We are thrilled to share the exciting news that the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has recently inscribed “The Ancient Town of Si Thep and its Associated Dvaravati Monuments” in Phetchabun province, Thailand, as a distinguished cultural world heritage site. This esteemed recognition elevates the total count of World Heritage Sites in Thailand to an impressive seven.
During the 45th extended session held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the World Heritage Committee formally added The Ancient Town of Si Thep to the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List. This significant acknowledgment is attributed to the site’s unique features, encompassing an Inner and Outer Town surrounded by moats, the remarkable Khao Klang Nok ancient monument, and the Khao Thamorrat Cave ancient monument.
These three components collectively epitomize the architectural brilliance, artistic traditions, and religious diversity of the Dvaravati Empire, which flourished in Central Thailand from the 6th to the 10th centuries. Notably influenced by Indian culture, the local adaptation of these traditions gave rise to the distinctive Si Thep School of Art, a tradition that later left its mark on various civilizations in Southeast Asia.
Adding to the richness of Thailand’s cultural tapestry, The Ancient Town of Si Thep joins the ranks of other distinguished World Heritage Sites, including cultural landmarks such as the Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns, Historic City of Ayutthaya, and Ban Chiang Archaeological Site, as well as natural wonders like Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries, Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, and Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex.
To mark this momentous occasion, the Fine Arts Department is extending a gesture of celebration by waiving admission fees at Si Thep Historical Park from September 20 to September 24. Additionally, a special exhibition highlighting the historical and cultural significance of Si Thep Historical Park and its newfound world heritage status is being hosted at the Bangkok National Museum from September 20 to January 14, 2024.
Located approximately 340 km north of Bangkok, in the picturesque province of Phetchabun, The Ancient Town of Si Thep offers a captivating blend of history and natural beauty. Known for its stunning mountainous landscapes shrouded in mist, Phetchabun is a popular destination for trekking and camping. The province boasts several national parks, including Khao Kho, Nam Nao, Phu Hin Rong Kla, and Thung Salaeng Luang, along with notable attractions like Phu Thap Boek, Wat Phrathat Pha Son Kaeo’s five white Buddha statues, and the impressive That Yai Waterfall, a finalist in the ‘Unseen New Chapters’ campaign.
Join us in celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Thailand, as Si Thep Town takes its well-deserved place among the world’s most esteemed UNESCO World Heritage Sites.