The Sanctuary of Truth is a gigantic wooden construction which covers the area of more than two rais. The top point of the building is about 105 meters high. It was constructed to withstand the wind and sunshine on the seashore at Rachvate Cape, Tumbon Naklea, Amphur Banglamung, Chon Buri Province.
Every part of the 105m-tall building is covered with wood carvings of Hindu and Buddhist gods and goddesses – an artistic consolidation of centuries of religious myths under one unifying roof.Compulsory tours are led through the building every 30 minutes. Thai dancing is at 11.30am and 3.30pm. Motorcycle taxis can be hired from Pattaya for 50B to 70B. The sanctuary is 1km down Soi 12 off Th Naklua, about 3km from the centre of town.Sanctuary of Truth also called Wang Boran and Prasat Mai is a temple construction in Pattaya, Thailand.The sanctuary is an all-wood building filled with sculptures based on traditional Buddhist and Hindu motifs. 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 Viriyaphant in 1981, and is scheduled to be complete in 2050.The style of the sanctuary evokes Khmer architecture, displaying hand-carved wooden sculptures indicative of the imperial setting at Angkor. 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".
The Sanctuary of Truth is perhaps the most iconic structure in Pattaya. Intricately carved entirely from teak wood, the awe-inspiring 105-metre-tall hall on the headland to the north of Wongamat Beach is a one-of-a-kind structure in the whole world. Neither temple nor palace, despite looking like a hybrid of both, it was commissioned by a local business tycoon to act as a place of appreciation for philosophy, art, culture and faith, without being tied to a single religion.The sanctuary is perhaps best described as a monument to Thai craftsmanship, with its stunningly detailed carvings of elephants, people and scenes, creatures and deities from mythology. They pay homage to and are a reflection of the Ancient Vision of Earth, Ancient Knowledge and Eastern Philosophy and they adorn every single surface – both inside and out – of the building. They are also a reflection of the fleeting nature and ceaseless toil of human existence because none of the wood is treated or protected from the elements, meaning that older parts gradually succumb to the rigours of the weather and climate and need to be replaced. The construction of the sanctuary, which began in 1981, is an on-going, never-ending task.The Sanctuary of Truth was conceived from the vision that human civilization has been achieved and nurtured by religious and philosophical truth; created, in other words, out of goodness drawn from religion, philosophy and art. Through elaborate carvings and sculptures, it pays tribute to the seven creators man cannot exist without: Heaven, Earth, Father, Mother, Moon, Sun and Stars. Deeply embedded into all of this are ancient Buddhist, Hindu, Brahman and other spiritual and philosophical elements. Even without faith, the building is a wonder to behold. It creates a strong sense of peace and a there is a hushed reverence within which occurs naturally, without the need for notices demanding silence. It therefore seems a little odd that the expansive park-like grounds of the sanctuary also contain a small shooting range and regular dramatic demonstrations of sword-fighting. Elephant and horse rides, and a small selection of souvenir stalls, are also available.
From North Pattaya Road, turn right into Naklua Road at the circle before you get to Pattaya Beach Road. Turn left into Naklua Soi 12, and travel right towards the end. Admission is 500 baht for adults and 250 baht for children. Tour guides are free, friendly and very knowledgeable.Each of the cruciform-plan building's four wings reflects a different one of the four styles. One wing recalls the monumental architecture of the Bayon Temple at Angkor Wat, while another is decorated with Chinese motifs. The wing forming the main entrance is stylistically Thai. Much of the exterior appears complete, although some parts now have to be repaired due to their long exposure to the elements. Most of the new work being done now is on the interior. The inside is being covered in the same rich carvings as the outside, and there's now a large altar in the center of the rotunda.Sadly, Khun Lek passed away a few years ago, so he will never see the sanctuary completed. But the work goes on according to his meticulous plan.Although incomplete, the building site is open to visitors who want to view the work in progress. The 500 Baht (12.80 USD) entrance fee is a bit steep, but that appears to be intended to keep the number of visitors low so that they do not interfere with the construction. You do get a personal guide to take you through the complex, although they are generally not well versed in English. Hard hats are provided to protect you when inside the building.
The Sanctuary of Truth (in Thai Prasat Sut Ja-Tum) is dramatically set on a rocky point of the coast just north of Pattaya, in the small town of Naklua. It's near the end of Naklua Soi 12. You could easily get a songtaew (a small pickup truck turned into a sort of taxi-bus) from Pattaya, as Pattaya 2 Road becomes the "main" street of Naklua. However, it's a long walk from the mouth of the soi to the temple. You would best be advised to rent a car or motorcycle to make your way to this place from Pattaya.The "master plan" for the sanctuary complex originally called for additional small buildings and even guest houses to be built after the main sanctuary is completed. However, that's clearly been abandoned and the place now resembled an adventure park, with ATV courses, elephant rides and a dolphin show. Still, you can ignore all that and take in the fascinating construction project.