Sanctuary of Truth Pattaya is a huge and amazing wooden building. The building is 100 meters in height. It is built on an area of almost one acre of the northern part of Pattaya. The building is right on the beach. The building is under construction for more than 20 years now and yet it is far from completion, estimated to take another almost 15 years for completion.
About the Structure
There are handmade delicate wood carving here, the Sanctuary of Truth is totally made out of wood. Large number of workers is at work, almost to the tune of 250, they work daily carving out various figures out of wood. The architectural style is based on the Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. There is a tower in each corner which has figures from Thai, Cambodian, Indian and Chinese legends and beliefs. One wing resembles the monumental architectural style of the Bayon Temple at the Angkor Vat.
A Thai millionaire Khun Lek Viriyaphant has created this Sanctuary of Truth, he was highly interested in preserving the Thai culture and history and hence he has undertaken this huge task. He has also treated two more projects near Bangkok, he has also made the huge art museum in the shape of three headed elephant Erawan named as the Erawan Museum and the ancient city of Muang Boran, here the visitors can see the rich architectural cultural heritage of Thailand. These are the places where many of the ancient buildings of Thailand are made in scaled down version.
Unfortunately, the creator Khun Lek expired a few years ago, sadly he will not be able to see the completed sanctuary, though the work is going on meticulously as per his plan. Though the master plan of the sanctuary had included small buildings in addition along with come guest houses in the sanctuary complex, once the main sanctuary work is completed but now this has been abandoned. The place will now have ATV courses, elephant rides. There is also Dolphin shows held two times a day at 11.30 A.M. and in the afternoon at 3.30 P.M. which the visitors can enjoy.
The wooden art is utilized to express the beliefs of the Buddhist, Hindu and the Eastern philosophy. There are a number of wood carvings that depict the scenes from the ancient Hindu epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana. The wood carvings tell tales of the fight between the good and evil as well as the wisdom versus ignorance.
The Sanctuary of Truth, though incomplete, is open to the public daily from 8 AM to 5 PM. There is an entrance fee of 700 Baht per adult person and 450 Bahts for a child, which includes an English speaking tour guide. This appears to be on the higher side, but it is intended to keep the tourist influx low so that there is no disturbance to the work in process. The visitors must wear a safety helmet which is provided on the tour. The dolphin show is also included in the fare.
The Sanctuary of Truth Pattaya is not very far from most of the Pattaya hotels; one can take the baht bus to reach there. The hotels also make the taxi available for those who wish comfort. The price for the taxi ride should be fixed prior to going to avoid hassles, one can also ask the driver to wait and take you back to the hotel.