Rock in Naga Cave looks like mythical snake, drives up tourism in Bueng Kan

Photo by Sakon Teerapongtanakron.

A giant rock in Naga Cave, located in the Bueng Kan province of Northeastern Thailand, has bumps that look like snake scales. The rock is said to look like Naga, a mythical serpent that Northeastern Thais believe brings rain to their crops. The rock is now drawing tourism to Bueng Kan, and 20 hotels in the Bueng Khong Long district of Bueng Kan are 90% occupied on average. 58 other hotels are now 70% occupied on average. They were only 50% occupied on average before the rock started getting so much publicity.

The Naga Cave is inside the Phu Langka National Park. The president of the Tourism Council of Bueng Kan said a team from the council first discovered the rock in 2020, and it then gained social media attention. The legend of Naga holds deep meaning in Northeastern Thai legends, and legends from other Southeast and South Asian cultures. These cultures believe Naga is a giant serpent with many heads. It has spiritual meaning in both Buddhism and Hinduism. The Northeastern Thai legend says that the water angel ordered Nagas to play in a lake, so water would spill onto people’s crops as rain.

Every year in the Northeast, people shoot self-made rockets into the sky to wake up the Naga, hoping the Naga will send rain down to their crops.

Sources: Bangkok Post | Thailex

Northern Thailand

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.