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!
Meet Ajarn Too
His assistant and disciple, Ajarn Too, fills in for Ajarn Neng on his days off, sick days, or when he is travelling the world (this can happen at any given time, with little or no notice). A long-time study of Ajarn Neng, he has adopted a very similar style, quality, and demeanor, almost indistinguishable from that of his master. As they are from the same lineage, the power of the sak yant is also the same. He is a wonderful ajarn, and we are thrilled to have the occasional opportunity to practice with him as well!
It is Ajarn Neng who has chosen him as his successor, in his absence, due to his professionalism, and skill in this sacred craft. We wouldn’t put our name behind him if he wasn’t up to our standards either. If you’re lucky enough to have a session with Ajarn Too, you’ll be in good hands – both figuratively, and literally!
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 on 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, 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) 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 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 practise 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
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 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 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.