Chalong Beach is located on the east coast of Phuket Island and is enclosed on three sides by Chalong Bay.
It is probably better to think of Chalong Beach as being simply a shoreline or waterfront rather than a real beach.
It is muddy, often covered with sharp oyster shells and is not a popular place for swimming or lounging, but has become the largest boat anchorage on the island. Ships here are fully protected from monsoon rains and currents.
Appropriately, the most prominent feature on the beach is a 720 meter long jetty, which replaced the old wooden pier in 2001.
Most boats taking passengers out to nearby islands for diving or fishing load and unload their passengers here.
Regular sailing races are organized here by the Ao Chalong Yacht Club. Many businesses and shops serving boaters and boating, such as motor and body repair shops, and sales and rental shops, are located up and down the beach.
Chalong Beach has become a popular place for unpretentious, economically priced dining. Two of the most famous restaurants on Phuket Island are located here, the two Kan Eang restaurants, which primarily serve seafood. Indeed, seafood is the main focus of the restaurants of Chalong Beach, but many people say that the Thai food here is the best on Phuket Island.
A Chalong institution, Jimmy's Bar and Grill serves Thai and American food at reasonable prices. Other places receiving good recommendations are Mr. India Restaurant, Dos Passos (Mexican food), and Happy Days (British and Thai food).
Chalong Beach also has plenty of accommodation, much of it in the budget category. These are being found on Ao Chalong Road. In the under 600 baht a night category are Happy Days and Ao Chalong Mansion, and in the southern part of Chalong Beach, also known as Freedom Beach, Darrin Bungalows.
In the 600 baht to 1,500 baht a night range are Ao Chalong Inn, Jimmy's Lighthouse and the Shanti Lodge.
There are several places for the midrange traveler and for those desiring luxury, there is the Evason, a "bastion of unparalleled lushness and luxury" in Friendship Beach.
Chalong Beach has a relatively active nightlife. It does not have go-go bars, but has a fair number of karaoke clubs, open air bars and beach bars. They are concentrated around the Chalong traffic circle and extend outward from there.
Shopping in Chalong is satisfactory. There are plenty of small shops, even if their products tend to be similar. There is also a Lotus Tesco 100 meters from the Chalong traffic circle. For those who want more opportunity, Phuket town, with its malls and specialty shops, is only a 10 minute drive away.
Being so close to Phuket town, it is not too difficult for those in Chalong to take advantage of the island's poor public transportation system. Sangthaews, or public buses, run regularly between Chalong and Phuket town during the daylight hours, so transportation between Phuket town and Chalong is fairly easy, as is transportation to points south of Chalong.
From Phuket town, one can catch sangtheaws to any part of Phuket Island. At least during the daylight hours. Phuket town has metered taxis, so it is possible to return to Chalong Beach at night for a small taxi fee.