The main temple at Chalong
Published/Last edited or updated: 11th June, 2021
If you’re looking for the heart of Phuket’s Thai Buddhist community, Wat Chalong is the place to go.
Another hall houses the eerily realistic wax statue of Luang Por Cham, a former abbot of who is still revered for his healing skills and for his role in restoring peace to the island when Chinese workers staged a rebellion in 1876. The statues of two other former abbots, Luang Por Chaung and Luang Por Gluam, also sit in the building.
Wat Chalong’s tallest structure, the 61-metre Phramahathat Chedi, was added in 2002. It was built in honour of the sacred relic that’s on display on the three-storey structure’s top level: a bone fragment believed to trace back to the Lord Buddha, brought from Sri Lanka in 1999. This level offers great views of the Big Buddha and Nakkerd Hills, too.
For nine days during Chinese New Year (dates vary, but usually early February), the temple is transformed into a bustling fairground for the annual Wat Chalong Fair. Worshippers stream through the temple day and night and in the evening there’s live music and dancing entertainment, games, kiddie rides, and hundreds of food and local product stalls.
Visitors who have first seen the highly intricate and ancient temples of Bangkok or Northern Thailand may find Wat Chalong’s design and size unremarkable by comparison. But for those whose travels are limited to Southern Thailand, it’s certainly worth a visit since it’s among the most elaborate and historically important temples to be found in ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)
Lana Willocks is a freelance writer from Canada based in Phuket. Her love affair with Thailand began on a university exchange programme in Bangkok, then she returned to Phuket on the auspicious date of 9-9-1999 and never left.
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