This is How I Travel Comfortably as a Muslim Globetrotter

Muslim travel is on the rise, and Muslim wanderers like me are exploring the world one country at a time more comfortably than ever. If you look around, companies and destinations have begun offering more Muslim-friendly facilities to cater to the Muslim travel market that’ll continue to expand soon. 

If this is your first time travelling as a Muslim, you might have a rough idea of what you should pay attention to before embarking on your journey. BUT rough is not enough — you’ll need a tidy cheat sheet to help you travel smoothly, even on your first adventure. 

And I’ll be more than happy to share the best tips for picking your flights and destinations as a Muslim traveller, especially if you’re flying from Malaysia. So, read on to learn the most useful tips and tricks to wander the world like a professional Muslim globetrotter!

Also read: The Ultimate Muslim Guide: 72 Hours in Hong Kong

Fly with Singapore Airlines and embark on a memorable Muslim-friendly adventure: Explore the brilliant neon lights of Tokyo and savour the vibrant culture of Seoul with all-in return fares from as low as MYR2,388 and MYR 1,868 respectively!

All these paired with award-winning service and well-curated Muslim Meals (MOML) during the flight — slay.

Sales period: Now to 5 Apr 2024
Travel period: Now to 28 Feb 2025



Picking your flights: Muslim-friendly elements that should tick all the boxes

Choosing an airline with a Muslim-friendly in-flight meal is usually a priority when picking the best flight for your trip. Though it’s not difficult to find one when flying from Malaysia, getting on an airline that caters to your dietary needs and, at the same time, provides a top-notch flying experience is truly a rare find. That said, I highly recommend flying with Singapore Airlines (SIA) for your next trip. Here’s why:

Special Muslim-meals across all cabin classes

Image credit: Singapore Airlines

If you didn’t know yet, Singapore Airlines provides Muslim Meal (MOML) options onboard. I remember requesting a halal menu from their Special Meals dining service 48 hours before travelling to Japan in an Economy class cabin. The food served was guaranteed free from alcohol, pork, pig by-products, ham, or bacon. Plus point — it tasted great! 

If you’re travelling in Suites, First Class, or Business Class, you can opt for their Book The Cook service to request your preferred meal. For those flying with Premium Economy Class, you can take advantage of the Premium Economy Book the Cook service. Whatever it is, do remember to book the meal at least 48 hours before your flight just to be safe!

Tip-top in-flight facilities

Image credit: Singapore Airlines Official Facebook Page

I was lucky to board SIA’s aircraft A350 two times in a row last year. You must be asking what’s so special about this airline. Well, first of all, there are only nine seats in each row instead of the usual 10 other airlines have crammed in, which is the case if you’re boarding their medium and long haul A350-900 for economy class. 

Yes, those extra inches matter, especially for long-haul travel. Plus, any Muslim traveller would appreciate the extra space, especially if they need to pray on board right in their seats. 

Did I mention Singapore Airlines also provides complimentary WiFi across all cabins? Yup, and this is a perk I truly appreciate as a Muslim traveller because not only was I able to complete my travel plans but also easily find out the prayer time and qibla direction whilst soaring through the sky!

Various departure points and transiting at a Muslim-friendly stopover

Image credit: Singapore Airlines

If you think Singapore Airlines in Malaysia only flies from Kuala Lumpur, think again — because the airline also flies from Penang! Not to forget, SIA’s proud little sister, Scoot, also flies from both cities with the addition of Ipoh, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Miri, Langkawi, and Kuantan. What’s more, Scoot will also be flying from Sibu on its new Embraer E190-E2 aircraft starting April 2024!

For me, one of the main highlights when flying with Singapore Airlines would be its transit point — the world-class Changi Airport, where travellers could have their mini adventure in the Lion City without even leaving the airport. I will never forget the cascading beauty of the HSBC Rain Vortex when I saw it for the first time! There are also other interactive experiences and even a short tour of Changi Old Town for those with a longer transit period (More on that later!). 

Image credit:Jiachen Lin via Unsplash

Does Changi Airport have halal food, you ask? Oh, they’ve got plenty. You can try Vietnamese food at So Pho, Italian cuisine at Mamma Mia Trattoria, or the tasty Japanese curry from Monster Planet. Yes, they’re all halal-certified. 

Another thing that I like is that Changi Airport provides many prayer rooms for Muslims across different terminals. I used to pray at the prayer space in Terminal 1 Transit. The room is on Level 3, Departure Transit Hall. It was spacious and clean, so rest assured you can pray comfortably!

Picking your destinations: mainstream vs. underrated: which are more Muslim-friendly?

The term ‘hidden gem’ might entice the wanderlust in you almost immediately, and there’s nothing wrong with it. But if you’re a first-time traveller or travelling to a new destination for the first time, I highly recommend going for the mainstream destinations instead of the underrated ones. 

Take the former as something you must experience on your debut trip while the latter as a reason to revisit the place soon. What’s more, if you’re a Muslim traveller, finding Muslim-friendly eateries and praying spaces is much easier when you opt for a more popular destination. 

