin star restaurants, and a food festival during the month of June, Dublin’s food pedigree is growing every year. 

Image by q phia

If you’re worried about doing your laundry in Dublin, don’t, because we are here to help. Laundryheap is fully operational in Dublin. Head to the Laundryheap website and use our postcode searcher to find out if we deliver to you. 


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Amsterdam fun facts

If being in self-isolation is leaving you yearning for a holiday more than ever, here are 10 fun facts about Amsterdam. The ideal post-isolation city break destination. 

  • Amsterdam got its name from the Amstel river
  • Amsterdam is the new capital of the Netherlands
  • Amsterdam lies below sea level
  • Amsterdam has over 100 canals
  • There are over 2,000 houseboats in Amsterdam
  • Amsterdam is home to dancing houses
  • Amsterdam’s tap water is safe to drink
  • Amsterdam is home to some of the most famous museums in the world
  • Amsterdam’s floating flower market 
  • Amsterdam’s tourists drastically outweighs its locals

Amsterdam got its name from the Amstel river 

Amsterdam was founded as a fishing village in the 12th century. The city grew around the Amstel river and was protected by a dam that prevented flooding from the  ZuiderZee (South Sea). Thus the name Amsterdam was given to the city as a combination of Amsel and Dam. 

Image by Giorgio Baresi

Amsterdam is the new capital of the Netherlands 

Amsterdam only became the official capital of the Netherlands in 1983. Prior to this, everyone assumed that Amsterdam was the capital but it was never official. Despite being the capital city of the Netherlands, Amsterdam isn’t the political capital. The Netherlands government buildings are actually housed in Hague.

Amsterdam lies below sea level 

Half of the Netherlands, including Amsterdam, is situated below sea level. In the 12th and 13th century, residents would dig ditches and remove water to pump windmills. This resulted in the ground getting progressively lower to the point where half of the Netherlands now remains 2 meters below sea level. Without the dikes and dunes that are enforced every year, the Netherlands would be submerged underwater.

Amsterdam has over 100 canals 

There are 165 canals across Amsterdam, which separate the city into 90 different islands. The majority of them were built in the 17th century, during the Dutch Golden Age. They now have a combined length of 100km. Amsterdam is notorious for its canals, so much so that the historic Canal Belt, or ‘Grachtengordel’ in Dutch, is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. 

There are over 2,000 houseboats in Amsterdam  

Amsterdam’s canals are home to 2,500 houseboats, many of which have been afloat for centuries. Houseboats are either wooden or concrete, with the concrete ones being most desirable. If you own a wooden houseboat you are legally required to take it to a shipyard every three years for repairs and to be painted. The majority of the boats are residential, however, you can find hotel houseboats and even museum houseboats. 

Amsterdam is home to Dancing Houses

The Dancing Houses of Amsterdam are famous. Found on the edge of the Damrak canal these houses get their name from their crooked appearance. Originally built as both houses and offices for wealthy bankers, the soil these houses were built on was so swampy that they had to be built on stilts. This caused the houses to wobble and sink slightly, making them off-balance. The Dancing Houses are a regular tourist attraction and a highlight of Amsterdam. 

Amsterdam’s tap water is safe to drink 

Amsterdam’s tap water is the cleanest in the Netherlands. Above this, the Netherlands has the cleanest tap water in Europe. 

Amsterdam is home to famous museums

Not only is Amsterdam home to some of the most famous museums in the world, but it also has more museums per square meter than any other city. Famous figures, such as Anne Frank and Van Gough, have museums in Amsterdam, alongside the Rijksmuseum and the Amsterdam museum.

Image by emoro from Pixabay

Amsterdam’s floating flower market 

The Netherlands is well known for its flowers, specifically tulips. The iconic floating flower market of Amsterdam has been in business since 1862. It is now one of the most famous flower markets in the Netherlands. To this day, all the stalls of the market are located on boats as a remembrance to when flowers were delivered to the Netherlands by boat. 

Image by jimderda

Amsterdam’s tourists drastically outweigh its locals

Amsterdam is visited by roughly 14 million tourists per year. 4.5 million of these tourists travel from the Netherlands, with the rest travelling from around the globe. Amsterdam is home to only 821,000 residents, meaning that the tourists drastically outnumbers the locals. 

Another fun fact about Amsterdam is that Laundryheap operates from the city. If you are visiting Amsterdam and need your clothes laundered you can book your slot via the Laundryheap website or on the app. 


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Visiting Dubai: The Do’s and Do Not’s

Dubai is a city known for being technologically and architecturally advanced, yet it is incredibly traditional and religious. That is why we have made this guide of Do’s and Do Not’s for your visit to Dubai.

