The roundabout, Chalong Circle (as it is known among expats), is the city’s nerve centre, and you can find entertainment just watching the traffic shenanigans from the roadside as drivers fight for position, but it also provides the areas best advantage. You can take a direct route from here to almost every Phuket hotspot! Make your way directly east from here and you’ll pass dive businesses, restaurants and bars before shortly reaching the waterfront of Chalong Bay. Here you’ll see the longest pier in Phuket and a major launching point for off-island excursions. Also staking claim over the water’s edge is Kan Eang @ Pier seafood restaurant; a beautiful venue that has been around since the 1970s. This pier was Chalong’s bread and butter long before the residential boom.
What housing did bring was charm to the area, breaking it away from the rundown, dusty atmosphere that once hung over most of southeast Phuket. With residents came businesses to cater to them, and now you have an incredible choice of restaurants (serving some of the best European cuisine on the island) and shopping centres.
For cultural charm, Chao Fa East leads towards the island centre, but little more than a kilometre from the roundabout is the street that leads up to the Bug Buddha. The large white marble statue can be seen atop the Nakkerd Hills, and is much larger and impressive up close. The views of the surrounding area from here are also spectacular – make sure you find the semi-hidden viewpoint behind a shrine that looks to the south. Chalong Temple is also a beautiful religious site. South from the roundabout is the quieter town of Rawai and also Nai Harn, a beautiful beach sandwiched by green hills. It is considered the best beach in Phuket by many and remains very popular despite growing development and crowds. Some fantastic restaurants can be found nearby as well. Chao Fa West is the road you take to Phuket Town. The Pa Lai area to the east of it offers good, cheaper seafood at some restaurants.
So wot are you waiting for? Catch one of our flights to Phuket, check into your Chalong hotel and see the southern half of the island that’s right on your doorstep.
Hotels in Chalong start at AU$23 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.