The Culture Ministry has decided to nominate Udon Thani's Phu Phra Bat Park as a Unesco World Heritage Site and will put the plan up for consideration at Parliament tomorrow.
Situated in Ban Phue district, the park features ruins and objects dating back to pre-historic times as well as to the Dvaravati, Lopburi, and Lan Xang periods.
The 1,200-acre site is located in the lush Phu Phra Bat Buabok Forest Park, where there are many peculiarly shaped rocks owing to slow-moving glaciers millions of years ago. Also, many of the ruins and objects – such as a rock shaped to look like a stupa and another chiselled to the shape of a foot – were not made entirely by hand.
Visitors can also admire the pre-historic paintings, sandstone images and idols. The Fine Arts Department declared the site a historical park in 1991.
Once the proposal is approved in Parliament, the Culture Ministry will submit the nomination to Unesco’s World Heritage head office in Paris on February 1, before preparing for the final presentation on December 1. Unesco will announce its decision on June 1 next year.
The Culture Ministry will also add the 700-year-old town of Chiang Mai to the “tentative list” for Unesco’s World Heritage Site status. The capital of the Lanna empire offers art and culture and is filled with historical architecture, much like the Lao city of Luang Prabang and Malaysia’s George Town, which were granted World Heritage status in 1995 and 2010 respectively.