The Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya, Thailand
The Sanctuary of Truth in Thailand is the largest and arguably the most beautiful wood-carved structure in the world. This awe-inspiring 105-meter-tall building is built entirely of wood. Not a single nail has been used in its construction, making it a truly remarkable one-of-a-kind structure.
Part temple, part museum, part workshop, part art gallery, the beauty of the intricately carved Sanctuary of Truth is almost impossible to describe. It is an amazing work of art – and has to be seen to be believed.
Even though The Sanctuary (Thai name – The Prasat Sajja Tham) is to be completed in 2050 (construction began in 1981), it is still, clearly, the most impressive building in Pattaya. In fact, in our opinion, this religious construction is the most spectacular temple in all of Thailand and takes a spot in our list of the 3 most stunning buildings in the world.
Sanctuary of Truth Entry Ticket: 500 Baht ($15)
Tickets can be purchased online or from the office at the main entrance to the compound.
(The 500 Baht ticket limits the visitors that the Sanctuary gets, which is great considering that the temple is about truth, self-discovery, and peace.)
(If you’d rather not pay the entrance fee, you must at least see this extraordinary building from the hilltop, set against the backdrop of the Gulf of Thailand. It is, after all, Pattaya’s most beautiful temple and considered by some as the pride of Thailand.)
Sanctuary of Truth Timings: 08:00 a.m. – 06:00 p.m.
Try visiting early morning so that you can explore the area outside the temple before it gets hot and busy. You can then admire the inside and step out to watch the 11:30 a.m. free cultural show before leaving.
If you are not a morning person, consider reaching in time for the 3:30 p.m. show, and then go inside. Afternoon’s are hot and busy.
Sanctuary of Truth Dress Code
Dress conservatively. Vests, short skirts, or see through clothes are not permitted.
(Wrap-around skirts can be rented for a 200 Baht deposit.)
(As the temple is under construction, you will be given a helmet that you must wear when inside.)
Reaching the Sanctuary of Truth
Located by the sea in Nakula, North Pattaya, The Prasat Sajja Tham is easy to get to. It is about 5 miles (8 km) from central Pattaya and should take you under 25 min to reach by car or bike.
A taxi from Central Pattaya to the Sanctuary will cost 200 – 250 Baht. Hiring a taxi is the simplest way to get there, unless, like us, you decide to go by bike.
If you are driving, the address to type in Google maps is: 206/2 Moo 5, Soi Naklua 12, Naklua, Banglamung, Chonburi, 20150.
Construction of the Sanctuary of Truth
The Sanctuary of Truth is privately owned. Thai business magnate, Lek Viriyaphant, initiated the temple’s construction in August 1981.
The style of The Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya, is similar to some Ayutthaya temples. The construction, however, is unique. Massive wooden posts linked together by ancient joining methods, including the tongue and groove (wedge) techniques and butt joint, keep up the entire structure. No nails have been used.
Almost all the work is done on teak wood. A dedicated research department conducts in-depth studies on methods to protect the wood from damage by the elements and exposure to the sea.
Skilled craftsmen carving statues can be heard as you approach the Sanctuary’s woodcarving workshop. Once inside, it’s a pleasure to watch artisans in action. Most of them are creating Buddhist and Hindu mythology-based sculptures.
While the temple’s construction is expected to be complete in 2050, some believe that the repair work will continue forever.
Concept of The Sanctuary of Truth
The Sanctuary of Truth attempts to explain the concept of the truth and the meaning of life through the works of art and sculpture.
The Eastern Hall represents the infinite love of our parents, and reminds us to be grateful to them and aspire to love like them.
The Western Hall symbolises the creation of earth from four elements. The sky symbolises wind and fire and the earth symbolises soil and water.
The Northern Hall stands for spiritual development. It implies that even though we are born in different circumstances, by doing good deeds we can be freed from our vices and greed. Acceptance and love are most important.
The Central Hall represents the entrance to the universe through the Four Noble Truths, which are the main teachings of The Buddha.
Things to do at The Sanctuary of Truth
Apart from exploring and admiring the temple, visiting the workshop, and sightseeing, you can:
View performances: Twice a day – 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. – you can view Thai dances, martial arts, and sword fights, performed by locals. (Included in the cost of ticket).
Go for an elephant and horse ride: Elephants and horses can be hired for a ride around the sanctuary. You can also feed bananas to elephants and ride in a horse carriage.
Ride an ancient boat: Riding a 100-year-old boat around the sanctuary is also a great way to view the temple from a distance. This way, you also get the best view of the Sanctuary’s picturesque natural gardens. You can even feed fish in the river from the boat.
Souvenir shop: Beautiful wood-carved statues can be purchased at the souvenir shop.
All in all, The Sanctuary of Truth is one of the best places to visit in Pattaya and an outstanding work of art that you must see.
More information on Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya, Thailand can be found on the official website of the Sanctuary.
Tel: +66 (0) 3811 0653, +66 (0) 3811 0654
Official email: email@example.com