Do

  • Dress respectfully 
  • Take taxis
  • Drink tap water 
  • Leave the city 
  • See the Burj Khalifa

Dress respectfully

Dubai is a traditional Islamic city so dressing conservatively is highly advised. It’s suggested that women wear loose-fitting dresses and skirts, and men trousers and jeans coupled with long sleeve tops. However, just because you have to dress conservatively, it doesn’t mean you can’t dress fashionably. Dubai is one of the capital cities of fashion, where men and women alike love to experiment with colours, fabrics, and patterns. So, be fashion-forward with your conservative attire. 

Take taxis 

Taxi services in Dubai are reasonably priced and a great way to escape the heat and travel around the city. Additionally, if you are planning a wild Dubai night out, it’s best to plan to get to the club via taxi. It’s an offence in Dubai to be seen on the street intoxicated and could lead to a fine or even a month in prison. Better to be safe and book your taxi to and from the club than risk a prison sentence. 

Image by Fabio Achilli

Drink tap water 

Despite popular debate, it is safe to drink tap water in Dubai, so give it a taste. If you are still dubious, there are hotels that will import bottled water from Europe, however, due to the lack of environmental sustainability importation promotes, drinking imported water should be avoided. Instead, ask for locally sourced bottled water to avoid the harm to the environment and avoid the tap. 

Leave the city 

Dubai is a beautiful cosmopolitan city, but there is a lot to explore just outside the city walls. Take a trip to the desert one day and experience life beyond the city of Dubai. Desert safari experiences can be bought at a range of prices, and often involve a camel ride. Go wild for a day and return to the civilisation of the city later on. 

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See the Burj Khalifa 

No Dubai trip is complete without seeing the Burj Kalifa. Standing 829 meters tall, the Burj Kalifa is the tallest building in the world and an architectural sight to behold. You can pay to see Dubai from the buildings viewing platform 555 meters up, or be shadowed by the building as you observe it, for free, from below. Either way, your trip to Dubai will not be complete without visiting this spectacular structure. 

Don’t

  • Wear swimwear away from the water
  • Take photos of government buildings 
  • Eat or drink in public during Ramadan 
  • Engage in PDA
  • Make big plans on a Friday

Wear swimwear away from the water 

As previously discussed, Dubai has a conservative dress code; this code also applies to swimwear. When at the beach or a pool it is completely acceptable to wear any form of swimwear that you desire. However, as soon as you step out of the water, you must be conscious of your clothing and consider throwing on a dress or shirt over your swimwear. 

Image by Sakena

Take photos of government buildings

Regardless of where you go on holiday you always want to take a few snaps for the memories. Dubai is home to some of the most extraordinary modern-day buildings that, undoubtedly, need to be caught on camera. This being said, be mindful not to capture any government buildings as, for security reasons, this is strictly prohibited.  

Image by Michael Theis

Eat or drink in public during Ramadan 

During the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims will take part in Ramadan where they will fast during daylight hours. If you are visiting Dubai during Ramadan the locals won’t expect you to take part in the festival, however, you must be respectful towards those who are. If you want to eat and drink during daylight hours there are a handful of cafes and restaurants that stay open, however, you’re options will be limited. Alternatively, you can eat and drink in your room until the sun goes down. 

Image by George Shahda

Engage in PDA 

Public Displays of Affection (PDA) are a strong offense in Dubai. Everything from a kiss on the cheek to hugging in public is considered indecent. At a push, a married couple may hold hands, but even that is pushing the boundaries of acceptability. To avoid causing offense, it’s best to save showering your other half in affection until you return to your hotel room.  

Make big plans on a Friday 

Friday is considered a holy day in Dubai and is therefore not for working. Don’t worry, the whole city doesn’t grind to a halt, but you should expect there to be a limited number of amenities open. Bear this in mind when planning your Dubai trip and consider having a beach day on Friday. 

Image by Dr. Norbert Heidenbluth

Whatever you’re plans are in Dubai, do make sure that you use Laundryheap for all your holiday laundering needs and do not miss out on the opportunity to enjoy your trip in the freshest smelling clothes. 


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Coventry: 9 Reasons To Visit The West Midlands City

Coventry often gets overlooked on the tourist trail in the United Kingdom. Rich with history, hidden gems, and a host of incredible tourist attractions to see, the West Midlands town is certainly worth a visit.

Recently named the UK City of Culture for 2021. The city is home to four major sporting teams, a plethora of music venues and its cultural influence on the UK is evident throughout history. So, whether you are thinking of visiting from another part of the UK or further afar, this list will give all the reasons you need to visit Coventry.

