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I Love Thailand Festival 2017
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I Love Thailand Festival 2017 in pictures (Bredene, Belgium)

Every year, the Thai community in the Benelux area meets up late August in the seaside city of Bredene for the event formerly know as Thaise Markt (Thai market). Rebranded as I ❤ Thailand Festival and on a slightly different location, this year’s edition on August 19th seemed to draw in an even bigger crowd than before. With a large food court, a market area, traditional Thai dance, family-oriented activities, an outdoor live music stage, an indoor party area, this year’s introduction of a Muay Thai boxing competition and plenty lot of Chang beer, there is something for virtually anyone. Just like last year, I did a photo spread in my signature style. Available if you continue reading. I do hope you’ll enjoy the pictures.

I Love Thailand Festival 2017

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Walking street, Pattaya
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Siam in-between: A case of Thai expat’s disease

We met Laurent while he was working behind the bar of our favorite tennis club. For years he entertained us with amusing tales about life in Isaan, Thailand’s North-Eastern region. His stories would cast such an enticing net that eventually we would be drawn to Siam ourselves. A taste of paradise can slowly turn into a lethal dose of poison. This is the story of a severe case of Thai expat’s disease, as I like to call it.

Walking street, Pattaya

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Finding the cheapest ticket to Thailand
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How to fly to Thailand on a budget

At least twice a year I fly from Brussels to Bangkok and back. My wife usually makes the same round-trip in the opposite direction every 12 months. With intercontinental flights not exactly cheap, we try to maximize our budget. Let me teach you the tricks we have picked up over time. Some are obvious, others a lot less so. Most European frequent flyers will probably benefit from reading this post. As an example, my latest air fare was just EUR 314.

Finding the cheapest ticket to Thailand

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A day with traditional dance group Thai Belles

When Thai-Flemish cultural organization Thaivlac offered to spend a day on the road with their Ram Thai dance group, I grasped the opportunity with both hands. Belgium has a thriving Thai scene and a weekend rarely goes by without some kind of a public event. While these parties, festivals and cultural initiatives primarily used to cater to a niche (ie. Thai) audience, these are increasingly popular and growing out to be wholesome and colorful family outings. They usually include music, dance and Thai food. Thaivlac is one of the organizations that function as pillars of the Thai society: they teach Dutch-Thai and Thai-Dutch languages courses, operate the Thai Belles dance group and distribute a monthly newsletter that lists the upcoming events. Do check their website for both the newsletters and bookings for the Belles.  More information on related initiatives and other dance groups coming up. Picture report of my day as a roadie is available here. A few smartphone videos if you continue reading. Thanks for a lovely day!

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Glitterati presents Noir nouveau
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Playlist: Noir Nouveau

On the edge of mainstream and underground, combining billboard production characteristics with a nasty edge. That is how I like my contemporary music. Throw in a synth and a touch of melancholy and I’m in. This playlist is a collection of relatively recent releases/remixes that fit that description and have a sort of an hypnotic tone. Convenient player and full track listing if you continue reading.

Glitterati presents Noir nouveau

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How to get married to a Thai national in Belgium – Part 2: the marriage visa

When we registered our wedding at city hall in part 1, we experienced the first challenges in marrying a foreign national in Belgium. Step 2, applying for a marriage visa, only emphasized that complex nature. This second post continues listing our experiences and contains information that isn’t documented anywhere else. Anyone planning to get married to a Thai national in Belgium will save a lot of time and effort, by carefully reading this post.

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