Getting a Sak Yant in Ayutthaya and visiting the ruins
We believe that the ancient art of the Sak Yant in Ayutthaya (bamboo tattoo) is one of the most personal and spiritual experiences one can have in this part of South East Asia. We feel that this experience is best enjoyed with someone who understands the process, in addition to having an Ajarn (tattoo master) who faithfully takes his work seriously. We think the quality of the yantra, in addition to having proper sterilization of the equipment both add to your experience of being able to enter the process with the assurance that everything will be ok afterwards.
By sourcing one of Ayutthaya’s most revered Ajarns, and adequately training our Travel Gurus (local guide experts), we have carefully crafted one of the most culturally immersive, mindful experiences one could hope for while getting ‘inked’ in an ancient form.
Not only this, Ayutthaya happens to be one of the most sacred cities in the country! Once a former capital city, it was sacked by Burma and left in ruins. Following your Ink Experience, we can take you around the old ruins, learning about the history of the ancient city, as well as immersing even deeper into Thai culture, with activities such as an introductory meditation lesson from a Buddhist monk! Make a full day out of your trip to Ayutthaya with this immersive ink & sacred experience combo trip!
If you are looking for a specific protection/aid in life, a spiritual connection to the east, or a travel memory that will last a lifetime, this may be what you’ve been seeking.
Please Note: Price is all-inclusive of a consultation and a medium-sized sak yant (about the size of your hand), though it is possible the Ajarn may ask for an additional sum if you would prefer to choose your own design or a larger, more detailed yant, rather than one he has chosen based on your expressed needs.
Want more info on getting a Sak Yant in Ayutthaya? Please visit our FAQ – Sak Yant resource guide!
Thinking of getting multiple Sak Yant in Ayutthaya on the same day? Travelling as a couple or with a friend and want to share the experience? Since you do not need to hire a guide twice, a discount will automagically be applied as you increase the number of people in your group and the total number of sak yant being reserved.
*No bulk discounts for a single person or single yant purchases, nor for multi-day bookings.
Interested in only the temple hopping sacred experience in Ayutthaya to see the ancient ruins and learn about Thai Buddhist meditation? Book your licensed tour guide here on our Ayutthaya Sacred Experience.
Interested in only getting a sak yant, and skipping the ancient capital city’s ruins? You can book your Ayutthaya ink experience here: Ayutthaya Ink Experience.
|Mochit Bus Terminal in Bangkok
Please note: no hotel pickups, due to varying travel times & limited temple hours
|Mochit Bus Terminal
|6-8 hours (depending on traffic, duration of your consultation and number of yants being given)
Note: This does not include the time it takes for you to get to the pickup/drop-off point
|Moderate (some pain is involved – varies depending on location of the tattoo, and your own tolerance)
|High – Deep cultural exchange
|18+ (must be 18 or older for getting tattoos – observers may be younger)
|Private – Max of 6 people and a max of 4 sak yant per private booking
Itinerary for getting a sak yant in Ayutthaya and visiting the ancient ruins
After joining your guide at the designated meeting point (given to you after making your reservation, you will travel towards one of the most important places in Thailand, the Ayutthaya Historical Park! The journey from Bangkok to Ayutthaya is roughly 1-1.5 hours, depending on traffic. We are arriving early, though it may still be busy! While most guides will just go over some of the basic site features, we will take you deeper while exploring the ancient ruins and their relevance to modern Thai culture and beliefs, including the origins of the Ramakien, which is the foundation of Thai Buddhism. Looking at paintings of the Ramakien (the story of Buddha of which modern Thai culture is based upon). This city is rich in history, as it was once the capital of Siam for more than 400 years, before being sacked by the Burmese. This tour of these breathtaking monuments reveals a hidden history of cruelty and persecution.
Upon arrival to the ancient city, you will travel together to a rural area of the city of Ayutthaya, in which a revered Ajarn’s samnak (traditional sak yant studio) is located. Upon arrival, you will begin to feel the authenticity and seclusion of this ajarn’s practice, and see how serious and involved he really is. Often there are several other locals awaiting their own blessing and protection from him.
You will be guided through the entire ceremony with the help of your travel guru. The duration of the ceremonies is only about 15 mins total before and after, though the duration of the Sak Yant in Ayutthaya itself can range anywhere between 15 mins to 4 hours depending on the size and intricacy of the design chosen. It all happens in an incredible setting and one that not many would ever forget. The smells, the sounds, the statues and masks and incense burning.
Upon completion of your sacred blessing, our travel guru will begin to guide you through the ancient ruins of the former capital of Siam.
escort you to a local food market for a well-deserved meal, where you can reflect on your experience while further being exposed to the local culture through the sights, sounds, and tastes of this part of Ayutthaya.
