The main attraction of Pattaya for the solo tourist is the Walking Street. For the family tourist, a half-day tour of the Coral Island is usually a part of the trip to Pattaya. Then there are a few shopping malls mostly on the Beach Road, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, countless massage shops, restaurants, bars, and some street shopping. All these are more than enough to keep one busy during a 2-3 day stay in Pattaya. But Pattaya has more to offer. Some people find time for the mime shows like “Alcazar” and “Tiffany’s” while some tour operators include Nong Nooch Tropical Garden & Cultural Village and/or the Big Buddha in their conducted tour. Adding more to the list, there are two other attractions in Pattaya – one is ‘The Sanctuary of Truth’, and the other one is ‘Mini Siam’. Here’s my article on Mini Siam which is also a ‘Mini Europe’ (actually the rest of the world) having tiny replicas of many famous temples, churches, & buildings in Thailand and in other countries. This article, however, is about The Sanctuary of Truth.
This is one of the few tourist attractions in Thailand that have their own detailed website. So, a lot of official information is available. The Sanctuary of Truth is located at the end of Naklua Soi 12 on Pattaya-Naklua Road. The Dolphin Circle in North Pattaya connects North Pattaya Road (towards Sukhumvit Road), Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya Beach Road, and Naklua Road. It should be possible to visit the Sanctuary of Truth by using the cheap Baht buses (10-20 THB per person, one way) but for a tourist that option may prove to be difficult due to the language barrier.
What Is The Sanctuary of Truth
The Sanctuary of Truth is a huge temple constructed in ancient Thai style but also taking inspiration from Khmer, Chinese, and Indian spiritual arts. Its huge because it is 20 storeys high and equally wide. The main feature of the building is that its all wood, even the nails & Joints, etc. used in the construction are all wooden. Every inch of the building’s exterior and interior is covered with wooden sculptures. It is said that the building is always undergoing repairs and maintenance because by the time they finish restoring one part of the building, some other part is already in need for repairs. A lot of spiritual and cultural mumbo-jumbo can be read about the building in the official website. The project is the brainchild of a Thai businessman.
While I respect all the tall claims that the official website makes about the cultural/religious/spiritual aspects of the attraction, I cannot ignore the insecurity visible in the way the attraction is being managed. Perhaps it was the lack of visitors that prompted the management to resort to some cheap gimmicks.
Read this official claim first:
“The building was constructed according to ancient Thai ingenuity and every square inch of the building is covered with wooden carve sculpture. 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.”
Now consider the attractions on offer in the same premises:
Horse riding, elephant riding, Thai dancing, Thai fighting, ATV riding, and a speed boat ride around the temple. Yes, my guess is that the attraction would not be so popular on its own. But its a beach side attraction and an evening trip there may be good fun if you travelling with kids.
The entry ticket for adults is 450 THB and for kids (110cm to 140cm) is 225 THB. The website does not say but it seems that entry for kids with height less than 110cm should be free. But the actual cost of the trip to the sanctuary will be more than 450 THB per person because one needs to book the tour with an agent who will provide hotel transfers and transportation to the sanctuary. I can see online tour offers for this attraction at prices starting at 537 THB per person.
Where To Book A Tour
The one reasonable online option for booking a tour for The Sanctuary of Truth is the ‘hotels2thailand’ website. Please note that I am not endorsing this website but they appear to be ok. According to their website, they are “legally allowed by Tourism Authority of Thailand to sell tourism products online”. This website also sells admission tickets to this attraction at discounted prices. The discounted price for an admission ticket for adults is 336 THB and for a child it is 170 THB. Please do your own due diligence because another online travel agent or a travel shop in Pattaya may offer still cheaper rates. ‘Hotels2thailand’ also sell discounted entry tickets to Mini Siam and Mini Europe Pattaya.
Be careful about the entry fee while booking a tour. Most operators quote prices inclusive of entry fee. The official website offers advance online booking though it appears unnecessary because anyway you will not be going there on your own.
The official website of the attraction does not say about the timings when the attraction is open. Some agents offer morning and evening tours to this place between 10.00am and 4.30pm. I guess one has to be out of there before sunset. Official website address: https://www.sanctuaryoftruth.com/