5 sites to visit before they get UNESCO’d

Fives Thai locales were added to a “tentative” list Sunday that could see them one day named among Unesco’s World Heritage sites. They include one natural site and four cultural sites.


  1. Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex (Natural)

Dusky Langur, Trachypithecus obscurus in Kaeng Krachan National Park. Photo: Tontantravel

“The KKFC lies in the Tenasserim Range on the boundary between Thailand and Myanmar and covers a vast forest area of 3 western Thailand provinces: Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, and Prachuab Kirikhan. The complex protects the headwaters of many important rivers such as Phetchaburi, Kui Buri, Pranburi, and Phachi Rivers.”




2. Monuments, Sites and Cultural Landscape of Chiang Mai, Capital of Lanna (Cultural)

Wat Chedi Luang sits in the historic center of Chiang Mai. Photo: Alpha

“Chiang Mai was purposefully created by King Mangrai in AD.1296 to be the political, economic, social and cultural center of his newly expanded and integrated kingdom of the Tai people, called “Lanna Kingdom” (kingdom of a million rice fields). It was designed to be located in the landlocked heartland of Southeast Asia, north of modern-day Thailand.”




3. Phimai, its Cultural Route and the Associated Temples of Phanomroong and Muangtam (Cultural)

Phimai in Nakhon Ratchasima province marks one end of the Ancient Khmer Highway from Angkor. Photo: Arian Zwegers

“Phimai or Vimai was the name of a large rectangular ancient Khmer city surrounded on all sides by boundary walls and moats, lying 260 kilometres northwest of Angkor. Prasat Phimai was the Mahayana Buddhist sanctuary situated at the centre of the city. Prasat Phimai itself together with the Cultural Route and the associated temples of Phanomrung and Muangtam are among the finest Khmer monuments and constitute a testimony to the civilisation, prosperity and wealth, and the power of the Khmer Empire at its peak.”




4. Phuphrabat Historical Park (Cultural)

‘Unusual rock formations include spires, massive boulders and balanced rocks and form the backdrop for the prehistoric art and religious shrines created there.’ Photo: Theppitak Karoonboonyanan

“Designated as Phuphrabat Historical Park, the site is the landscape of a wooded sandstone hill adorned with patches of huge bare rocks in spectacular overhanging positions, some balanced on pedestals of oddity. This scenic and awesome beauty of nature has had, over the millennia since prehistoric times, a compelling spiritual effect on humans in the neighbourhood to associate the site with sanctity, as evidenced by the presence of visual arts of different cultural periods.”



5. Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan (Cultural)

Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan Photo: Andreas Hörstemeier


“Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan is the main Buddhist temple of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, the largest province in Southern Thailand. It is located on the main sand bar of Nakhon Si Thammarat on which the ancient town and the present town of Nakhon Si Thammarat were built. The ancient town of Nakhon Si Thammarat developed from the early state of Thailand called Tambralinga and the name of which is mentioned in the Pali canon of the Buddhism as one of the prosperous port towns of the Eastern world, and thereby archaeological evidence found at many sites in Nakhon Si Thammarat supports the literary evidence.”



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