Expats Club July Meeting – Frans Betgem

fbThis month’s CEC General Meeting at Le Méridien Hotel. Frans Betgem, owner of CEC Sponsor Green Trails presented a program on tours in Northern Thailand. Starting soon, guides from Frans’ gtcompanies will offer overnight or one-day tours of Northern Thailand, custom designed just for us.
Green Trails offers active, adventurous tours that involve trekking, cycling, rafting and elephant experiences. Their other main brand is called Chiang cmalcMai a la Carte, specialising in customized tours in North Thailand. They promote lesser visited destinations such as Lampang, Phrae, Nan and Mae Sariang and also promote nationwide and local festivals. Lanna Cycling Tours and Tong Bai Elephant Tour are also part of the company.

Frans is from the Netherlands and graduated in contemporary history at the University of Amsterdam. Frans has more than 20 years experience in the region and has travelled very extensively. He has designed tours for a variety of travel agents around the world. After having worked for almost 20 years in the travel industry he has decided to devote his time and boundless energy and enthusiasm to Tiger Trail Thailand. Besides travelling Frans loves the outdoors, music and sports, in particular football. He is an enthusiastic hiker and cyclist. 

An interesting morning. Some of the tours sound inviting.

Dining Out Group – Cafe’ Des Artists


Entrance to the Restaurant

On Thursday night the Dining Out Group ate at the Cafe’ Des Artists, located in the  Hotel Des Artists, at 181 Chareonraj Rd, Wat Kate,  Chiang Mai. It is on the banks of the Ping River.

It is a fairly upmarket hotel and exoensive restaurant. Charges are plus10% service and 7% VAT.

We shared a starter of shrimp rolls, which were delicious. Then Toy ordered Pork Ribs and I had a Pork Chop. Toy said his rib, which was a very small serving, was too salty and not very tender. My pork chop was overcooked and tough. There was no salad, vegetables, or chips. All in all, poor food for an expensive restaurant. We wont be back

For afters we  shared a coconut and cream cake

Decor was tasteful and the service attentive.

AS usual thank you to Toy and Nop for the pics.




Ruth, Toy, and me enjoy the evening


Pork Chop


Coconut and cream Pie


Prawn Rolls


Toy’s Garden


Stump Feature, decorated with bromeliad, orchids, etc

Toy is very proud of his garden. He works in it every day. It is a credit to him and It is admired by friends and visitors.


Our Backyard Bower, Covered in a Passionfruit Vine with Blue Pea on the Corners

Here are some photos of the garden and nature it contains.13624432_1815433498687633_700686810_n      

A few months ago a birds nested in the garden. It was interesting to see the birds hatch and mature, then fly away.


Our Friendly Lizard

We also have a pet lizard, water dragon, I think. He (she) lives inside the waterfall and sun bakes on the top. Real five sar accommodation




















This Flower has a Strong Perfume at Night


There are Many Orchids in the Garden





Dining Out Group – Kafe’ Vino Bar and Bistro


Kafe’ Vino

Last night he Dining Ou Group ate at the Kafe’ Vino Bar and Bistro in Think Park. This is not really a park, but a number of low-rise buildings, consisting of restaurants, coffee shops, souvenir shops etc with plenty of walking space. We used to dine there regularly when we had an apartment at Green Hill. Nine of us enjoyed the evening.

It had rained earlier in the evening, so we sat inside in the air-conditioned area.

Toy ordered two Thai dishes; Spicy Beef Salad and Fried Pork with Chilli and Onion while I settled for Fish and Chips. Toy declared his food fine and mine was fine too. Service was fast and pleasant.

Another very pleasant Dining Out Group fuction. Thanks Nop and Toy for the photos.


Our Table


Nop and Toy


Spicy Beef Salad


Fried Pork with Chili & Onion


Fish & Chips

04 July


Promotion Poster


The Platter


Grilled Prawns

Norden restaurant had a promotion last night to celebrate the 4th of July,  American independence Day.

They served an excellent platter consisting of grilled prawns, onion rings, calamari rings, ribs, chips, chicken wings, and fish pieces. We finished it but were stuffed at te end.4j

We really enjoyed the platter. Funny, there weren’t any Americans there!

Norden Again


Hawaiian Pizza


Swedish meatballs


Apple Pie & Ice-cream

We went to the Norden restaurant again for dinner last night. It is developing into our favourite restaurant. It has an emphasis on Swedish cuisine. It is not the cheapest and the practice of adding 7%  VAT onto the components of all checks is irritating. The food quality however and the standard of service are outstanding. Phil, the Swedish proprietor, keeps a watchful eye on proceedings.

Last night, Toy ordered Hawaiian pizza, while I had Sweetish meatballs We fished off with apple pie and ice-cream. All meals were up to te usual high standard.

Perhaps we will go again on Monday night for their 4th of July, American independence Day promotion.