sanctuary of truth

Posted from Pattaya, Chon Buri, Thailand.

The Sanctuary of Truth is an all wood structure reaching 105m high. The carvings’ influences are mainly Buddhist and Hindi, taking from ancient stories and culture from parts of Asia. The four corners/towers have sculptures from ancient Thai, Khmer, Chinese and Indian beliefs and religions. From the website, “The purposes of decoration with wooden carve sculptures are to use art and culture as the reflection of Ancient Vision of Earth, Ancient Knowledge, and Eastern Philosophy. With in 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.”

The structure was started by a Thai business man in the early 1980s and isn’t set to be finished until 2050. The massive structure utilizes old and often ancient techniques for wood-carving and doesn’t use a single metal nail. It is built to withstand the sun and sea. Due to the on-going construction hard hats are required.

From central Pattaya, take a baht bus north and ask to be let out (soi 12) where you can go to the Sanctuary of Truth. If you have a sim card, use maps to navigate the side streets (about 15 mins walk) to the site, or hire a motorbike taxi. Just get there. It’ll be the best thing you do that day.

You do not have to cover your shoulders or wear long pants, at least we didn’t. While it’s not exactly a temple, we could’ve just been ignored. It closes at 6 p.m. but it seemed late in the day was a good way to avoid crowds. Plus sunset is a great time for some photos.

While there is a free guided tour for everyone who enters the premises, part of the 500B entry fee, we skirted the tour to be able to take photos at our leisure. I kind of regret that now as we didn’t get the explanations of everything, but the experience was no less spiritual for any of us.

There are all number of Thai attractions available on site, from an airgun shooting range, elephant rides, ATVs and horseback riding. But don’t let these fool you.

On first glimpse of this seaside building we were all blown away. It is more massive than I can explain. I hope these un-edited photos do it justice, though you really can’t get a good idea of the size. At least you will get a good idea of the beauty of this magical place.

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