Phaya Naga

Phaya Naga
A Phaya Naga guarding the Temple of Wat Si Saket in Vientiane, Laos.
Grouping Mythology
Sub grouping
Similar creatures Dragon, Pakhangba
Mythology Laos, Thailand and Cambodia
Habitat Rivers, sacred ponds, lakes, caves.

The Phaya Naga (Thai: พญานาค; rtgs: phaya nak; literally: lord of nāga) are nāga, mythical serpent-like creatures, believed by locals to live in the Mekong river or estuaries. Some have tried to explain sightings as oarfish, elongate fish with red crests; however these are exclusively marine and usually live at great depths. People in both Laos and Thailand attribute the naga fireballs to these creatures.[1]


Thai and Lao folklore believed Phaya Naga is semi-divine, semi-creatures, it appeared in Buddhist and Hindu cosmology, can do something supernatural.[2] In Ban Dung District, Udon Thani province there is a place called "Kamchanod Forest" (ป่าคำชะโนด; rtgs: pha kamchanod) is a sacred and scary place, it is believed that this is the border between the human world and the netherworld, it is a place filled with of ghost stories. And is believed to be the residence of a Naga.[3]

In Tai Yai folklore of Nanzhao Kingdom (now southern China and Southeast Asia during the 8th and 9th centuries. It was centered on present-day Yunnan in China.) believed Erhai lake is inhabited of Naga and is the creator of the Mekong.[2]


Many people particularly in Isan (northeastern region of Thailand) believed that the Naga is actually, a lot of wave phenomena occurring in the river or lake are convinced that the action of the Naga. It also marks the serpent tracks appears in many of the same, such as the hood or house wall.[1]

And a police officer who claimed to be in contact with the Naga.[4]

But scientists at the Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, said it was just like a standing wave on water like Loch Ness Monster in Scotland or Ogopogo in Canada, and tracks like the serpent people can do.[5]


Lao mythology maintains that the Naga are the protectors of Vientiane, and by extension, the Lao state. The Naga association was most clearly articulated during and immediately after the reign of Anouvong. An important poem from this period San Lup Bo Sun (or San Leupphasun Lao: ສານລຶພສູນ) discusses relations between Laos and Siam in a veiled manner, using the Naga and the Garuda, to represent Laos and Siam, respectively.[6] The Naga is incorporated extensively into Lao iconography, and features prominently in Lao culture throughout the length of the country, not only in Vientiane.

Popular culture

Many Lakorn (Thai television soap opera) are based on a Phaya Naga legend, such as Poot Mae Nam Khong (ภูติแม่น้ำโขง) in 2008,[7] Manisawat (มณีสวาท) in 2013[8] or Nakee (นาคี) in 2016.[9]

A search for the Phya Naga was recently featured in a Destination Truth episode on the SyFy (formerly Sci-Fi Channel) series in Series 01 (episode 02).[10]

See also


  1. 1 2 "ปริศนา?? บั้งไฟพญานาค : ต่างมุมต่างความคิด". ASTV Manager (in Thai). 2005-09-27. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  2. 1 2 ก้อง กังฟู (2014-06-01). "ปาฏิหาริย์...พญานาคราช มีปรากฏการณ์..เหนือธรรมชาติ". Thairath (in Thai). Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  3. "คำชะโนด เกาะลอยน้ำ เผยตำนานป่าลี้ลับป่าคำชะโนด". dmc (in Thai). 2014-10-08. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  4. "พญานาคบึงโขงหลงที่เป็นข่าว.mp4". Nation TV (in Thai). 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  5. "พญานาค..วิทยาศาสตร์ กับ ความเชื่อ". Nation TV (in Thai). 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  6. Ngaosīvat, Mayurī; Pheuiphanh Ngaosyvathn (1998). "III.13 In the Machine Room of a Grand Design". Paths to conflagration : fifty years of diplomacy and warfare in Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, 1778-1828. Studies on Southeast Asia, no. 24. Ithaca, N.Y.: Southeast Asia Program Publications, Cornell University. p. 68. ISBN 0-87727-723-0. OCLC 38909607. Retrieved November 16, 2011. Lay summary (January–March 2001). The first stanza of the San lup bo sun depicted the situation allegorically
  7. "ละคร ภูตแม่น้ำโขง". Sanook (in Thai). 2008-10-13.
  8. สีสันบันเทิง 17-12-11#ฟิตติ้ง มณีสวาท. Channel 3 (in Thai). YouTube. 17 December 2011.
  9. "Nakee – The Serpent Queen". lovefia. 1 November 2016.
  10. "Destination Truth" Haunted Village/Naga (TV Episode 2007) at the Internet Movie Database

External links

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