Sanctuary of Truth temple Pattaya

Thailand: The Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya

Date: 16th November 2012

Today’s plan was to rent a bike and drive to the Sanctuary of Truth, and later, to the far end of Jomtien beach.

Chaba Hut resort restaurant
I had my breakfast at the hotel itself
ChabaHut resort Pattaya pool
The pool faces the posher rooms

After breakfast, I inquired about bike rentals at the hotel reception.

Rental bikes Pattaya Thailand
Chaba Hut Resort themselves had several bikes for rent. But NONE of them would start, or had some problem or the other.
Honda Click rental bike Pattaya
Tired of waiting, I ended up renting a Honda Click from a restaurant just outside the hotel
Mooks Pattaya road
I carried a map with me and highlighted the route
Tourist vans pattaya
I had to get on a small road just off Pattaya Naklua Road
Pattaya apartment building
I did get lost at times, but I always stopped and asked around for directions
Road to Sanctuary of Truth
Most locals don’t know about the ‘Sanctuary of Truth,’ so you need to ask for Wat Prasat Mai or Wang Boran instead.
Sanctuary of Truth entrance Pattaya
This is the entrance to the Sanctuary of Truth

The entry fee is 500 baht (Rs. 930/$16/€12) per adult.

Horses Pattaya Thailand
Inside, the land area is quite big. They have horses, goats, ducks and a few other animals

Sanctuary of Truth sand castle PattayaThe compound is pretty big and offers other touristy activities like horse riding, elephant rides and ATV rides (all of which cost extra).
Sanctuary of Truth parkSanctuary of Truth way to templeThe Sanctuary of Truth, also known as Wat Prasat Mai, was built by a Thai-Chinese business man, and you can read about the philosophy behind the temple here.

Sanctuary of Truth Pattaya Thailand
There she is
Entrance to Sanctuary of Truth
Now to get there

Steps down Sanctuary of Truth

Sanctuary of Truth temple Thailand
The steps down are few
Pathway Sanctuary of Truth
This is a huge property
Boat Sanctuary of Truth
The property is by the sea
Sanctuary of Truth temple Pattaya Thailand
The temple is quite a sight
Sanctuary of Truth side view panorama
And there’s so much intricate work done at every corner that you really don’t know where to begin

Sanctuary of Truth side structure

Wat Prasat Mai Pattaya Thailand
They have been working on this temple for more than 30 years…
Wooden deity carvings Thailand
… and it’s still not complete!
Pattaya temple Sanctuary of Truth panorama
I went in
Sanctuary of Truth wooden floor
I can’t imagine how many trees were cut to make this temple
Sanctuary of Truth steps
Every step of the way (pun intended), it’s impressive

Sanctuary of Truth PattayaSanctuary of Truth elephant carving

Sanctuary of Truth wooden carving
The temple is largely a tribute to both Buddhism and Hinduism
Sanctuary of Truth Indo-Thai sculptures
So if you see sculptures that look kind of ‘Indian’ — it’s intentional

Wang Boran elephants three heads carving

Sanctuary of Truth roof head Pattaya
I can’t imagine the design talents needed to build this temple!

Wooden temple Sanctuary of Truth roof Pattaya

Wood temple Sanctuary of Truth horsesWat Prasat Mai goddess

Wat Prasat Mai hall
Scaffolding inside maybe look like a buzzkill, but like I said, this is still a work in progress

Indian carvings Thailand temple
Traditional wooden sculpture Pattaya Thailand

Sanctuary of Truth carvings hall

Indian carvings wooden temple Thailand

Chinese sculpture Thai temple
The temple is built by a Thai-Chinese businessman, so there’s some Chinese mythology thrown in for good measure as well
Serpent goddess Thailand sculpture
Some sculptures are ‘work-in-progress’

Sanctuary of Truth Indian carving Panorama

Inside Sanctuary of Truth ceiling

Sanctuary of Truth ornate carved ceiling
The work done on the ceiling
Inside Sanctuary of Truth wooden carvings
I have seen intricate work done on countless temples and mosques in India — that too on stone. But this was still an impressive sight to behold
Sanctuary of Truth pillars panorama
The center of the temple
Thai girl traditional dancer
She was to perform a traditional dance later
Wat Prasat Mai hall Pattaya
Hall of pillars

