Wat Chalong is the largest and most visited of Phuket's temples, with locals, Thai tourists and international visitors flocking to the sacred site daily. Dedicated to two abbots who provided assistance during a rebellion in the 19th century, the temple’s westerly old hall features gold-leaf-covered statues of the men in their honor.
The most important item at Wat Chalong is the 197-foot-tall (60-meter) stupa, or chedi, that is said to shelter a splinter of bone from Buddha. Travelers can marvel over the golden statues found in the stupa and gaze up at the walls and ceilings, each adorned with paintings depicting the life of Buddha. The three-story Wat Chalong also features a large top-floor terrace offering sweeping views of the entire temple grounds, with the Chalong Big Buddha visible in the distance.
Wat Chalong can be visited on most sightseeing tours of Phuket, in addition to some day trips to the island from Krabi. Visitors can also opt for a private sightseeing tour that includes a dedicated local guide.
Insider's Tip: Wat Chalong is incredibly popular and can therefore become rather busy at times. For the best chance of a relatively quiet visit to the temple complex, arrive either in the early morning or late afternoon.
Wat Chalong is located about five miles (eight km) south of Phuket City along Chaofa West Road. Approaching from this direction, you’ll find the temple on your left. Conservative attire is required to visit Wat Chalong, so be sure to wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Guests must also remove their shoes before entering the temple. Donations are accepted.