Chalong, Phuket Overview

Chalong, also known as Chalong Pier or Chalong Bay, is island's greatest bay with a port, shopping, and residential area, located on the east-central part of Phuket. Many major Phuket attractions like Wat Chalong and the Big Buddha are located in the area along with entertainment activities like Phunaka Golf Course and Phuket Bird Park. Ao Chalong Yacht Club is also a popular hub for sailing races and parties.

As a popular starting point for close-by islands like Phi Phi Island and Phang Nga Bay, the pier can be very crowded and busy, especially in the mornings. Chalong was once an important hub for sailors but it has now become a popular tourist destination.

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Places to Visit in Chalong Bay

1. The Big Buddha

This temple is located atop Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kuta Beach. Known as Phra Puttamingmonkol Akenakkiri Buddha amongst locals, the 45-metre (nearly 150 feet) tall statue is made from reinforced concrete and Burmese white jade marble atop a 25-metre (80 feet) base. Beside the large statue are several smaller, brass Buddha statues, donation boxes, a hall displaying the project’s history and Buddhist teachings.

2. Wat Chalong

Wat Chalong Temple
The magnificent Wat Chalong Temple

It is the largest Buddhist temple in Phuket. Dating back to the 19th century, its prominent building is a 60-metre (196 feet) tall stupa or ‘chedi’ which is believed to hold a bone fragment of Buddha. Spread over three floors, one can explore the wat, visit the exhibition hall, and enjoy the view from the terrace.

3. Wat Mai Luang Pu Supha

Also called Wat Sila Suparam, this is most famous for its founder, Luang Pu Supha, who was one of the oldest monks in Thai history. The main attraction is the statue of a seated Buddha with a seven-headed snake (‘naga’) above his head. Local legend has it that this king naga came to protect Buddha during a storm when he was in deep meditation. Ever since, the wat is popular for visitors seeking amulets and crocodile charms by the abbot for protection and prosperity.

4. Phuket Bird Park

Phuket Bird Park, Chalong

Explore a hillside of winding pavements, beautiful flora, and hundreds of birds from around the world. Some of the species here include Siamese pheasants, Nicobar pigeons, emus, red-billed blue magpies, pied hornbills, African crowned cranes, and ostriches. Shows are held every day from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM by experienced handlers. The park also has a lovely souvenir shop and three cafes.

5. Chalong Bay Rum Distillery

This is a rum manufacturing company based in Chalong. Their white rum has gained international recognition. They conduct distillery tours about the production of their rum as well as hosting cocktail workshops where visitors can create their own mojitos and punches.

6. Phuket Tree Adventure

Better known as Jungle Xtreme Adventures Park, it has activities like net-walking, tight-roping, zip-lining and bridge-crossing. There are 69 ‘stations’ of varying difficulty for every kind of visitor. Best of all, these tree-top adventures provide a breath-taking view of all of Phuket.

What to Eat at Chalong Bay

Although Chalong was once a small bay mostly visited by sailors, it has now developed into a prominent tourist destination. You’ll find numerous restaurants and bars within walking distance of the pier. It serves a variety of cuisines like Thai, Italian, Continental, Indian, and even Mexican.
  • Ao Chalong Yacht Club Restaurant serves delicious English breakfasts along with Aussie beef burgers, baguettes, spaghetti marinara, chicken schnitzel, and local Thai cuisine all under one roof. Anchor Bar,  Black Canyon, and Chalong Sunrise (also called Suda’s Bar and Restaurant) all serve services Thai and European food.

  • Captain Hook, a German bar and restaurant, provides German cuisine like gingerbread, fried potato slices, bratwurst, stews, and pot roasts. Another German restaurant is Fatty’s on Chao Fa East Road that is best known for their steaks and sausages.

  • The Green Man is an English pub which specialises in pub food like fish and chips, macaroni and cheese, pot roast, and lamb shanks alongside their ales and beers on tap.

  • Palai Seafood serves spicy food like tom yam pla (seafood soup), seafood salad, fried prawns, and steamed lemon sea bass. Mor Mu Dong is a restaurant in a bamboo hut where diners sit on the floor and eat off low tables. They serve delicious seafood dishes like fish with lemongrass, shrimps, water snails, crabs, and oysters.

  • Prantalay Seafood serves spicy Thai seafood while MK Restaurant, a successful Thai restaurant franchise, serves hot-pot dishes like roast duck, dim sums, and steamed pork ribs. The Lighthouse, previously Jimmy’s Lighthouse, is popular amongst expats for its Thai and European food like chicken fried rice, all-day finger food, and Thai-style pizzas.

  • For Italian cuisine, head to Rossovivo or Pizza 2000.

  • Tandoori Night is Chalong’s Indian restaurant while Sala Mexicala that has a simple menu of tacos, nachos, and other Mexican delicacies along with a large range of tequila.

  • For quick and simple sandwiches and café food, Sandwich Shoppe is a good bet. Another option is Pier 42 that’s best known for their burgers and sandwiches.

  • For desserts, there are many options like Flints-one Bakery, Duc de Praslin Belgium, Delish Cafe, and the Coffee Tribe.

Best Time to Visit Chalong Bay

The best time to visit Chalong is from November to February when the weather is cool and dry. This is also peak tourist season with flights and accommodation prices higher than usual.

The months to generaly avoid Chalong are May to October when the monsoon begins. However, it rains much lesser in Phuket than other parts of Thailand.

How To Reach Chalong Bay

Chalong is located in Mueng district in southern Phuket. It is 40 kilometres (1 hour) from Phuket International Airport, 17 kilometres (half an hour) from Patong Beach, 15 kilometres (half an hour) from Phuket Aquarium, and 5.5 kilometres (10 minutes) from Rawai.

To reach Chalong, one can take a taxi or a bus. Taxis from northern Phuket like the airport cost around THB 500. From mid-island like Patong, a taxi would cost around THB 280. From southern Phuket like Rawai, it would cost around THB 130.

There are blue buses or songtaews that drive through Phuket. There is around one bus an hour that stops at numerous destinations including Chalong. Depending on the boarding point, a bus to Chalong can cost anywhere between THB 20 to THB 300. However, buses will take much longer time than a taxi.

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