The Sanctuary of Truth is a grand wooden temple with intricate carvings shaped into teak wood that sits on the beautiful gulf of Thailand on the beach. Most of Thailand is filled with glimmering golden temples that are colorful and made out of stone and gold. This temple is a rare delight of a different form of beauty. The temple is filled with sculptures of Buddhist and Hindu deities. This is one of the most grand and intricately carved temples in Thailand. This temple is worth a visit because it is truly opposite of most of the brightly colored extravagant gold temples of Thailand. This offers a different artistic talent and beauty.
History of the Sanctuary of Truth
The top of the building is 105 meters high, and the building covers an area of more than two rai. It features contemporary Visionary art based on traditional religious themes. The project was initiated as an idea of Thai businessman Lek Viriyaphan in 1981, and is scheduled to be completed in 2050.
The main idea of the temple is to show that all religions lead to the only one Truth. Decoration of sanctuary underlines significance of religious philosophies, as (according to conviction of the creator) they contribute in stability of the world by teaching people to avoid evil intentions and promoting good deeds.
The main style of the sanctuary is based on the Thai architecture of the Ayutthayan period, richly decorated by Hindu-Buddhist hand-carved wooden sculptures drawn from various artistic traditions, including Dravidian, Angkorean, Chinese, Mon Dvaravati, Srivijayan, and Thai. It has four gopura, respectively representing images from the Buddhist and Hindu religions and mythologies of Cambodia, China, India and Thailand. According to the official website, its purpose is to use art and culture as “a reflection of the Ancient Vision of Earth, Ancient Knowledge, and Eastern Philosophy. Within this complex, visitors will understand Ancient Life, Human Responsibility, Basic Thought, Cycle of living, Life Relationship with Universe and Common Goal of Life toward Utopia”.[1
Transportation to the Sanctuary of Truth
The 10 baht busses run throughout Pattaya city and can be caught on the main beach street which will take you the whole way there. There is also a songtaew service that runs along the Pattaya-Naklua Road and stops at the entrance to Soi 12, but its a bit of a walk from there. You could hire a songtaew from where ever you are staying in Pattaya, to take you there and back as well. The cheapest budget way will be baht bus or songtaew.
A taxi will be the quickest and easiest way to get there from Pattaya city. There are many taxis on the main Sukhumvit road or beach road running north and south in the city. A taxi will be around 500 thb. You can also take the cheapest taxi in the city which is a motorbike taxi with one of the men in an orange vest on the corner for 100 thb. The cost to take a Grab taxi is
Renting motorbikes individually in Thailand and driving yourself is the cheapest way that you can tour. Motor bike rentals per day normally average 1-500 baht depending on the city and area you are in.
When to Visit the Sanctuary of Truth
Pattaya Thailand has a hot, dry and humid season from December to April, and a hot and rainy season from May to November. The best time to visit is between November and February. The weather is not too hot nor too cold and is not in rainy season as well. This is however the peak tourist season with lots of visitors on the beaches and islands. So on the other hand you could go in off season for less people depending on your preference.
Sanctuary of Truth Cost
The entrance fee per person is 1000 baht ($32.00 USD). There is a restaurant on the water and the temple is oceanside on land you can walk to the beach as well. There are activities and food to buy as well as souvenirs. Your ticket gets you entrance into the grounds and temple and then there are other activities you can choose to do or not. The entry fee to this temple is more expensive because Pattaya is a highly tourist visited city.
- The Sanctuary of Truth is under construction (June 21 2019-ongoing) and is not publicly announced. There is a whole half of the temple that cannot be toured because of construction. Outside pictures are not possible as well at this time because of all the outdoor construction equipment. Be warned! We showed up and there are no notifications that it is under construction.
- You must wear a helmet when we visited because of the construction. You can take it off for pictures but do not abandon the helmet they will hassle you and make you pick it up and bring it with you.
- The temple is not open to the public. You are technically held until a group forms and then are escorted down to the temple. You do not get to just enter the temple whenever which is frustrating because you enter in a large group.
- Go early in the morning to avoid the tourist bus crowds
- Dresscode is strict here. Women you need to cover your shoulders and legs. Your skirt or dress needs to cover your knees. Otherwise they will make you buy a shawl or change.
- There is unethical elephant riding done at this site. Do not ride the elephants this is cruel for the animals and should not be supported.