With the world starting to realize that the Muslim travel market could be a lot larger than it already is, several countries in Asia are changing their practices to become more Halal-friendly. The following are a few of the many countries that are gearing towards this change.
Top Muslim Friendly Destinations in Asia
Bangkok is the bustling capital of Thailand, and is now becoming a popular tourist destination among Muslims, mainly from the Gulf. Popular for its many tourist attractions, Bangkok is perfect place for those looking for a holiday that will be easy on the wallet. Some of its major attractions include the Grand Palace, Lumpini Park, Safari World and Siam Square. Apart from this, tourists are also known to travel outside the city to areas like Phuket Island, to enjoy watersports and other activities, namely; surfing, snorkeling, bungee jumping, wakeboard and sailing. Visitors should also look out for the many lush rainforests, fascinating islands and coral reefs. Muslims visiting Bangkok will be pleasantly surprised by the amount of Halal food options the city offers, including delicious and affordable street food. Restaurants around the city are known to serve authentic Halal Thai, Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern and Western food. Finding a mosque in the city is also easy. Muslim tourists can use the facilities provided at any of the following conveniently located mosques; Tonson Mosque, the Bangkok Mosque, Darool Aman Mosque, Al-Huda Mosque and Haroon Mosque.
New Delhi, India
New Delhi is the capital of India and believed to be one of the oldest cities in the world. It is also known to have an extremely large population, consisting of Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists, among others. Islam is said to be the second most practiced religion in India, therefore presenting a plethora of Halal-friendly options for Muslim tourists. After spending a day of sightseeing and shopping at the many markets and bazaars; tourists must stop to taste the food served at, at least a couple of the thousands of street food carts that serve food ranging from traditional dishes to more universally known items like fried chicken. Finding more upscale restaurants as well as mosques within the city will also prove to be relatively easy. Muslims visitors can always ask around, if they fail to locate a certain Muslim-friendly facility. The locals, who are very friendly and welcoming, are always ready to help.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Colombo, the capital of the tiny island of Sri Lanka is known for its great climate, historical background, friendly people, lush forests, sandy beaches and much more. The city holds a diverse population that comes from various ethnic and religious backgrounds. Muslim visitors will fit right into this stunning city. Not only does Colombo offer good shopping, great beaches and even better food; but it also offers fabulous Halal-friendly facilities. Halal restaurants and mosques are a-plenty in this city; with restaurants ranging from up-scale, fine dining to more affordable and homely. Visitors must try some of the islands popular dishes like, hot-butter cuttlefish, kottu and Sri Lanka’s signature crab curry. There are also mosques scattered conveniently all over the city, the locations of which are almost always known by the locals. Some major ones are located in Wellawatte, Bambalapitiya and Colpetty.
Singapore is a cosmopolitan city that neighbors the Muslim-dominated county of Malaysia. Although it is not a Muslim city, it offers various Halal-friendly facilities that keep Muslim visitors coming back. It is home to world-class museums, historic sites; including places of worship and popular markets. It also houses a diverse population that practices a wide range of religions. It is therefore truly a melting pot of cultures and religions. It is the perfect place for a family holiday, with popular attractions like Sentosa Island, Universal Studios, the Singapore Zoo and the Jurong Bird Park; the city offers something for everyone. Singapore has a plethora of up-scale Halal dining options as well as more affordable ones. Internationally known fast food chains are also Muslim-friendly and are located all over the city. The city also has some world-renowned mosques, like the Masjid Sultan, which apart from being a place of worship has also become a popular attraction. Other mosques include Masjid Malabar, Masjid Abdul Gaffoor and Masjid Hajjah Fatimah; to name a few.
Although not a Muslim county, China is known for its Islamic historical background among other things. With Buddhists making up a large portion of the population in Beijing, the city was previously one that was not visited much by Muslims. However, in the last couple of years, the percentage of Muslim tourists visiting the city have increased due to the launch of Islamic heritage tours, opening of more Halal eateries and the wide availability of prayer facilities. Tourists are now flocking to Beijing to see the world-renowned Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China, which are located a few hours away. The city is said to be home to as many as 80 mosques; Niujie Mosque, Dongsi Mosque, Huashi Mosque, Haidian Mosque and Dewai Mosque are just a few of them.