  • See whats left of one of England’s most famous cathedrals 
  • Take in Coventry’s version of the Sistine Chapel
  •  Watch one of Coventry’s four major sports teams
  • Visit the Lady Godiva 
  • Coventry is the birthplace of Two Tone music
  • Go to the Transport Museum 
  • Check out the unsung art and culture 
  • It’s easily accessible 
  • We operate there! 

See whats left of one of England’s most famous cathedrals

During the Blitz of World War II, Coventry was on the the cities most affected by the shelling. The bombing in November 1940 is what saw the devastating destruction of the Coventry Cathedral. 

The ruins of the medieval structure remain today in the form of a visitor site. Afterwards, Sir Basil Spence designed a second cathedral which features a grand but modest tapestry by the renowned English artist Graham Sutherland. This second cathedral now lays adjacent to the site of the original. Coventry is the only city in the UK to have had a total of three cathedrals in the past millennia.

Watch one of Coventry’s four sports teams

Coventry has several professional sports teams that play their home games in the city. In terms of professional football, Coventry City FC has represented the city since 1883 and currently play in the Football League One. City are the only professional football team representing Coventry. 

Rugby Premiership side Wasps RFC is the newest professional team to play their home games in the city. They left London for the Ricoh Arena in 2014 and haven’t looked back since. As well as Wasps, Coventry R.F.C. and Coventry Bears represent the city in Rugby Union and Rugby League respectively. 

Visit the Lady Godiva 

Coventry legend narrates that Lady Godiva, an English noblewoman, rode naked on a horse through the city’s street in protest to a tax her own husband had imposed on his tenants. Some even claim the phrase ‘Peeping Tom’ came from this legend because in later versions of the story a man named Thomas was struck blind for looking at the naked Godiva riding. 

Coventry City pays homage to this story in various forms, including a clock and a statue of Lady Godiva riding her horse in the city centre. As well as these more traditional nods to the legend, the city hosts the Coventry Godiva Festival. This is Britain’s largest free family festival. The event hosts up to 189,00 people and has had artists like Kasabian and Biffy Clyro headline over the years. 

Coventry is the birthplace of Two Tone music 

The Specials was formed in Coventry in 1977 and are arguably Coventry’s most successful exports. They are known as the originators of Two Tone music (which fuses ska with punk rock) and took Britain by storm in the late 70s. 

Two Tone music is credited with spreading a message of racial unity. As a result of this, Coventry City FC has released a limited edition shirt to commemorate the band and the influence they had on English culture. The kit features aspects of the label’s black and white branding, and the anti-racism Kick It Out logo. One framed shirt has been donated to the Coventry Music Museum by the club to celebrate Two Tones 40th anniversary. 

Go to the Transport Museum 

Coventry was once one of the car manufacturing capitals of the world. Despite this no longer being the case, the museum still has an impressive collection of cars, motorcycles and bicycles.

Not many people know Coventry was actually the birthplace of the bicycle. You can learn more about this and loads of other interesting facts at the Transport museum. Most importantly, the museum is located in the City Centre, so it is easily accessible for those visiting without a car. 

Check out the unsung art and culture 

Coventry certainly has its fair share of art and culture to take in. Warwick Arts Centre sits on the outskirts of the city and has an incredible programme of films, plays and performances. Despite the name, the centre is much closer to Coventry than Warwick. It is also one of the biggest centres of art outside of London. 

Within the city of Coventry itself, be sure to visit the Herbert Art Gallery which hosts various exhibitions from local artists old and new. After that, why not take a trip to the Belgrade Theatre, a long-standing provincial theatre. Similarly, you can visit the more modern Tin Music and Arts Centre in the Canal Basin. This centre hosts a mix of music, film and classes, providing something for all tastes. 

It’s easily accessible 

Coventry is only about an hour by train from London, located around 95 miles to the north-west of the capital. The city’s convenient midlands location means it is also easy to get to from cities in the North of England. 

For overseas travellers, Coventry does have its own airport that goes to a few locations within Europe. Alternatively, Birmingham City airport is only a 30-minute drive or 20-minute train journey away.

We operate there! 

If all the reasons on this list are not enough to entice you into visiting Coventry, then you should probably know that we also operate in the city. If you do find yourself in Coventry with laundry that needs to get done, Laundryheap are here to help! You can book a same-day laundry & dry cleaning collection with free next-day delivery. 


