Update: The 2018 Wat Chalong fair will be from 13 to 20 February, though some shops may open a few days earlier!

Wat Chalong was built in the early 1800s and is Phuket’s largest Buddhist temple. It’s one of Phuket’s main tourist attractions, but also an important place of worship among Thai Buddhists. A former Abbot, Luang Por Cham, is highly revered for his help in calming a Chinese worker rebellion in 1876, and his image is now enshrined at Wat Chalong in a realistic wax statue.

Wat Chalong is host to a huge weeklong festival each year during Chinese New Year. Based on the Lunar calendar, dates vary but it’s usually held in February. Thousands of people come to not only make merit but to enjoy the numerous tasty food offerings and nightly live music entertainment. It’s also a great place to pick up some well-priced handicrafts, plants, flowers and other goods for sale.

Wat Chalong is on Luang Por Cham Road, about 8 km south of Phuket City off Chao Fa West Road.