If you're thinking about holidaying in Southeast Asia, don't assume that all countries are the same. Each country in the region brings its own charm that has enchanted tourists for years. As one of the world's most popular and fastest-growing travel destinations, Thailand offers everything you could want from a tropical halal holiday - pristine beaches, colourful cuisine, friendly culture, legendary stories, amazing architecture and holiday vibes. A country that offers so much diversity that tourists can experience all types of holidays in one - combine sightseeing in the city with relaxation in quieter surroundings. Finally, Thailand, “Land of Smiles”, owes its name to its warm, welcoming and caring inhabitants.

Islam in Thailand 

Islam was introduced to Thailand by Arab traders in the 13th century, and Muslims represent Thailand's largest religious minority. For the Muslim traveller, Thailand is one of the most Muslim-friendly travel destinations. Muslim tourists account for almost 10% of tourism and the number is increasing.

The capital, Bangkok, has welcomed an ever-increasing number of Muslim visitors every year, which is why there are more and more halal restaurants in Thai areas and awareness of “Muslim-friendly” culture is taking hold. Many will be surprised to see shisha, enjoyed alongside traditional Middle Eastern dishes and sweets, in everyday life on the streets of Thailand. Just look for the green Halal sign in any restaurant, showing that it is certified by the Islamic Council of Thailand.

There are currently almost 4,000 mosques in Thailand, around 180 of which are in Bangkok. Take a tour of the mosques, each as unique as a fingerprint in its architecture and beauty. Visit the 300-year-old Wadi Al Hussein Mosque in Lubosawo, one of the oldest mosques in Thailand. The mosque's construction in 1634 drew inspiration from Malay, Thai and Chinese architecture. See the handwritten Quran and original construction plans on display. The Thai-Pakistan Friendship Mosque in Bangkok was built to commemorate the culture and brotherhood of both countries. Not only does it provide a beautiful, tranquil atmosphere, but it also serves delicious food for Iftar during Ramadan.

Top cities and sights to visit in Thailand 

Central Thailand 


Most visitors begin their Thailand adventure in the lively capital of Bangkok. Known for its vibrant culture filled with stunning majestic temples, incredible architecture, beautiful natural parks and gardens, imposing skyscrapers, bustling markets and street food, the city has captivated travellers for years. Bangkok is also famous for its friendly locals and welcoming atmosphere.

The boat-filled Chao Phraya River with its floating market feeds its network of canals and flows past the Rattanakosin royal district, home to the dazzling and spectacular Grand Palace with its beautiful architecture and intricate decoration. The iconic and ornate palace was once inhabited by the royal family.

Grand Palace in Bangkok

Visit Thailand’s largest market, the Chatuchak Market and the Siam Square shopping markets to shop to your heart's content. For high-end shopping, take a trip to the luxurious Siam Paragon with showrooms, designers, an aquarium, restaurants, and even a Muslim prayer room. End your evening with a boat ride and watch the sunset over the Chao Phraya river. 

Take a boat ride on the Chao Phraya river

You can also plan a stay in the nearby coastal city of Pattaya, about 140 km from Bangkok, which is not only known for its beautiful beaches, water sports and outdoor activities, but is also full of culture, amusement parks, night markets and a number of sacred temples. Visit the Sanctuary of Truth, one of the most beautiful and impressive temples in Thailand. This unfinished museum is entirely of wood and has the structure of a hybrid temple and castle, thematically dedicated to the Ayutthaya Kingdom and the Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. Although it has been under construction since 1981, visitors can tour the sanctuary.

Sanctuary of Truth located close to Pattaya Beach

Step back in time and visit Thailand’s former capital, Ayutthaya, a UNESCO world heritage site and historic city destroyed in the 18th century. History and architecture buffs will love to explore the temples and excavated ruins. Only 85 km from Bangkok, this site can be easily visited on a day trip.

Historic ruins of Ayutthaya, ancient capital city of Thailand

Explore Kanchanaburi, an ancient city with a long history dating back to the Ayutthaya period, and its beautiful landscapes. Just over 2 hours from Bangkok, you can explore it on a day tour or plan a multi-day trip to this enticing area. Discover its scenic river and the famous Bridge on the River Kwai, also known as “Bridge 277” of the Burma-Siam Railway. Built to transport freight to India, the railway construction began in 1942 and was completed a year later, running for 400 kilometres through the scenic Three Pagodas Pass. Thousands of workers lost their lives due to the unforgiving terrain, overwork, brutal treatment, lack of medical care and malnutrition. In 1944, during World War II, the Allies bombed the River Kwai Bridge, destroying sections of it, some of which have since been rebuilt. The bridge is now a tourist destination and has been developed into a walkway with side platforms, allowing crossing the railway bridge on foot. Nearby there is a museum highlighting the plight of workers tortured by the Japanese, as well as a World War II cemetery.

