Chalong Travel & City Guide
An exciting variety of activities and attraction in the day and a relaxing atmosphere in the evening.
Chalong is mainly a residential and business area (diving), the dwelling choice for many expats, as well as locals. This is due to its ideal location providing easy connections north to Phuket Town, west to Kata Beach, and south to the beach towns of Rawai and Nai Harn. This also makes it an attractive place to visit during your holiday, as it is easy to travel to and offers much in the line of conveniences and entertainment.
There are plenty of dive shops along the road towards Chalong Pier, from where most diving and fishing trips leave in the early mornings. You can find a HomePro and Villa Market under the same roof near the infamous Chalong circle as well as a Tesco Lotus Park on the way to Rawai and a shopping complex near Fishermen Way.
The bar scene in Chalong is quite active along Chalong Pier Road.
There is also a newly built, fully-equipped hospital along Chaofa West Road, another addition to the medical centres that can be found across the island.
WHERE TO STAY
Most of the areas in Chalong are residential and hotels don’t really cater to the big crowds that hit the beach towns. You could compare it to Kathu, but instead of golf courses, Chalong has the Pier, the diving, the fishing and the yachting. Exclusive resorts, bungalows and guesthouses can be found along the way to Rawai and Nai Harn.
WHAT TO DO
Chalong is home to two of Phuket’s most famous attractions, namely, Wat Chalong and Big Buddha, the latter of which is an impressive 45-metre white marble statue that sits on one of Chalong’s highest hills. This impressive feature offers expansive views from atop the hill and can be seen from several areas at sea level from across the island.
Chalong’s other major draw, aside from the Big Buddha statue is its temple - Wat Chalong. This incredibly beautiful sanctuary is the largest on the island, built in honour of the highly revered monks, Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang who guided the people of Chalong in their battle against the Chinese rebellion during the late 19th century. The best times to visit Chalong Temple are either early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds who arrive aboard tour buses.
Phuket Zoo, off Chaofa Road East, is definitely worth a visit with the kids. Tigers, crocodiles, monkeys and elephants steal the show. It also features an aquarium, a bird park and a orchid garden.
If you’re looking for adventure, Chalong has a lot to offer, such as a zip-lining park, as well as safaris through the surrounding jungle clad hills. More adrenalin fuelled activity can be enjoyed with water-based activities where you can take a thrilling game fishing trip or indeed a diving excursion. Chalong Pier Road is home to many establishments that offer both types of tour.
WHERE TO EAT
Chalong is another part of the island where you’ll find almost anything and everything to eat. Whatever type of cuisine you fancy, you’re sure to find it somewhere along the streets of this large town. There are loads of Thai restaurants on the two main roads of Chaofa East and Chaofa West, in addition to international eateries should you fancy a change.
Chalong Pier Road is also full of restaurants, some pub-style and casual, while others are more up-market even affording sea views.
Markets pop up in various areas of the main roads throughout the week and are some of the bigger ones on the island, meaning the choice of foods available is extensive. The area is seeing more and more Thai fusion eateries being added to its impressive list of unique restaurants. Again, the two main thoroughfares of Chaofa East and West are where you’ll find most of these haunts.
The majority of bars can be found along Chalong Pier Road, which has an energetic atmosphere that lasts well into the early hours of the morning on most nights during high season. There are a selection of vibes to be found here where you can enjoy a quiet night in a pub screening sports and having a chat, or heading to a bar with blasting music and high-spirited banter. A few nightclubs can be found in the area, a couple of Thai-style venues that host live bands, as well as a beach club near Chalong Pier.
Aside from the pier road, you can come across a variety of drinking holes in the various sois off both main roads. Make sure not to overlook the smaller venues, which are often full of life. Listen out for loud music and watch for a crowd of happy revellers.
Shopping-wise, Chalong can definitely be described as convenient in terms of providing everyday household items and food requirements. It isn’t one of the major retail shopping destinations on the island in terms of fashion.
There are a number of shopping complexes, including a few Tesco Lotus outlets along both main roads and an international supermarket near Chalong circle. Here you’ll find a pharmacy, optician, bookstore, electronics shop, as well as a choice of restaurants. There are also a couple of small delis and wine importers dotted around the area.
There are quite a number of antique shops positioned along Chaofa Road West towards the centre of the island selling unique items.
If you head further north towards Kathu and Phuket Town, you’ll soon come across one of the island’s major shopping malls, Phuket Central Festival, as well as the largest market on Phuket that takes place each weekend. Many smaller markets set up shop during certain days of the week in various areas of Chalong where you’ll find all sorts of goods, ranging from clothing to food.
In addition, there are speciality food shops selling items according to their trade, such as bakers, butchers and cake makers.