Pattaya is well known as a seaside resort and a city of nightlife. But there are interesting sights in Pattaya that you can visit while relaxing in Thailand. The Sanctuary of Truth can be called the main attraction of the city, because it is not just a very beautiful and high wooden temple, but also a place with a special history and energy. On this page I will discuss how to get to the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya, about the features of this place and my impressions after visiting. You will also learn how you can buy an entrance ticket to the Sanctuary of Sanctuary at a great discount and additional entertainment that is available in the vast territory of the temple.
How to get to the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya
The Sanctuary of Truth is located on the shores of the Gulf of Thailand in the northern part of Pattaya.
Address: 206/2 หมู่ ที่ 5 ถนน Pattaya-Naklua, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri 20150, Thailand.
The working hours of the Sanctuary of Truth: from 08:00 to 18:00 (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
You can visit the Sanctuary of Truth on your own (without an excursion). To do this, you must go to North Pattaya (Naklua District). The easiest way to use local passenger pickups, the route of which runs along Pattyaya Nalkua Street. For 10-20 Thai baht (depending on the place of landing) you must drive to Na Kluea 12 Alley and go along this street without turning anywhere (see map below).
The indicated street makes several bends and along the way you will see wasteland and even a small dump on the left. There are signs to the temple along the way. You can also use the navigator on your smartphone so as not to make a mistake on the route. Move on the right side of the road. There are no sidewalks in many streets of Pattaya, so be careful. If you look at the map of Pattaya, you might think that there is a great distance from Naklua Rd to the temple. But in fact, the high white wall and the entrance gate to the territory of the Sanctuary of Truth are much closer. You will see them without any problems in 6-8 minutes on foot from Pattaya Naklua.
One of the landmarks is the Family Mart store, which is located almost opposite the entrance gate. By the way, if you want to save money, you can buy water or food in this store (there is a cafe and restaurant in the temple, but the cost of dishes and drinks is not the lowest). You can also use a taxi from Pattaya Naklua Rd (40-50 THB per person). From the famous roundabout with dolphins to the Sanctuary of Truth can be reached by taxi motobike for 70-90 THB. From most areas of Pattaya can be reached by taxi for 200-500 THB. The taxi option does not make sense in terms of economy (it’s cheaper to book a tour that includes a transfer from the hotel to the temple and back to the hotel).
Route to the Sanctuary of Truth on an interactive Google map
Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya – features
The construction of the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya was started in 1981 at the expense of Thai millionaire Lek Viriyapan and is still ongoing by his son (the businessman himself died in 2000). Construction is expected to be completed in 2025. At the same time, the Sanctuary of Truth, which is entirely built of precious wood and will always require ongoing restoration. A feature of construction is that all the connections of the parts to each other are made using wooden dowels without the use of nails. This applies both directly to the walls and roofs of the temple, as well as all internal decorations, and statues. You can see in the temple nails that are not completely clogged and must be removed before the official completion of construction.
The Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya has a height of 105 meters and is the largest wooden temple in Thailand and the second tallest in the world. Only the Tianning Pagoda in China has a more impressive height (153 meters). Even if you have not been to Pattaya or Thailand, you must have seen the Sanctuary of Truth in a photo on the Internet or on TV. This is really a very beautiful temple, the enormous size of which can be estimated only nearby or being inside. For example, I swam on the beach near the Temple and saw it at a distance of about 100 meters, but still did not think that it was so big and tall.
The Sanctuary of Truth is not a traditional Buddhist temple or an exclusively religious building in general. According to the plan of Lek Viriyapan, the temple was originally built as a cultural attraction, which should show an oriental view of our world from the point of view of 4 cultures at once: Thai, Khmer, Hindu and Chinese. Therefore, while maintaining the overall architectural style, you may notice some differences on the facades of the temple. And inside the temple you will visit 4 large halls, each of which is dedicated to the 4 indicated cultures and philosophies of life (mainly Hindu and Buddhist).
For example, in the Indian hall you can find statues of the gods of the 4 elements: water, earth, fire and wind. You can easily identify the Chinese hall by octagonal columns and bas-reliefs with naked women (although you will see them almost everywhere). In the remaining parts of the Sanctuary of Truth, the columns have a more traditional appearance. By the way, all columns are made of solid trunks of centuries-old trees and decorated with carvings. Each centimeter of the temple is the result of many hours of work by Thai masters, who still continue to work on the territory of the temple. The oldest tree from which a large column was carved and in front of which a small altar with gifts is more than 700 years old.
In the Thai room, you can see large statues of avatars, each of which is dedicated to a specific day of the week. There you can use special tables to calculate your day of the week (although using a smartphone is easier to do). And the main attraction of the Khmer Hall are the statues of the family – a wife with her husband and their three children. There is a ritual that promotes the conception of a child. To do this, you need to rub the child’s hand (you will recognize the right place by shine). By the way, you can ask for a child not only for yourself, but also for other people. And for the health of parents, you should rub the knee of the husband or wife.
