The Sanctuary Of Truth
Whether you are a religious individual or not, anyone who has been to Pattaya’s Sanctuary of Truth will tell you that the building has a certain power to it. Construction on the colossal all-wood building began back in 1981 and is not expected to be finished until sometime around 2025.
Before you even make it to your first views of the Sanctuary of Truth itself, you are greeted with some amazing cultural sculptures on the walk down to the building site. We say the walk down because it is a decent little hike to get to where you are going (though they do offer transportation services for individuals that are unable to make the trip of their own accord).
Beautiful Handmade Sculptures
As you approach what seems to be the end of the walking trail, you are greeted with your first glimpses at the magnificent structure from atop a high cliff.
Following the photo opportunity, you will head down a rope and wood staircase through the trees. At the bottom, you will be issued a hard hat to wear while you are walking around. The hard hats are not optional. Keep in mind, this is still a very active construction site with labourers working daily.
The next friendly face on your journey will typically be with this lovable guy:
The elephant keeper is always around with bundles of bananas that you can purchase for a small fee to feed the elephant. Photos were free with the purchase of bananas. The nice thing about The Sanctuary of Truth is that it is not a paved area that the elephants are made to walk on.
Plays and Shows
Visitors are then encouraged to have a seat and enjoy a traditional Thai dance and martial arts show:
The martial arts show often turns out to be quite hilarious we found…
After the show, it is on to the main event. The Sanctuary of Truth itself! For this part of the adventure, you can choose to hire one of the on-site tour guides to explain to you the different things that you will see inside of the structure or you can wander around on your own. Nobody will be rushing you or telling you that your time exploring has come to an end.
The Main Event
Aside from its size, the next thing that you notice about the building is the immaculate level of detail that has been put into it over the years. Some of the wood has aged over time and the mixture of old and new wood just adds another level of awesome to the structure.
Visitors are typically so in awe of the outside of the building that they don’t realize what awaits them on the inside. The level of detail from the wrinkles on the wooden elephant’s trunks to the wooden staircase is next level carpentry.
The builders clearly understood that not everyone can traverse stairs and some people may need a little extra assistance. Not to worry though, they even provided spectacular wooden elevator for that exact purpose.
Once you have pulled yourself away from the awe-inspiring craftsmanship of the outside, your mind is about to truly be blown by what you find on the inside of the building. Every single surface on the interior contains just as detailed pieces, if not more so than the outside.
95% of the light inside of the sanctuary is natural light that floods in from small alcoves designed specifically for the purpose. There are a few tiny lights around the area and some small lights for the carpenters who are still building the structure. It is a great place for photographers to practice low light and high dynamic range (HDR) photography.
It could possibly take one photographer months of continuous shooting to capture each and every piece of remarkable artwork within the Sanctuary of Truth and we want to leave plenty for you to explore yourself. There are also informative placards inside of the building to help educate you on the background behind the art.
The Sanctuary of Truth is open every day from 08:00 until 17:00. Tickets are 500 baht per person. More information can be found on their website at www.sanctuaryoftruth.com.
There is one day per year that everyone who wishes to visit may do so for free. On Father’s Day in Thailand, December 5th, if you wish to visit there is no charge at all. On this day, however, there are typically about 1000 monks in attendance and a very large crowd who come to donate food. If you wish to have a more personal visit with time to explore it is recommended to buy a ticket!
Some Photos From Our Last Visit On Free Admission Day!