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A Guide to the Perfect Halal Holiday in the Land of the Smiles

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At first glance, it might seem that visiting Thailand for a halal-friendly holiday may be impossible – but the Island of Phuket with its 35% Muslim population can be visited and with this guide, you can definitely have the perfect halal holiday in the Land of the Smiles.

Thailand, known as the Land of the Smiles, is considered as one of the bucket list holiday destinations for all with its secluded beaches that have appeared in James Bond films, ancient ruins, a foray of small limestone islands, huge national parks, and picturesque mountain ranges.

Phuket, Thailand

Being a majority Buddhist country though makes it quite challenging then for the Muslim traveller to explore and coupled with the huge presence of backpackers, one would think that exploring Thailand would be impossible.

On closer inspection though, a halal holiday in Thailand’s Andaman Island of Phuket is possible and this guide will get you packing your suitcases (after Covid restrictions finally end).

Flights

For those of us based anywhere outside of Asia, be prepared for an eternally long flight; though it is possible to find a direct flight, the extra money spent on a flight can definitely be used somewhere else on your trip.

The best option is probably via a Middle East-based airline where your flight time could be evenly split with a few hours in global hub airports of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Doha.

Location is Key

When booking your trip to Phuket, halal hotels in the area of Patong will always be dominating the page however it is these highly touristy areas that must be avoided for the perfect holiday.

Whilst in Patong you will find that the majority of restaurants are halal and there are multiple mosques, however the party atmosphere over there reflects Central London on a summers night.

Patong Beach, Thailand

If you want the perfect holiday in Thailand, location is key, and areas such as the Phang Nga bay facing Pa Klok, the small, secluded Naithon Beach, the long Andaman facing Bang Tao beach, and the popular but not overcrowded Karon beach are definitely places which should be considered. But my personal pick is the Naithon beach resort of Pullman Arcadia.

The Hotel: Pullman Phuket Arcadia, 22/2 Moo 4 Naithon Beach Amphur, Thalang District, Phuket 83110

Pullman Phuket Arcadia is a true 5-star resort placed on the headland overlooking the pristine waters of the Andaman Sea.

Situated just 12 minutes away from the airport, the hotel boasts one of the finest grounds of any hotel in the world with villas integrated into the well-maintained forest, two infinity pools offering different vantage points of the waves crashing onto the Naithon Beach, and an open designed lobby area with sofas on the water which provides the perfect view of the incredible colours striking across the sky during sunset that the Andaman is most famous for.

All lamb, beef, and chicken dishes here are halal and the ever-helpful and friendly staff will point out all halal dishes on offer at the buffet. On the topic of food, you will definitely not be disappointed at Pullman. If you choose the half-board option which is standard when booking with Tui, you have the ability to eat the a la carte, the buffet, and the Italian restaurant, Vero. Must-tries are the Pad Thai, Wagyu Sirloin steak, Chicken Satay, Ramen, and the fresh BBQ on the BBQ Day on buffet but anything you have here will soothe your tastebuds.

Excursions

When it comes to excursions, you are spoiled for choice but the right decision needs to be made. Whilst everyone will tell you that the Phi Phi Islands are a must-visit due to its appearance in The Beach movie, like Patong, Phi Phi has become too overcrowded to the point where it is closed for most of the year for tourists. If you want the perfect excursion for your perfect holiday then make a trip to Phang Nga bay.

Phang Nga bay, Thailand

This national park is characterised by small limestone islands with caves and lagoons which, despite being far from the mainland, are somehow inhabited by monkeys. Make sure that you book a package where you canoe through caves to have the best experience – you don’t want to be on a tour sitting on the boat just looking carelessly at the caves.

Through the hotel, you can book via Sea Cave Canoe – who are a Muslim-run tour company – so you can indulge on the halal BBQ as a bonus. You also visit the famous Koh Tapu known as the James Bond Island which appeared in The Man With The Golden Gun.

Things to Do

If you’re not indulging in the broken beauty of Phang Nga bay or basking in the luxury of the hotel there are many sights to see on the Island of Phuket.

Phuket Big Buddha

Closest to the hotel is the elephant sanctuary in Sirinat National Park, but you can also do a high action ATV and zipline tour where you ride through the lush jungle visiting remote waterfalls as well as the slightly more relaxing island tour where you see the famous Big Buddha and delve into Thai culture and if you want complete relaxation, then a Thai massage is definitely for you.

Time to Visit and Weather

Thailand experiences tropical weather so be prepared for, whenever you visit, some rain but in particular, avoid the months of August and September when rain is at its highest. Temperature and humidity though remain constant throughout the year though so if you think you can escape 30 degrees and 100% humidity on your visit, you can’t. Visiting in April brings the sweet-spot between experiencing tropical rainstorms and immense heat.

Thailand will always remain one of the best holiday destinations in the world. With the abundance of beauty, it isn’t hard to see why.

At first glance, it might seem that visiting Thailand for a halal-friendly holiday may be impossible – but the Island of Phuket with its 35% Muslim population can be visited and with this guide, you can definitely have the perfect halal holiday in the Land of the Smiles.

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