Pattaya 2011 - The Sanctuary of Truth
The Sanctuary of Truth is quite a strange tourist attraction. It is neither a palace, nor a temple. It was initiated by a Thai business tycoon in 1981, and scheduled to be completed only by 2025. You need to pay an entrance fee of 500 Baht to visit the attraction. After paying at the entrance gate, you will be taken on horse-drawn carts to the Sanctuary.
Constructed entirely out of teak wood, this is one of the largest timber structures in the world. It is created to represent a fusion of art, philosophy, religion and culture - based on Buddhist and Hindu religious traditions. If you visit the Web Site, you will get some interesting backgounds on the noble purpose of the monument.
The entire structure is constructed out of teak wood - some are amazingly huge slabs of wood which are very hard to come across these days. You can see the craftsman at work on some parts of the building.
Don't just marvel at the exterior - the interior is also quite impressive.
The scale of the project is no doubt awe-inspiring, and from a distance the ornate sculptures can't fail to impress. On closer inspection though, you can see that the craftsmanship is no where near the refinement of their ancient counterparts in Ayutthaya or Angkor Wat. Still, it is amazing that they were able to put together such a big group of wood carvers from around the region to work on the project. It is definitely worth a visit.