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As Thai town joins Unesco list, site ‘completely unprepared’ for tourism

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As Thailand’s Si Thep joins Unesco list, tourism surge could cast shadow on ‘proud moment’

Si Thep is not ready to welcome tourists due to its lack of basic amenities such as parking spaces and waste facilities, an expert warnsThe town is Thailand’s first cultural site in 31 years to be added to the Unesco list after Ayutthaya, Sukhothai and Ban ChiangThailandAgence France-PressePublished: 7:00am, 20 Sep, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Thailand’s ancient ruined town of Si Thep, a 1,500-year-old complex of temples, monasteries and other buildings, was added to Unesco’s world heritage list on Tuesday.

The site in Phetchabun province – some 200km (120 miles) north of Bangkok – is Thailand’s first cultural site to be recognised by Unesco since 1992.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin thanked the United Nations cultural body for the decision but an expert warned the complex is not ready for an influx of tourists.

Archaeologists date the statues and buildings of Si Thep, built by the Dvaravati civilisation, to between 1,500 and 1,700 years ago.

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