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4 exotic holiday destinations with a decidedly Dutch twist

Back from your summer holidays and already planning your next trip abroad? If you’re searching for some winter sun, but still yearning for the Netherlands, then the exotic foreign holiday destinations with a decidedly Dutch twist below, might be just the ticket!

Dutch island of curacao

1) The Dutch Antilles

For those who like to practice their Dutch, the (former) Dutch Antilles is an ideal holiday destination. Indeed, the Dutch language is widely spoken on the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba. More importantly, the sun shines throughout the winter months, allowing you to make the most of those pristine white beaches, crystal clear waters, and breath-taking nature. And, as local supermarkets tend to stock a large range of typical Dutch products, you needn’t cram your favourite Dutch chocolate sprinkles or Dutch cheese into your suitcase, leaving plenty of room for souvenirs!

2) Indonesia

Although Dutch is spoken only by the older generation in Indonesia, there are many Bahasa Indonesia (the official language of Indonesia) words that stem from the Dutch language, such as buku (boek or book), buncis (boontjes or beans), handuk (handdoek or towel), kopi (koffie or coffee), panekuk (pannenkoek or pancakes) and polisi (politie or police). Visitors to Indonesia can also admire typical Dutch architecture in bustling cities like Bandung, which boasts a large collection of Dutch colonial houses. As in the Dutch Antilles, Indonesian supermarkets often sell traditional Dutch products, including Dutch chocolate sprinkles, Friesche Vlag condensed milk and Dutch cocoa powder.

3) Surinam

In addition to Sranantongo, Surinamese Hindustani, Javanese and Chinese, many Surinam residents speak a substantial amount of Dutch, particularly as some have lived / or have family in the Netherlands. There are numerous visible traces of Dutch colonial rule in Surinam too, such as the historic city of Paramaribo (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Fort Zeelandia and the Laarwijk plantation.

4) South Africa

If you fancy going on safari, then South Africa is the obvious choice. Yet, there’s far more to this beautiful country than “die groot vyf” (“the big five” – elephants, rhinos, lions, buffalos and leopards). South Africa, which incidentally shares the same time zone as the Netherlands, is equally famous for its sprawling vineyards and stunning beaches. Whilst Dutch speakers can converse freely with South Africans, it’s important to remember that Afrikaans has evolved into a distinct language complete with its own pronunciation, spelling and vocabulary, which can sometimes lead to a Babylonian confusion of tongues!

Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?

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