Push to get World Heritage listing for Nan province

Push to get World Heritage listing for Nan province
A hanging scroll of the Buddha from Gaeamsa Temple. (National Museum of Korea)

The Culture Ministry is trying to build support for its plan to put Nan on the list of World Heritage sites. Nan, in northern Thailand, is rich in history and culture.

"Nan has attracted a lot of Thai and foreign tourists. It's a cultural destination," Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat said yesterday.

A three-day trip to Nan for ambassadors and their spouses, diplomats from various countries and the media was part of his ministry's efforts to get the town listed.

"We organised this trip [which concluded yesterday] on behalf of the Thai government so as to promote good ties between Thailand and other countries," Vira said.

"The good ties are bound to pave the way for co-operation and support, including our plan to have Nan inscribed as a World Heritage site."

Nan Governor Ukrit Peungsopha said the province had huge potential to become a World Heritage site.

"Wat Phumin in Nan is the only four-portico monasteries in Thailand," he said, adding that Nan was also home to other ancient sacred sites such as Wat Phra That Chae Haeng and the Wat Phra That Chang Kham.

"There's also an ancient rock-salt field here. It's more than 1,000 years old," Ukrit added.

He said the Nan Culture Office had been instructed to prepare a report to back up the listing plan.

"We will submit this report to Thailand's World Heritage panel in May next year," Ukrit said.

Police, soldiers and locals were also trying to ensure that Nan was completely free of prostitution.

He said government officials, teachers and students in Nan wore traditional Thai attire between Monday and Thursday, and hilltribe clothes every Friday. "We want to highlight the local identity," he said.

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