Ministry Eyes Historical Park for UNESCO World Heritage Status

The Culture Ministry plans to nominate Phra Nakhon Khiri National Historical Park, also known as Khao Wang, in Phetchaburi for UNESCO World Heritage Site status, announced Culture Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol.

During a cabinet meeting held in the province, Ms. Sudawan revealed that the Fine Arts Department is tasked with exploring the feasibility of adding the historical site to UNESCO’s tentative list.

Constructed 165 years ago during King Rama IV’s reign, Phra Nakhon Khiri stands atop a hill and served as a royal summer getaway.

This site includes a palace, temple, and several building clusters, displaying a blend of neoclassical and Chinese architectural styles.

Known as Muang Sam Wang or the City of the Three Palaces, Phra Nakhon Khiri is one of three significant palaces in Phetchaburi.

The other two palaces are Phraram Rajanivet Palace and Mrigadayavan Palace.

The Director-General of the Fine Arts Department, Phanombut Chantarachot, mentioned that Khao Wang possesses notable historical significance and meets the qualifications for world heritage recognition.

He highlighted that the site represents a confluence of Eastern and Western cultures, houses an ancient palace, and is nestled amidst vibrant nature.

The site is a favorite among tourists, drawing over 200,000 visitors and generating upwards of 15 million baht annually, he added.

Mr. Phanombut announced that initial findings from the feasibility study are expected to be presented to the cabinet shortly.

In addition to this, Culture Minister Sudawan visited other cultural sites, including the Thai Song Dam ethnic community in Khao Yoi district and the Ban Tham Rong community in Ban Lat district.

She mentioned that the government has endorsed a draft act aimed at preserving the lifestyles and traditions of ethnic groups, marking the first legislation dedicated to safeguarding their heritage.

This initiative underscores the province’s cultural richness and its contribution to Thailand’s soft power strategy, she noted.

Ms. Sudawan called on the Fine Arts Department to uphold its commitment to conserving national historical landmarks.

She suggested implementing policies to enhance these sites’ appeal to both local and international tourists while preserving their historical integrity.

“The ministry is also preparing to propose other historical locations across different regions for UNESCO’s review,” she added, noting that Chiang Mai is included in the list.