Things that go bump in the night

The Naga Fireballs

Fireballs are observed in some 250 kilometres long sector of Mekong: approximately from Ban Muang upstreams from Vientiane down to Bung Kan. Most of them rise from the 500 - 800 m wide Mekong River, but they have been observed rising from smaller ponds and rivers as well. These places might sound exotic and remote to Europeans but they are densely populated, filled with houses, roads, schools and other usual features of civilisation.
Phenomenon of Naga fireballs is not too well documented in earlier times. Some say that Wat Luang temple (in Phon Phisai, Wat Pho Luang Phra Sai) contains centuries old written records mentioning them. There are mentioned also occasional written reports from British soldiers in 1960ies - although nothing concrete is cited. Numerous local people claim that they have seen the lights for all their life and their parents and grandparents did it as well.
Although the appearance of fireballs is celebrated at certain days in October, in fact this event is not predictable. There have been cases when the official festivity “ends without results” and fireballs come unexpected in another night. Many people have tried hard to see them for years without success, many are lucky and see them at first visit to this site. For example, in 2001 there were reported 3,000 fireballs, the festivity of 2004 was disappointing in this respect but in 2008 the illumination was excellent.