6 Best UNESCO World Heritage Sites to Visit in Thailand
Thailand has a long history and has left valuable cultural relics and architecture during the rule of different dynasties. You can see the past in miniature in many of the ruins. Thailand also has many areas rich in natural resources, where biodiversity is rich, and natural resources are well protected. For your tour to Thailand, we especially listed three places on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and three on the World Heritage Sites as natural heritage sites.
Cultural Heritage Sites
Historic City of Ayutthaya
The Historic City of Ayutthaya, also on the UNESCO World Heritage List, was the capital of the longest-ruling dynasty in Thai history.
Ayutthaya was famous at that time as an international trading city. Countless splendid buildings and cultures stand here. But after being attacked and destroyed by the Burmese kingdom, Ayutthaya is already a ruined site. Ayutthaya was baptized by war but left a legacy of legends and religious spirits. There are still plenty of places to visit after the devastation of war. Historical battles can also be seen as an integral part of the heritage. With the grandeur of the capital and the desolation of ruins, Ayutthaya is a place where you can truly experience the vicissitudes of history and the devastation of war.
The tree-hugging Buddha's head is a unique feature of Wat MahaThat and is considered one of the wonders of Thailand. It is said that the head of the Buddha was cut off during the war, fell on the side of a big tree, and then grew together to form a tree holding the head of the Buddha. The Buddha's head is wrapped in trees, combining human and natural landscapes, a miracle of nature and human civilization. As a result of the war, many Buddha statues had their heads cut off, and many sacred statues were destroyed. Ayutthaya still has many undamaged buildings and artifacts, and you can visit many other preserved temples.
You can visit Wat Phra Si Sanphet, learn about the history of Wat Ratchaburana, make a pilgrimage to Wat Na Phra Men, and visit several historically built Catholic churches.
Ayutthaya allows you to see the high status of the dynasty and Buddhist culture and visit sites that have witnessed centuries of history.
Note: When taking a photo of the tree holding the Buddha's head, please do not raise your head above the height of the Buddha's head. You can squat or bend down.
Location: Ayutthaya Niwet Road, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000
Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns
The Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns is located in northern Thailand. UNESCO added Sukhothai and related historic towns to the World Heritage List in 1991. It mainly includes Sukhothai Historical Park, Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park, and Si Satchanalai Historical Park. Sukhothai was the capital of Thailand during the Sukhothai Dynasty (13th - 14th centuries). The Sukhothai Dynasty is considered by historians to be the first independent dynasty in Thai history and the birthplace of Thai culture. Thai religion and writing developed rapidly during this period, so the site of Sukhothai has an important place in Thailand.
Sukhothai's historical sites, mostly in the old town, have been restored with the support of UNESCO. There are hundreds of temples in the historic towns of Sukhothai and related historic towns. Buddhist culture also developed rapidly during this period. The most prominent and representative of all Buddhist temples is Wat Mahathat. The temple has giant Buddha statues, and you will be amazed at the development of architectural art and religious culture 700 years ago. Wat Si Chum is also a famous temple in the Sukhothai historical site, with the largest sitting Buddha statue in Thailand.
Sukhothai Historical Park has famous temples such as Wat Mahathat and Wat Si Sawai Temple, Wat Mahathat, which is the largest temple in the ancient city. Watch sunrises and sunsets here, and you can see the most beautiful Sukhothai Historical Park. In the sunshine of wandering in the ancient temple full of charm, enjoy inner peace and harmony. Here you can appreciate the dynastic spirit preserved on ancient ruins and immerse yourself in the impact of cultural forces that transcend time and space.
You can visit Wat Mahathat, Wat Sa Si, and Wat Si Chum. The night market in Sukhothai is also popular at night, where you can enjoy the colorful nightlife. The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum is also worth a visit to see the various exhibits. You can also go hiking in Ramkhamhaeng National Park.
Sukhothai Historical Park: Mueang Sukhothai District, Sukhothai Province
Si Satchanalai Historical Park: Si Satchanalai District, Sukhothai Province
Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park: Mueang Kamphaeng Phet District, Kamphaeng Phet Province
Sukhothai Historical Park
Ban Chiang Archaeological Site
Ban Chiang Archaeological Site is now considered the most important prehistoric settlement in Southeast Asia and was added to UNESCO's Cultural Heritage list in 1992.
The bronze ware, pottery, and other historical relics unearthed at Ban Chiang Archaeological Site give people a deeper understanding of the prehistory of Southeast Asia. According to the unearthed cultural relics of various materials, it can be found that people here in 2000 BC had mastered the production and processing technology of bronze and pottery, which proves the development level of productivity at that time. The patterns on the instruments and the styles of the tools can be seen in the continuous progress of the technology of the time.
