Getting a Sak Yant in Bangkok
We believe that the ancient art of the Sak Yant in Bangkok (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, adds to your experience of being able to enter the process with the assurance that everything will be ok afterward.
By sourcing one of Bangkok’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.
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 an average 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 yant, rather than one he has chosen based on your expressed needs. We include up to an hour session with the ajarn (this includes both the time for consultation, translations, questions, and answers) as well as the yantra (which are much faster than tattoo machines). Each additional 30 mins needed for larger or more detailed yantras is about $100 USD or 3200 THB (which can be paid locally to the ajarn in cash). It depends on how big, how much time, and how much detail is being added, though if you are planning on getting something bigger/more detailed than what we include, we need to let him know in advance, as he blocks time slots for each reservation, and may already have the time after your reservation filled up.
Want more info on getting a Sak Yant in Bangkok? Please visit our FAQ – Sak Yant resource guide!
Thinking of getting multiple Sak Yant in Bangkok 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 automatically be applied as you increase the number of sak yant.
*No bulk discounts are available for single yant purchases or for multi-day bookings.
Interested in hiring a private guide for more adventures around Bangkok? Book your licensed tour guide here on our Bangkok Local Experience.
|Pick-up Point||Your Bangkok Hotel (specified to us ‘after’ your online reservation via email)|
|Drop-off Point||Your Bangkok Hotel|
|Duration||Between 3-5 hours (depending on the distance of your hotel, and duration of your consultation)|
|Physical Level||Moderate (some pain is involved – varies depending on the location of the tattoo, and your own tolerance)|
|Cultural Rating||High – Deep cultural exchange|
|Ages||18+ (must be 18 or older for getting tattoos – observers may be younger)|
|Group Size||Private – Max 4 sak yant/people per booking (larger groups may be possible on request)|
Itinerary for getting a sak yant in Bangkok
On the day of your Sak Yant ceremony, we will have a Travel Guru (local guide) meet you at your hotel or an agreed-upon location. You will travel together to a rural area of the city of Bangkok, 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 there 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 Bangkok 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 the incense burning.
Upon completion of your sacred blessing, our travel guru will 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 Bangkok.
With your new protection and a full belly, our guide will help arrange transit for your journey back to your hotel, happy and blessed.
Who gives you a sak yant in Bangkok?
Meet Ajarn Neng
The ajarn we practice with primarily in Bangkok is known as Ajarn Neng. He has been a master of sak yant, and is well respected in the Thai community for his practice since 2007. Ajarn Neng is a 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 thousands of foreigners coming to learn about his trade and experience the ancient rituals of sak yant. Celebrity guests include Steven Seagal and Where Sidewalks End guest, Brooke Shields. He has also been featured on the Al Jazeera news channel.
Ajarn Neng is known as a powerful sak yant master, with strong magic. His distinctive style is heavy-handed with very bold and pronounced line work. He takes hygiene very seriously and new needle tips and ink pots are used for each guest, along with new latex rubber gloves worn by himself and his assistants.
He is a humble ajarn, known for listening well and being very mindful in his consultations. His knowledge and wisdom are also met with affection towards other living beings, as is evident with some of the animals you’ll see wandering his samnak. When not giving sak yant, Ajarn Neng loves watching Animal Planet!
What is included in your Ink Experience in Bangkok?
Your sak yant experience includes:
– information provided before your experience to educate you and properly prepare you
– pick-up and drop-off transfers to your hotel (must be centrally located within Bangkok).
Note: We will choose the fastest transit based on the location of your hotel. This could be a taxi, Skytrain, subway, boat, 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 requests require advanced notice due to the extra time needed, and more to be paid locally, depending on size and detail level).
– food (simple lunch and snacks) to keep your energy levels up
Examples of the included Sak Yant
Please note: These are for example purposes only. Please do not select any of these based on appearance. They are just to give an idea of the included size and detail level on an Ink Experience.
Important: All sak yant must be above the waist – no exceptions. This is due to sexual associations with sak yant below the waist, which the ajarns are not comfortable giving.
What is not included in your Ink Experience in Bangkok?
– Travel Insurance (Compulsory)
– International flights or transportation to/from the itinerary’s start point
– Accommodation in Bangkok (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
Examples of non-included Sak Yants (additional cost)
Please note: These (larger sak yant shown) are for example purposes only. Please do not select any of these based on appearance. They are just to give an idea of the non-included size and detail level of an Ink Experience, which comes at an additional cost, payable locally, based on the time needed.
More information about getting a sak yant?
Getting a Sak Yant in Bangkok – 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 Bangkok resource). Based on old traditions, it is common for locals to come to 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, the challenges they face, and even their fears – anything based on their values. This enables Ajarn to select a yantra (there are over 1000 designs of the tattoos associated with various types of protection) that would be 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 Bangkok 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 Bangkok. 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 your experience.
