There is a lot of Halal food in Krabi (the population is 40% Islamic), so Muslim visitors to the area need not worry about eating out. All meat served will be dhabiha halal ذَبِيْحَة حلالا (slaughtered in the correct way), with the notable exception of steaks. This particular cut of meat is imported from Australia and is usually non-Halal.
Because of the mixed local population, the vast majority of people you will meet are fully aware of the Islamic dietary requirements, so advice is usually honest and helpful and there will not be any explaining to do.
Most Muslim restaurants in Krabi will display a Halal sign in Arabic; at street food vendors and hawker stalls if no sign is displayed it is best to ask as covering hair is often done for hygiene, not only religious purposes.
Ao Nang village is predominantly Muslim, though the main tourist area down by the beach is not. Near the beachfront, you can still find quite a few Muslim-owned restaurants, however. Please note that although all the restaurants mentioned below serve only Halal food, some of them in the tourist areas also sell alcohol (through third party vendors, no profit is made), or allow it to be brought in from outside.
Highly recommended is Ruen Preutsa, which is in Somkiet Buri Resort (entrance opposite McDonald’s). This serves excellent Thai Muslim food, as well as seafood and some western dishes. The setting is in a beautiful garden.
Another good hotel restaurant is in Ao Nang Princeville Resort (Muslim-owned), called White Orchid. Again, they serve Thai food and seafood as well. It is located on the beachfront, with the entrance next to the Coffee Klatsch cafe. This is not to be confused with Orchid Restaurant in Ao Nang Orchid Resort which serves a similar Halal menu, opposite Ocean Mart.
Wannas Place, the oldest restaurant on the beach, serves Halal Thai food in a traditional roofed dining room at the far end of the beach road – this place is famed for its southern Thai specialty of Massaman Curry. Then there is the newest Halal restaurant on the Ao Nang scene: Egyptian restaurant, Cleopatra, which serves Arabic mezze and kabob-style grilled meats and seafood. This can be found on the main road heading out into Ao Nang village, next to Subway.
Prices in all of these restaurants will be around 200 – 500 Baht a head for a big meal, less if you are sharing dishes.
Several of the seafood restaurants along the so-called “seafood street” on the beachfront are also Halal – try Ban Lay Seafood or YaYa Thai Kitchen, both owned by Ao Nang villagers. As well as seafood, they also serve excellent Thai cuisine, with exclusively chicken, beef, and vegetable dishes, at reasonable prices.
If you would like to try Italian food, there are (amazingly!) quite a few options for Muslims on the beachfront road. Though they may not be authentic, they are at least Halal (any “ham” on pizzas will be chicken or turkey meat). Places like Jeseao, La Casa and a couple of others are owned by Bangladeshis and – unlike the real Italian places – tend to have giant Italian flags and red, white and green decor, as well as South Indian greeting staff, so they are easy to recognise. As an FYI, the majority of the Indian restaurants on the beachfront will also be Halal.
For cheap Halal ‘street food‘ (25 – 40 Baht a plate), head into Ao Nang Village (around 1.2km from the beach). At lunchtime and at night (until about 9pm), there are many small restaurants and stalls, run by the local Muslim women. Dishes include rice and curry, pad thai, fried rice, papaya salad, noodle soup, roti pancakes etc. You’ll also find more formal Halal restaurants such as Chaba Thai Kitchen and A-Hud Seafood. Take a motorbike sidecar taxi from the beach to the village for 30 Baht per person, or walk (it is around 15 – 20 minutes’ uphill). Another good street food area at lunchtime is around Krabi Resort, where you will find stalls selling barbecued chicken, noodle soup etc., or more of the same in the evenings in front of McDonald’s.
Please note although that many street food stalls along the beachfront in Ao Nang are run by Buddhist Thai people from the north of the country, none serve pork out of respect for the local people. This is also the case in any of the local markets in Ao Nang and Klong Haeng only (NOT in Krabi Town), where all the food for sale will be Halal. Anyone selling pork meat is required to do so outside the main market area.
In Krabi Town, there are dozens of options at lunchtime – mainly small rice and curry shops – though in the evening choice is more limited. Most restaurants as mentioned will cater for Muslim diets (and this is also the case in Ao Nang), though obviously there will not be a separate kitchen for Halal food. The best option here in the evening would be to visit one of the night market areas: opposite City Hotel; at Chao Fa pier; or (at the weekend), the walking street market behing Vogue department store, where there are many stalls run by Muslims.
Finally, some helpful phrases to print out in the very unlikely case you have any difficulties:
I am a Muslim: ฉันศาสนาอิสลาม
I do not eat pork: ฉันไม่กินหมู
Do you have Halal food?: มีอาหารฮาลาลหรือเปล่า
Last updated: July 23, 2014