Added by Alyssa Teboda

Explore an iconic piece of Thai history and be amazed by the minute detailing of the unique 19th century architecture. Of the many temples found in Phuket, Wat Chalong is the largest and most revered Buddhist temple complex. The tallest temple known as the Grand Pagoda is a three-story structure and offers a bird’s eye view of the entire temple grounds and beautiful surrounding hills.

The temples is also known as ‘Wat Chaitararam’ but Wat Chalong is not often referred to by its royal name. It was founded by a group of monks who were known for their healing capabilities. Even today people travel to this sacred temple complex because of its association with having strong healing powers. The temples are located near Kata Beach, south of Phuket Town and close to many other local attractions. 

All of the buildings at Wat Chalong are well preserved and beautifully decorated. The Grand Pagoda is the most ornate structure. The 200-foot building houses a splinter of Buddha’s bone on the top floor. The walls and ceilings feature exquisite paintings illustrating the life and teachings of Buddha. Rooms are filled with golden statues of religious relics and staircase railings are carved as dragons with shards of mirror as teeth, there is no detail overlooked.

Don’t be surprised if you hear the loud crackling sound of firecrackers breaking the quiet atmosphere. Thai locals fire them off inside large clay ovens near the Sermon Hall in the center of Wat Chalong. They are used to celebrate good luck, show gratitude, or when a wish comes true.

Wats in general are a sacred place for local people, so observe and emulate the way Thai’s behave inside the temples. Many temples will require visitors to remove their shoes and cover their shoulders and legs. Speak quietly if a ritual or prayer session is occuring.

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