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The most famous "BANG FAI PHAYA NAK" (บั้งไฟพญานาค)
or Naga Fireballs Festival is happening in Nongkhai province, located in Isan region - Northeast of Thailand.
The highlight is the Naga fireballs, which rise up from the river and disappear into the sky.
The Naga fireball festival is divided between Nong Khai and Phon Phisai cities.
The Naga fireball festival lasts ten days in Phon Phisai.
The second day is the most important as it is the
November Full Moon day (15 ค่ำ เดือน 11).
Phon Phisai is the famous place to see the Naga fireballs especially in front of Wat Thai
The local people believe the Naga Fireballs balls come from a mythical Buddhist snake
called "NAGA" and living in the Mekong river. Many Buddhist temple in Nong Khai province feature a Naga cave.
Wat Thai (วัดไทย) is in front of the Mekong
River. There is a big esplanade near Wat Thai used during the
Naga Fireballs festival in Phon Phisai.
During Naga Fireballs festival in Phon Phisai, better arrive early to avoid traffic jam. There
is now a four-lanes highway from Nong Khai to Phon Phisai but traffic jam still happens inside the city.
Inside Buddhist temple "Wat Thai", there is an interesting cave simulating
the Naga cave.
The Naga cave features beautiful ornamentations and also multiple famous monks
This is the stage in Phon Phisai where traditional dances and concert do happen.
On the other side of the Mekong river, the Lao People's Democratic Republic
territory can be seen.
The illuminated floating boats to be displayed during the Naga Fireballs festival in Phon Phisai
are under preparation.
Those illuminated floating boats are made of bamboo poles and many light bulbs
are attached to them.
Those illuminated floating boats are of course more impressive during nightime. The light bulbs
are made to have shapes of various Buddhist or Royal themes.
This barge is used to send the multiple fireworks at nighttime.
Some Thai people bring tents even one day before the official start of the festivities.
During the whole day, various activities happen in Phon Phisai such a big Molam dance
gathering in the morning (ประกวดรำเซิ้งอีสาน),
opening ceremony in evening time, a concert, traditional dances,
illuminated floating boats, food festival (ประกวดอาหารพื้นเมือง).
Chairs facing the Mekong river are still empty in the morning as the sun is harsh.
Local or foreign tourists can hire a boat to have a pleasant journey along the Mekong river.
All the area around Wat Thai up to Wat Chumphon Mueang (on the left) or Wat Chom Nang
(on the right) along the Mekong river is full of shops, restaurants and also games
Sadly even some people bring elephants to get money by selling bananas for tourists
to feed them.
Tee-shirts featuring Naga are a hot-selling item during the festival in Phon Phisai.
Wat Chom Nang features an impressive Buddha statue on the top of a building.