List of World Heritage Sites in Southeast Asia

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The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has designated 38 World Heritage Sites in eleven countries (also called "State parties") of Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Singapore, and Laos. Only Brunei and East Timor lack World Heritage Sites.[1][2]

Indonesia and Vietnam lead the list with eight inscribed sites each, with the Philippines having six, Thailand five, Malaysia four, Cambodia three, Laos two, and Myanmar and Singapore one each.[3] The first sites from the region were inscribed at the 15th session of the World Heritage Committee in 1991.[4] The latest site inscribed is the Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk, Archaeological Site of Ancient Ishanapura in Cambodia inscribed in the 41st session of the Committee in Krakow, Poland in July 2017. Each year, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee may inscribe new sites or delist those no longer meeting the criteria, the selection based on ten criteria of which six stand for cultural heritage (i–vi) and four for natural heritage (vii–x);[5] some sites are "mixed" and represent both types of heritage. In Southeast Asia, there are 24 cultural, 13 natural and 1 mixed sites.[3]

The World Heritage Committee may also specify that a site is endangered, citing "conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List." One site in this region, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra, is listed as endangered; Angkor and Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras were once listed but were taken off in 2004 and 2012 respectively.

By comparison with other world regions such as East Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Central America, and Western Europe, the designation of UNESCO sites in the Southeast Asian region has been regarded as 'too few and too slow' since the inception of the 21st century. Scholars from various Southeast Asian nations have suggested for the establishment of an inclusive Southeast Asian body that will cater to the gaps of the region's activities in UNESCO as the majority of nations in the region are underperforming in the majority of the lists adopted by UNESCO, notably the World Heritage List. More than 20 sites have been in the tentative list for more than 20 years.

Currently, 4 Southeast Asian countries are serving as members of the UNESCO Executive Board. Vietnam and Malaysia's terms shall expire in 2019, while the Philippines and Indonesia's terms shall expire in 2021. The Philippines has expressed a possible UNESCO Director-General bid in 2021 or 2025. The country has cited its possible candidate to be Senator Loren Legarda, a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change National Adaptation Plan Champion, United Nations Global Champion for Resilience, Dangal ng Haraya Patron of Arts and Culture, Chevalier/Cavaliere to France and Italy, and an honorary royalty to the indigenous peoples of Mindanao, Panay, and the Cordilleras. She has also been cited by the United States as one of the most powerful woman in the Philippines, having support from Asian, Oceanic, and Latin American peers. The ASEAN bloc supports the possible candidature of the Philippines.[6][7]


The table is sortable by column by clicking on the Sort both.gif at the top of the appropriate column; alphanumerically for the Site, Area, and Year columns; by state party for the Location column; and by criteria type for the Criteria column. Transborder sites sort at the bottom.

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Site; named after the World Heritage Committee's official designation[3]
Location; at city, regional, or provincial level and geocoordinates
Criteria; as defined by the World Heritage Committee[5]
Area; in hectares and acres. If available, the size of the buffer zone has been noted as well. A value of zero implies that no data has been published by UNESCO
Year; during which the site was inscribed to the World Heritage List
Description; brief information about the site, including reasons for qualifying as an endangered site, if applicable.

World Heritage Sites[edit]

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