|Pick-up Point||Bang Chak BTS station in Bangkok|
|Drop-off Point||Bang Chak BTS station in Bangkok|
|Duration||5 hours (you have the freedom to stay longer or shorter durations at your discretion)|
|Physical Level||Basic – moderate walking and kneeling|
|Cultural Rating||High – Deep cultural exchange|
|Ages||18+ (must be 18 or older – younger must be accompanied by parents/guardians)|
|Group Size||Public – Min 4 – Max 12 people in this group|
What should I expect from this TRIP?
We meet today at 8 am in Bangkok near the Bang Chak BTS station (Skytrain) where you will meet your fellow Expedition team. Typically the drive to Ajarn Neng’s samnak from here is only about 15-20 minutes.
Arriving at the samnak we ask that everyone be appropriately dressed with covered shoulders and covered knees. A white shirt is preferred. Your Travel Guru (expert guide) will give you information on various tattoos and the way they are branded on the skin, as well as placing the yantra in historical context. No sak yant will be given today!
Visiting this ceremony requires caution and we ask that throughout the day you follow the instructions of our guide. Though not common in Ajarn Neng’s samnak, you still need to be alert at all times as in the past people have been injured from those nearby becoming possessed by spirits in their sacred ink.
When we arrive, there will be music and other ceremonies taking place. Most people will be sitting on either side of the samnak for most of the day, listening and participating in the prayers and chants, though it is possible to walk around and interact with other attendees when a prayer is not being said.
We will explain the importance of the ceremonies and how they are tied to the sak yant. It is an incredible history of different belief systems intermingling and evolving into the deep-rooted belief system, and traditions that are being practiced today.
Once the initial ceremonies and offerings have been made, groups of foreigners will be invited into the samnak to receive a blessing. This is intended for those who already have a sak yant with master Ajarn Neng. If you do not yet have a sak yant, you may observe from the outside of the samnak, as to not disrupt the flow of people entering and exiting. This process will go on for at least an hour, before the Thais begin their blessings.
Food and cold refreshments will be available on-site for all those who have left a donation to the samnak. There will be live music performed on-site throughout as well.
By around 1pm, those who have already received blessings will start to leave. You have the option to stay longer if you wish, or to leave earlier as well. We have been granted permission to come to visit Ajarn Neng and be in the company of his devotees, and are honoured to share this insight into a fascinating and complex sub-culture that exists in Thailand. Come experience the magic for yourself!
For more information on a similar (though MUCH bigger) festival, please refer to the Where Sidewalks End post: Sak Yant Wai Kru Festival
What is included?
This 1 day Cultural Experience includes the following:
- Transportation to/from Bang Chak BTS station (in Bangkok) to Ajarn Neng’s Samnak
- An experienced guide knowledgeable in the Sak Yant Ceremony at Ajarn Neng’s samnak (studio)
What is NOT included?
- A donation made to Ajarn Neng’s samnak (customary – between 100 to 500 THB)
- Travel Insurance (Compulsory)
- International flights or transportation to/from the itinerary’s start point
- Additional activities not listed in the itinerary
- Meals not listed in the activity itineraries
- Gratuities and tips for local guides
- Spending Money
Supporting Local Projects
Every TRIP that you go on with WSE Travel, we will donate $1 USD per day, per person, to an environmental project and another dollar-a-day to a community-based project in the country you’re visiting. For information on the projects for this TRIP, please click on the link: Thailand TRiP Foundation Projects