Image credit: Fly Scoot Official Instagram Page

That said, Scoot is known to fly to various famous Muslim-friendly destinations, such as Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Jeddah, and more  that a Muslim globetrotter like you shouldn’t miss out on. 

In fact, the Scoot flight from KL to Jeddah provides many perks to Muslim travellers:  a 10 kg cabin baggage allowance (3kg more than most low-cost carriers), Scootsurance for your safety (available as an add-on to your ticket), onboard Muslim meals, and in-flight WiFi connectivity that can be purchased at affordable rates!

Back to the Muslim-friendly destinations topic, below are my top three fondest memories of going to these places with Singapore Airlines. 

P.S — You can easily board an SIA flight from Kuala Lumpur or Penang to these top-rated Muslim-friendly destinations!

1. Wandering the streets of Tokyo in autumn

Image credit (L-R): Charles Postiaux via Unsplash; Szymon Shields via Unsplash

Going to Tokyo in autumn was one of my best life decisions. The autumn weather in Tokyo is mild and comfortable, making it ideal for exploring the city on foot or by bike. For the best autumn destinations, I recommend going to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, featuring amber-coloured maple leaves, and Meiji Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Avenue, lined with ginkgo trees, which turn a bright golden yellow in autumn — two best places for an unforgettable momijigari (autumn leaves hunting) experience!

Must-try halal eateries

Image credit: Cinta Jawa Cafe Official Instagram Page

What’s a visit to Tokyo without dropping by the iconic Shibuya Crossing right? I remember going to a Muslim-owned eatery nearby. It’s called Cinta Jawa Cafe, just a seven seven-minute walk from the famous crossing. Their nasi ayam penyet and oxtail soup are a must-try!  

Oh and do try out the ramen and curry menus from the halal-certified Nikoniko Mazemen too. FYI, this halal eatery is only 13 minutes away (by train) from the famous Tokyo Station building. If you’re craving for a Western menu, try going for a halal hamburger steak at the Grill Hunter. From here, you can easily board a train to Meiji Jingu from Gotanda Station for only a half an hour ride!

Where to pray

To be honest, finding a mosque in Tokyo is never a problem. In fact, you can find most of them nearby some of the prefecture’s top attractions. One of the mosques I managed to drop by during my last visit was the Tokyo Camii Mosque in Shibuya — the largest and arguably the most beautiful one in the country! Other mosques you should definitely check out are Assalam Masjid Okachimachi near Ueno Park and Asakusa Mosque near Tokyo Skytree

2. Admiring the lovely cherry blossom vistas in Seoul

Image credit (L-R): (っ◔◡◔)っ Clement 🇰🇷 via Unsplash; m h via Unsplash

Seoul in spring is simply a magical experience. I had one of the best springtime holidays in the scenic Yeouido Hangang Park along the Han River, featuring a stunning tunnel of cherry blossom trees. If you time your visit right, you can join the annual Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival, which boasts vibrant live performances, dance, and cultural displays. BTW, I also rented a paddle boat at Seokchon Lake just to soak in the pink views surrounding the area — and you should do that too! 

Must-try halal eateries

Image credit: Busan Jib Official Instagram Page

Among the halal eateries I visited during my trip are Adnan Halal Kebab, near the Bukchon Hanok Village, and Busan Jib, near N Seoul Tower. I tried their halal chicken kebab and spicy seafood stew, respectively, and had no regrets! Another worthy eatery you should check out is Yang Good BBQ, the city’s only halal Korean BBQ place near the Instagrammable Starfield Library in COEX Mall

For those who want a taste of Korean local dishes such as bulgogi and kimchi fried rice but at the same time craving Asian food like nasi lemak, I recommend going to Kampungku Restaurant. This Muslim-owned eatery is super close to Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), so do give the star of Dongdaemun district a visit afterwards!

Where to pray

During my trip, I had the chance to pray at the Incheon International Airport prayer room located at Terminal 2, Floor B1, on the East Wing near the One Family Resting Area of the airport. Do note that there’s no specific place for ablution in the prayer space, so you might want to head to the nearby washroom to do that. 

If you’re looking for a mosque, you can find Seoul Central Mosque nestled atop a hill in Itaewon district. The mosque is within walking distance of the Leeum Museum of Art in case you’re searching for a worthy nearby attraction to visit. 

3. Soaking in the sunny side of London in summer

Image credit (L-R): jotily via Canva Pro; Markus Freise via Unsplash

In summer, London comes alive with a vibrant energy, offering a unique charm that’s hard to resist. Plus, the city experiences comfortable temperatures in the mid-70s Fahrenheit (around 24°C) during summertime, a pleasant escape for any Asian traveller, no cap. 

On that note, did you know that Singapore Airlines will be offering direct flights to Brussels starting 5 Apr 2024 and to Gatwick, London, come June 2024? Time to clear out your schedule, peeps and start planning your next European adventure!

I had my best time picnicking at Hyde Park, which offers the best views of the majestic Prince Albert Memorial. Another memorable moment for me was during the scenic boat ride along the River Thames — the best option to see the breathtaking London riverside view in summer!