Only in the central part of the Sanctuary of Truth there are several altars where you can pray or just think in silence about life. In general, each element and statue in the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya carries a certain semantic load and there are no random elements that fulfill only a decorative role. But it is not easy for a not specialist to understand all eastern religions and rituals. Therefore, if you want to not just look at the beautiful temple inside and out and take beautiful photos or videos, I advise you to use the services of guides (there are inside the temple, including English or other languages speaking ones).
The cost of visiting the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya
The standard price for admission to the Sanctuary of Truth is THB 500 when purchased at the box office. The standard price for a child ticket is 250 THB. If you do not want to get from your hotel to the Sanctuary of Truth and then back on your own, you can book a tour for 600-700 THB (possibly even with a guide). But if you want to save as much as possible, buy entrance tickets to the Sanctuary of Truth online here (the price can be shown in the currency of your country). As a rule, you can buy an entrance ticket for adults for 385 THB (or at a discount of 23%). And the price of children’s entrance tickets is only 180 THB when buying online (28% discount). You can show the voucher received after payment by e-mail (on a smartphone screen or in paper form) at the box office of the Sanctuary of Truth and get a paper entrance ticket for access to the territory. In the same way, you can buy online at a discount other entertainment available on the territory of the Sanctuary of Truth (about them in the next section).
Other attractions in the Sanctuary of Truth (Pattaya)
The entrance ticket to the Sanctuary of Truth includes not only access to the temple territory and inside the building, but also viewing a national Thai show. It includes traditional dances (performed by men and women in Thai national clothes) and a classic sword fight of two fighters. Such performances are usually held twice a day: at 11:30 in the morning and at 15:30. The performances are not very long and you can watch it once. After the show, you can take a picture with the artists (you should give a small tips).
At the ticket office of the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya, and when buying entrance tickets online, you can add some other entertainment. The most popular are horseback riding on special routes, riding in an old horse-drawn cart, riding an elephant, riding a quad bike, a boat trip along the Gulf of Thailand in the area of the Sanctuary of Truth (you can take beautiful photos on the background of the building). As in the case of entrance tickets, buying online through the Klook service (link to the Sanctuary of Truth) makes it possible to save money (the price difference is especially noticeable when buying entrance tickets for several people). You can choose options that include one or more additional entertainment that is available on your date.
Tips Before Visiting Pattaya Sanctuary of Truth
Despite the fact that the Sanctuary of Truth is not a traditional temple (religious building), there are altars inside and many Thais come to the temple to pray. Therefore, a rule has recently been introduced whereby visitors must adhere to a dress code. Your clothes at the entrance to the temple should cover your shoulders and knees, and the neckline of the girls should not be too open. Somewhere in the territory there is a special cape to rent, but it is better to immediately come in appropriate clothing. Also during the tour you should be in a construction helmet. It is issued at the point immediately after the descent along the wooden steps to the territory of the temple. Throughout the temple it is forbidden to smoke and use quadrocopters (drones) for video shooting.
I spent about 1.5 hours visiting the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya and it was enough for me. At the same time, I spent about 50 minutes inside the temple, took a lot of photos and shot a video. I arrived at the Temple after 16:30 and did not have time to watch the show. Also, I did not buy additional entertainment and did not go to a cafe on the territory. If you read this article, you have some idea what to expect outside and inside the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya. I went somewhat unprepared and only after that I read about what I saw inside the Temple and what I could pay attention to.
If I went to the Sanctuary of Truth again, I would do it at about 15:00 to have time to watch the show, see the Sanctuary of Truth under various lighting levels, take more time to walk around a beautiful area that exceeds 10 hectares (there are beautiful bridges and several viewing platforms). If I were not alone, I would use the services of a guide, because much of the inside of the temple remained incomprehensible to me. When visiting with children, you can spend some time examining the animals at the local mini-zoo. There are horses, ponies, goats, etc. in it. And, of course, I would save on entry tickets and buy from online.
A wish-fulfillment ritual in the Temple of Truth (Pattaya)
Near the entrance to the Temple of Truth (from the sea), there are two large wooden statues that hold a wooden crossbar on their shoulders. A bell and a large gong are suspended on the crossbar. And in the hands of statues are special mallets. with which you can hit the bell and gong. On the Internet you can find outdated information that the ritual of fulfilling desires consists of three stages. 1) You need to hit three times on the metal triangle (in order to wake the Buddha). 2) You need to hit the bell three times (to clear your karma). 3) It is necessary to make a wish and hit the gong three times with a large hammer (at this moment you must imagine how your desire is being fulfilled).
During my visit to the Temple of Truth, I noticed that the statues were moved to another place and on the wooden crossbar there are only two objects: a bell and a gong. Accordingly, if you also do not see the iron triangle, the ritual of the fulfillment of desires should immediately begin with blows on the bell. Probably, due to the large number of visitors, the Buddha cannot fall asleep and you no longer need to wake him up. You can see the location of the statue with the gong in this video, which is posted below.
I hope the information about the Sanctuary of Truth was useful for you and now during your vacation in Pattaya you can go to this amazing place by buying a ticket at the lowest price and with an idea of how much time you need to visit, how easy and cheap to get to The Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya and what additional entertainment you can find there. Have a good rest and interesting visit!