Mobilizing Efforts to Move Old City of Nan toward Becoming UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Thai government is mobilizing efforts to nominate Nan Province, in the North, to be inscribed on the list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage sites.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Culture are working together on the nomination of Nan as a World Heritage site. The Cabinet on 19 March 2024 approved in principle a project to raise awareness of Nan’s cultural heritage and prepare to propose it to UNESCO.

Rich in natural resources and cultural assets, Nan has a long history and ethnic diversity, with well-preserved prehistoric archaeological discoveries. Spectacular finds in Nan, such as stone utensils, ancient kilns, and ancient human skeletons, date back to prehistoric times.

Located 668 kilometers from Bangkok, Nan is a quiet and tranquil province. This small and prosperous town was established in the 13th century, the same period that Sukhothai was established. It also boasts many significant temples.

Nan shares a border with the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to the north and the east. The settlements of some hill tribes, such as Meo, Yao, and Lisu, can be seen in some parts of the province. With no skyscrapers, Nan has a distinctive and charming appearance. Local people have joined hands in preserving and developing the old city of Nan for all visitors to appreciate.

Because of its plentiful natural and cultural resources, Nan has great potential for tourism development. The Government intends to promote cultural tourism between Nan and Luang Prabang, the old capital of Laos. It also aims to forge a twin-city relationship with Luang Prabang, which is a World Heritage site, in line with its policy to connect tourism destinations within ASEAN countries.

Moreover, the Government has instructed the Ministry of Transport to upgrade Nan airport, known as Nan Nakhon Airport, to attract more tourist arrivals.

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