Getting married to a Thai national (or any foreign national, for that matter) in Belgium isn’t a straight-forward process. Official sources contradict each other in tiny (but crucial) details, different cities (or even contacts) interpret requirements differently and some government officials can’t be bothered to assist properly. My goal is to write our experiences down, to help others maneuver these murky waters. Part 1 will teach you how to successfully jump the first hurdle: the wedding registration at City Hall in Belgium.
In my quest for a decent traditional Thai massage in Belgium, I came across Baan Prathumwan in Antwerp. The inside looks like a proper above-average massage parlor like you find them in Siam. Sadly, they could not schedule me in. Next time, I will make a reservation and do a proper review.
The Thai Market in Bredene (Belgium) has been one of the most popular events in the local Thai community for a while. With 3 stages, 4 sitting areas, plenty of authentic food stalls, several booths selling authentic food, the largest Thai event in the Benelux area significantly grew with this year’s edition. Not just in square footage, in visitors as well: the family-friendly event seems to have made its way into the calendar of a wide range of people. Below is my pictorial report, with a personal touch, but still true to the event. As an Easter Egg, Thai popstar Kratae Rsiam does a cameo. Can you find her?
Tjoung Tjoung in Antwerp is one of those rare restaurants that serves authentic Thai food in Belgium. It is situated slightly out of the way at Breydelstraat 16, close to the central train station and mere minutes by foot from the De Keyserlei. Coming from the train station, just take a right at the Australian Ice Cream parlor and keep walking until it appears on your left. With the popular Isaan Café and a Thai massage parlor in the direct vicinity, there seems to be a cluster of Thai businesses in the making.
Looks like there’s a new Thai eatery serving street food in the Van Wesenbekestraat in Antwerp, right in the middle of the Asian neighborhood. Siam Senses‘ interior seems contemporary and even stylish, albeit small. Will definitely swing by for a review, asap.
Whenever I am in Thailand, I regularly visit an authentic Thai massage parlor. Thai massages are quite intense and in some cases you are even thrown around and walked on. The contrast between intense and relaxing feelings really makes me feel exhilarated when I walk out. Every muscle feels loose and back where it should be. For years, I’ve been looking for that experience in Belgium, but have never indulged as I am always put off by a possible shady nature of local massage. When I was assured by a friend that Thongfaa Thai massage (website currently down) could be trusted, I decided to give the parlor a try.
While shopping in Antwerp, a growling stomach started a craving for Thai food. In stead of gravitating towards my usual haunts in the Asian neighborhood, I remembered a suggestion by my friend Guido who runs Thai-Flemish cultural society Thaivlac. Recently a new restaurant opened on Tabakvest, which is about a 10 minute walk from where I was on the Meir: Baan Yuuna.
When Thai Food Café Yam Thai opened in 2013, it immediately received a lot of media coverage due to its owners: Flemish actors Nathalie Meskens and Jeroen Van Dyck. Even though they repeatedly claimed that they are not earning any income from the food bar (*rolls eyes*) reservations need to be booked three months in advance and a second location has been opened. With a Thai partner and a partial residency in the land of smiles, yours truly is always interested in all things Thai in Belgium.