The Sanctuary of Truth is perhaps the most iconic structure in Pattaya. Intricately carved entirely from teak wood, the awe-inspiring 105-metre-tall hall on the headland to the north of Wongamat Beach is a one-of-a-kind structure in the whole world. Neither temple nor palace, despite looking like a hybrid of both, it was commissioned by a local business tycoon to act as a place of appreciation for philosophy, art, culture and faith, without being tied to a single religion.
The sanctuary is perhaps best described as a monument to Thai craftsmanship, with its stunningly detailed carvings of elephants, people and scenes, creatures and deities from mythology. They pay homage to and are a reflection of the Ancient Vision of Earth, Ancient Knowledge and Eastern Philosophy and they adorn every single surface – both inside and out – of the building. They are also a reflection of the fleeting nature and ceaseless toil of human existence because none of the wood is treated or protected from the elements, meaning that older parts gradually succumb to the rigours of the weather and climate and need to be replaced. The construction of the sanctuary, which began in 1981, is an on-going, never-ending task.