I have been getting many requests for restaurant and travel information for Vietnam by Muslim travelers through GoHalalPlanet – Vietnam. I just want to inform everyone that I will be launching a new site to replace GoHalalPlanet with my own recommendations for halal restaurants and trips here in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Having a directory just focusing on halal restaurants is not doable in a country like Vietnam. Many restaurants place “halal” on their restaurants without really proving the halal-ness of their restaurant or not. Even having one of the two official halal certifications in Vietnam does not necessarily mean the restaurants are halal, especially in a country where “official” certificates can still be “bought”.
Instead, I plan to launch a new site with a different criteria. Restaurants will be separated into Halal-No Alcohol, Halal-With Alcohol, Vegetarian-No Alcohol, and Vegetarian-With Alcohol. the Halal-No Alcohol criteria alone brings the list of “halal” restaurants down to 10 from 50 right off the bat. These restaurants are usually run by Muslims. For Halal-With Alcohol, I will list only restaurants that I personally know and trust. That is about another 10 restaurants. The remaining have always been questionable by the Muslim community which should be safe for all Muslim travelers.
I am also going to list some popular vegetarian restaurants as well which should include some of the above restaurants. This will include some Indian restaurants that are not halal but offer vegetarian cuisine. That will open up restaurants in Danang, Nha Trang and Hoi An for some Muslim travelers. Vegetarian Indian cuisines have no meat which makes it safe for most Muslims.
Finally, I will begin to offer Muslims tours including the most requested Mekong Delta/Chau Doc Tours. I am still working with two tour organizers but I will handle the halal food for the trips.
By this summer, I hope to make Vietnam a more halal-friendly country for Muslim travelers.