Must-try halal eateries

Image credit: Rasa Sayang Official Instagram Page

Apparently, finding halal restaurants in London was not that hard. In fact, you can find all sorts of Asian cuisines from different halal eateries across the city. I remember going to the Rasa Sayang Restaurant in London’s Chinatown and Normah’s in the heart of Queensway Market serving the best Straits and Malaysian dishes in the city! If you happen to be in Leicester Square, head to Bab N Suul featuring halal Korean BBQ, just a four-minute walk from the square.

Where to pray

You might probably think finding a mosque in London is nowhere near easy, but the truth is it’s not. In fact, there are more than five mosques in the city! The one that I visited was the London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park. This holy place even has a bookshop and bistro. Other prominent mosques include Birmingham Central Mosque in the Highgate territory of Birmingham and the Suleymaniye Mosque in the northern part of London.

4. Bonus: immersing in Singapore’s vibrant cultural experiences — unplanned!

Image credit (L-R): Singapore Tourism Board Official Website; MasterLu via Canva Pro

Did you know you can opt for the exciting Free Singapore Tour if your layover takes more than five and a half hours? That’s what I did when I had my first layover last year, and trust me, it’s the best thing that happened during the entire trip! 

I took The Heritage Tour, which lasted about two and a half hours. They brought me and the other layover passengers to Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glam, and Merlion Park — all while explaining each destination’s cultural significance and history. 

In case you’re wondering, the Free Singapore Tour booths are available at Terminal 2 Transit (Level 2, Departure Transit Hall, next to Orchid Garden) and Terminal 3 Transit (Level 2, Departure Transit Hall, next to Discover Singapore

Lucky for me, three seats were still available for the tour when I first approached the booth. To those of you who are interested in joining, I advise you to pre-book the tour beforehand to secure your spot early. To be honest, joining this tour was like having a trip in a trip, but instead of planning the whole journey, I got it all planned for me — unplanned! Does that even make sense? I hope it does, lol

Buckle up for unforgettable Muslim-friendly experiences: Imagine marvelling at the futuristic gardens in Singapore (all-in fares start from MYR498) and wandering through the charming medieval streets of Brussels (all-in fares from as low as MYR2,788) — lit

Know what’s even better? You’ll be flying on a world-class journey, regardless of your actual cabin class, with Singapore Airlines across continents as they treat you to award-winning service and unparalleled comfort you didn’t know you deserved.

Sales period: 13 Mar – 5 Apr 2024

Travel period: 13 Mar 2024 – 28 Feb 2025



General tips and travel hacks for first-time Muslim travellers

Whether you’re going on an adventure with your loved ones or venturing overseas solo for the first time, it’s best to keep these Muslim-friendly hacks in check for a smoother journey:

Download the necessary apps beforehand

Image credit: FatCamera via Canva Pro

As a Muslim traveller, our concern goes beyond finding the right routes and translating road signs. We need halal food to survive. That said, it’s best to download halal food apps such as Verify Halal and WhereHalal to help you go about the day easily. 

Also, try to find out if a particular country has its own halal app for a more accurate result. One good example is the Halal Japan app, which allows you to determine the halal status of a product just by scanning its barcode. Another one is Omotenashi Halal. You just need to scan the ingredient list of the food to know if it’s halal or not. In fact, you can even find halal restaurants with this app!

But wait, what if there are no halal-certified or Muslim-owned eateries in your destination? Chillax, you can always head to a vegetarian restaurant or cafe in the area. Just be sure to ask the staff in charge if the meals you wish to order are free from alcohol. I would usually go for coffee and bread for some peace of mind. 

Always carry two bottles of water wherever you go

Image credit: mediaphotos via Canva Pro

You should know that not all countries provide bidets in their toilets. So, if you feel uncomfortable, it’s good to bring a bottle of water wherever you go for istinjak purposes. What about the other bottle of water, you ask? It’s for you to drink, bestie. We need to stay hydrated throughout the journey! 

Plus, you can also use the water for ablution purposes. I mean, we all had that one awkward moment when people caught us washing our feet in the sink. Not cool. Definitely not cool. Some travellers prefer to bring a spray bottle for ablution and to be honest, I think that’s even a better choice because you won’t end up spilling it all over or using too much of it during the process.

Bring your own praying mat and garment (for Muslimahs)

This is especially true when travelling to someplace with no mosque and prayer room. Say you’re hiking on one of Japan’s peaks; I can assure you that finding a prayer room at the top is almost impossible. So, do bring your own praying mat to ensure you can pray comfortably without having to put your forehead on the ground without any cover.

Bringing prayer garments for Muslimahs is optional. You can do that if you think your attire for the day is not covering your aurah entirely and if you don’t mind bringing an extra bag for that. But if you’re wearing a fully-covered outfit, there’s no need to bring the garment as you can easily pray in that outfit as is. 

Also read: Family-Friendly Halal Destinations to Check out in The Upcoming Holiday Season

And that’s pretty much how I travel comfortably as a Muslim globetrotter. Hope you find these tips helpful for your soon-to-be unforgettable trip with one of the world’s best airlines. So, book the tickets now before it’s too late!

Brought to you by Singapore Airlines

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