Chalong Temple (Wat Chalong)
Chalong Temple (Wat Chalong) is the largest Phuket temple, and the most visited. Locals and many Thai tourists come to pray and pay respects to several revered monks who were the founders of Wat Chalong, among them Luang Pho Cham and Luang Pho Chuang, 2 monks who were well known for herbal medicine and took care of local villagers and negotiated for a settlement during a chinese miners rebellion in the 1870's. Chalong temple is also on the route of many tours and is certainly a worthwhile stop off point, although I do recommend looking at some quieter temples too! We have visited many times - the photos on this page have been taken over the years 2006 - 2012.
Wat Chalong a big place, with several buildings including the main temple, with statues of the revered monks where people can pray, apply gold leaf to the statues, light incense and candles etc. There is another Chedi with a tall tower, in which one finds painted walls with scenes from the life of Buddha and many Buddha images. At the top of the tower is what is said to be a fragment of bone of Buddha himself. There is also an airconditioned building containing waxworks of the revered monks.
The views from the tower are very nice, across the temple grounds looking towards the green hills. You can see The Big Buddha and Radar Hill from here.
Wat Chalong is well worth a visit, though if you want a quiet time, I would suggest going early morning or late afternoon, as it can be rather busy with locals and tourists alike. It's really the only Phuket temple on the tourist trail, and tours tend to arrive there from 10am - 3pm, although I have been there before 8am and seen bus loads of Thai visitors already! Early or Late - that's the key to avoiding the crowds at any tourist destination in the world!
(above) Don't forget to take your shoes off!
There is a big annual fair at the temple around Chinese New Year which lasts about 10 days with stalls spread out all over the extensive temple grounds. Food stalls, a funfair, clothes, arts and crafts, it's a very popular event and is packed every evening!
Chalong temple is located between Phuket Town and Chalong. The road runs from the Central Festival shopping mall on the edge of town to Chalong circle. If you want a good half day tour, you can combine Wat Chalong with some of the small beaches in the SW corner of Phuket such as Yanui Beach or Rawai Beach, along with Laem Phromthep, a drive up one of the hills mentioned above (good for sunsets) or a walk down Chalong Jetty in the evening as many locals do... and home in time for dinner!
• Chalong Temple Fair
• More Temples in Phuket