The Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya, Thailand

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 is almost impossible to describe. It’s an amazing work of art – and has to be seen to be believed.

Worker busy carving Pattaya's Wood Temple
Work-in-progress at The Sanctuary of Truth

Even though The Sanctuary (Thai name – The Prasat Sajja Tham) is to be completed in 2050 (construction began in 1981), it is still regarded as the most impressive building in Pattaya.

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. 

2019 Video of The Sanctuary Pattaya 

Sanctuary of Truth Entry Ticket: 500 Baht ($15)

Tickets can be purchased online or from the office at the main entrance to the compound.

(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).

Sanctuary of Truth: View from hill before entrance
Sanctuary of Truth as seen from Hilltop (just before the entry point)

Sanctuary of Truth Timings: 08:00 am – 06:00 pm

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 am free cultural show before leaving.

If you are not a morning person, consider reaching in time for the 3:30 pm show, and then go inside. Afternoon’s are hot and busy.

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.
Mona and Paul inside the Sanctuary
Wrap-around skirts (as in this photo) can be rented
View of sea through wooden door in Sanctuary of Truth
View of the sea from inside the Sanctuary

Reaching the Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya

Located by the sea in Nakula, North Pattaya, The Sanctuary is easy to get to. It’s about 5 miles (8 km) from central Pattaya and should take you about 20 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.

Sanctuary of Truth Interiors
Carvings inside The Sanctuary of Truth
Mona & Paul at Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya, Thailand
Toast to Thailand at The Sanctuary of Truth

Construction of The Famous Pattaya Wooden Temple

The Sanctuary is privately owned. Thai business magnate, Lek Viriyaphant, initiated the temple’s construction in August 1981.

The design of The Sanctuary is similar to some temples in Ayutthaya. 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.

Sanctuary of Truth Workshop
Sanctuary of Truth Workshop

You’ll hear craftsmen at work as you approach the woodcarving workshop. Once inside, it’s a pleasure to watch these skilled 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 & Objective of The Temple 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.

Concept of The Sanctuary of Truth Explained
Concept of Sanctuary of Truth

The Eastern Hall represents the infinite love of our parents. It 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

Apart from exploring and admiring the temple, visiting the workshop, and sightseeing, you can:

Martial arts being performed in cultural show at Sanctuary of Truth Thailand
Martial arts being performed during the cultural show

View performances: Twice a day – 11:30 am and 3:30 pm – you can watch Thai dances, martial arts, and sword fights performed by locals. (This is Included in the cost of your ticket).

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 get the best view of the Sanctuary’s picturesque natural gardens. You can also feed fish in the river from the boat.

Statue in the Sanctuary's garden
Statue in the Sanctuary's garden

Souvenir shopping: Beautiful wood-carved statues can be purchased at the souvenir shop.

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.

Pattaya Things to do: Visit Sanctuary of Truth, Thailand
Sanctuary of Truth, Thailand

All in all, The Sanctuary of Truth in Thailand is one of the best places to visit in Pattaya. It’s an outstanding work of art that you must see.

More information on Temple of Truth can be found on their official website.

Tel: +66 (0) 3811 0653, +66 (0) 3811 0654

Official email: sale@sanctuaryoftruth.com 

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