Supporting Local Projects with our TRiP Foundation
For 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, help supports and preserves 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 modeled 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 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 all 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 to 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.
Phil S. (verified owner) –
What an experience! From booking to getting the sak yant, Ian and WSE made it easy. Ian arranged a bigger tattoo for me and conveyed my needs to the ajarn before I even got to Bangkok and our guide, Patty (also amazing!) talked with my partner in depth for her needs and conveyed them perfectly to the ajarn.
The studio itself was clean, well air conditioned and the ajarn and his assistant were genuinely awesome people.
Can’t recommend this experience enough!
Louise Jones (verified owner) –
My Bangkok Ink Experience with WSE Travel – I cannot say enough good things about this process. Ian was so helpful with the booking and answering any questions in the early planning stages. He patiently answered more questions in the last few days leading up to my appointment today.
Our amazing guide and interpreter, Tammy. Today would not have been the experience it was without you. From reaching out to me the night before with plans for our day, taking us for the best chocolate banana waffles, listening and taking the time to understand my reasons for wanting to get a Sak Yant and translating those wishes to Ajarn Neng and being there to ensure I had the best possible experience and coming away with what is right for me – I couldn’t have asked for more…thank you so much 🙏🏼
And Ajarn Neng. Thank you 🙏🏼. Even though we didn’t understand each other directly, you took the time to ask Tammy questions and you certainly had the read on who I am. I feel incredibly blessed to have had this experience. I didn’t expect it to be the emotional journey that it turned out to be – so grateful to have had this opportunity. My heart is full. Kap Khun Ka 🙏🏼❤️
Kyle Almryde (verified owner) –
I have had the privilege to have received two Sak Yants from Arjun Neng thanks to the help of WSE. As other reviews have stated, Arjun Neng is a master of his craft – he is kind, thoughtful, insightful, and very good at translating my needs into the right design. He is also incredibly efficient in administering the Sak Yant.
As for WSE I only have good things to say and know that I am a customer for life at this point. My most recent experience I was lucky to have Gob as my guide. He was kind, patient, spoke good English, and I REALLY appreciated the annotated meaning of my sak yant. It makes the conversation of “what does your tattoo mean” a whole lot easier when I can just show people.
I also want to give a necessary shout out to the health standards that WSE promotes and Arjun Neng adheres too. It matters, and was initially the primary reason why I chose to go with WSE in the first place.
Keep up the great work, I look forward to using this company and Arjun Neng again for my next and next next Sak Yants
Paola (verified owner) –
Our your guide Gob was so polite and extremely accommodating!! He really started the whole experience.
Arjan Neng was attentive, kind, shared his own experience with me. Really understood the underlying meaning of my goals and highlighted what I needed.
The Sak yant was done really quickly with soft touch, there is a needle involved so there were small seconds of pain but over all so much better experience than the western machine gun tattoos.
I’d absolutely do it all over again.
Patrick Parker (verified owner) –
Arjan Neng was amazing and my guide Khun Koi was great. I felt honored to participate in this experience.
Patrick Parker (verified owner) –
Arjan Neng was amazing and my guide Khun Koi was great. I felt honored participate in this experience.
Jodelle Lapinski (verified owner) –
We visited Bangkok in December and received our tattoos just prior to leaving. It was a great experience and extremely spiritual. Our tattoos were tailored to us and personal. Ajarn Neng definitely had a light touch and was pretty quick.
Valentino was an awesome guide and super knowledgeable!!
John Merva (verified owner) –
It was a great experience all round. K. Jazzi was a wonderful guide. He was very passionate and knowledgeable and also good company for the three or four hours. Ajarn Neng is also very personable and there’s an incredible sense of tradition (as well as some beautiful and meaningful artwork at the end). I’d highly recommend the tour. Thank you to everyone – especially K. Jazzi!
And for those worrying about the pain – while I can see it being pretty unbearable for a big piece, for the size of the tattoo, it’s really not that bad. A bit ouchy but Ajarn Neng works quickly and has a light touch. You may not want to do it everyday, but don’t let fear of the pain put you off!
Will Laumann (verified owner) –
WSE provided this incredibly interesting experience and made it very easy for someone like myself who needs a Thai translator. Ajarn Neng and his assistant Ajarn Too are humble, caring and talented individuals. My travel guide Jojo was also fantastic and greatly helped me experience this as well as other areas of Bangkok and Thai culture. The hospitality by all involved felt very personal and genuine. This was something that I will forever have fond memories of. I very highly recommend this to anyone who is interested!
anton tohtamish (verified owner) –
a great experiance
Eric Wu (verified owner) –
As a forgnier with no Thai language background, WSE is the way to get a Sak Yant. As this was also my first tattoo as well, my guide (Amy) made me felt very comfortable as she translated and explained everything in detail of the whole cultural process. My Ajarn was very friendly and I felt very welcomed by his presence. His skills were wonderful as I did not feel much pain throughout the process. I cannot be happier with the help and communication from Amy and WSE Team that helped me get my Sak Yant. The whole experience was very personal, spiritual, and emotional; loved every step of the way~ Once I’m ready for another Sak Yant, I will be going through WSE and hopefully will get Amy as my guide again.
