Newsletter April 2014
Temperatures are going up again, time for some refreshing BCT-news on the verge of Songkran! In this newsletter, we look back on a number of events, present a number of articles of general interest and at the same time inform you about our plans for the coming months. Stay tuned and read all about it!
Happy Songkran to all of you!
Party Cruise rescheduled for 14 June
The Thai climate has been very gentle for us these first months of 2014, with very pleasant temperatures and breezes. Unfortunately, the political climate has been (and is still) quite animated, which meant we had to reschedule our party cruise. Please note our new date, 14 June, in your agenda, for this exclusive event.
Join next term's BCT committee!
We are recruiting for a new committee for next term (Sep-Jun). Positions are available for kids events, sponsoring, sport events and cultural events. If interested or want to know more, please send an email to Maarten Boone firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday April 18th at the latest.
An overview of the upcoming events
Sunday, 27 April | Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, 24 May | Soccer Match Belgium - Holland
Saturday, 14 June | Party Cruise on the Chao Phraya
Past Events: Playtime @ Natural Park, 13 February
Around 20 kids enjoyed the pool, the park and the playground while playing with their friends. The mums in the meanwhile enjoyed chatting and exchanging useful addresses. It was definitely a very enjoyable afternoon!
Belgium on top during 'Groot Dictee der Nederlandse Taal' and 'Quiz', 27 February
On Thursday February 27th, Flanders took revenge for the defeats of last year, during the annual ‘Groot Dictee der Nederlandse Taal’ and ‘Quiz’. In this clash between The Netherlands and Flanders, the Belgian delegation demonstrated strength is not in numbers and was victorious in both the ‘Dictee’ and the ‘Quiz’.
The most important event of the evening, the ‘Dictee’, was this time written by last year’s Dutch winner, Sylvester van Welij, who gave the around 40 participants a real run for their money. In the end, it turned out ‘our’ Marleen Steenbrugghe, had avoided all of the pitfalls the best, crowning herself as the new spelling champion. To make the success complete, second place went to another Belgian, Jan Hoffman, thus leaving only the bronze medal to ‘the north’.
Possibly even more stunning was the fact that Flanders – allegedly for the first time – also came out on top after the ‘Quiz’. A full-blown Flemish team, consisting of Bram Clincke, Sandra De Waele, Gerd Dhondt and Marleen Steenbrugghe, made the evening truly memorable by winning a very well-balanced quiz.
Many thanks to our colleagues of the NVT, who organised the evening in Panthip suites. Literally every detail of their event was taken care of, making us look forward to defending our title(s) early in 2015!
BCT Golf Cup and Beginners Clinic, 2 March
The Bangsai Country Club in Ayutthaya welcomed the BCT-members for the first BCT Golf happening on March 2nd. 16 Experienced golf players played 18 holes, while almost 20 others signed up for a Golf Clinic, organized by Belgian certified PGA professionals Karl Hans and Alexi Vandamme.
The Bangsai Country Club is located on the outskirts of Bangkok. The course design is challenging and the golf is first rate. Many 'water holes', endangering the golfer’s shots, added to the challenge. After a long and hot day, cocktails were served and golf stories shared over dinner.
The winners of this fantastic event:
Congratulations to all of our sporty BCT members. Let's meet at the green again soon!
G2G's once more reunited the Belgian community
Since our last newsletter, the BCT organised 2 new G2G’s. The first Get Together took place on February 7th at Royal Oak and more recently, on March 21st we met at Cheap Charlie’s.
Especially the most recent G2G drew a lot of people. At Cheap Charlie’s, the young and not so old and professionals and non-professionals passed a fantastic evening in this outdoor pub in a subsoi of Sukhumvit soi 11. The crowd was packed, not only by Belgians, but all were wonderfully kept in line by a chain on the ground that should not be trespassed. Temperatures were rising as it was flamingly hot that night, discussions diverse with topics ranging from business to football, sanitary issues and sailing, to name but a few. In short: this was another successful evening out in a vibrant and lively quarter of Bangkok.
The Broken Circle Breakdown, 29 March
This year’s Film and Frites event has been the most moving ever. More than 100 people came to see the award-winning movie The Broken Circle Breakdown. Dutch, French, English and Indian people mingled with Belgians to see Belgium’s latest box office hit.
The Broken Circle Breakdown is the kind of film that, to repeat a tired cliché, makes you laugh and cry at the same time. It's a powerful film that builds to intense, overwhelming emotions with a very human core. Van Groeningen's triumph is wrapping the heartbreak and anger up in love and support. He leaves us celebrating the beauty of what was rather than mourning what has lost.
The pause in between the two parts came a bit abrupt. Many people had to wipe their tears away, but the trees with the cosy light bulbs of the Alliance Française brought comfort and so did the fries and the beer. The Beer Lao could even compete with the Stella Artois. I wonder which movie we have to show next year to achieve the same succes!
