Bangkok Muslim-friendly? My thoughts

During my 7-years stay in Malaysia so far, I’ve avoided going to Thailand, especially Bangkok for some reasons.

Tourists appreciate Thailand for its beautiful nature, wonderful food and hospitable people. That is a fact. Many go to Thailand for its openness and for being liberal to many of the human behaviours and activities that I personally choose not to adhere to.

As far as I respect people’s choice to do whatever they want with their behaviour and life, from what I heard and learned, I tried my best to avoid going to places with Non Muslim-friendly.

This situation lowered my interest in visiting the country or even trying to explore it for business reasons.

God, The Unique is the best teacher.

During the lockdown, my Co-founder Diane joined me to build Wasabih. We started working remotely because travel was not easy. She did a tremendous job in the Bangkok Tech scene to bring Wasabih where it is now. Last September was the first time I set foot to Bangkok to meet her and spend time with her to work and meet with the partners she managed to get on board earlier. That first trip to Bangkok was an eye-opening experience! I’ve seen a clean, diverse, beautiful city. Most importantly, I’ve met amazing people with a will, determination and inspiration that I haven’t seen for a very long time. For some, Had I walked past them / had they walked past me, I would have never known/guessed they are Muslims, unless they told me or I saw them pray. I could never realise that they are even stronger than me in many senses in the faith they have for the Almighty, the pure intention they have to contribute to the development of the Muslim community and to Thailand, their country.

It has been a while since I haven’t Muslims with such determination, kindness and true brotherhood. You can see when people (Muslim or not) make efforts, push themselves higher and expect only the reward from the Lord. You can feel when people believe truly in what they say, no matter the stage they are in their own journey, no wonder the place they live.

I didn’t get to experience or see much of what I heard or learned about those activities or human behaviours that I tried to avoid all these years. Indeed, people around me are not in those activities, didn’t invite me or bring me to places that I consider not Muslim-friendly and I didn’t get close to areas I would not want to be. I found a pleasant city, smiling and welcoming people (Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles), varied and tasty food, elegant and nice Halal hotels with with clean high-standard restaurants for Muslims and non-Muslims to enjoy a pleasant stay.

Far from me saying that the environment and the context you live in doesn’t negatively or positively affect your behaviour and choices. However, I believe that, wherever we are, it’s mainly the choices we make and our determination to make efforts toward what we believe in that define us.

Thank you @dianestc, Jacky, Said, Marut and all my Thai brothers, friends and partners.

Diane de Saint Chamaran (Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer), Marut Mekloy (President of Thai Muslim Trade Association (TMTA) At Sophia Restaurant, Ramkhamhaeng, Bangkok

Diane de Saint Chamaran (Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer) and Jacky Wong, Founder and CEO of Digital Gold Mine.
With @jang, Ann and Stacy from Kodanmal Group in Bangkok.

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