Wat Chalong, Cable Ski & Viewpoint
There are, of course, many temples in Phuket, but the most popular is Wat Chalong situated to the southeast of Phuket City. Wat Chalong was built during the reign of King Rama II (1809-1842), and has since been subject to much extension. The temple contains several structures and halls. One of these features a gilt-covered statue of the famous and revered Luang Poh Cham, plus statues of Luang Poh Chuang and Luang Poh Gleum, all ex-abbots of the temple. The Grand Pagoda is decorated with wall paintings of scenes from the Buddha’s life and features various Buddha images. The air-conditioned ‘exhibition home’ of Luang Poh Cham contains lifelike human-sized wax models of Luang Poh Cham, Luang Poh Chuang, Luang Poh Gleum, and Luang Pu Thuad, as well as examples of antique Thai furniture and Benjarong (Thai porcelain designed in five colours).
How to get there: Travel along Chaofa Road West to Chalong. It’s about 10 km from Central Festival Phuket; the temple is on the left.
Here’s a great sporting activity for the speed-lover: Phuket Wake Park, situated beside a tropical garden in Kathu. You can try knee boards, double skis, slalom (single) skis, wake boards, ski disks and trick skis. All equipment is available for rent or you can bring your own. Costs range from 900 baht for 2 hours to 1,500 baht for a full day. Open daily 7.30am – 11pm.
Also, try Anthem Wakepark in Thalang. The park is built on an existing natural fresh water lake of over 50,000 sqm. Restaurant, pro-shop, accommodation, excursion, free Wi-Fi and transfer services are also provided. Costs range from 800 baht for 2 hours to 1,000 baht for a full day. Open daily 9am – 6.30pm.
As the name would suggest, this hilltop boasts a modern windmill – the only one on the island. It can be found on the south of Phuket between Nai Harn and Promthep. This isolated spot offers superb views of the tiny Ya Nui Beach and the main Nai Harn Beach. There are always boats moored off both beaches and in December the anchorages really come alive as the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta gets under way.
How to get there: Drive from Nai Harn Beach towards the highest hilltop and take the first road on the right. You will spot the windmill on your right hand side.
This is the most popular and largest of all the view points. The area has been developed to offer extensive views over the sea and there are walking paths from the cliffs to the water’s edge for the adventurous. The sunsets are absolutely breathtaking and never the same two days running. If you’re romantically inclined this is the place to come in the evenings and hold hands as the setting sun paints the evening skies in towering kaleidoscopes of light and shade. How to get there: Phromthep Cape is a headland on the extreme southern end of Phuket about 19 km from Phuket City. You can drive there via Chalong Junction along Highway 4024 to Rawai Beach, and then follow the signs for 2 km.
Walking up and down or dropping into throbbing cacophonous homages to Mammon like the Tiger Disco or Rock City will leave you with vivid memories as enduring as those of the beautiful beaches you enjoyed in the daylight hours.