What pops up in your mind when someone says, “Buddhist Temple?” In most cases, you might think of orange-draped monks chanting away. The last things you would ever think of are firecrackers, stage shows, and markets populating the temple grounds.
That being said, this is precisely what happens at Wat Chalong during the Wat Chalong Fair. Each year in Phuket, the temple hosts a 10-day long celebration during the Chinese New Year. While the temple itself is not Chinese, the island’s history and its locals have been heavily influenced by the culture, thus the reason for the festivities.
Are you interested in participating in this chaotic yet fun-filled event? Here is what you can expect!
Outside the temple, you will see nothing less than fun and excitement. Plenty of food stalls ensure no one walks around hungry, and flower stalls provide people what they need to pay respects to the Buddha.
Inside the temple, you will see everything lit to its full glory. At the base of the Buddha itself, you will find many people paying their respects with candles, flowers, and incense sticks. It’s a magical experience where there are plenty of sights and smells and sounds to behold.
You can expect to buy almost anything from the stalls outside the temple. From t-shirts and toys to herbal medicines and balloons, you can find many things to spend your money on. The best part is that these goods are not expensive at all. Some of the things there are so cheap, you might end up bringing home a large bag of things you didn’t know you needed for under a dollar!
However, if you want to be more strategic about your spending, we recommend splurging on the food stalls we mentioned earlier. You will find all sorts of goodies, from local treats to western dishes.
If you are feeling a little adventurous, keep an eye out for the food stalls that sell fried insects. While they can look terrifying to first-timers, they are surprisingly delicious!. They are also cheap, so do consider trying them out. Even if you end up not liking them, you can boast about how you munched on some grasshoppers or crickets.
Shopping is not the only activity you can do here. There are many other things you can treat yourself to, such as a fantastic Thai massage. Stage shows are also held for you to sit back, relax, and enjoy while snacking on that yummy bag of crickets.
If you have brought your kids with you, get ready to hear them squeal in excitement. There are a few bouncy castles as well as amusement rides for them to enjoy!
If you are planning to visit Phuket during the Chinese New Year festival, pay a visit to the temple. There are loads of things you can do there, all of which will excite every one of your senses.
Treat yourself to a relaxing massage or be captivated by the stage shows. Whatever you do there, we guarantee that you will have the time of your life. Just do not forget to bring your camera, as there are many Instagram-worthy moments you can capture to make all your friends and family jealous of your fun.
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