Ao Nang Mosque

This is the beautiful Ao Nang Mosque – which is literally next door to our hotel. And though the morning call to prayer has stirred us a few times, it’s not really a bad thing to wake up fairly early each morning to the tune of a beautiful song. We’ve been debating for a few days whether or not the singing is live or prerecorded. I also wonder if a female would be allowed to perform the call to prayer.

A few hundred clicks south of here, the decade long conflict continues between the entrenched separatist movement of Thai Muslims and the Thai government led army. But here in Krabi Province, everyday life between Muslims and Buddhists is peaceful and congenial. The vast majority of locals here belong to the Islamic faith, though worshiping traditions appear less formal and more pragmatic as it does with their Buddhist copatriots. Not all, but very many women bear… headscarves, either Hijab or Shayla Ao Nang and most businesses seem to be owned and operated by Muslims.

As often as I remember to, I really enjoy greeting locals here with a smile and, “As-Salaam-Alaikum”, which is Arabic for, “Peace be onto you”. It’s a small gesture and one I do equally often wherever I travel as a means to show I have some, albeit superficial knowledge of where I am.

In general, regardless of where in the land they come from, I want to believe that Thai’s still have more in common – more than just their language – than whatever separates them on other levels.

Institutionalized faith is per definition dogmatic and something we as a species really need to rid ourselves from in order to evolve on both a spiritual and an intellectual level. That said, I can still feel a little jealousy towards folks that live so unquestionably certain about their religion’s absolute truthfulness that they allow it to both explain and guide them throughout life’s many twists and turns.