Sanctuary of Truth

The Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya, Thailand

Considered a unique sight from what Pattaya is most commonly known for, the Sanctuary of Truth stands out like a sore thumb—but in a positive way. Whereas Pattaya is notorious for being “worldly” in its affairs, Prasat Satchatham—the literal Thai moniker—represents what is “holy,” particularly for a predominantly and official Buddhist country that is Thailand.

But is there more to this supposed “sacred” construct than being an attraction to the devout among those in the Buddhist faith?


Sanctuary of Truth

An Architecture That Harkens Back to the Ayutthaya Period

“Ayutthaya” was “Ancient Thailand.” For something that is a few hundred old, Ayutthaya is now considered archaic and whose remains are hardly seen in most parts of the country, especially not in Pattaya.

In adhering to its glorious past, the Sanctuary of Truth embodies an architecture that was a hallmark to Thailand’s former self. The place also infused with another style influence that draws back from the Khmer. The Sanctuary of Truth feature masterfully crafted hand-carved designs using a single kind of wood, the teak wood, as the material of choice from top to bottom.

Whether you are a person in the field of designing buildings or simply an enthusiast in general, the Sanctuary of Truth can easily make for a treasure trove of ideas and inspiration. In as much the same way that its creation is inspired after many sources itself.


All Wood, No Nails at the Sanctuary of Truth

And, yes, no other material is used in the creation of the building aside from wood. The Sanctuary of Truth uses no cement, no nails; nothing else, whatsoever. The idea of the techniques alone is astounding. But this feat is made possible thanks to the utilization of Thailand’s traditional intellectual properties about construction-building.

Although how the method is achieved—which cannot just be extracted from the pre-existing status of the building—is far more important than how the output appeared to be, still to see first-hand a building that is not made using any other material alone is worthy of wonder.


Sanctuary of Truth

Multiple Influences  

Thailand is but just one of the few countries which adhere to the Buddhist and Hindu belief, which makes the country similar—yet unique—from these nations.

Acknowledging this commonality of Thailand with countries like China, India, and Cambodia, the Sanctuary of Truth converges the influences from these cultures. Subsequently, the Sanctuary of Truth created a melting pot that depicts multiple mythologies in one setting. The setting is, in the form of the four gopura—of Hindu significance—which is erected with the religious building itself.

Of course, those of either Hindu or Buddhist faith are likely the ones who can easily relate to the design which the building imposes. But even those who are just seemingly curious have a special place in it—as far as satisfying their inquisitiveness, that is.


The Sanctuary of Truth is a Work-in-Progress

It is initially built-in 1981 by a notorious eccentric Thai entrepreneur by the name of Lek Viriyaphant. The famous religious building remains an ongoing project—similar to Barcelona’s Familia Sagrada—despite its original visionary’s passing in the year 2000. Estimates suggest that the prospective time of completion of Prasat Satchatham is 2025, while others suggest that it will be in 2050.

Not only is the religious construct a site of improvement whereby small additions are carefully fitted into the right places. Maintenance of the Sanctuary of Truth is also part of its upkeep. The latter of which concerns explicitly the potential harm that comes with being at proximity to the sea — the salt air which poses as a detriment to the building’s wood.

As it is, the theological construct itself is already unusual, with it being a site to an old style of architecture and a showcase of themes befitting the Eastern religion. We could only imagine how much more astonishing the outcome will be in the years to follow.

Regardless, how the sanctuary will turn out to be ultimately is yet to be seen.



Sanctuary of Truth

 “Castle of Philosophy” of the Sanctuary of Truth 

Taken for its name, Prasat Satchatham is translated as “Castle of Philosophy.” The core principle is to be “a reflection of the Ancient Vision of Earth, Ancient Knowledge, and Eastern Philosophy.”

By basking in it, the Sanctuary of Truth seeks to spread the following awareness to its curious audiences: “Ancient Life, Human Responsibility, Basic Thought, Cycle of Living, Life Relationship with Universe and Common Goal of Life toward Utopia.”

As these topics are conspicuously deep, these are often subjects which actual followers of the Hindu or Buddhist faith are more likely apprehensive with, yet something which also a mere open-minded can perceive.

Jojo Vito of the Happy Trip

The author at the Sanctuary of Truth

Jojo Vito of the Happy Trip at the temple

The author at the Sanctuary of Truth

Jojoy, The Traveling Mask of the Happy Trip at the temple

The Happy trip’s Jojoy, The Traveling Mask at the Sanctuary of Truth


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