Wat Chalong Temple, Chao Fah Tawan Tok Road, Chalong, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket, Thailand
Wat Chalong is the biggest and most important temple on the island of Phuket, and was built in dedication to two of Thailand’s most venerable monks, Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang. It has a very interesting history and is a must-see for visitors to Phuket, with some beautiful architecture and a large market which actually extends into the grounds of the temple itself. The temple is stunning both inside and out, and is easily accessible, being only a few kilometres from Phuket City, and is a sacred site for locals on the island.
What to See and Do
The temple complex was built following the routing of a Chinese rebellion almost 150 years ago, and no expense was spared, which will be obvious when you arrive. The temple complex and it’s architecture are extravagant, with a multi-layered roof and lots of gilding both inside and out. The Grand Pagoda within the complex is even said to contain a shard of bone from the Lord Buddha, and inside you can see many paintings and depictions of his life story. It’s a fascinating and relaxing place to spend an hour or so, it is basically Phuket’s (much smaller) equivalent of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, and well worth your time. The marble flooring, hand painted murals, and the incredibly meticulously maintained gardens are incredible.
How to Get There
The temple is easy to find, you can get there by tuk-tuk, taxi or motorbike, but is not well signposted so you may prefer to be driven unless you have GPS on your phone. It is located east of Kata beach in the south-east corner of the island, on Chao Fa Tawan Tok Road. Try and arrange a return trip if possible to avoid the hassle of finding a taxi to come back.
Opening Times and Admission Fee
The temple is open from 7am to 5pm every day, but bear in mind that it can get very busy during the weekends and particularly on Thai bank holidays. Admission is free, and dress code as usual for a Thai temple is conservative, don’t forget to remove your shoes!