Chiang Mai Ink Experience – Getting a Sak Yant with Ajarn Rung

If you would like to reserve space for your Sak Yant in Chiang Mai, you can see availability right in the calendar below.  It will be a private tour for you, so as soon as you book we will block off that day from anyone else as well.

Though the experience should only take between 3-5 hours from pick-up to drop-off, we suggest planning it for a day you have nothing else planned, as times may need to shift slightly, and you may be tired after your tattoo.

To book your experience, you can select the number of people (including observers/support guests not getting a sak yant), the total number of sak yant desired by you or your private group, select the date and available time, and proceed to Book Now. Please make sure all 4 fields are properly selected for the Book Now field to appear.

Upon completion of your online reservation, within a few minutes, you will get a welcome email requesting some additional information (such as pickup location), sent to the email you use during checkout (if you don’t see it, it may be in your junk-mail folder). Please reply to that as soon as you can.

Is the date you’re looking for not available? Consider booking with another ajarn for a sak yant in Chiang Mai, or another city, such as our sak yant in Bangkok or Sak Yant in Phuket.

Please note: Songkran Festival is a holiday in Thailand, and Sak Yant will not be available during this time (April 13-16)! This is another opportunity to consider getting a sak yant on another date or in another city before or after your visit to Chiang Mai.

Please note: Ajarn Rung’s Wai Kru event is April 27-28! He will not be giving sak yant during this time. 


Getting a Sak Yant in Chiang Mai

We believe that the ancient art of the Sak Yant (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 the most revered Ajarns for getting a sak yant in Chiang Mai, 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” with an ancient traditional 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 your hand – see examples below), 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, 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 Chiang Mai? Please visit our FAQ – Sak Yant resource guide!

Thinking of getting multiple Sak Yant in Chiang Mai 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 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 Chiang Mai? Book your licensed tour guide here on our Chiang Mai Local Experience.



Item Details
Pick-up Point Your hotel or Airbnb in Chiang Mai city
– your hotel info can be emailed to us after your online reservation
must be within 5 km (3 miles) of old-town Chiang Mai
– for hotels outside of the pickup zone, a central meeting point can be arranged
Drop-off Point Your Chiang Mai 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 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 Chiang Mai

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 Chiang Mai, 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 is. Often there are several other locals there awaiting their 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 minutes total before and after, though the duration of the Sak Yant in Chiang Mai itself can range anywhere between 15 minutes 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 completing 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 Chiang Mai.

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 Chiang Mai?

Ajarn Rung - Sak Yant in Chiang Mai
Ajarn Rung – Sak Yant in Chiang Mai

In Chiang Mai, we practice Sak Yant with master Ajarn Rung. He has lived an incredible life of servitude to both Buddhism and sak yant. Arjun Rung is a practicing Buddhist monk who’s been giving Sak Yant blessings to his followers since he was a teenager, in 2001. He comes from a long family of Sak Yant masters and is one of three primary masters currently living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Arjun Rung was a nomadic monk who traveled across many countries in search of numerous Sak Yant masters to teach him and expand his knowledge. He became a solitary sage who lived alone in the forests, studied Sak Yant methods, and deepened his meditation practice. This was the norm centuries ago, as one of the main figures depicted and paid tribute to in every samnak (studio) is the Russi (hermit) who lived in the forest to practice and expand their knowledge and connection to the natural world. Ajarn Rung is a kind and empathetic soul, mindful of his guests’ needs, and has a great sense of humor as well. You could not be in better hands in Chiang Mai.

Though relatively unknown to the outside world before we collaborated with him, he has since served hundreds of foreigners coming to learn about his trade and experience the ancient rituals of sak yant. Much of his popularity has come from bloggers who have joined us in this sacred practice and written about their experiences while here.

Ajarn Rung is known as a mindful sak yant master, with Lanna-style magic. His northern style is light-handed with very fine and concise line work. He takes hygiene very seriously and heavily sterilized needle tips and new ink pots are used for each guest, along with new latex rubber gloves.

Ajarn Rung is an ajarn known for listening well and often sharing Buddhist ideas of living more thoughtfully in his consultations. His knowledge and wisdom are met with a gentle demeanor, and if you get him laughing, it is contagious. We are honored to work alongside this wise and respected ajarn.

In the event Ajarn Rung becomes unavailable on the date you reserve (last-minute Buddhist ceremonies or funerals he must attend), we will try to coordinate with you either to reschedule your appointment with him or with another one of our trusted ajarns offering sak yant in Chiang Mai.

What is included in your Ink Experience in Chiang Mai?

