Chiang Mai to Apply for UNESCO World Heritage Site Status

A proposal to get Chiang Mai certified as a World Heritage Site has been prepared for submission to the UNESCO this month.

If the application is successful, this would be the sixth place to receive a protected status in Thailand.

Woralun Boonyasurat, head of the Chiang Mai World Heritage Initiative Project said more work needs to be done following the submission.

“Chiang Mai City has cultural sites within the old city walls and natural resources to be protected while it is developed,” said Woralun.

Sirikitiya Jensen, an adviser on the project said Chiang Mai should be conserved sustainably so that its cultural and sentimental values can be protected without sacrificing the city’s development.

“As we work on proposing it to be a world heritage site, people might wonder if this will push this city backwards into the past or not,” said Woralun. “I can say that it isn’t the case. We are doing this because we love Chiang Mai City and see the values that should be promoted and developed.”

There are currently 1,092 World Heritage Sites around the world. The five spots in Thailand that have received the World Heritage Site status are Ayutthaya, Sukhothai and associated towns, Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries, Ban Chiang Archaeological Site and Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex.