Press "Enter" to skip to content

Thai Cities Catapult Onto World Stage: Rewriting History as Unesco’s Vibrant Cultural Hubs! Switch on to the Creative Explosion!

In an exciting development for Thailand’s cultural development, Atikhun Kongmee, who presides over the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Dasta), recently announced the acceptance of the provinces of Chiang Rai and Suphan Buri into the Unesco City of Culture Network (UCCN). Boasting of rich cultural and creative initiatives, Chiang Rai is joining as a city of design while Suphan Buri takes its place as a city of music, as stated by Atikhun.

Since its introduction in 2004, the UCCN has thrived as a Unesco flagship initiative to foster cooperation among cities that have strategically emphasized culture and creativity as catalysts for sustainable urban progress. The network proudly seats nearly 300 cities from around 90 different countries, reflecting a diverse cultural profile that began to take form in its earlier years.

The UCCN encapsulates seven creative dimensions which include:

  • Crafts and Folk Arts
  • Design
  • Film
  • Gastronomy
  • Literature
  • Media Arts
  • Music

The Thai landscape was formerly inscribed into the network, with Sukhothai and Phetchaburi being recognized for their distinct creative characteristics. Sukhothai gained the title of city of crafts and folk arts in 2019, while Phetchaburi was commended as a city of gastronomy in 2021. The outcomes of their presence in the network have been remarkable, earning them international recognition and contributing to a significant escalation in tourist influx, as shared by Atikhun.

In light of such rewarding experiences, Dasta pursued the inclusion of three provinces — Nan, Suphan Buri, and Chiang Rai — into the UCCN this year. Although Nan was unable to secure the position for the field of crafts and folk arts, diligent administrative collaboration and rigorous proposal development allowed Chiang Rai and Suphan Buri to qualify for the network this year.

To bolster their UCCN assimilation, Dasta relied on local government partnerships to outline five-year strategies to boost sustainability and cultivate local interest. The strategic orientation for Suphan Buri emphasizes its unique musical heritage. Traditional music pervades the life of the local communities in Suphan Buri, and the elucidated roadmaps intend to nurture more local musicians to perpetuate its vibrant musical traditions.

On the other hand, Chiang Rai holds a rich artistic lineage, particularly in the historical Lanna design. Home to artists skilled in painting, sculpting, and local architectural finesse, the city seeks to galvanize its reputation as a design epicenter. Correspondingly, their roadmap details an array of activities that facilitate idea exchange, offering a platform for local artists to collaborate with international counterparts, thereby bolstering the local creative industry.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments