The Ancient Town of Si Thep was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site 

Did you know that recently, a historical tourist attraction of Thailand such as “The Ancient Town of Si Thep” in Phetchabun has been announced by UNESCO to be registered as Thailand’s new World Cultural Heritage Site. What is so interesting about this place? Let’s take a look at it together with ACU PAY!

The origin of “The Ancient Town of Si Thep”

The Ancient Town of Si Thep or “Si Thep Historical Park” is located in Si Thep Subdistrict, Si Thep District, Phetchabun. It is a connection point of the network of trading, trade routes, and culture exchanges between central and northeastern areas that have been important since the late prehistoric era to ancient Khmer culture (8th-18th Buddhist centuries).

The Ancient Town of Si Thep is one of Thailand’s 10 historic parks. It was established by the Fine Arts Department, Ministry of Culture in 1984. The word “Sri Thep” is expected to be a complying according to a royal decision by Prince Damrong Rajanubhab, the Father of Thai History and Archaeology, who assumed during the inspection of Phetchabun Province when he served as Minister of Interior in 1904.

An important source of civilization

Sri Thep historical park is considered to be one of Thailand’s important civilizations. It is an area where traces of evidence reflecting the continuous settlement of human habitation have been found since prehistoric times of the Dvaravati and Khmer culture that had been flourishing for more than 800 years. 

Before being abandoned due to severe epidemics or drought at that time, between the late 18th and early 19th Buddhist centuries. Then, Sukhothai and Ayutthaya cultures flourished instead in the Pasak River basin. There has been a continuous development of residential settlements until now.

Within the city, 64 archaeological sites were discovered with many ancient pools. Outside the moat of ancient city walls, there are also 50 archaeological sites being discovered. Important archaeological sites of The Ancient Town of Si Thep include Khao Klang Nok Archaeological Site, Prang Ruesi Archaeological Site, the Archaeological Group of Khao Klang Sa Kaeo, and Sa Kaeo Pond, a large ancient pool.

Outside the archaeological site, it is also home to Khao Thamorat, a large limestone mountain with a unique appearance that has been used as an important travel observation point since prehistoric times. Inside, there is a bas-relief sculpture of Buddha standing on a lotus base, both hands are in the preaching posture and Bodhisattva’s posture. The cave wall inside also has statues of Buddha in the attitude of meditation, pagodas, the Wheel of the Law, and a Bodhisattva. A total of 11 figures with Mahayana Buddhist beliefs around the 14th Buddhist century.

"The Ancient Town of Si Thep," a new cultural heritage

From the 45th General Meeting of the World Heritage Committee on September 19, 2023, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, “The Ancient Town of Sri Thep”, Phetchabun has been announced by UNESCO as a new World Heritage Site, officially known as The Ancient Town of Si Thepandits Associated Dvaravati Monuments.

“The Ancient Town of Si Thep” is the 4th Thai cultural heritage site after the Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns, Ayutthaya Historical Park, and Ban Chiang National Museum. It is Thailand’s 7th World Heritage Site.

Anyone who wants to experience this historic site of civilization can visit it every day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., regardless of weekends and public holidays. The admission fee for Thai people is 20 baht and for foreigners 100 baht. Monks, novices, and priests are free of charge.

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