A Payanak

I was asked by a little boy yesterday what the big dragon was doing in the lobby of the Hotel I worked? I was dumbfounded, I had sat there for 9 years and thought that it was a Chinese Dragon - it isn't.


The animal is a Payanak.  The Payanak has a great many sources for it’s inspiration but all of them are worth reading. The most conclusive writings I found were in the National History Bulletin of the Siam Society.  The Payanak is usually represented with a single dragon like head, with a horn on the snout, a beard-like projection from the chin, a long snake or fish like body covered with scales, four legs and wings.

The illusive Payanak was also mentioned in a Thai film that came out in 2002 called Sibha kham doan sib edIt is here where the link to the mysterious Naga Full Moon event.  The Fireballs that are seen during this period are the snorting of the Payanak when it pays respect to the Lord Buddah.

The Oarfish is a creature that most resembles the Payanak and some would say is the reason for the belief being continued.  The Oarfish lives in open oceans and survives up to depths exceeding 1000 metres. The Oarfish movement is rapid and easily avoids predators – it’s reproduction has not been observed but been photographed.