Thursday, June 28, 2012

Trip Report, Part 14A: Sanctuary Of Truth 2

Giving some perspective to one small portion of an exterior wall at ground level. It's no small wonder it has years of work left to come close to finishing it.

[This is part 14A of a series that may or may not ever find its way to a proper conclusion. It has to do with my latest trip to Thailand, and the people, places and things I encountered along the way. You can find the rest of the series by clicking here on Trip Reports.] 

Handicapped facilities
haven't caught on in many
 parts of the world, unfortunately.
There wasn't a sign, so we missed the required left-hand turn to the Sanctuary of Truth and ended up at a resort where a man sweeping the driveway was kind enough to answer the "is this it?" question he'd undoubtedly heard before; giving my friend brief instructions to back-track a few hundred meters and make the (now) right-hand turn.

There was plenty of parking when we got there, and we found a spot that looked like it would remain in the shade while we were visiting the place.  The days had been unseasonably hot for the end of February, so I sure hoped so.

As I nag at my other farang friends to do I'd slathered on the required sunscreen cream before leaving my room, but it was just too warm to wear anything but a short sleeved shirt and shorts so I figured I might be a rosy pink by the end of the day.

You purchase your entrance tickets in a building near the parking area, and are then directed through an area of trees and buildings I stopped to take the photos I later stitched together for the opening image about the place in Part 13

The wooden carvings along the path to the stairway down give a clue to what's ahead

The stairway down would be daunting for someone with a physical disability, but they were quite sturdy - as they'd need to be to hold the busloads of tourists I saw parking spots for in the lot. I can't say the same for the rope bridge below, suspended some 30 feet above the bottom of a nearly-dry canal; the small pools of water along it dotted with vibrantly green foliage. You don't need to cross this, but it's something I don't run across very often, so we did.

I'm not much on heights - especially when there's a probability of a fall - but I tried walking out a ways onto it for my friend to take a few pictures of me with a strained smile. I remember thinking to myself at the time "at least I have a skilled surgeon with me if I get a compound fracture doing this," but nothing that colorful happened.

The grounds have a lot of wide open spaces, and it was already heading towards lunchtime when we heard the woman on the megaphone announcing a tour of the interior.  They prefer you to take this half-hour tour before looking through the place yourself, and it's not a bad idea, for a couple of reasons: one, there isn't much signage to explain the significance of what you're looking at, and there are some "please don't" announcements, both for your own safety and the preservation of the structure itself. You're free to wander the grounds on your own afterwards for as long as you like.

Because it's actively still under construction you're required to stop and pick up a hard had that you're obliged to wear while inside, but they allow you to take it off for a moment if you're taking a picture.

Sorry I didn't actually get you inside of the place today, but time's run out. We'll do that tomorrow.

A preview of things to come

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