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Pattaya / Sanctuary of Truth

by Dr. David

The Sanctuary of Truth in Nakluea area (the northern part of Pattaya) is one of the prominent quality attractions in the area. The sanctuary is an all-wood, hand-made building which was engraved without using nails. It is a must-see attraction for all those who visit the area.

The site is known as ‘Sanctuary of Truth’ which many translate to “Temple of Truth”. In my opinion however, the right translation should be ‘the hall of truth’ or ‘residence of truth’, since this is not a temple for Thai and Buddhist people who wish to pray, but rather a structure built to convey and display local philosophies and beliefs, based on Thai, Hindu, Cambodian and Chinese cultures. In Thai, it is titled Prasat Sat-Cha.

The Sanctuary of Truth structure is a marvelous peace, made entirely of hand-carved wood, with no metal nails. The building towers higher than 100 meters and spreads across some 4,000 sqm. It is located on a cliff overlooking the sea in Nakluea area, in the northern part of Pattaya.

The wood carving craft began some 20 years ago, and even though visitors arrive at a complete structure – the work continues, and dozens of wood-carving artists work there daily; you are welcome to observe them do so, which is an interesting experience. There is no deadline to complete the work on site; it is expected to continue for many more years, and there’s no wonder – as every piece of wood which is added to the structure is hand carved and attached to perfectly fit the building, using wooden connections.

The Sanctuary of Truth was born because of the private initiative of a local multibillionaire called Lek Viriyaphant who also initiated, established and built Erawan Museum, the Three-Headed Elephant Temple and the ancient city of Muang Boran near Bangkok.

The Sanctuary of Truth structure features 4 corners, and each of them contains a Gopura (tower) which functions as the entrance gate, adorned with sculptures and wooden carvings from the Thai, Hindu, Cambodian and Chinese culture and mythology. According to the website of “The Sanctuary of Truth” – the amazing structure aims to use arts and culture to convey and display east-Asian knowledge and philosophy, thus allowing visitors to observe and understand life in the past, comprehend the human responsibility, the circle of life and the relation between life and the universe, to achieve Utopia.

Outside of the giant, impressive structure – you’ll find a workshop where wood artists (both male and female) practice wood carving of pieces that will be attached to the structure later. I highly recommend visiting the workshop, which is right by the Sanctuary building, to watch the artists during their work.

At 11:30 AM and 3:30 PM, a very nice show takes place in the square by the building, displaying Thai folklore and dance. There’s also a restaurant, and some food and drink stalls available for visitors.

The entrance is conducted in groups; every 30 minutes a new group is allowed in. From the entrance to the building itself there is some walking distance which includes going down the stairways, so for the spoiled or lazy visitors, there’s a decorated carriage with a horse, which will take you from the entrance area to the structure itself and back, for an extra charge.

The Sanctuary of Truthentrance fee is hardly low – some 500 baht per adult and 250 per child, to prevent the place from becoming yet another overcrowded tourist destination and keep its unique, pleasant atmosphere; such prices also prevent unnecessary interference with the work on site.

Sanctuary of Truth Opening Hours: daily between 8 AM to 5 PM

In conclusion: this is a beautiful and unique place, which – unlike other attractions in the area – is yet to be filled with herds of Chinese tourists, so the atmosphere here is very pleasant and a perfect match to the nature of the site.

My Opinion: I highly recommend visiting here, don’t miss it!

♣ Here is a video I took on Koh Larn Beaches … Enjoy!

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