Sanctuary of Truth southhall

Wooden pillars Sanctuary of Truth Pattaya
I wonder if they used single logs for this

Pillars Sanctuary of Truth hall PattayaWoman wooden sculpture Thailand

Wat Prasat Mai corridor

Cordoned off area Thai temple
Obviously there are some parts visitors have no access to
Sanctuary of Truth ladder Pattaya
I can’t imagine craftsmen working atop such ladders
Craftsman working Pattaya temple
Many men…
Craftswomen Pattaya temple
… and women work on wood all day long
Drawing for carving Thai temple
I guess this is how they carve out the designs
Ganesh wooden statue Pattaya Thailand
Lord Ganesha, a Hindu deity widely worshiped in Thailand
Mythical creature Thai temple
I don’t know what this was

Thailand mythical figure Pattaya

Intricate carvings wood Thai temple
Jeez, the details!
Drawing pillar Sanctuary of Truth Thailand
The lighting inside the main halls can be a bit challenging for photography, but they make for some interest compositions
Wat Prasat Mai Pattaya
I decided to make my way out

Deity Thailand templeTraditional sculpture Pattaya templeWat Prasatmai Sanctuary of TruthMythical figure Buddhist temple

Elephant ride Pattaya Thailand
Elephant rides are on offer, just in case you wanted further evidence this ‘temple’ is purely a tourist destination than a spiritual place of worship
Beach near Sanctuary of Truth Pattaya
You have a tiny beach here as well
Sanctuary of Truth model Pattaya
This was a model built and housed in another chamber
Sanctuary of Truth creator story
I know it’s hard to read, but this is the story of the man behind Sanctuary of Truth
Sanctuary of Truth workshop
The workshop

Workers Sanctuary of Truth

Wooden statues Wat Prasatmai
Many pieces are sculpted piece by piece and then assembled inside the temple
Boat lake Sanctuary of Truth Pattaya
I sat by the lake to have lunch
Thai traditional dance Pattaya
They have a traditional dance for visitors
Thai traditional martial arts fighters
Followed by a Thai traditional martial arts display
Thai martial arts display
With some audience participation…
Thai martial arts tourist
… and some humour thrown in for amusement
Wooden sculpture steps Pattaya
After having my meal, I went back up
Sanctuary of Truth temple Pattaya
I took some more shots from up here (the smudge is because of the drizzle)

Sanctuary of Truth roof sculptures Pattaya

Sanctuary of Truth pillars Pattaya
There is just too much detail to take it

Sanctuary of Truth roof panoramaI spent more than four hours at Sanctuary of Truth, way more than most other visitors. I took many more photos (despite the cloudy skies), but decided not upload all of it simply because it would have taken too much work and make this post bigger than it already is.

Goats Pattaya Thailand
I don’t know what goats and deers are doing here, but whatever
Leaving Sanctuary of Truth
I went back to the parking area

Pattaya doesn’t offer a whole lot that can be considered “cultural,” so I highly recommend a visit to The Sanctuary of Truth — despite it being more of a commercial venture. I can’t wait to see what the Sanctuary of Truth will look like in five years time. With Sanctuary of Truth done, my next plan for the day was to ride all the way to the end of Jomtien Beach. I’ll make it the next post.

Next posts in this series:

Thailand 2012: Far end of Jomtien Beach; back to Bangkok

Thailand 2012: Terminal 21 mall; Bangkok to Phuket by bus

Thailand 2012: James Bond island, Koh Panyee village and Wat Suwan Kuha

Thailand 2012: Phuket beach hopping and bike ride to Promthep Cape

Thailand 2012: Flying to Chiang Mai; views from Doi Suthep

Thailand 2012: Golden Triangle tour – White Temple, Mekong River, Mae Sai, and entering Laos 

Loy Krathong 2012: Yeepeng Lanna in Chiang Mai – A second chance to do it right

Previous posts in the series:

Thailand 2012: Landing in Pattaya

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