Today was another guided tour day trip to the Sanctuary of Truth and a floating market.

Sanctuary of Truth

Our first stop was the Sanctuary of Truth, an extensive compound housing everything from a massive wooden building to horse rides, boat rides, and lots of green space with mini waterfalls. We even saw what looked like a Boy Scout camp.

After a quick briefing and restroom break, we were led down several flights of stairs where we were given hard hats to see as the building was being restored and was considered a work zone. It was another sweltering day, so adding a plastic hat to our already hot heads was not at the top of our list of things to do. However, we followed the rules, and the tour guide took us through the structure, explaining the 7 Truths depicted in the intricate, detailed carved wood structure. The place is massive but quickly became crowded with a swarm of tourists. The open structure had no air conditioning, and the windowless openings did not provide much of a breeze. While the first part of the tour was interesting, it became so hot and crowded that the second part took too long to complete. We were ready to leave the building.

Sanctuary of Truth Thailand
Sanctuary of truth window looking at the sea
Jim and Rosie getting ready for the tour

Outside the sanctuary were food stands, a few musicians playing regional music, horseback, and elephant rides (you know how I feel about riding an elephant – it’s so cruel), as well as boat rides and people selling souvenirs.

We found shade and listened to the music until it was time for our group to head back to the bus. Bless the bus driver’s heart; he had cold water and cool wet tonettes for us as we boarded.

Craftsman at the Sanctuary of Truth
Man working on temple
Stairs into the Sanctuary of Truth

The Not Really Floating Market

As we drove to our next stop, our guide explained that historically, farmers would fill their boats with their crops and float down the rivers, selling them to neighbors and markets. This way of doing business is long past. The “floating market” we were going to was mainly a tourist destination.

Once we arrived and were escorted into the “market,” we found many shops, both food and souvenirs, built on top of docks in what appeared to be a lake. Some bridges led from one area to the next, giving you the feeling of being on canals. There were even boat rides offered on the designed canals.

We looked at a few shops and found an area serving food, so we grabbed a table and settled in for lunch. The table sat very low to the ground, and there were tiny stools to sit on if you wanted, or you could sit on the ground as many people did. We opted for the little stools, afraid that we would not be able to get up if we sat on the ground. There were several menus to choose from, and once we made our selection, our waiter went to the respective chef, who was sitting in a boat next to the platform making food. Jim’s pad thai and fruit drink arrived quickly, but my vegetable fried rice took quite a while. However, the food was good, and after calculating the conversation rate, the total cost of the meal was only $3.41. What a deal!!

We continued to browse several stores on our way out to meet up with the bus.

Floating market in Pattaya Thailand
Table and chef at the Pattaya floating market
Jim eating pad thai at the Pattaya floating market.

Jewelry Stop

One thing we’re not fond of with some of the group tours we’ve taken is the mandatory stop at a shop (jewelry, rugs, leather – depending on the region). For lack of a better term, this tour stopped at a jewelry factory. We got off the bus to use the restroom but reboarded the bus with the driver’s permission to wait for the others. As stated above, we’re not much for shopping and even less so for jewelry.

We enjoyed some quiet time on the airconditioned bus and returned to our starting point once the rest of the group finished their tour.

Pattaya, Thailand

As we drove through Pattaya, we found it to be a more extensive, well-developed city than we had anticipated. There were lots of places we would have liked to explore when we had more time. It does have a reputation for being a party town, but it appeared clean and well-kept during daylight hours.