The Phaya Naga or Naga are mythical serpent-like creatures believed by locals to live in the Laotian stretch of the Mekong river or estuaries.Some have tried to explain sightings as oarfish (Regalecus glesne), elongate fish with red crests. However these are exclusively marine and usually live great depths. The creature is more likely to be some kind of huge snake.People in both Laos and Thailand attribute the Naga fireballs to these creatures .
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. Leup Phasun, an important poem from this period discusses relations between Laos and Siam in a veiled manner, using the Naga and the Garuda, to represent Laos and Siam, respectively. The Naga is incorporated extensively into Lao iconography, and features prominently in Lao culture throughout the length of the country, not only in Vientiane.