Since Den Bosch is not much of a touristy town (more of a weekend escape and relaxation for locals), I would guess the best activity for the day would be to explore the outskirt of Den Bosch. In Netherlands, the best place to rent a bicycle is always the train station; for Den Bosch, it's EURO 7.50 per day with EURO 50 deposit, and it's a decent city bike (3 gear) in good condition.

How to navigate around? There is a famous Netherlands cycling map available, I could find the English version in the VVV (Tourist Information) office. Why not just use Google Offline Map and I probably won't get lost (proven to work well during my Vietnam trip). I am aiming for one of the local national park (De Loonse en Drunense Duinen), so off I go. Cycling is pretty safe and comfortable in Netherlands, where there is a dedicated cycling path most of the time, and the cars are pretty considerate of the cyclists and pedestrian, but I do need to remember to cycle on the right side (sometimes there is no cyclist path on one side of the road where we need to share the same path on the other side, which could be confusing at first).

Soon enough, I left the City into the highway, crossing through residential and finally on a small path in the outskirt. Netherlands is very flat, with vast grassland and bold trees (right after Winter) and brown-colored buildings. There are some horses, goats and sheeps along the way, and the scenery doesn't change drastically. Some parts of the road are more pleasant due to the lack of cars, which makes it quiet and comfortable to cycle; or surrounded by farmland, grassland or nice houses. Perhaps I was looking for some breath-taking view, but there is none, just comfortable views along the way.

Once in a while I went into a small town, where every town seems equally populated with a lively street with shops, definitely equipped with with two or three supermarket/convenience stores, a shop which sell cheese/nuts/meat/bread and 2-3 restaurants & cafes. It's a quiet town, but far from "dead", which make it an ideal place to live. It started raining when I reach the first town (Vlijmen), and I realize the rain didn't bother most of the people: they just keep cycling, keep walking or keep playing football. Some pedestrian use an umbrella, but most didn't make an attempt to find a shelter or cover their head. Drizzling rain seems to be common around here, and my hand and face definitely felt the freezing cold; wearing a water resistant wind-breaker is good, keep the wind out and keep me dry.

Bought some cold pasta (about EURO 1.50 per 100g, 400g could probably make a decent meal) while taking a shelter from the rain, and take lunch at the 3rd town (Drunen). I definitely could use a hot drink in this weather, and EURO 2.50 for 5 Cheese Stick Bread (Knabbelstengel) and EURO 1.70 for a Chocomel at Bakker Bart seems like a bargain to me. In any town or city in a new place, there is always a few things which always interest me: the restaurant (food), the supermarket (food), the market (food) and local specialty shop (cheese, meat, nut, etc.); I guess it's all about the food. If I can't appreciate local culture in the form of art and history, at least I would like to taste their food.

After a nice rest, it's time to venture into the national park (this is not the actual entrance with sand dunes, but somewhere close by). The national park have plenty of hiking trails, but the path is not city-bike friendly. I have to push my bicycle half of the time, and the forest is pretty "deserted" (I did bump into the only other person). It's a pine forest, and the forest is not thick, and every part of the forest look almost the same, and with some sands on the ground, and there is some horse riding trail as well. After rejoining into the main road, it's a pleasant ride along the way. I guess I didn't went through the "main entrance" of the national park and saw the sand dunes.

My butt is getting sore for the last 90 minutes of the ride, and cycling within the city is slightly more confusing. The total journey is 28 miles (probably the longest ride I have) in 6 hours 18 minutes (thanks to Google's My Tracks app). Cycling is fairly enjoyable (I don't mind doing it again), the weather is nice, the path is good, and the scenery is lovely. I like the cycling culture here, where the weather is nice, dedicated cyclist path, the motorist are considerate and the concept of "snatch thieve" doesn't seems to exist here (proven by lady cyclists putting their handbags in front of their bicycle): sadly Malaysia have neither of these criterias.

I would one of the most interesting attraction in Netherlands would be cycling, sadly I am not prepared to do one of those long distance (LF) cycling route (>100km) with camping along the way. With more bicycle on the road, it does make car traffic a lesser problem; and it makes the people happy. They make quite a few innovation for ferrying babies, with baby in the front with a windscreen, put them in a cart at the front or full them from the back with a trolly extention. Anyway, cycling is a lovely part of Netherlands which I truly enjoy.

Bought some breakfast for tomorrow back at Den Bosch

Greek restaurant for dinner
Greek restaurant for dinner Grieks Specialiteiten Restaurant Rhodos