Tine was such a dear. Ever since she agreed to host me, she’s been helping my travels around Belgium out very willingly. She even invited me to chocolate-tasting. Can you imagine my excitement at this invitation?

Pardon my just-woken puffy face below. :/ I love their house not only because Tine and her boyfriend bought it together, but they also lovingly designed the house together. They built their book racks by hand, and painted the shelves in different colours. It made me think of how I’d decorate my future home for the very first time, and I’m excited for that day to come!

couchsurfing hosts in ghent, belgiumThe best part upon arriving at Ghent wasn’t that she gave me accurate directions and timings to her place, or that she waited in the morning drizzle for me to arrive.

It was seeing the carefully chosen locations to visit because I wanted to see the best of Ghent, and the local spots. She picked out maps of Ghent from their tourism office prior to my arrival, marked out on the maps the local favourites, and provided descriptions of each cafe/ site to visit.

They were so lovingly and meticulously written, I’ve never met someone as kind-hearted as her!

After an Italian dinner with some of her friends and her boyfriend, they specially brought me to one of the local pubs in Ghent. It’s special because if you order one of their “Kwak” beers, you had to give up one of your shoe which acts as a deposit for the unique hourglass cup.

shoe deposit in ghent pub, belgiumIt is then placed in a basket and hung on top of the ceiling. Picture below is a little dark but you can make out the basket full of shoes in there. 😛

shoe deposit in ghent pub, belgiumKwak was so named because when you drink until the narrowest part of the cup and you put down the glass, the beer would gush out and splash at your face and make a “kwak” sound. I’m not sure if I can elaborate it right, but it’s got to do with the water pressure dynamics in that hourglass shape, haha.

drinking Kwak beers, ghent belgiumWe chatted plenty about Smurfs, the preferences between blond and brown hair, how Asians look alike to them, hitchhiking and Tine and her boyfriend’s sweet love story.

Tine’s such a dear the entire time I was in Ghent. It definitely played a part for my love for Ghent! Without her recommendations, I’d have never found the graffiti alley nor the colourful rows of houses, which always gets me excited. 🙂

I’ve shared some of them on Instagram. I’m excited to share with you the rest, on top of the places that I’ve been to that you shouldn’t miss if you’re ever in Ghent!

Thanks to Tine, I would not hesitate to recommend Ghent to anyone visiting Belgium. It is a mix of Bruges and Brussels, a nice interplay between nature and modernity!

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Isabel Leong

Isabel Leong

An explorer at heart, the world is Isabel's playground. She enjoys seizing every moment exploring every hideout and doing the unimaginable, like bungee jumping in Phuket and couchsurfing in Europe. If she had wings, she’d definitely be soaring right now. Also a fitness trainer, if she’s not at the gym, you can find her doing yoga or rock climbing! Read more about her on belaroundtheworld.com/about.

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