You’re already drinking copiously while in Phuket. Why not get drunk in the middle of the afternoon while learning a thing or two? The Chalong Bay Rum Distillery Tour is an entertaining activity to do when you want a change of scenery from the island’s beautiful beaches and Chang beers.
Chalong Bay Distillery Tour Price
The basic tour (called “Distillery Discovery Tour”) costs 450 Baht per person. It’s advertised as a 30-minute tour, but the whole experience will take close to an hour with the tastings. It is recommended that you book a timeslot online beforehand. Payment is done in person when you arrive at the distillery, and they take cash or credit card.
Check in and pay for your tickets at the bar counter when you arrive at the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery. You will receive a generously sized mojito that you can enjoy while you wait and bring on to the tour. If you book your tour at 2 pm as we did, your distillery tour will include visitors who are in the rum cocktail workshop. It will also start a bit later, around 2:15, while the workshop guests make a mojito first.
The tour will take you into the building across from the central cabana. No pictures are allowed once inside. It can be a bit buggy over here, so apply mosquito repellent beforehand. The guide will talk about rum making and what makes Chalong Bay rum different. There’s no groundbreaking information here if you’ve been on rum tours before. You’ll see their stills and packaging room, where the labels are still meticulously applied by hand.
Hopefully, you’ve finished your mojito by the time you get to the tasting portion of the tour. Unless you’re keeping a close eye on your mug, your mojito will get cleared away once you put it down, no matter how full it is.
Chalong Bay currently has seven different spirits: six flavours of rum and one gin. On our tour, the entire group got to taste all seven. These are not the smooth drinking dark rums of the Caribbean. White rum, in my experience, is usually acrid and not great for sipping. We were also given three mini cocktails in our tasting glasses: a gin & tonic and two of the distillery’s signature cocktails, a Spicyrinha and Ti’Punch.
All in all, we all got ten samples each! If you can’t drink that much, there is a garbage bowl where you can dump the excess alcohol you can’t stomach. Once the tour is over, you are free to visit the shop or hang out. Those in the cocktail workshop will continue making two more cocktails. The staff was very good at making us feel welcome and not rushing us to leave.
All the flavours of Chalong Bay that you sampled during the tasting, including the gin, are for sale at the small shop next to the bar. No need to bring the bottle to the cashier – tell the staff what you’d like to buy, and they’ll fetch a bottle from their back room. The bottles come in only a paper bag, so you’ll have to concoct padding out of clothes when packing your purchases into your luggage. The prices are better at the distillery and you should definitely pick up anything you fancy. The duty-free shops at Phuket airport only have the original flavour, and it’s more expensive.
We picked up a bottle of Chalong Bay’s Lemongrass-flavoured rum for 990 Baht. It tasted the best on its own, in my opinion. I usually enjoy this rum with some ginger beer and lime.
There is a washroom on-site. It’s a small, single room but it was very clean. The women’s had a sitting toilet and all the conveniences provided.
SUAY x Chalong Bay Restaurant
Since they offer meal packages, the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery has a restaurant on-site. It looks decent, according to reviews. The dishes are advertised as Michelin-plate. This is a different, lower designation than a Michelin star, but still impressive. The dining area is the same space where the cocktail workshop takes place and where guests enjoy their welcome mojitos.
We had a fun and relaxing time on the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery tour. Our guide knew his stuff and didn’t skimp on the samples during the tasting session. They are very generous with the alcohol at the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery, so hopefully, you’re not driving or a lightweight!
The Chalong Bay Rum Distillery is far from tourist bases like Patong or Old Phuket Town. Ideally, you hit this place in a day tour, whether it’s a pre-arranged one or by hiring a driver for the day. This is a great activity to combine with Wat Chalong and the Big Buddha, although it may be hard to behave at those religious sites after so much rum!