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Phuket's Chalong Bay is home to a famous historical landmark: the Buddhist temple Wat Chalong. For hundreds of years, locals have visited this temple nearly every day to pray, and foreigners have come from all across the globe to learn about Buddhism. Although its official name is Wat Chaitararam, most people call and know it as Wat Chalong.
People in the area frequently attest to miraculous occurrences at the temple. It also played a critical and ultimately reconciling role in the 1876 warfare between Chinese underground organizations (Angyee).
Wat Chalong is a place where you can go to get some perspective on the path you're on in life. You'll see that there's more to life than just your job and hobbies and that, perhaps, an external factor matters. But, of course, it is ultimately up to you to decide if you think such a force exists.
Nonetheless, there are always life-changing teachings to be gained from Buddhism, such as behaving in a decent, humane manner (morally and ethically), cultivating positive thought patterns, and much more.
The construction of Wat Chalong finished in 1837. Abbott Luang Pho Chaem, who helped put down the Chinese uprising, is one of the temple's founders and is still revered today.
During 1876, the tin miners, many of whom were Chinese immigrants, became aggressive. Thanks to the success of the island's tin mines, the Chinese community in Phuket grew and became economically and politically powerful. Tin miners, dissatisfied with their low wages and excessive taxes, began what became known as the Angyee Rebellion.
Using his understanding of herbal medicine, Chaem healed the injured citizens and transformed the temple into a haven for war refugees and the injured. After the war, King Rama V honoured Chaem by bestowing him with a high rank. Within the mondop (pavilion) structure at Wat Chalong stands a statue of Chaem that is eerily lifelike.
You will see people performing rituals, such as lighting candles and joss sticks, in and around the temple. These ceremonies are typically performed in the main building, which houses the two sculptures.
In addition, a stroll around the temple grounds will treat you to sights of gorgeous gardens and remarkable monuments, both in a setting with air perfumed by beautiful fragrances. All these factors combined help you achieve inner serenity and spiritual enlightenment more easily.
There are many buildings in the temple complex, but the most famous is Phra Mahathat Chedi, also known as Buddha's "bone splinter." The façade of this tower is beautifully decorated with exquisite carvings.
The outside of the tower consists of three tiers of walls. The first two stories showcase various Buddha statues, each depicting a distinct period of his life. In addition, painted murals depict scenes from Buddha's life. Finally, on the third floor is a glass encasement claimed to hold a relic of Buddha's bones.
People worldwide come to the tower to study the Buddha's teachings and pay their respects.
Surrounding the tower are various structures, each drawing design inspiration from some facet of Thailand.
An enormous edifice among these structures holds the gold-leafed statues of the two monks, Luang Cho Chuang and Luang Pho Chaem. Locals who visit the monument hope to gain financial success, improve their health, or both cover it in gold as a symbol of respect.
Wat Chalong has a standard dress policy. The bottoms should reach at least to the knees, while the tops should cover the shoulders. Always remove your shoes at the door.
The following day tours take you to see Wat Chalong and more. With the guidance of a knowledgable guide, you'll get the best experience possible of visiting Wat Chalong.
Make your itinerary for a guided 10-hour Phuket tour. Stop at the temple of Wat Chalong, have some fun on the Rock Beach Swing, and gaze at the high-rises of Thalang Road. Then, check out the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery or wherever you fancy.
Your guide can customize your itinerary based on your top 3–4 choices of places to see in Phuket. Examples include:
Karon Viewpoint offers a panorama of the island's three beaches, while Wat Chalong, a Buddhist temple built in the 19th century, and Promthep Cape, which overlooks the Andaman Sea.
Guided tours of Phuket's historic district will bring you to sights like the Sino-Portuguese homes along Thalang Road, the brightly painted structures of Soi Romanee, and the Buddhist temple at Soi Soon Utis. Also, think about seeing our world-famous snorkelling spot Ao Sane Beach, located in the island's southwestern corner.
Stop by the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery, where rum is made with sugarcane grown in the area and a French copper still. Then, enjoy the great outdoors at Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, a refuge for rescued elephants. Visit Koh Phra Thaeo National Park to see Phuket's lone verdant forest.
Talk to your guide about the fascinating history and culture of Thailand. Take advantage of your guide's expertise and enjoy the convenience of a well-informed local organizing the schedule for a smooth, stress-free, eventful day in Phuket. Get picked up from your accommodation to begin your journey.
Spend the day with a knowledgeable local guide, and have the convenience of a hotel pick-up included. In addition, you will discover the best photo opportunities and off-the-beaten-path attractions in Phuket.
This full-day tour first takes you to the colourful Romani Street in Phuket Old Town and the most magnificent landscape over Phrom Cape.
Next, see two of the island's most well-known attractions: Chaithararam Temple, also known as Wat Chalong, and Big Buddha.
Observe as your guide demonstrates the traditional method of offering to the monks in the area when you visit Wat Chalong and explore the temple complex, including mosaics depicting the Buddha's life that are hung on the walls and ceilings. Then see the Big Buddha, so called for the 45-meter alabaster statue of Buddha that sits atop a hill in the area. Please take pictures of this well-known monument and its surroundings before continuing to Phuket's historic district.
Don't be fooled by the name. The colourful, century-old Sino-Portuguese homes in Phuket's historic district are a significant tourist draw. Also, see the sights of Soi Romanee, a must-see old town attraction.
The next stop should be Nui Beach for lunch, followed by a visit to Rock Swing for a photo op while swinging in midair. Finally, ascend to Cape Krating for breathtaking panoramas of the Andaman Sea and the island's verdant interior.
Ao Sane Beach, popularly known as Jungle Beach, is up next. Relax, go swimming and snorkelling, or take a short stroll up to Cape Krating for breathtaking ocean vistas; the choice is yours!
Lastly, complete your day by visiting Promthep Cape, where you can capture stunning seascapes and sunsets to remember the grand finale of your journey.