If you’re a fan of history, beautiful architecture, and landscape then there is no place like Wat Chalong.
Story Behind It
Built in the 1800s, Wat Chalong is one of Phuket’s 29 temples with a rich history. Royally named Wat Chaitarara, the temple is said to have been built during the reign of King Rama II, although it has gone through numerous renovations since then. It was founded by a large group of monks, including Luang Pho Cham and Luang Pho Chuang, who were both known for their healing capabilities. Thus, even today, the temple is strongly associated with having strong healing powers.
What’s So Awesome About It
A landmark symbol of Buddhism in Phuket, Wat Chalong is a beautifully designed temple complex built in a large spiritual complex. The unique style of architecture and minute detailing on the pillars will take your breath away. The temple is also surrounded by hills and it makes for a beautiful scenery. It’s usually fairly quiet and is a nice walk to get there from the town.
The temple complex has a grand pagoda, rising to 200ft, which houses a part of Buddha’s bone, and has thus become a highlight for temple visitors. Wat Chalong is also know for its famous lore. It is said that you can have your fortune told by praying inside the temple. There is a bamboo cup holding 26 bamboo sticks with numbers from 1-26 carved on them. Each number tells a different fortune . Visitors would often shake one of the stick out and once it falls out, they go out to the corner and get their fortune told on a piece of paper in English or in Thai.
The temple complex can get very crowded on weekdays and public holidays. It’s best to visit the temple on a weekday, either early in the morning or late afternoon.
Wear appropriate clothing that covers your arms, torso and legs. Remember to take your shoes off before you step into the temple.
How To Reach There
Wat Chalong is located quite close to Kata Beach, about 10 kms south of Phuket town. You can hire a taxi or tuk-tuk from the town, and take a 20 minute ride to the temple grounds. The road runs along the Central Festival shopping mall all the way to Chalong circle.
- Wat Chalong is on the road to many other sightseeing spots, including the popular Big Buddha and Radar Hill. It may be a good idea to include it in your itinerary as a pit stop en route.
- Every year, for 10 days during the Chinese New Year, the temple grounds come alive with stalls of Thai arts and crafts, games, souvenirs and knick knacks, local delicacies and outdoor activities and performances. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon with your family and children.