What is Chalong Temple?
Wat Chalong, officially Wat Chai Thararam, is the largest, most revered and most visited Buddhist temple in Phuket. It was built at the beginning of the 19th century, 1837, according to some sources. Chalong Temple is one of the Must-See places in Phuket, together with the nearby Big Buddha of Phuket, as they are relatively close to each other.
Wat Chalong Video
The central temple is where most Thai people will make merit by offering lotus flowers and adding a small piece of gold paper to the monk’s statues inside.
Once in a while, you will hear loud explosions of firecrackers coming from a brick oven-like construction. That’s another way to make merit, supposedly to show your gratitude when one of your wishes came true. One person stands by to lit the firecrackers for you; the big ones are pretty scary but make fun photos.
On the temple side, a dozen small shops are selling all kinds of souvenirs and tourist stuff. Strangely, the shops selling religious items are outside the temple ground, next to the gate. Go figure.
There are occasional funfairs, displaying lots of food, plenty of favourite Thai games and big stage performances. It’s always fun, noisy, entertaining and will undoubtedly give you exciting opportunities to take some fun photos and insight into Thai life.
Inside the Chedi
The tallest building on the grounds of Wat Chalong is a 60 meters tall stupa (chedi) sheltering a bone fragment of Lord Buddha. Beautiful paintings retracing the most significant Buddha’s life steps decorate the walls and ceilings of the temple. Each floor is also full of large, donated golden statues.
The chedi (stupa) of Wat Chalong is built on three floors, so feel free to climb to the top floor terrace to get a beautiful bird view of the entire temple grounds. Few more steps will lead you to a glass display where you can contemplate the fragment of bone.
You can see the nearby Phuket Big Buddha from there, but you can see it from almost anywhere in the southern part of Phuket island.
Is there a dress code at Wat Chalong?
There is no strict dress code to visit Wat Chalong. In theory, you should wear long pants and no sleeveless shirts on the temple’s grounds, but this requirement seems to belong to a past era. No need to tell you to remove your shoes before entering any of the buildings, you hopefully already know that. A sea of shoes randomly abandoned in front of the temple will remind you anyway.
- There is no entry fee.
- Dress respectfully.
- Take off your shoes, remove caps or hats when entering a building.
Wat Chalong is a nice stop on the way to the nearest exciting point: the Big Buddha which is the most iconic landmark of Phuket Island.
360 Views of the temple
Photos of Wat Chalong
Wat Chalong Information
- Address: 70/6 Chao Fah Tawan Tok Road, Chalong, Phuket 83130
- Open: 7 am – 5 pm (but you can walk around the temple grounds anytime)
- Phone: 076 381 226
- Dress Code: No short skirts or short pants, no sleeveless Tee shirts
- Price: Free
- Built: 1837
- Official name: Wat Chai Thararam
How to get to Wat Chalong?
Wat Chalong is easy to find on Chaofa Road, between Phuket Town and Chalong, in the south of Phuket Island. Just follow the many signs on the way to Chalong Circle. From Phuket town, take ‘Chaofah Road’ in the direction of Chalong and Rawai. There are two Chaofah Roads: the one you need is passing in front of Central Festival and all the shopping malls. It’s about 10 km south of Central Mall, on the left and well indicated.
- Distance from Patong to the Wat Chalong: 16 km
- From Phuket International Airport to Wat Chalong: 37 km
- From Phuket Town to the Wat Chalong: 9 km
- From Bangtao to Wat Chalong: 29 km
- From the Big Buddha to Wat Chalong: 8 km