One of the many unique Thai local experiences that shouldn’t be missed, the annual ‘Naga Fireball Festival’ never fails to wow the crowds of spectators who gather to watch mysterious – and as yet unexplained – balls of fire burst from the waters of the Mekong River high into the air.
The fireballs are a spectacular phenomenon to witness and their emergence from the mighty Mekong River each year is surrounded in mystery and intrigue. Some believe the Naga – half human and half serpentine beings said to dwell in the Mekong – light the fireballs at the end of Buddhist Lent or Ok Phansa to pay respect to Buddha. The scientific theory is that the fireballs are methane gas from underground which float to the surface of the Mekong and then burn up in the air.
The fireballs usually appear in or around the 15th day of the waxing moon in the 11th lunar month, and really are an ideal opportunity to experience Thailand from a somewhat mystical perspective – a new perspective that can be taken alongside the existing ones, just as the Tourism Authority of Thailand suggests in the Amazing Thailand ‘Open to the New Shades’ communication concept.
This year, the Nong Khai Naga Fireball Festival 2018 will take place on 16-24 October.
The ‘stars of the show’, the fireballs themselves, usually appear after 18.00 Hrs. and can be seen from the Mekong riverside as well as from Phon Phisai District in Nong Khai to the neighbouring province of Bueng Kan.
For tourists wanting to discover more of Nong Khai, the choice of attractions and scenic locations to visit before or after the ‘Naga Fireball Festival’ include Wat Pho Chai, Than Thong Waterfall, Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge and Phu Huay Ei San to name just a few.
For more information, contact the TAT Udon Thani Office on Tel. 04232 5406-7 or e-mail: [email protected]