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East of Phuket, Chalong is an active area that has both spiritual sites as well as a nice shopping area. A port town, Chalong has residences, shops, and temples. Many people also use the bay of Chalong to launch their trips to some of the surrounding islands.
The Phuket Big Buddha is a shrine of spiritual devotion and an important landmark. This giant statue of the Buddha is a popular tourist attraction as well, thanks to its cultural significance and the amazing views that can been from its hilltop location. It’s situated between Chalong and nearby Kata and is easily accessed from Phuket’s main road. You can hardly pass by without seeing it, in any case. You can visit the Buddha from 8 in the morning until about 7:30 at night.
Located at Soi Palai, the Chalong Bay Rum Company is one the best producers of rum in Thailand, which is saying a lot since the nation is one of the world’s biggest producers of the drink. By visiting the Chalong Bay Rum distillery, you’ll get an inside look at the rum creation process, from the sugar cane to the bottling. The whole process is done by hand, since the company considers itself an artisan factory.
Koh Hae, also known as Coral Island, is one of the most beautiful islands surrounding Phuket. Just three kilometers away, visitors love Koh Hae’s nice beaches and a nice coral reef. These two islands can be reached by boat; you can either just take a boat to Coral Island or get there as part of a day trip expedition. Snorkeling is popular off of Banana Beach as well as off Long Beach, which are the two most popular beaches on Koh Hae.
The Botanical Garden in Chalong has a beautiful array of gardens that range from flower beds to a rainforest garden. A variety of plant species call the garden home and offer a special beauty amidst the natural loveliness of the islands. It offers wonderful opportunities for photographs and a nice, relaxing stroll. The garden is open every day but Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is an admission fee of 500 baht.
The Phuket Bird Park has not only birds but beautiful flowers and café dining options. Come to the bird park to admire the many amazing tropical birds that live here among the trees and gardens. There is also an amphitheater that showcases these creatures multiple times per day. The park is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wat Chalong is just one of over two dozen wats in Phuket, but it is very beautiful and one of the most important and welcoming of these temples. Since most Thais are Buddhists, wats like Wat Chalong are extremely important to the country’s cultural and religious life. Visitors of all kinds are very much welcomed to this temple, where you can learn more about Buddhist ways and appreciate the fine architecture. You can take Chao Fah Nok Road from Phuket City to get there.
From Radar Hill, you’ll have an amazing view of Phuket and the sea. To read this lookout point, you’ll take wonderfully winding roads up to reach the best spot. This road must be taken from the eastern side of the Island, and is located just off Chao Fa West Road.