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Muslim friendly travel in Krabi

Muslim lady on a 4 island tour, Krabi
Feeding the fish on an island-hopping tour, krabi
Ahlan Wa Sahlan! Krabi should be considered Thailand’s premier destination for Muslim travellers. In contrast to other tourist regions in the kingdom, Krabi’s Andaman coast villages – including most of the islands – have an original population that is 100% Moslem, though of course the development of these areas has brought many Buddhist and Chinese Thais, as well as western expats, to live and work here.

Perhaps because of the local population, Krabi has always been a family-friendly place, generally avoiding the more salacious night-time entertainment that can be found in Phuket or Pattaya. It provides a safe and trustworthy environment for a family holiday; in addition, children are very well catered for in restaurants and elsewhere.

At the same time, it should be noted that most non-Muslim visitors to Krabi do not even realise they are in a predominantly Muslim area. They are made to feel comfortable and the locals have a very tolerant attitude towards tourists’ alcohol consumption and skimpy beach clothing (their livelihood depends on western tourism). We would like to think that for most open-minded visitors (Muslims and non-Muslims alike), this mix of customs will not be an issue.

Krabi Halal Muslim Package includes accommodation and tours

Concessions to business aside, the Muslim community is very strong in Krabi. So there are also many factors that will make life easy for those visitors who are of the Islamic faith.

First – and probably foremost in Muslims’ minds when travelling – is food. Halal food is very easy to find in both Ao Nang and elsewhere around Krabi, including the islands. Very few restaurants, other than those in hotels, bother to seek official certification, but this need not be a worry: if a restaurant is owned by Muslims (as are all the places we recommend in the link above), it is sure that all the food will be Halal, though please note that some establishments do serve alcohol on the premises (usually through a bar leased to a third party), as the majority of patrons request it.

For those who require it, there is a list of accredited restaurants published by The Halal Standard Institute of Thailand, though as mentioned, this is only a tiny percentage of the actual choice available here. Note also that it seems the restaurant kitchen is the only area certified: there is at least one restaurant in Krabi on this list that serves alcohol, and has pork on the menu.

Muslim staff at Ao Nang's Somkiet Buri Resort
Muslim staff at Somkiet Buri Resort in Ao Nang
In terms of where Moslem travellers to Krabi should stay, there are a significant number of Muslim-owned hotels in the region, which ensures that breakfast will be 100% Halal; the restaurants in these hotels will also serve Halal food. Here is a list of the Muslim hotels in Ao Nang and Railay:

Muslim-owned hotels: Ao Nang & Nopparat Thara Beaches
Budget choices (family run, very basic bungalows and guesthouses – often do not take advance bookings):

  • Adam Bungalows
  • Ao Nang Village Bungalows
  • Ao Nang Garden Home Resort
  • Ao Nang Green View Village
  • Me Mee Bungalows
  • Nong Eed House
  • Ao Nang President
  • Ao Nang Phutawan Resort
  • Amorn Mansion
  • Green Park Bungalows
  • Ao Nang Ban Lay Bungalows
  • Baan Banyan Tree
  • Cashew Nut Bungalows
  • Lakeside Bungalows
  • Vipa Tropical Resort

More upmarket choices (mid-range to luxury hotels, all take advance bookings):

Muslim-owned hotels: Railay & Ton Sai Beaches

In all of these hotels, as mentioned, Halal food will be served. In addition, the reception staff should also be able to provide information about Qiblah direction and prayer timings (many places in the village will be within range of the broadcast call to prayer). All bathrooms will also have a handheld shower (bidet) spray so that Wudu can be easily performed.

Muslim visitors walk on Nopparat Thara Beach, Krabi
Walking along the beach at Nopparat Thara, Krabi
There are two mosques within the Ao Nang area. The first, Masjid Ao Nang, is located only 1km from the beach; the second, Masjid Klong Haeng, may be more convenient if you are staying on the other side of Ao Nang, in the Nopparat Thara area. This is also around 1km from the beach. Again, the hotel staff will be able to provide directions.

If travelling during Ramadan, some of the smaller hotels may also be able to provide Sohoor and Iftar – these would probably be eaten with the family.

It is important to remember, however, that the vast majority of visitors to Krabi are non-Muslim and of western origin. There are therefore no hotels that provide separate recreational facilities for men and women, be they gyms, swimming pools or spas, as there is not enough demand for it. If privacy is important while swimming etc. we would highly recommend the rental of a private pool villa. We can suggest properties with high walls and also arrange female only service staff for you. Male staff (usually drivers or gardeners) will be asked to give notice before entering the grounds.

It should also be noted that due to the large Thai Muslim local population, many non-Muslim owned hotels will be clearly aware of Muslims’ needs and be able to cater to them if given sufficient notice. Larger non-Muslim hotels often serve a Halal breakfast option, for example (though perhaps not other meals). Many hotel staff will also be Muslim, even if the hotel is not. So it is not essential to stick to the hotels listed above if another place is preferred.

Finally, Your Krabi is a Muslim-owned website and we are happy to answer any questions you may have, and to assist with any hotel booking or travel plans.

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Last updated: July 26, 2014