Sanctuary of Truth Photos

General Information

Name: Sanctuary of Truth
Address: 206/2 Moo 5, Soi Naklua 12 , Naklua, Banglamung, Chonburi 20150
Neighborhood: Naklua Soi 12
EMail: coming soon
Web Site: Sanctuary of Truth Official Web Site
Phone: +66 (0) 3836-7815, แฟ็ร์ก +66 (0) 3836-7845

Photo Op Quality

Fun Factor

Tourist Factor

Total Score

User Rating
2 total ratings


Good Stuff

Beautiful structure, depicting hand carved scenes of Ancient Life, Human Responsibility, Basic Thought, Cycle of living, Life Relationship with Universe and Common Goal of Life toward Utopia. Easily accessible using any mode of transport. Good facilities, including bathrooms and a restaurant.

Bad Stuff

Not easy for disabled people. You have to walk down a fairly long flight of very uneven stairs. I believe they can bring people in a different way, but haven't verified. Check in advance.

Bottom Line

The Sanctuary of Truth is an amazing way to spend a few hours. In my mind, this is a must see attraction in Pattaya. It’s a low cost, extremely visual adventure, that will provide a welcome break from the madness that is Pattaya, Thailand. I could spend days photographing everything in the Sanctuary. Should I ever move to Pattaya, I’ll make a project out of it.

Posted September 20, 2014 by

Full Review

The Sanctuary of Truth is one of the most amazing places I have ever visited. That’s saying a lot. It is a massive structure made of wood, with several main halls, spires, smaller anterooms and other surprising architectural features. The general idea of the Sanctuary of Truth is to preserve the knowledge and wisdom of ancient philosophies and religions, that have been handed down for generations.

The Sanctuary was started with the vision of Thai businessman Lek Viriyaphant in 1981. It is expected to be “completed” in 2025. I used marks around “completed” because it sure seems to me that this will always be a work in progress, evolving and changing with the times. Not to mention, the artists are constantly repairing and replacing older carvings and sculptures, which deteriorate with age and exposure to the elements.

According to the official web site:

“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.”

You can read a lot more about the Sanctuary’s history and purpose at the web site link. You can get a few more details at Wikipedia’s page. You can also find an article, with more photos, at 99boomerangs.

In short, I was blown away. I had been meaning to visit the Sanctuary for years, but was always distracted and I couldn’t be bothered with “tourist stuff”. Bad mistake! The structure is incredibly impressive – it’s a real visual overload. The pictures below do not do it justice. You really need to stand inside and look around in awe, and get that feeling that comes with wonder and awe. The amount of work done since 1981 is mind-boggling. When you realize it is scheduled to continue until at least 2025, it’s stunning.

The place is huge. I tried to show that in the photographs. If you look carefully, in one of the exterior views, you’ll see a number of tourists all wearing blue shirts, lined up in the windows along one of the long edges of the structure. That should give you a good sense of scale. Specifically, the dimensions are roughly as follows:

The building is close to 105 meters (345 feet) high (according to local publicity brochure 100 meteres high, 100 meteres long, area 2,115 m sq -nov 2012) and covers an area of more than two rai.

(One Rai is 1,600 square meters).

Getting there is easy. I was staying in Jomtien, and simply grabbed a taxi to take me to the Sanctuary entrance. I’m lazy that way. Each way cost me B200, and they waited while I explored. Nice! You can also take a baht bus (B10) to Naklua, and just get off anywhere after the “Dolphin Circle” and grab a moto-taxi to the Sanctuary (should be about B20).

When you arrive, you’ll need to go into the ticket office directly inside the main gate to the left, and buy your ticket for B500 (roughly $15). Then, you’ll walk through the upper grounds to the overlook, where they will check your ticket for access. You’ll pass a number of “attractions” that are designed to extract money from your pocket. Basically, you can feed animals kept in little pens. Goats and rabbits. Tons of fun. There are a few places to take photos in the upper grounds, but the real attraction awaits down below.

The overlook provides a great view of the structure. There is a restaurant and snack bar with cold drinks right there. That’s good, because entrance to the Sanctuary proper is by schedule only. Every 30 minutes a new group is allowed to enter. You don’t need to be part of a specific group – just new people waiting to enter. You’ll then walk down a flight of wooden stairs to the lower grounds. The stairs are not evenly spaced, so be careful. When you reach the bottom of the steps, some nice people will insist you wear a hard-hat, as work is constantly ongoing inside the structure. On the bottom level, you can ride elephants, ride a horse or a horse drawn carriage, and even ride a little boat across a lagoon to get to the Sanctuary. I just walked through the well-maintained gardens. Much easier, really.  There’s another rest area down there, and you can tour the area where the artists and sculptors create new carvings and repair older ones. That is really interesting, though I think the workers get a little tired of the constant camera flashes going off and people trying to ask them questions. You can hire an expert who will walk with you and explain everything to you – this is highly recommended. Please don’t bother the workers!

I didn’t bring my big camera gear on this trip. The photographs were all taken with a Sony RX-100 M3 compact camera, and edited in Adobe Lightroom. I didn’t have a tripod, so none are exposure stacked or HDR. I shot in RAW, and spent quite a few hours editing to overcome the crazy differences in lighting.

I hope you enjoy the photographs!



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