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 Chiang Mai).
Note: We will use a private vehicle to get to the ajarn, as he is located outside the city. We will use either a small SUV or a bigger Songtaew (red truck) depending on your group size.
– 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, or 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).
– food (simple lunch and snacks) to keep your energy levels up

What is not included in your Ink Experience in Chiang Mai?

Travel Insurance (Compulsory)
– International flights or transportation to/from the itinerary’s start point
– Accommodation in Chiang Mai (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 Chiang Mai – 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. 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 before getting a Sak Yant (Please see our FAQs – Everything you NEED to know about getting a Sak Yant in Chiang Mai resource). Based on old traditions, it is common for locals to come to meet with their Ajarn (tattoo master) before 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) which 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 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 before your experience. When you visit Chiang Mai 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 have 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 Chiang Mai. The ajarn we practise with is also comfortable to give a sak yant to women (though no photos of women are allowed during the tattooing process, though feel free to take photos before and after). 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, 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 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.

50 reviews for Chiang Mai Ink Experience – Getting a Sak Yant with Ajarn Rung

  1. Amit Rawat (verified owner)

    Selecting WSE travel for getting Sak Yant done in Thailand would be the best decision I made. Right from booking till the end the whole experience was amazing and I must say no one would have done it better.

    I must mention Khun Noi is an amazing travel guru and he went above and beyond during the whole experience. Ajarn Rung is very knowledgeable and made sure the whole experience was comfortable.

    In the end, anyone thinking of getting a Sak Yant done in Thailand should look no further than selecting WSE.

  2. Jessica (verified owner)

    Getting a sack yant with Ajarn Rung was an amazing experience. Our guide, Khai, was extremely informative with the history of Thai Buddhism and the sak yant. He kept asking if we had any questions to which we did not because he was so thorough with his information.

    Meeting ajarn rung was a magical experience. The energy and spirituality of it all is indescribable. Being able to talk to him with the help of a translator made the experience worth while.

    The sak yant is more painful than a tattoo gun but it’s over very quickly. I didn’t expect him to be done so fast! Sore for a few hours but fine by the next day. I’m impressed with the speed of the healing process.

    Very impressed with WSE and beyond happy with our experience.

  3. Anthony (verified owner)

    We had an amazing and unforgettable experience with WSE and Ajarn Rung. It started with us being picked up from our hotel and a full day of learning and preparing for the Sak Yant. Our guide was informative, friendly, and open to all of our questions. The Ajarn was also very welcoming and created great designs that were custom for each of us.
    Highly recommend this experience of Sak Yants are meaningful to you. Note that they do hurt more than expected, but well worth it!

  4. Marieke Litjens (verified owner)

    If you are looking for the full experience, look no further! I had the best experience with my tour guide Khai and Ajarn Rung!
    Khai is very knowledgeable and we had very good conversations about what a Sak Yant means in Buddism as well as for Thai society, but also during lunch we talked about the differences in cultures in Asia. Khai always made sure there was room for additional questions from my side and always explained beforehand what would happen, which was very reassuring. Ajarn Rung was very kind and funny. He listened very well to what I had prepared (how 2023 was and how I would like to go forth in 2024). Ajarn Rung made the most beautiful tattoo, and even let me alter it if I wanted to. I got mine on my shoulderblade, it was my second tattoo, and the pain was bearable for sure, but just inconsistent in comparison to a tattoo gun (which might be the part that is experienced uncomfortable, while it actually isn’t, it’s just getting used to). After the tattoo, I was guided to the blessing part (which is prepared for you), and at lunch, Khai and I talked more about the tattoo and the amulet Ajarn Rung gave me. The amulet market was very interesting to visit because you could see different ways of generating different blessings! Overall, everything is so well organized that you don’t have to worry and just immerse yourself in the experience, which is an experience for a lifetime. Thank you Khai and Ajarn Rung for all the knowledge and the amazing sak yant!

  5. Kevin Jacques (verified owner)

    This Sak Yant tour was one of the best and the most unforgettable experience we have ever experienced in our life!

    We booked the tour 2 days prior and already the pre-tour information was amazing; an e-mail was sent straight away on my inbox with all the information we needed for the D day : all you need to know before the tattoo, they already answered a few questions we might have had and explained us how we could get the most out of the the tour with the Ajarn.

    Kent, our tour guide, had a good level of English and gave us a lot of information about the city if Chiang Mai and the history of Sak Yant. He took us to the Amulet market first where he explained why amulets are so important for Buddhist people and what it represent for everyone of us. He choose two amulets for us depending on what we liked/expected from the tattoo so we could show the Ajarn on arrival.

