Amsterdam's brothels and cannabis cafes furious over mayor's 'clean-up'
Amsterdam has long been famed for its relaxed approach to prostitution and soft drugs, making the Dutch city one of the most popular destinations for tens of thousands of Britons on stag and hen parties.
But all that may be about to change. As part of a major 'clean-up' of the city centre, the local authorities yesterday unveiled plans to close half of the brothels and the little coffee shops where cannabis can be bought and smoked, prompting warnings that they will cost the city dear as visitors head elsewhere.
where else can they smoke cannabis or do drugs ? in Indonesia or Malaysia you can get years of sentence for that and life sentence for drug trafficking.
here is a brief overview of Amsterdam famous red light district,
The majority of people have heard about Amsterdam’s Red Light District well before their visit. Leaving nothing to the imagination, most stereotypes about this area are true: there are plenty of sex shops, peep shows, brothels, an elaborate condom shop, a sex museum and of course prostitutes in red-lit windows. In addition to the fact that there is much more to the city than this district, there are a few more truths to be known about this (in)famous part of Amsterdam. .
Let's be honest
Prostitution has enjoyed a long tradition of tolerance in Amsterdam and, as with soft drugs, the Netherlands’ approach is to legalise the trade and impose regulations. Basically, they know people are going to do it anyway, so they may as well keep it safe for those involved. In addition to preventing forced prostitution, this open and honest approach means sex-workers here have their own union, plenty of police protection, an information centre (for visitors as well), frequent monitoring and testing and professional standards.
Visiting the Red Light District
The best time to see the fluorescent red glow of the Red Light District is once the sun goes down. The area is bustling with visitors and groups of tourists. It is best to travel in a pair or in a group, as the area also attracts some seedier characters. Grab a map and venture out or if you’re keen to learn more take one of the many specialised tours.
Not everything goes
There are certain rules in place to ensure the safety of prostitutes and visitors to the Red Light District. It is forbidden to take photos of the women, and this is strictly enforced. Although there is 24-hour video surveillance in most parts of the district, be aware of pickpocketers. They tend to target crowds of distracted tourists, so keep an eye on your belongings and leave your valuables in a safe at the hotel. Many families and people who need to get up for work the next morning live in this area. Respect their neighbourhood, and do not yell or cause disturbances.
There is more to the Wallen
The Wallen, also known as the Rossebuurt to Amsterdammers and the Red Light District to visitors is actually the oldest part of Amsterdam. The neighbourhood is chock-full of interesting shops, pubs, fantastic restaurants, leaning gabled houses and the city’s most charming canals. Don’t miss the vibrant Nieuwmarkt square, the gothic Oude kerk or a walk along the centre of Amsterdam’s Chinatown, the Zeedijk (also home to an impressive Buddhist temple).
taken from http://www.yuwie.com/blog/entry.asp?id=831991&eid=536334&t=The%20Red%20Ligh%20District%20in%20Amsterdam.