If you’re a Muslim travelling to Thailand, you won’t really have a lot to worry about. Numbering nearly eight million, Muslims make up the second-largest portion of Thailand’s population, concentrated in Bangkok and the three southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala. Islam is largely recognized in Thailand, with the King himself often involved in Islamic events and activities held nationwide. But to make it easier for you, here’s a short travel guide to ensure a Muslim friendly trip to Thailand.
Finding Halal Food In Thailand
Finding a safe place to eat as well as halal food to try shouldn’t be difficult for you in Thailand. The Thai government requires food products to pass through halal certification before they are sold. Moreover, large cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai have a sizeable collection of halal restaurants that are actually owned and staffed by Muslims. Some of these restaurants serve authentic halal Thai food, while others specialize in Indian, Lebanese, Arabic, and other Middle-Eastern cuisines.
A lot of local dishes that made it to mainstream Thai cuisine actually have roots in halal food served by Thai and Chinese Muslims. One example is curry massaman, a dish that resembles beef stew. It contains beef or chicken, potatoes, and roasted peanuts or almonds. The stew is seasoned with cardamom, bay leaves, palm sugar, fish sauce, chili, and tamarind sauce. Another example is khao soi, an egg noodle dish where the noodles are either stir-fried or cooked in soup made with coconut milk. Khao soi contains mustard greens, shallots, fried chilies, lime, and either chicken or beef.
Finding food may be more of a challenge in northern Thailand once you leave the major urban settlements. When in doubt, you can always ask for vegetarian options.
Finding Places For Prayer In Thailand
Because of its sizeable Muslim population, Thailand has more than 3,400 mosques. Around 170 of them are in Bangkok, while a good portion of the rest is concentrated in the southern provinces.
In Bangkok, the biggest mosque is Bangkok Mosque while the oldest is Haroon Mosque. Other notable mosques include Darul Aman Mosque, Tanson Mosque, Chakrabongse Mosque, and Noor-ul-Islam Mosque.
Chiang Mai, on the other hand, has 12 mosques. The oldest and most popular is the Ban Haw Masjid, located near the Chiang Mai Night Market.
Finding Help for Muslim Travelers in Thailand
One way you can make your travel easier in Thailand as a Muslim is to download the smartphone app developed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The app, named Thailand: Muslim-Friendly, is designed to help you find safe places to stay, to eat, and to worship.
You can also book your Thailand travel arrangements through a travel agency experienced with handling Muslim travel concerns accompany with a guide. You’ll be safe in their guide’s hands, and you can enjoy your travel to Thailand holiday without any hassles. Check out other things we’ve listed here on what to do in Thailand!