    We went to the Ajarn studio and the atmosphere was as expected, intense and warm. We both had a chat with him and he drew both the best Sak Yant he could think of for us depending on what we told him beforehand.
    We both agreed with what he offered and off we went, tattoo time! It only took a few minutes and it was already done.. super professional and he is very talented. We had another chat with him before leaving.

    We also went to the local market to grab some local food and it was soooo good! We tried something special from Chiang Mai and it was awesome.

    From the beginning to the end, all the experience was as we expected and even more. We can not thank Kent and the online team enough for this experience. If we had to do it again, we would do exactly the same way and with the same company.

    Good job guys, keep up the good work! Thank you again for this unforgettable experience.

    Kevin and Juliette

  6. Tine Pauwels (verified owner)

    We both had an amazing expierience, our guide Noi was the best he explained everything very good he made the communication with us and the Arjan really easy. It was like they say an expierience not just a sak yant tattoo. It was worth every bath we paid. We really want to thank Noi and Arjan Rung for this on forgettable day. We hope to come back in a year or so and have this expierience again.

  7. Laurie V LaRussa (verified owner)

    Can not say enough good things about our experience with Ajarn Rung and Khun Kai!! Khun was so knowledgeable, explaining everything every step of the way! He made our experience so meaningful, and easy. We were picked up, everything was explained in detail, all verves calmed. We could never have accomplished this entire experience so perfectly without WSE!! Thank you again and again!! Laurie & Joe

  8. Oscar (verified owner)

    The experience was great. Can tell ajarn really wants to help you. Ajarn takes time to understand you and give many wonderful advice. The sakyant also came out extremely beautiful. Guide Noi was friendly patient and takes pride in his work, sharing any history and information that he knows.

  9. Sheryl Cox (verified owner)

    Such a beautiful experience. My brother and I got the sak Yant tattoos while my mom came along. And was able to participate in the blessing at the end.

    Our guide Noi was incredible. He was very funny and did a fantastic job educating us on the importance of the tattoos and explaining a lot of beautiful parts of Buddhism.

    This was such a beautiful and powerful experience and I cannot recommend it enough. You see so many signs advertising tattoos in Thailand but doing is through WSE and fully immersing yourself and learning what it is all about was the most incredible experience we could’ve ever asked for.

  10. ianspetrie (verified owner)

    Great experience. Our guide was great, we learned a lot, and have been given a lot to think and reflect on. Will absolutely be doing this again when I’m back in Chiang Mai.

  11. Eli Herrera (verified owner)

    WSE experience was definitely worth it in my opinion. On the taxi drive Khun Khai initiated conversation and explained the culture behind Sak Yants and answered all of our questions before arriving to the monk. Once we arrived he showed us a common prayer and then the consultation with the monk began.

    Having Khun Khai to translate was worth the money in itself and ultimately I ended up with a tattoo I wanted and enjoyed the experience; 10/10.

    Did not stop to see the market (personal choice) but the lunch stop had really good Khao Soi.

    Great experience, a little over priced, but would recommend for a unique tattoo experience!

  12. Jessica (verified owner)

    Fantastic experience! I’ve been trying to schedule a sak yant with Where Sidewalks End for several years, but between a busy schedule and pandemic travel restrictions, years passed before it became a reality. But the experience was worth the wait! Email support from the company founder, and in-person support from the tour guide and the Ajarn himself, were all wonderful. A few days later and the tattoo is already healed. Thank you WSE!

  13. Brittany

    The sak yant experience through WSE was very special and recommend it for anyone looking to learn about sak yant meaning, Thai Buddhism, amulets, and of course get a sak yant tattoo from a skilled ajahn. Thank you to WSE and Khai for the amazing experience.

  14. Myrte Molenaar (verified owner)

    Had the most amazing experience! At first I was so nervous but my guide Khai made me at ease with his kindness. He was great at explaining everything about Sak Yant and about the schedule for the day. I could tell my story to him which he translated and when he was not sure about how I meant my words he would ask for clarification. All the responses and advice I got were really focussed on me even tough I did not tell that much. I would recommend everyone to bring their notebook to make notes in order to reread everything that has been said as this was something I found helpful in remembering everything (as it can be quite much). Ajarn Rung was nice during the whole thing he would take in my preferences about how I wanted it to look and the placing where he chose the blessings. He would smile and make me feel comfortable during the whole process, as I was quite scared as it was my first tattoo. After we had really nice food and a fun trip to a market where Khai explained more about the culture which was very nice. All and all, I had a great day and look back at it as a very magical experience 🙂

  15. NATALIIA PIVOVAROVA (verified owner)

    It was a very special experience! Everything Ajarn Rung resonated with me and was important to hear. Lots of gratitude to my guide Noi and Ajarn Rung!