With your new protection and a full belly, our guide will help arrange transit for your journey back to your hotel, happy and blessed. Before we get into the temple hopping, we will start your sacred experience with a brief lesson in Thai buddhist meditation. Meeting with a monk, you will be taught how and why it is used commonly throughout Thailand. Having this time with a monk will also open the floor to ask some other questions which may be on your mind, to help understand Thai culture on a more intimate level.
From here we will begin your tour through the historic park of Ayutthaya. Though not really a park, this sleepy island town is filled with history and wonder. The sites we will visit will include Wat Phra Si Sanphet (home of the famous Buddha head, intertwined with tree roots), Wat Lokkayasutharam’s “Reclining Buddha” and Boran Palace (Wang Luang) “The Rear Palace” Royal residence. These sites are amongst the most important in Ayutthaya, if not in Thailand’s history, and are a highlight for many guests’ journey to Thailand.
While visiting Wang Luang palace, you will also learn a very important practice in Thai Buddhism: How to pray and pay respect to the giant Buddha statues found in every temple across the country. You will learn how to “wai” (bowing with the hands in prayer position), and why this is done. This will not only give you a broader insight into what you’ll experience in other parts of the country but probably win you some merit points with the locals you encounter as well!
In addition to this, we will also learn the Chinese tradition of how praying with sacred sticks give you superstitious numbers. Thailand has a rich and diverse culture that has had many influences through the centuries. Buddhism was first being introduced from South Asia in a region now known as India and Sri Lanka. Many traditions and beliefs also were coming from the Far East, now known as China.
After some solid learning and site-seeing, we will now fill our bellies with some of the best food Ayutthaya has to offer. We can meet most dietary needs (vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free, etc) – just let your guide know at the beginning of the tour.
Finally, to end our journey, we will take a boat ride around the ancient capital. The rivers split and form a natural moat which was used to protect the city from invaders for centuries, until its eventual demise. This will be a relaxing part of your journey to take in some of the natural beauty that surrounds this old sleepy town. You will witness extreme wealth, and dire poverty, which highlights some of the realities faced with every society. There is still evidence of some of the damage caused by the flooding of late 2011, as well as seeing some of the mighty temples that have stood the test of time along the riverbanks. You may even get to see some wildlife, as sightings of giant catfish and monitor lizards call these rivers home.
We then continue the journey back to Bangkok to end at the same place we met, many hours earlier, though now, happy, blessed with new ink and enriched with much of the old knowledge from the ancient city of Ayutthaya.
Please note: There is a Dress Code! Though not as strict as places such as the Grand Palace, there is still an expected dress code for visiting the temples and other sacred sites in Thailand. Visitors must be properly dressed before being allowed entry to the temple. Men must wear long shorts or pants (that cover your knees, at least) and shirts with sleeves – no sleeveless tops. Wearing sandals or flip-flops is perfectly ok, as you’ll take them off whenever entering a temple. Women must be similarly modestly dressed. No see-through clothes, no bare shoulders, knees covered, etc. It is also recommended to avoid wearing bright colours, though less strictly enforced.
Who gives you a sak yant in Ayutthaya?
The ajarn we practise primarily in Ayutthaya is known as Ajarn Wao. He has been a master of sak yant, and well respected in the Thai community for his practice since 2007. Ajarn Wao is the former student of Ajarn Tong, Ajarn Pat, Ajarn Luan Peedt, & Ajarn Nhat Tha Dhed. He studied under all these grandmasters learning and perfecting his skills before becoming a sak yant ajarn himself.
Though relatively unknown to the outside world prior to our collaboration with him, he has since served hundreds of foreigners coming to learn about his trade and experience the ancient rituals of sak yant. We have now had a few bloggers write about their experience with him, and hope that this helps bring him the same deserved spotlight that our other ajarn partners have attained.
Ajarn Wao is perceived amongst locals as an insightful and intuitive sak yant master, known for his magic and detail in his work. His distinctive style is heavy-handed with bold and pronounced line work. He takes hygiene very seriously and burns his ancient needle tip (the needle given to him by his master, and his masters before him) until it glows red hot, killing any organic traces found within (a process we have had approved by several American nurses). New ink pots are used for each guest, along with new latex rubber gloves worn by himself and his assistants.
He is a wise ajarn, known for listening well and being very intuitive in his consultations. His knowledge and wisdom is also met with an intuition that is sometimes shocking, being able to see traits of his guests which may be hidden to others. With a strong ability to see into his guests’ lives, he uses old magic skills and astrology in ways that are rapidly disappearing with globalization in Thailand. An experience with Ajarn Wao is an experience using some of the oldest styles in Thailand, and one you will never forget!
What is included in your Ink and Sacred Combo Trip in Ayutthaya?
Your sak yant experience includes:
– information provided before your experience to educate you and properly prepare you
– pick-up and drop-off transfers from the designated meeting point in Bangkok.