Tristan (verified owner) –
This is an incredible company to work with if you are planning on getting a Sak Yant. I’ve been wanting one for over a decade and wasnt sure how to go about it, and they couldn’t have been more helpful. Having someone with to translate for you made the experience much more personal and our guide (Jazzi) was great! He also showed us some incredible food afterwards! Ajarn Neng was also a great person, and made everything feel safe and comfortable, as well as explaining what he was putting in my Yant. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience and next time I come to Bangkok I will definitely be back.
Anne Karen Stokke (verified owner) –
Getting a Sak Yant was a bucket list item for me, but I wanted it done safely so I googled and finally came up with WSE. I was not disappointed. My guide, Tammy, quickly turned into someone I feel I have known for years, she took such good care of me and we had the most amazing time. Way beyond what i thought it was going to be, thank you for making this special day even better, Tammy.
The tattooing itself was not painful, uncomfortable at times, but not painful. Ajarn Tu listened to Tammy interpret what I explained, had some follow up questions and quickly decided on a design for me. I had already decided to go with what the Ajarn decided because I thought what would be the point if I didn’t? The whole idea is he chooses something to fit my narrative. The only thing I wanted was for it to be placed centrally on my back somewhere, because the look of balance was important to me. This was no problem. So after showing me he was opening a brand new, sterile needle for the job (which wasn’t necessary really, I felt 100 % safe in this environment) Ajarn Tu set to work while his assistant and Tammy held my shoulders to avoid flinching. The whole process felt like it didn’t take to long, but I can’t remember how long exactly. I’m not religious, but it was a pretty spiritual experience. I highly recommend it if you’re considering it and I definitely recommend WSE.
Tammy was the best <3
I waited until i was 38 years old before getting my very first tattoo and am I ever grateful that I opted for the sak yant with WSE. I was really nervous but our fabulous guide Tammy explained every step of the process and made sure I understood the spiritual significance of this beautiful art that will be on my back forever.
Ajarn Neng is a brilliant artist. Has a very warm and welcoming presence. He really took the time to ask me questions and understand why i wanted the tattoo in the first place. I am confident that he understood why I wanted the sak yant in the first place and that the artwork signifies the meaning that I intended. I look forward to getting my next tattoo and I will definitely book my tour and consultation with WSE in the future. A very professional company. Thanks very much! I absolutely LOVE my tattoo!
Ruben Moren (verified owner) –
Amazing experience!!!! I had my sak yant made yesterday!!! My travel guru Golf was incredible, he explained everything to me and my wife, and made the experience really rejoicing and fantastic. Arjan Neng was incredible, and I simoly loved everything, it’s incredibly spiritual and emotional. The whole process fills you in such a way I can’t describe!!!! I will definitely look and hope for the oportunity to do it all over again!!! Thanks WSE for making this possible, and special mention to Golf!!! Best travel guru ever!!!!
Joe & Susanna (verified owner) –
Everything about this experience was amazing. From our pre travel communications, to Oil picking us up and giving us great cultural insights and answering all our questions, to meeting Ajarn Neng and getting his guidance and the San Yants, and then to our delicious local lunch before being dropped back off at our hotel. Oil and WSE when above and beyond to make our experience a very personalized and special one. We couldn’t be happier!
DeAnna Bastin (verified owner) –
I had been researching for years about getting a Sak Yant tattoo, and as a woman I was concerned about going to Wat Bang Phra and not being able to get one done, or to not like what they picked, and most importantly, not being able to communicate with the ajarn. This is what led me to WSE. I read over their website over and over again, and finally reached out with questions. The response team were so quick, and got back to me within 1/2 hour if I remember correctly, and so I booked! From the start to the finish the team at WSE were fantastic. They sent emails, they reached out and despite being nervous my guide helped me through the whole process and it was one of the best experiences I had during my Thailand trip. If you are thinking that you want to get a Sak Yant, I think the best possible way to do it would be to book with WSE. Thank you for everything!
