Temples

Phuket has some 30 temples and monasteries around the island and you can find scattered Chinese Temples, Buddhist Wats and Muslim mosques. Foreign influences may come and go but Phuket's temples represent a touchstone, both religiously and culturally. Locals frequent them to maintain ties with their past as each of the island's temples has a story to tell about Phuket's history.

Here's a couple of the most famous temples:

Wat Chalong (Phuket City)
Phuket's most popular, biggest and famous temple, Wat Chai Tararam, or Wat Chalong, was built in 1837. The temple houses the famous Luang Po Cham, a monk who helped the locals fight the Ang Yi rebellion during the reign of King Rama V (in 1876).

Location: The temple is located approximately 8 kilometers from the city.

Wat Prathong (Thalang Area)
Wat Prathong (Wat Pra Phud) is famous for a half-buried golden Buddha statue called Luang Poh Prathong (Golden Buddha) in its grounds. The temple's other moniker, Wat Pra Phud, means 'Temple of the protruding Buddha'. It was built in the 1750s and received a visit from King Rama V in 1909, who gave it its name. Not a very big temple, but agreable to visit with its several buildings and colorful features.

Location: The temple is located approximately 20 kilometers from Phuket City. Travel along Thepkrasattri Road, upon reaching the Thalang District Office, turn right and proceed directly to the temple.

Wat Suwan Khiri Khet (Karon Beach)
Wat Suwan Khiri Khet (Wat Karon), the only temple in Karon Beach, was founded in 1895 and has been recently renovated. Small but attractive, it is easily accessible from Karon by walk and worth a visit, and a photo.

Location: Wat Suwan Khiri Khet (Wat Karon) is located on Patak Road in Karon and can be reached from Patong by taking the road south and turning left at Karon Traffic Circle. The Wat is in the crook of the bend up Patak Rd. 

Wat Phranang Sang (Thalang Town)
Meaning 'Temple built by a queen,' Wat Pra-nang Sang was built some 545 years ago, making it the oldest temple in Phuket. There are very old tin Buddha statues, wrought when tin was considered a semiprecious metal. Each of the images contains a smaller Buddha image.

Location: The temple is located in Thalang on Thepkasattri Road, at the Baan Kian intersection: on the way to airport, at the traffic light, the entrance is located right on the side of the road.

Chinese temples in Phuket Town
Numerous Chinese temples and shrines are found throughout Phuket City, and are at their busiest during Chinese new year and the Phuket Vegetarian Festival.

Some are as old as a century or more, such as the Shrine of Serene Light on Phang Nga Rd, and have undergone extensive restorations in recent years. You can visit Thai temples on your own but be sure not to wear shorts or skimpy clothing or you won't be admitted into the main place of worship.

Temple Etiquette
On visiting a Thai temple, there are a few rules that all visitors should follow:

  • You should dress neatly when visiting any temple in Thailand. Men and women should not wear shorts or sleeveless shirts. Women in particular should avoid
  • wearing revealing attire around monks.
  • Monks are forbidden to have physical contact, or to receive an object directly from a woman. To hand something to a monk a woman should place the object within reach of the monk, or give it to a man who can then hand it to the monk.
  • When entering any building within a monastery shoes must be removed. And when sitting in a temple, never point your feet towards any images of the Buddha.
  • You should bear in mind that despite the number of tourists that may be walking around taking pictures, a temple is a place of worship and a quiet sanctuary for the monks and devotees. You should be sensitive to cultural and religious considerations.
  • Lastly, temples do not charge an entrance fee, but they do have donation boxes for you to make some merit. Money will go towards upkeep of the temple and the temple's charitable activities.

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Film Wat Chalong
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Last Update This Page:Sunday, October 23/2016