Temples in Phuket

Wat Chalong Temple, Phuket, Thailand

Chalong Temple (Wat Chalong)
The most visited temple in Phuket

Phuket temples are one of the main attractions in Phuket that you should not miss to visit while on holiday here. There are about 30 Buddhist temples in Phuket, among them, Wat Chalong, with its gilt statues of two revered monks; Wat Phra Thong with its half-buried Buddha statue and Wat Phra Nang Sang which includes 3,000 year old Buddha heads and some interesting allegorical frescoes.

A visit to one of Phuket's temples is the best way to learn about the history of Phuket and also a great opportunity to experience the island's everyday life.

Phuket Temples

Chalong Temple (Wat Chalong)
The 60-meter high pagoda at Wat Chalong Temple in Phuket, Thailand

The 60-meter high pagoda at Wat Chalong Temple

Chalong Temple is the largest of Phuket's temples, and the most visited. Wat Chalong was built in 1837 and has played a central role in many of the events that have shaped Phuket's history. Chalong Temple's rich and colorful history make it the most important and most highly regarded temple in Phuket.

The architecture of Wat Chalong is typical of wats found throughout Thailand, with bright gold and red colors and ornate spires. Chalong Temple is revered among Thais for its healing powers. The prayer hall features gilt-covered statues of Luang Por Chaem and Luang Por Chuang, two monks who were famous for their work in herbal medicine and tending to the injured.

The most sacred artifact at Wat Chalong is the Phra Borom Sareerikatat relic, a piece of the Lord Buddha's bones brought over from Sri Lanka. It is in a chedi at the top of a three-storey 60-meter high pagoda. The chedi is a mixture of southern, central and northeastern architectural styles. The pagoda is decorated with wall paintings depicting the Buddha's life story and also features various Buddha images and other religious figures.

Chalong Temple is located between Phuket Town and Chalong. If you're coming from Phuket Town, take the Bypass Road heading south towards Chalong for about 8 kilometers. Wat Chalong will be on your left.

Phra Thong Temple (Wat Phra Thong)
Golden Buddha at Wat Phra Thong Temple, Phuket, Thailand

Golden Buddha at
Wat Phra Thong Temple

Wat Phra Thong is the second most important Buddhist temple in Phuket and a popular attraction for both visitors and local residents. Phra Thong Temple's most notable artifact is the golden Buddha statue that emerges from the ground inside the main temple. The statue, called Luang Poh Prathong (Golden Buddha), is in a seated position but is only exposed up to the middle of the chest. Wat Phra Thong was built in the 1750s and received a visit from King Rama V in 1909, who gave it its name.

Phra Thong Temple and the golden Buddha statue have an interesting history. The story is of a boy who fell ill and dropped dead after tying his buffalo to a post sticking out of the ground. It was later discovered that the post was actually the top of a huge Buddha image that was buried under the earth. Numerous attempts to dig out the Buddha image failed - during one attempt in 1785, workers were chased off by hornets. The legend says that anyone who tries to dig up the statue will suffer terrible misfortune or death. Later, the visible part of the statue was covered with gold by the villagers and a bot (temple hall) was built to house the statue.

Wat Phra Thong is located in Thalang, approximately 20 kilometers from Phuket Town. Travel along Thepkrasatri Road, upon reaching the Thalang District Office, turn right and proceed directly to the temple.

Phra Nang Sang Temple (Wat Phra Nang Sang)
Wat Phra Nang Sang Temple in Phuket, Thailand

Wat Phra Nang Sang Temple
The oldest Buddhist temple in Phuket

Wat Phra Nang Sang is the oldest Buddhist temple in Phuket and was built some 545 years ago when Thalang was still the capital of the island. The grounds of Phra Nang Sang Temple are where the Battle of Thalang took place in 1785, when the local people fought off Burmese invaders.

Wat Phra Nang Sang is beautiful and has a wonderful interior, featuring murals of the Lord Buddha's life and pictures of important historical events. Phra Nang Sang Temple houses three very interesting Buddha images made of tin, a local natural resource once considered semiprecious. Each image has a smaller Buddha in its belly.

The temple's name, Phra Nang Sang, means “built by a queen”. The legend goes that Lady Luad Khao, who was sentenced to death for having an affair, built this temple before her execution. When she was executed she bled white blood, thus showing her innocence and earning her the name Luad Khao (white blood).

Phra Nang Sang Temple is located on Thepkrasatri Road, just before the main junction at Thalang, on the left hand side if heading away from Phuket City. You will be able to recognize the entrance by the two pairs of large colorful statues holding the gates.