The most important of the more than 30 temples in Phuket is Wat Chalong. It is dedicated to two highly venerable monks who helped injured tin miners during a rebellion in 1876.
Phuket’s principal boat anchorage and the island’s largest bay. Ao Chalong has a long flat, shallow, muddy bottom; at ebb tide, waters recede as much as one kilometer.
The bay is very picturesque but not for swimming. This is the main harbor for Phuket Island and many scuba dive companies and tour operators use Chalong Bay to take clients out to islands, such as Coral Islands and also Phi Phi. Koh Racha is great for a day trip for some snorkeling or maybe try deep sea fishing. Ernest Hemingway never made it to Phuket, but we have a feeling he would have felt right at home at Chalong Bay.
Charters to various places can be arranged from there, and it is the center of the island’s yachting businesses. To get there take Jao Fah Tawan Tok Rd., or Jao Fah Tawan Okk Rd., to Chalong Circle. The pier and a number of restaurants are located on the short road leading to the beach from the circle.
The many restaurants surrounding the bay are well known for their seafood. Kan Eang 2 is one of the best seafood restaurants you can find anywhere in Thailand. Local Thais know where to find the best seafood and Kan Eang has been a favorite for decades, offering fresh lobster, crab, prawns and other seafood from the Indian Ocean at very affordable prices.
The view is great, sitting right by the water overlooking Chalong Bay and the outlying islands south of Phuket.
Wat Chalong (Temple)
Wat Chalong is the most famous of Phukets temples. It is a beautiful Buddhist temple with a long history and numerous legends.
The building of the temple started in the late 1830, but some older structures have also been known around the current temple. In 1876 Chinese immigrants rebelled across Phuket and an unknown number of people died. Luang Pho Cham was the Abbot of Wat Chalong and assisted in the fight against the Chinese coolies.
He was later given the official title of Phra Kru Wisit Wongacharn and a statue of him can be found in the mondop building – a pillared outdoor hall used for public rituals at the temple grounds.
It is customary for Thai Buddhists visiting Phuket to make stop at the temple. Many believe that Luang Por Cham’s walking stick holds healing powers. The stick is still being kept at the temple but is not on display for the general public.
The tgemple is most revered for bone fragments from Buddha. The relic is kept in a glass case on top of the Phra Mahathat Chedi building. There are also many mural paintings depicting the tales about the previous lives of Buddha.