Note: We will choose the fastest transit based on the traffic that day. This could be a taxi, Skytrain, subway, boat, minivan, tuk-tuk or any combination of these
– a specially trained and licensed guide who will facilitate your experience
– a fully translated consultation with the ajarn to discuss what yant would best suit you based on your life’s values (your passions, fears, goals and challenges you face).
– all offerings for the ritual (flowers, incense, etc)
– a high quality, traditional and clean sak yant (included medium size – larger require more to be paid locally).
— All Entrance Fees to the Temples and historic sites
– a special gift before the meditation
– food (simple lunch and snacks) to keep your energy levels up
What is not included in your Ink Experience in Ayutthaya?
– Travel Insurance (Compulsory)
– International flights or transportation to/from the itinerary’s start point
– Transport to and from your Bangkok based hotel
– Accommodation in Ayutthaya (we suggest Agoda for the best hotel rates)
– Activities not listed in the itinerary
– Meals not listed in the itinerary
– Gratuities and tips
– All drinks
– Spending Money
More information about getting a sak yant?
Getting a Sak Yant in Ayutthaya – The process of getting a sak yant (Bamboo Tattoo) is a sacred experience – one that has ancient roots dating back many centuries in South East Asia, and has grown and evolved over time. We feel very fortunate to be able to offer this experience to our guests.
As with any permanent design you are planning to put on your body, it’s probably a good idea to know a bit about the process prior to getting a Sak Yant (Please see our FAQs – Everything you NEED to know about getting a Sak Yant in Ayutthaya resource). Based on old traditions, it is common for locals to come meet with their Ajarn (tattoo master) prior to getting a Sak Yant, to be able to consult them on things troubling their lives. Here, they would discuss their passions, their goals in life, challenges they face, and even their fears – anything based on their values. This enables to Ajarn to select a yantra (there are over 1000 designs of the tattoos associated with various types of protections) which would fully personalized, to help the guest and to give them an enchantment.
There is a common misconception that ajarns just choose based on reading your aura or energy. This idea is likely is due to some foreigners not having the ability to communicate with the ajarn, and so they would choose a yantra that holds a general protection spell for them, as they could not communicate on any deeper level. It would appear that they read their mind or energy, though it is much more likely they were just unsure of what else to give, and gave something powerful, though more generalized.
We try to bridge that gap with a full consultation prior to your experience. When you visit Ayutthaya to get a sak yant on our ink experience, you will be able to converse with the ajarn with the aid of your Travel Guru (licensed local guide), to hear the ajarn’s teachings and suggestions for what might help you in your onward journey. It is a beautiful process, and we encourage everyone to go through it, even if you already had a design in mind – he may give you a better suggestion more suited to you.
We take hygiene and quality very seriously, and have many interviewed ajarns to ensure that we could find the best suited for you to get a sak yant in Ayutthaya. The ajarn we practice with is also comfortable to give a sak yant to women. You will be assured good quality, and hygiene, while being very traditional in the ceremonies, with a respected ajarn – so you can come worry-free and be able to be more ‘present’ both mentally, physically, and spiritually for you experience.
Supporting Local Projects with our TRiP Foundation
Every TRiP that you go on with WSE Travel, we will donate 2% of the total sales price to an environmental or community-based project in the country you’re visiting. We want to ensure that every guest we help, in turn, helps support and preserve the destination we’re experiencing together as a direct result. We live by an ethos to Travel Responsibly & Impact Positively (TRiP).
For more information on the projects supported by this experience, please visit our Thailand TRIP projects.
Cancellations & Rebooking
All tours, services and experiences booked through WSE Travel are bound to our Terms and Conditions, which were modelled after most other travel services such as flights, hotels and other tour operators.
Should you need to cancel or change your reservation for any reason (including but not limited to missed flights, illness, or change of mind), you will still be bound to the terms and conditions agreed to at the time of booking.
Should you give us more than 14 days notice of a change in your reservation, we can store your payment in the ‘safety deposit box’, to be used for a future travel date, either by you, or to be transferred to a friend or family member. Refunds are not available unless your reservation is cancelled by WSE Travel for circumstances outside of our control.
Should you give us less than 14 days notice of a change in your reservation, a rebooking fee will be imposed. We do try to be flexible for our guests, but not at the sacrifice of the livelihoods of any locals hired for your private experiences. As these are private experiences, your guide and any other local service provider block their days off from other work to accommodate your reservation, and may not be able to fill that day again in the event of cancellation. To be fair and responsible to them and their reliance on your reservation’s promised work, your guide will still be paid for your reservation. As such, last-minute cancellations or changes will be subject to a rebooking fee of $100 USD (per booking, not per guest), to re-hire a guide for your future travel date.
This flexibility is a bend in our Terms and Conditions to try and be fair both to our guests, as well as the locals hired to facilitate your reservation. If you feel there is a high chance of cancellations or changes, please make sure you buy appropriate travel insurance which will be able to reimburse you for cancellations of things such as flights, hotels and tours.