World Bulletin / News Desk
One such religious building is presently being erected in the heart of the Phuket district of Kamala, an enclosed bay and fishing village surrounded by forested hills just north of the lights and noise of the western fleshpots of Patong beach.
Construction of the Phadungsat Mosque began two years ago after an Imam visited Phuket during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
It is expected to be completed in the next year, with a Saudi Arabian donation of 1 million baht ($35,000) providing much of the collateral.
Muslims -- the second largest religious group in Thailand -- make up just 5 percent of the population as a whole, but 20 percent of those who live in Phuket are Muslim, many of whom are descendants of the island's original sea-dwelling people.
Outside of Phuket, the southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and parts of Songkhla and Chumphon have dominant Muslim populations, consisting of both ethnic Thai Muslims and ethnic Malay.