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Amsterdam: Must-Haves For Your Trip

Amsterdam is ripe with history, culture and excitement. The city has something for everyone, with priceless work of arts and historic architecture coexisting harmoniously alongside coffee shops (marijuana dispensaries) and the red light district.

It is always worth thinking ahead and deciding what to pack for your trip in advance. So, whether you are travelling from within Europe or coming from further afar, make sure you come prepared.

  • I Amsterdam City Card
  • Maestro Card/ Cash
  • Waterproof Clothing 
  • OV-Chip Card
  • Bring Earplugs
  • Backpacks Over Suitcases
  • Comfy Shoes Over Clogs
  • Don’t Forget Your Travel Adaptor
  • Study A Map Of Beforehand
  • Carry ID At All Times

I Amsterdam City Card

 The I Amsterdam City Card offers you a unique way to explore the Dutch capital. The card will give you admittance to the majority of the cities main highlights, including more than 70 museums, public transport, canal cruises, discounted dining and bike hire. 

You can order your card online before you reach the city and have it shipped home, to your hotel or pick it up once you arrive. If you are already in town, you can pick it up straight away – there’s no processing time. This card comes with a booklet, map and magazine, perfect for planning your trip as soon as it arrives. Alternatively, you can download the I Amsterdam City Card App to check out some of their recommended itineraries. 

Maestro Card/ Cash

If you have not travelled to Amsterdam before you won’t be aware that most supermarkets don’t accept anything other than maestro cards. Likewise, with smaller businesses like cafes, bars and restaurants have a similar policy regarding credit cards.   

You do not want to be that unsuspecting Visa or Mastercard user who’s card gets rejected after enjoying a three-course meal in a posh restaurant. For that reason, be sure to either have a maestro card at hand or carry cash with you at all times. But, there is no need to worry too much, though, as there is an abundance of ATM’s scattered around the city. 

Waterproof Clothing 

Amsterdam weather can be very unpredictable all year round, but chances are if you are there for more than two days you’ll see some rain. With this in mind, we advise you to pack several items of waterproof clothing. A good rain jacket and some a sturdy pair of boots should do the trick.

OV-Chip Card

Amsterdam is renowned as a cycle-city, but it’s public transport is comprehensive and efficient. To travel on public transport in the city, you will need an OV Chipcard. Buses, trams, trains and metro services require this useful smart card to gain access. 

Thankfully, there is no specific OV Chipcard for tourists. We recommend using the single-use chipcard or an ‘anonymous’ OV Chipcard. You can purchase your OV Chipcard at public transport service desks, ticket machines at train stations, tobacco shops and in several supermarkets. 

Bring Earplugs

Amsterdam’s city centre can be a particularly busy place both during the day and at night. As a result, the noise levels can be extremely loud and keep you awake at night if you stay in the centre of the city. It is worth packing a pair of noise-cancelling earplugs. This will ensure you get enough rest to see all the sights in the day.

Backpacks Over Suitcase

When packing for your trip to Amsterdam, try to remember that many of the cities streets are cobbled and not ideal for suitcases. A good size traveller backpack will serve you perfectly well in the city. This is especially true if you are only staying for a few days.

Comfy Shoes Over Cloggs 

Do not be fooled by Amsterdam’s flat terrain, walking around the city all day will leave a mark on your feet. To avoid blisters and bruises, make sure you pack comfy trainers or sturdy boots. Also, you will undoubtedly find yourself riding a bike at some point. This calls for suitable footwear with high-grade calf support. The Dutch may have historically worn Clogs on their feet, but times have evolved and so has the footwear.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Adaptor 

Like most other countries in the EU, the Netherlands power sockets have two prongs. So, if you are travelling from any non-EU country, we recommend buying a travel adaptor before arriving in Amsterdam. You do not want to reach your hotel without access to your phone charger or beard trimmer when you have big plans in the city that night. 

Study A Map Of Amsterdam Beforehand

The Dutch Capital has a notoriously confusing layout, thanks to the endless canals that curve around its oldest and more central neighbourhoods. For this reason, we recommend consulting a map before you get to the city. It is almost inevitable that you will get lost on your first outing onto the canals,that is why identifying key landmarks beforehand can help you find your bearings. 

Carry ID At All Times

If you are not a native Amsterdamian, you probably won’t be aware that in the Netherlands you are required by law to carry ID at all time. Due to this law, you must remember to carry a form of photo ID card at all times. Although it is not common, police officers can fine you if you do not have identification present on request. 

If you are thinking of travelling to Amsterdam follow these tips, stay safe and enjoy your trip. If you require a laundry service on your trip, Laundryheap is here to help with all your laundry worries.