Spiritual Folklore Tourism

Tourists’ Experience at Naga Cave in Thailand


  • Ruchi Agarwal Mahidol University International College
  • Chompunuch Pongjit Mahidol University International College




Naga Cave, Spiritual Tourism, Social Media, Thailand, Tourist Experience


This article highlights the importance of spiritual pilgrims’ pre-travel experiences and belief in the divine spirit to fulfil their spiritual journey. We explore the experiences of travellers who visited the Naga Cave and sought spiritual help to fulfil their desires. We used netnography to collect travellers’ stories to reveal the importance of seeking spiritual help and sharing experiences on Facebook to promote the sacredness of Phu Aue Lue and the Naga Cave. Some travellers cleanse their spirits before the trip using meditation, prayer, adhering to the five Buddhist precepts, and going vegetarian. Physical fitness is also crucial, as the 1,400 metres of the extremely taxing trail in the cave demands four to five hours of hiking. Spiritual tourism offers an opportunity for psychological recovery post-COVID-19, and spiritual destinations with folkloric overtones, such as the Naga Cave, are expected to increase in prominence among spiritual and general tourists due to their inherent healing properties. Additionally, the tourism authority may employ further marketing and promotional initiatives to promote Naga Cave as a sustainable tourist destination. The use of mass media for communication has been of interest in recent years, with studies examining the use of new media by individuals and the significance of Naga in Thai architectural and sculptural ornaments.


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Author Biographies

  • Ruchi Agarwal, Mahidol University International College

    Dr Ruchi Agarwal is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology teaching courses in the International Relations and Global Affairs program at Mahidol University International College, Thailand. Her research interests include religious diversity in Thailand, economics of religions, economic development, South Asian regional development, and diasporic studies.

  • Chompunuch Pongjit, Mahidol University International College

    Dr Chompunuch Pongjit is an Assistant Professor of Marketing, teaching courses in marketing for the undergraduate program at Mahidol University International College, Thailand. Her research interests primarily relate to consumer behaviour, including branding, word of mouth, willingness to pay, spirituality, folklore tourism, and Thai spirituality.


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How to Cite

Agarwal, R., & Pongjit, C. (2023). Spiritual Folklore Tourism: Tourists’ Experience at Naga Cave in Thailand. Fieldwork in Religion, 18(2), 236–256. https://doi.org/10.1558/firn.26830