I have mentioned before that Pattaya is not exactly my favourite beachside resort. Apart from the sleaziness, the beaches are not my idea of tropical white sand and palm trees. Better to head further south to Koh Samet and Koh Chang. However, there are some locations in Pattaya which have a more of a cultural flavour. So, at the weekend, I was determined to fill my day with some alternatives to sitting on the beach.
My first stop was the Sanctuary of Truth. This is another massive structure constructed by the late Khun Lek. You may remember me talking about The Erawan Museum the other day. This wooden palace was his second project and was started way back in 1981. It isn’t yet finished though it is already open to the public. The entrance fee is a steep 500 baht which I think is their way of keeping the number of visitors low. Luckily I was able to get in for free as I know the owners. I haven’t been here for about two years so a few things have changed. The first thing I noticed was a horse and buggy ride which takes you from the car park to the top of the hill. Secondly, the family pet dolphins had now been trained to perform in a show. I guess they are trying to give value for money to visitors.
The Sanctuary of Truth is a gigantic wooden building. Maybe the biggest in the world. It is 105 metres high and 100 metres long. This is equal to a 20 storey building. Just about every inch, inside and outside, is covered in rich wooden carvings depicting various eastern cultures and religions. As the building is still under construction, your tour guide will give you a hard hat to protect your head. But, there isn’t too much to worry about.
It is quite expensive to enter this place but it is well worth it. You will be richly rewarded. I must have taken nearly three hundred pictures here. There was plenty to look at in every direction you looked. Of secondary interest is the dolphin show. But, I didn’t linger to watch. I am not sure how you would get to the Sanctuary of Truth on your own. It is in northern Pattaya at the end of Soi Nakula 12. It is rather out of the way. However, I did see some tourists arrive on the back of a songtaew. So, I guess you can hire one to come out here.
This is another of those places under the category of “Unseen Thailand”. You won’t find it in any foreign guidebook.
Go to page 2 for some more pictures….