Did you know...?
Did you know the Belgian-Luxembourg/Thai Chamber of Commerce has become an independent Chamber since March 1st? This is the start of an exciting new chapter for BeLuThai and its members. Want to find out more about this great little Chamber? Please contact Executive Director Ann Peenen at email@example.com.
BKK, my home!
Hello! My name is Timo, I am 30 years old. About 2 years ago, my girlfriend Ine and I accepted a job offer to manage a Thai production plant of cake decorations in Thailand, owned by a Belgian company called “Leman Cake Decorations”. The Thai company has about 200 Thai staff and is located in Banglamung, about 10km from Pattaya. I always say, we work and live in rural Banglamung - the real Thailand - but we live close enough to Pattaya – not the real Thailand - where we can enjoy plenty of western restaurants and shops.
Pattaya in no more than three words
Crazy: It is no secret that Pattaya has a dark side, although all the Neon is lighting it up at night. In Pattaya, you can find whatever (or whoever) you are looking for, and party from dusk till dawn - or as long as your wallet allows it.
Cool: Or at least “cooler”. People that prefer living during the day time can enjoy a pleasant sea breeze all year-round. In Pattaya, the temperature is always a few degrees lower than in Bangkok. It does feel a lot more comfortable at the sea, the air is fresh and the pollution levels are acceptable.
Chic: It may be a secret to most people, but Pattaya has quite a few upmarket restaurants, hotels and golf clubs. The quality of the top restaurants is outstanding, sea views are complimentary and prices are easily 30% lower than in Bangkok.
The Thai dish I miss the most when I am away
When I am away, I miss my home-made tropical fruit smoothies. According to what is left in the fridge, I love combining coconut, pineapple, banana, passion fruit, watermelon, kiwi,… with a small touch of ginger. Apart from this, I miss fresh seafood or chicken with panaeng curry.
Favourite iconic spot
In the weekend, I love to have lunch at the Cabbages and Condoms restaurant, part of Birds and Bees resort. The restaurant is located in a real tropical environment, with astonishing sea views. The cocktails and Thai food are outstanding, it’s the perfect setting to relax for an hour or two. It is possible to have dinner here as well, although we prefer coming here in the day: less crowds and better views.
Favourite place for a romantic date with my wife
As we appreciate good Italian food and wine, we love going to Gian’s restaurant, a little piece of Italy in the middle of Pattaya. There is a special atmosphere in this restaurant, the interior might look kitsch at first, but after a good glass of wine you will start to appreciate it. What makes this one of the best in Pattaya is the fact that the owner is around every day and night to welcome his guests and to keep an eye on his restaurant.
Favourite neighbourhood spot
As the beaches around Pattaya are polluted, I love to go to a beach in Sattahip, called “Hat Nang Ram”. The water is crystal blue, the number of tourists can be counted on one hand and this is one of the only beaches around where you can hide in the shadow of Pine Trees. The beach is owned by the Royal Thai Navy, but it is freely accessible from the early morning until 6pm. Every evening, the navy takes care of cleaning the beach, so come early and you will be here all by yourself.
Favourite coffee shop
La Baguette, part of Woodland resorts, is the place to be to have coffee and sweets. They have a wide selection of French bread, croissants, tarts, cakes and desserts. Prices are French as well, but you will not regret it!
My family’s go-to restaurant
Toscana restaurant, located at beach road, is a perfect family restaurant. The kids will love the pizza. Mammy can enjoy a large selection of wines by glass (or by bottle) and daddy will enjoy the 3 German beers on draft, which do taste well compared to sweet Thai beer.
Go-to Sunday Brunch
There are only 2 options in Pattaya: Mantra and Hilton. The Mantra is without any doubt the best option of the two. They have about 10 different buffets to choose from: Sushi, Seafood, Mediterranean, Chinese, Indian, Western, Italian, Chinese, Cheese and dessert. The quality of the food is outstanding and you can eat as much as you want from 11am to 3pm. Reservation is highly recommended.
The bar that makes my favourite drink
Horizon rooftop lounge bar at the 34th floor of the Hilton Hotel serves the best cocktails in a trendy atmosphere. The DJ plays groovy house and lounge tunes until 1am. Spectacular sea views and a cool sea breeze are included as well.
My favourite place to take my kids out on the weekend
I have no kids, but I think kids will like the crocodile farm. Shows are scheduled every hour. It is even possible to feed the crocodiles with a stick, a rope and a (dead) chicken. Fun guaranteed.
Central festival has all the shops you need. It has a decent parking and is located in the same building as the Hilton Hotel, so you if you are tired from shopping, you can have a cocktail at the rooftop bar as well.
The BCT is sponsored by
To view all our events see www.belgianclubthailand.com
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