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Thailand has a new UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site

Si Thep Historical Park
PHOTO: Si Thep Historical Park

Si Thep Historical Park, in Thailand’s northern province of Phetchabun, has achieved recognition as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site during the 45th extended session of the World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The decision by the World Heritage Committee has been met with great pride in Thailand, with hopes that it will encourage the preservation of cultural heritage and natural resources in the country, ultimately promoting tourism and economic growth. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Pol Gen Patcharawat Wongsuwan made this announcement at the National Museum yesterday.

Si Thep Historical Park contains the ruins of ancient Phetchabun, encompassing Si Thep Ancient Town, originally called Mueang AphaiSali. It is believed to have been built during the boom years of the ancient Khmer empire.

Culture Minister Sermsak Pongpanich added that Si Thep’s recognition will increase the count of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites in Thailand to four. The other three previously recognized sites are Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, and Ban Chiang, located in the northeastern province of Udon Thani.

Looking ahead, the Culture Minister’s office plans to propose the Phu Phra Bat Historical Park in Udon Thani to the World Heritage Committee for consideration in the coming year.

Si Thep Historical Park encompasses the Si Thep ancient city, along with the Khao Khlang Nok and Khao Thamoorat archaeological sites. This ancient city, estimated to be approximately 1,700 years old, exhibits cultural influences from India, evident in features like the city’s moats, city walls, and city planning. The park is situated in Si Thep sub-district, Si Thep district, covering an area of over 462 hectares.

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