Bridge on the River Kwai

Less than an hour's drive from Kanchanaburi, discover the magnificent waterfalls of Erawan National Park, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Waterfalls of Erawan National Park

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West Coast

Krabi Province

Krabi Province is best known for its natural landscape of limestone cliffs, mangrove forests and white sandy beaches. There are also more than a hundred offshore islands that invite you to island hop. Krabi Province is home to around 60% Muslims, and so it has an almost oriental charm, with the minarets of the mosques competing with the roofs of the temples. The colourful headscarves are also an integral part of Krabians' everyday life. Among Krabi’s amazing natural wonders are the Emerald Pool in Khlong Thom Nuea. One of the most popular destinations is Railay Beach with its white sand beaches, caves and scenic views.

Railay Beach

Snorkel and dive in the tranquil Phi Phi Islands and walk through the water at low tide to the unique islands of Koh Tup and Koh Mor. Bathe in the ancient hot springs of Klong Thom, which are said to relieve various ailments.

Pileh Lagoon on Phi Phi Le island, Krabi

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Go on an island adventure in Phuket. The easiest way to reach the island is by plane, as there are no direct trains to Phuket. Surrounded by clear seas and beautiful scenery, the island offers a fantasy holiday worthy of a movie scene. Phuket also has a beautiful historical Old Town, great viewpoints and cultural attractions such as Phang Nga Bay, the Phi Phi and Similan Islands with amazingly clear blue seas and pristine white sand beaches. They are ranked among the best dive sites in the world for their lively and colourful coral reefs and perfect visibility.

Phang Nga Bay in Phuket

Climb the Nakkerd hills to see the famous 45-metre-tall white marble statue of Big Buddha, one of the most important and revered landmarks on the island, and enjoy the 360 degree views overlooking the south of the island.

View of Big Buddha Statue in Phuket

Head to Karon Viewpoint, also known as Three-Beach Viewpoint, located at the top of the mountain near Karon Beach and enjoy the breathtaking views of Kata Noi, Kata and Karon beaches and the deep blue Andaman Sea.

Relax and replenish your vitamin D at the sun-drenched Karon and Kata Noi Beaches, and perhaps even have the chance to see a sea turtle in the beautiful Sirinat National Park. Discover the unique island of Koh Panyee, just 20 minutes from Surakul Pier in Phang Nga Phuket province. Home to a small Muslim community, this “Muslim village” is self-sustained with an ethical conscience. End your trip by watching the sunset from the picturesque Cape Promthep.

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East Coast

Koh Samui

Koh Samui is an enchanting tourist destination due to its captivating mix of natural and man-made beauty. The island attracts visitors with its towering limestone mountains, dense jungle, white sandy beaches, fertile mangroves, waterfalls and hidden caves and lakes. It is ideal for water sports and adventure enthusiasts.

Tropical beach in Koh Samui

Shop at bustling Bophut Fisherman's Village, which turns into a lively market on Fridays. Explore the colourful coral reefs of Koh Tao, known as “Turtle Island,” and spot exciting wildlife, including sea turtles. Take a day trip to Ang Thong National Marine Park, an archipelago of over 40 distinctive islands. 

View of Ang Thong National Marine Park

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Halal food in Thailand

Thai cuisine is made from different flavours that blend uniquely to create an incomparable taste. Key Thai ingredients like lime, lemongrass and coconut milk transform dishes from simply good to delicious. Thais take great care of a vegetarian diet with a variety of delicious, vegetarian-friendly dishes. Fish and seafood is also a speciality, particularly on the islands and makes eating out easy for Muslims. You will also find Turkish, Middle Eastern and South Asian restaurants to tantalise your taste buds. Be sure to take advantage of the array of food and fruit carts that cross your path, with freshly-cut exotic fruits and fresh exotic fruit juices.

Various local traditional Thai dishes

How to get around in Thailand

For local journeys, many use tuk-tuks, cheap rickshaws that offer a cultural experience but little in the way of comfort.


For larger groups, you can opt for a taxi - although this is a safe mode of transport, there can be traffic jams and the journey from place to place can take a while. There is also the overhead rail option (Skytrain) in Bangkok, which works efficiently and quickly between areas, prices may vary. Outside the main cities, train and boat services work well - if you're visiting an island be sure to check ferry times online so you don't miss connections. There are also a number of apps which will help you book local transfer services. 

Best time to visit Thailand

The best time to travel to Thailand is the colder months from November to April. These months experience the least rain and humidity in Thailand. However, the climate varies across the country and the tropical weather is usually pleasantly warm all year round. For those looking to travel on a budget, September is the cheapest month to travel due to the lower number of tourists.

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