Damitrice Marrero (verified owner) –
From start to finish this company has been professional and helpful in every aspect. Three women traveling alone in a foreign country we had to be careful but Ian and his team put us at ease thru the process. The ajarn was quick and efficient and everything is as clean as they state it is as hygiene is very important. Yes you can get a sak yant without a guide but then you fall into the issues of translation. For this exact reason we chose WSE travel and would do it again with them. Thanks guys love my tattoo…until next time
samantha.bryant4 (verified owner) –
I had an amazing experience getting my sak yant tattoo in Bangkok. My guide, Valentino, was really laid back and chill and did a great job explaining the process and cultural significance of the tattoo. Ajarn Neng was incredible. He spent a while flipping through options, asking me questions, and talking with me through the help of my guru before settling on the right sak yant. Ajarn Neng was quick and efficient and his apprentice was also friendly and helpful. I’m so glad I chose to go with WSE instead of the other local option because getting to have the conversation with Ajarn Neng made the entire process that much more special. I absolutely love my tattoo and can’t wait to go back for another.
mikemianic (verified owner) –
i’m glad i chose wheresidewalksend to help me have my fisrt sak yant. i highly recommend them if you want to experience it too. my guide was Gon. he was on time. he explained to me and answered all my questions about the experience.
Kristyn Notholt (verified owner) –
My Sak Yant experience through Where Sidewalks End was truly a wonderful experience. I highly recommend this for someone who is looking for a truly unique tattoo experience. Ice, our travel guru, was absolutely phenomenal. Not only did he walk us through the whole Sak Yant process but he took our down time and turned it into such an educational experience. Telling us about Thai history, life in Thailand, and talked with us about Thai food and how it differs from other cuisines. Next time we come back he has me sold on doing the food tour!
Kim N. (verified owner) –
The experience was great from start to finish. Our guide Ice was awesome! He was very informative & knowledgeable & answered all of our questions (thank you again Ice for all of your help!!). Our ajarn Neng was wonderful as well. He was very quick & precise, & made sure our sak yant were customized to our liking. Our Sak Yants are absolutely perfect! I highly recommend WSE if you are considering to have a Sak Yant done as you can ensure that you’ll be in good hands! 🙂
Jillian (verified owner) –
Thanks for the great experience! My guide (Kuhn Gob) was amazing and very helpful. Ajarn Neng was very sweet.
vc1258 (verified owner) –
An amazing experience during my time in Bangkok! It felt very personal and sacred; my guide Coco translated everything and that sakyant was more than I could ever hope for! Also brought me around to try different street foods, and was attentive throughout the trip. Thank you!
Lars (verified owner) –
I had an amazing experience. The communication from start to finish was super professional and I felt in good hands from start to finish. The travel gurus & translators where great people and they made this experience even more enjoyable.
Larissa prouse (verified owner) –
My first Sak Yant Bamboo Tattoo with
(Shaman) Ajarn Too….
Also Thank you to my amazing translator @natcha_sea what amazing person, you really helped make it easier for me Thanku for guiding me through out the entire process!!! “My Beautiful Thai Friend”?
Last but not least huge shout out and thanks to “Ian” @globe_trottah for investing his time, patience and caring for me these last two months. I have never met this individual but the last two months he has been giving me information and helping me prepare for my three week trip here to Thailand, can’t thank you enough for all the information you’ve given me not to mention for booking my first Sak Yant. Anyone interested in having one of these done I highly and strongly recommend this company, @wsetravel very professional, as well as answering any and every single question you have from the heart. Having a tattoo done by an Ajarn (shaman) Will be an unforgettable experience rather than going to a tattoo shop. Having them done by and blessed by an Ajarn awakens the tattoo and it’s powers… I love my Sak Yant Thanku everyone so much!!!❤️❤️❤️
Vanessa Abaya (verified owner) –
We truly enjoyed this experience. In researching this for our trip, we knew that there were other ways to get a Sak Yant. We’re thrilled that we chose to go with WSE.
Booking was very easy and Ian was very good about answering all our questions. A few days before our appointment, we received an email with some tips for preparing for our Sak Yant appointment. Perhaps the most useful part was having our Guru, Valentino. On our drive to Ajarn Neng’s home, he reviewed the steps with us and explained each one of them. He translated our conversation with Ajarn Neng, which helped us explain our reasons for getting a Sak Yant. By translating, Valentino personalized the experience to us and we had a great conversation with the Ajarn, resulting in Sak Yants that were truly specific to our hopes and wishes.
Thank you everyone at WSE!
Ben (Canada) (verified owner) –
A Sak Yant was something that I had wanted for a long time and I am happy that I chose this company for arrangements. From pick up to drop off, everything was nicely arranged. Our guide Coco was patient and created a highly personalised experience.
Additionally, Ian was very kind and prompt with all the questions and concerns ahead of time.
If you are thinking of getting a Sak Yant, do consider them as it was a great experience from start to finish.
Hannah (verified owner) –
This experience was more than we could have hoped for! It felt so special and sacred and is something we will never forget. We are so glad we included this in our journey to Thailand. We were very happy with our Ajarn, he listened to our goals and chose a Sak Yant that was personal to each of us. Our guide Coco was wonderful! Very friendly and made us feel very welcome and comfortable.