- July 23, 2016
- Phuket Highlights
Built in the 19th century, Wat Chalong (aka Wat Chaiyathararam or Wat Chaithararam) is the largest and most frequented of Phuket’s 29 Buddhist temples. The founders of Wat Chalong, Luang Pho Cham and Luang Pho Chuang were two extraordinary monks who led locals in the fighting against an 1876 Chinese rebellion. With their broad knowledge of ancient herbal medicine they also helped to heal the many injured in the conflict and to this day are revered by many locals.
There’s lots to see and do here with several buildings to explore but the largest building in the spacious and breezy grounds is an impressive three-story, 60-metre tall grand pagoda that allegedly houses a splinter of one of the Lord Buddha’s bones. Decorated with striking and colourful paintings illustrating the life of Buddha, the building also features golden religious images. The panoramic views from the top floor are worth seeing. The grounds also feature an air conditioned building that houses lifelike human-scale wax models of past abbots, along with period antique Thai furniture.
Wat Chalong is open daily from 7:00 to 17:00 and maybe the best time of day to visit is early in the morning as busloads of tourists start to arrive from 9:00 onwards. As it is a place of religious worship, be sure to dress respectfully – meaning no bare shoulders or short skirts. If in any doubt as to how to comport yourself or what to do, simply observe the locals’ behavior.