Mekhong Full Moon Party

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Mekhong Full Moon Party
The Thai movie poster.
Directed by Jira Maligool
Produced by

Youngyooth Thongkonthun

Prasert Vivattanananpong
Written by Jira Maligool
Starring Anuchyd Sapanphong
Noppadol Duangporn
Music by Amornbhong Methakunavudh
Cinematography Somboon Piriyapukdeekul
Edited by Pan Busabaan
Distributed by GMM Pictures
Release date
October 2, 2002 (Canada)
October 11, 2002 (Thailand)
Running time
119 minutes
Country Thailand
Language Thai/Isan

Mekhong Full Moon Party (Thai: 15 ค่ำ เดือน 11; rtgsSip Ha Kham Duean Sip Et; literally, "The 15th Day of the 11th Month") is a 2002 Thai comedy-drama about the Naga fireballs that arise from the Mekong at Nong Khai on the full moon in October. Written by Jira Maligool, the film was also Jira's directorial debut.

The film takes a semi-documentary approach to its subject, examining the phenonmenon and its accompanying festival, which draws thousands of people to Nong Khai each year, as well as providing a glimpse at Isan culture, Thai folklore and such practices as eating insects.


Khan, a Nong Khai native now attending university in Bangkok comes home for the annual Naga fireballs festival, just as a debate is raging over the cause of the fireballs. A local physician, Dr. Nortai, believes there is a scientific explanation for the phenomenon. A university professor, Dr. Suraphol, thinks the fireballs are manmade and are a hoax.

Khan knows the truth: Having grown up as a dek wat at a Buddhist temple across the river in Laos, he helped the temple's abbot and the monks there to create fireballs and plant them on the bed on the Mekong. It is how he grew up to become such a strong swimmer and obtain an athletic scholarship.

The temple's abbot, Luang Poh Loh, seeks Khan out and begs him to once again help with the planting of the fireballs. But Khan, weary of perpetuating a myth and of the crowds that accompany it, refuses.

This sets up a conflict between science and religion that threatens to change the annual celebration.

For his part, Luang Poh Loh is philosophical, advising "Do what you believe, believe in what you do."


  • Anuchyd Sapanphong as Khan
  • Noppadol Duangporn as Luang Por Loh
  • Boonchai Limathibul as Dr. Norati
  • Somlek Sakdikul as Dr. Surapol
  • Thidarat Chareonchaichana as Teacher Alice
  • Boonsri Yindee as Aunt Oong
  • Surasee Patham as Headmaster

Festivals and awards[edit]

The film won nine awards at the Thailand National Film Awards, including honors for best picture, best director and best screenplay for Jira Maligool and best actor to Noppadol Duangporn.

It won the FIPRESCI award at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and was in the ASEAN competition at the 2003 Bangkok International Film Festival.

The film had its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival and was screened at many other festivals including the Seattle International Film Festival and the Stockholm International Film Festival.

External links[edit]