UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Thailand
Tourism sector contributes greatly to the GDP of the Kingdom of Thailand. In 2015, Thai received a total of 30 million visitors, a 20% increase from the previous year. The international arrivals contributed to 16% of the GDP. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has conducted several campaigns including “Amazing Thailand” and “Discover Thainess” to market the tourism sector internationally. Thai’s attractions include sandy beaches, hill tribe, wildlife, tropical islands, archaeological sites, diving sites, museums, Buddhist temples, Bangkok shopping malls, and several World Heritage sites. The UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Thailand include historical sites, archaeological sites, and natural sites. These Heritage Sites include;
Ban Chiang Archaeological Site
Ban Chiang Archaeological Site is within the District of Nong Han and was incorporated into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The site was discovered in 1966 by Steve Young. He discovered some unique pottery jars which had unique designs and firing techniques. During the scientific excavation of the site in 1967, several items including skeletons, bronze grave gifts, and rice fragments were unearthed. The artifacts discovered suggest that the early settlers must have existed during the Bronze Age and were mainly farmers. The site subsequently became famous with people flocking it to see the red painted pottery. The artifacts from Ban Chiang Archaeological Site are now found in museums across the world.
Historic City of Ayutthaya
The Historic City of Ayutthaya forms the ancient Ayutthaya City. The ancient city was formed in 1351 by King Ramathibodi 1 and became the capital of Thailand until its destruction in 1767 by the Burmese army. The Fine Art Department began the renovation on the ruins in 1969 with the site being declared historic park in1976. In 1991, part of the Historic City of Ayutthaya was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. The listed part of the site covers the central and the southwestern part of Ayutthaya Island including Wat Mahathat, Wat Phra Ram, Wat Ratchaburana, and Wihan Phra MongKhon.
Sukhothai And Associated Historic Towns
Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns covers ruins of Sukhothai, which was the headquarters of Sukhothai Kingdom which existed from the 13th to the 14th century. The historical park of Sukhothai is located near the modern Sukhothai City. Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns contains several ruins within the 70 square kilometers area and 1991, the historic town was listed UNESCO World Heritage Site. The management of the site is under the Fine Arts Department of Thailand. Thousands of tourists visit Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns to see the ruined temples, ancient Buddha figures, and palace building.
Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex
Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex is a jungle that covers five provinces of Thailand including Phetchabun, Chaiyaphum, Lopburi, Saraburi, and Nakhon Ratchasima. The entire jungle was covered by thick forest. The clearing of the forest began in the 19th century with the name of the forest changing from Dong Phaya Fai to Dong Phaya Yen to mean “the forest has been tamed.” Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, which includes mountains, ranges, and several national parks, was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. The site covers a total area of 6,155 square kilometers.