Ban Chiang Archaeological Site is one of the many sites of the Ban Chiang culture in Thailand, and it is also the most important and representative. Ban Chiang Archaeological Site is considered to be one of the birthplaces of bronzes. Undeniably, the excavation of Ban Chiang Archaeological Site shows the way of production and life of people at that time, as well as the development of their productivity.
You can feel that even in prehistoric times, human wisdom was still thinking and promoting the continuous progress of society. There are not only farming activities and grave offerings but also inlaid and carved pottery, which is the light of human civilization in history.
Location: Ban Chiang, Udon Thani 41320
Natural Heritage Sites
Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex
The Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex comprises Khao Yai National Parks, Thap Lan National Parks, Pang Sida National Parks, Ta Phraya National Parks, and Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex has a variety of precious plants and animals and was added to the World Natural Heritage List in 2005. The Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex covers a large area and has a large elevation span; climate change and the abundant river water make the whole environment very diverse species. The ecological system is stable, so that wild animals and plants are well protected and developed, especially mammals, reptiles, birds, and other creatures.
The Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex plays a key role in the conservation of endangered animals. One of them, Khao Yai National Parks, is Thailand's first national park and the largest rainforest flora and fauna reserve in Southeast Asia. The park covers a huge area with hundreds of species of wild animals and plants. The recovery of the tiger population in Khao Yai National Park is also worth looking forward to.
The Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex is important for global conservation. Many creatures can be well protected here.
The scenery here is beautiful and full of natural charm. You can walk into the forest, along streams and waterfalls, and see all kinds of animals along the way. The quiet and deep forest brings you unique enjoyment.
Location: Thai Samakkhi, Amphoe Wang Nam Khiao, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima 30370
Khao Yai Forest Complex
Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries
Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries is Thailand's largest nature reserve in the area and was listed as a World Natural Heritage Site in 1991. Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries span three areas: Uthai Thani, Tak, and Kanchanaburi, and spawn rivers such as the Mekong River.
Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries have a large climate span, including many types of forests in Southeast Asia, and are significant for the biodiversity of the Southeast Asian region, catering to many species.
Thungyai - Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries provide habitats for different organisms. The reserve is home to more than half of Southeast Asia's large mammals, such as tigers, and nearly half of its large birds. Thungyai - Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries need to be more sophisticated, and the facilities for related tourism need to be adequate. But it's a great place for wildlife lovers or people who want to visit wildlife. The forest of Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries is very diverse, making it easier to spot wild animals and plants in this area. Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries is currently home to the most significant number of tigers in Thailand, with leopards relatively common in the sanctuary, as well as a variety of valuable birds.
There are forests, waterfalls, and beautiful towns. Although it is impossible to enter the core area, various animals can be seen in the peripheral areas. If you're interested in Wildlife, Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries are an excellent choice.
Location: Rabam, Lan Sak District, Uthai Thani 61160
Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex
In 2021, Thailand's Kaeng Krachan National Park was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, making it the sixth World Heritage Site in Thailand and the third World Natural Heritage Site in Thailand.
Kaeng Krachan National Park is a famous national park in Thailand that occupies an essential position in Thailand. The most significant feature of Kaeng Krachan National Park is the birds, known for their abundant resources in Asia. There are more than 400 species of birds in Kaeng Krachan National Park, among which the tower tail tree magpie, yellow-breasted green magpie, hairy-necked stork, and other birds are relatively rare.
The abundance of birds is a feature of Kaeng Krachan National Park, attracting many photographers and bird lovers. At Kaeng Krachan National Park, you can see many endangered birds and watch spectacular bird movements during the annual migration. Apart from birds, many other kinds of animals are popular in the park, such as a variety of butterflies, while Kaeng Krachan National Park is also a great place to see butterflies.
Nearby Kaeng Krachan National Park are limestone caves called Tham Hua Chang. The terrain here is strange. You can do caving; it will be a good travel experience.
Location: Kaeng Krachan, Kaeng Krachan District, Phetchaburi 76170
These areas are not only filled with historic cultural landscapes but also natural landscapes that purify the human mind. You can not only visit human civilization but also walk through the forest to see all kinds of precious animals and plants. It is a journey worth experiencing. If you are planning to visit Thailand and explore these heritage sites, but don't know how to start, please don't hesitate to contact us, just simply tell us your interests and needs, and one of our travel experts will create a tailor-made itinerary for you within 24hrs.
What Our Clients Say
CONTACT A TRAVEL EXPERT
1-to-1 Service | Reply within 24hrs | Expert's Advice
SUBSCRIBE TO WIN A FREE TOUR
Subscribe to our newsletter for a chance to win a free 8-day tour to Greece and Turkey! And more insider travel news, exclusive offers, and inspiration will be sent straight to your inbox.