Under this strange and difficult to pronounce name there is a mysterious building imbued with the scent of resin and wood. It is a monumental temple where a person not only suddenly feels weak and tiny, but also a place where we forget about the world behind the door. Paradoxically, this enclave of magic and peace is located in the immediate vicinity of the city with a reputation as a center of debauchery, a destination for tourists interested in seeking paid love. We are talking about the Thai resort of Pattaya, located 120 km from the capital of the country, on the Gulf of Thailand, and the temple is Prasat Satchatham, the Sanctuary of Truth.
Those interested in the amazing structure should spend more time in the resort. There are many temples here, and each of them deserves attention. Pattaya itself is a medium-sized city, loud and crowded not only in the high season. No wonder - it is one of the most famous resorts in all of Asia, also liked by the Thais themselves, especially the residents of Bangkok. The popularity of the city is gradually increasing, which is due not only to its attractions, but also to the ease of travel. The nearest airport from Pattaya can be reached in just 75 minutes via a modern highway.
As already mentioned, the resort became famous in an unusual way. Men from all over the world come here for a sex vacation, and one of the city's biggest attractions is the downtown debauchery Walking Street . Pleasure houses, nightclubs and other places that arouse the unhealthy curiosity of tourists can be found in every corner. The city never sleeps. On the other hand, in a rare resort you can find such a large number of temples - and so beautiful.
Just off Walking Street, at the top of the hill, is the magnificent Big Buddha statue accessed by an ornate staircase. There is also a number of gold-painted statues and a small temple of Wat Phra Yai. Outside the city, surrounded by a magnificent park, the Wat Yangsangwararam temple complex is reflected in Lake Ban Amphoe. It is so huge that you can walk around it for several hours (admission is free). Tourists visiting this place can see the Khao Chi Chan mountain visible from it, with the image of the Buddha carved on it - it is 109 m high and 70 m wide. A park stretches around, and in front of the mountain there is a lake with lilies and a rock garden.
These are just a few of Pattaya's many temples, but the examples given are more than enough to comprehend just how exotic this resort is. Places of concentration alternate with places of entertainment, noise, hustle and bustle mingle with silence and contemplation. There is no person who will not be impressed by a visit to this extraordinary city.
Prasat Satchatham - the fruit of three cultures
The Sanctuary of Truth is one of Pattaya's many sacred buildings, but it is by no means just another temple in the city. This is a unique place, which can be seen at first glance. We have in front of us an enormous structure made entirely of wood. During its creation, not a single nail was used, not a single metal element was used. For this reason, Prasat Satchatham is under constant maintenance. However, even the presence of scaffolding does not change the fact that the temple is delightful. Some may even be disturbed by the lush and unbridled façade. Its design is somewhat reminiscent of the spontaneity and organic nature of Gaudi's works that we can admire today in Barcelona. It gives the impression of a living creature frozen in wood - the eyes of the onlookers are delighted with the richness of intricate sculptures decorating the building inside and out. She is beautiful and terrifying at the same time.
When you glance around the temple, you can see that the structure has been influenced by the three most important philosophical and artistic trends in Thai culture: Khmer, Hindu and Chinese. Each wing of the building is designed in a different style, yet the whole is full of harmony, and the interiors are created with great attention to detail.
The power of wood and incense
There is no doubt that in the interior of the Sanctuary of Truth, every lover of niche perfumes will fall into ecstasy. The temple is filled with the smell of resin and the past (despite the relatively young age of the building - it was built in 1981). The intoxicating aroma of wood and incense is in the air, and when you leave, you get the impression that you took it with you on your hair and clothes.
The structure of the temple is 105 meters high and covers an area of approximately 3,000 m2. Both the building itself and its surroundings are beautiful, as it stands right on the seashore, on Cape Rachvate. Despite the fact that it does not contain reinforcing elements, it is resistant to rains and the whipping of the sea wind.
Prasat Satchatham stands steadfast at the edge of the beach, ignoring Pattaya's nightlife with dignity. The cheap entertainment of the resort does not disturb the peace with which the temple views the city. Anyone who crosses its threshold and inhales the scent of wood will calm your senses and feel the power of one of the most unusual Thai religious buildings.
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