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.
I had my breakfast at itself the hotel
The pool faces the posher rooms
After breakfast, I inquired about bike rentals at
the hotel reception.
Chaba Hut Resort themselves had several bikes for rent. But NONE of them would start, or had some problem or the other.
Tired of waiting, I ended up renting a Honda Click from a restaurant just outside the hotel
I carried a map with me and highlighted the route
I had to get on a small road just off Pattaya Naklua Road
I did get lost at times, but I always stopped and asked around for directions
Most locals don’t know about the ‘Sanctuary of Truth,’ so you need to ask for Wat Prasat Mai or Wang Boran instead.
This is the entrance to the Sanctuary of Truth
The entry fee is 500 baht (Rs. 930/$16/€12) per adult.
Inside, the land area is quite big. They have horses, goats, ducks and a few other animals
The compound is pretty big and offers other touristy activities like horse riding, elephant rides and ATV rides (all of which cost extra).
The 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.
There she is
Now to get there
The steps down are few
This is a huge property
The property is by the sea
The temple is quite a sight
And there’s so much intricate work done at every corner that you really don’t know where to begin
They have been working on this temple for more than 30 years…
… and it’s still not complete!
I went in
I can’t imagine how many trees were cut to make this temple
Every step of the way (pun intended), it’s impressive
The temple is largely a tribute to both Buddhism and Hinduism
So if you see sculptures that look kind of ‘Indian’ — it’s intentional
I can’t imagine the design talents needed to build this temple!
Scaffolding inside maybe look like a buzzkill, but like I said, this is still a work in progress
The temple is built by a Thai-Chinese businessman, so there’s some Chinese mythology thrown in for good measure as well
Some sculptures are ‘work-in-progress’
The work done on the ceiling
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
The center of the temple
She was to perform a traditional dance later
Hall of pillars
I wonder if they used single logs for this
Obviously there are some parts visitors have no access to
I can’t imagine craftsmen working atop such ladders
… and women work on wood all day long
I guess this is how they carve out the designs
Lord Ganesha, a Hindu deity widely worshiped in Thailand
I don’t know what this was
Jeez, the details!
The lighting inside the main halls can be a bit challenging for photography, but they make for some interest compositions
I decided to make my way out
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
You have a tiny beach here as well
This was a model built and housed in another chamber
I know it’s hard to read, but this is the story of the man behind Sanctuary of Truth
Many pieces are sculpted piece by piece and then assembled inside the temple
I sat by the lake to have lunch
They have a traditional dance for visitors
Followed by a Thai traditional martial arts display
With some audience participation…
… and some humour thrown in for amusement
After having my meal, I went back up
I took some more shots from up here (the smudge is because of the drizzle)
There is just too much detail to take it
I 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.
I don’t know what goats and deers are doing here, but whatever
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 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