  16. Billy Butler (verified owner)

    I had the most amazing experience with my sak yant done by ajarn rung. A big thank you to my guide Valentino who from the very beginning was very helpful and insightful. Having a guide with you from the start makes the whole experience unforgettable as they are able to translate and tell you the meaning of the entire ceremony. 10/10 and if I am ever in thialand again I for one know exactly who I will be booking my sak yant with.

  17. Raja Zeitany (verified owner)

    We booked a Sak Yant experience with Ajarn Rung and it was outstanding. Noi, our guide was fantastic and the experiment was first class from start to finish. If you are thinking about a Sak Yant Experience in Chiang Mai look no further. This is truly a 10.

  18. Eman El-Khamesy (verified owner)

    I had a really great Experience thanks to Valentino, it was easy to follow along and having someone explain and translate for me!
    Ajarn Rung was very nice, also very fast and i have to say it was quite painless ( although that might be different from person to person).
    I recommend WSE to anyone especially if you dont speak the language.

  19. Ricardo Silva (verified owner)

    This was a wonderful experience.
    The guide Tawan (Jim) spoke great English, explained the history behind these sacred tattoos and did a great job at listening to my life story and explaining it to Ajarn Rung.
    I am very happy with my sak yant, the process was quick and Ajarn Rung did a great job.
    I recommend this experience to anyone who is curious about getting a sak yant. It is painful but worth it 🙂
    I am already thinking about the next one, maybe during this trip, who knows..
    WSE travel worked really well and always got back to me in time.
    Easy 5 stars

  20. Simone Wicks (verified owner)

    The first time I went to Thailand I could not find a trustworthy organization so I was very excited to find WSE. I got my sak yant in January 2019 in Chiang Mai. Our guide was so friendly and knowledgable. My husband and I really enjoyed our time with him. I really thought about what I wanted my Sak Yant to mean and through our guide had a great conversation with the Ajarn. I loved his interpretation of what I needed. The whole experience was humbling and enlightening. I highly recommended using Where Sidewalks End for your Sak Yant tattooing experience!

    Tips: The tattoo itself is so short and painless.
    Really think about what you specifically want your blessing to be for and distill it down to 3-4 points. You can keep it broad but I found the more specific a topic I brought up the more personal the Ajarn’s interpretation meant to me.

  21. Witold Janusik (verified owner)

    I can’t recommend enough Chang Mai Sak Yant experience. With Noi as my guide, everything was clear and full of knowledge. Noi helped through whole process with smile on his face, making me smile alongside. Ajarn Rung helped choosing the design that fits my needs, explained everything in detail and with his happy personality made the day perfect.

  22. Mesha Harris (verified owner)

    This whole experience was amazing and completely worth every penny. I was greeted and picked up by my guide and driver who were both very nice. My guide talked me through everything to expected, talked to me about the different random facts of Chiang Mai, and bought me water on the way. We also made it a point to stop and the amulet market on the way to ensure that I could see it before it closed(as I booked an afternoon slot).

    When we arrived, he explained everything to me as how to meditate and pray prior to entering. Ajarn Rung is known for laughing a lot and my experience with him was no different. I told him what protections I was looking for, he gave his recommendations based on my birthday and our conversation, and then created a one of a kind Sak Yant just for me. I got it on my back and the work it’s self took about ten minutes. Pain wise, I would say it was my second least painful; however, it is also the first one on my back. I’m sure the pain will very depending on the spot chosen. His constant laughter made me feel more at ease, even as my skin was being punctured. Ajarn Rung blessed me and I was back on my way to hotel, but not before grabbing a light bite to eat.

    Make sure you schedule the right date(consider that Thailand might be ahead of your home country). I did have to reschedule, as I thought I was landing the day prior.

    Overall amazing experience!

  23. Jason Fong (verified owner)

    Could not have been happier with this whole experience. First I had to make changes to my order, as my partner decided last minute that she wanted one too, this was very easy and the team were very helpful.

    On the day itself, we each had a chat with Arjan Rung about what was bothering us in life etc. And he gave advice on how we should approach it (this was greatly aided by our guide and translator Khun Khai). From there, the Arjan sketched up a design based on our chats and away we went. The tattoo itself only took less than 10mins and turned out great

    Also, both my partner and I have never had a tattoo before this, so Khai convinced our driver to have one done before us so we could see the whole process!

  24. Jean Poirier (verified owner)

    My experience with WSE was mixed. While I like my tattoo and I’m glad I had the experience I am disappointed that I didn’t receive the experience I was expecting. They pitch the experience as having a very spiritual conversation about yourself with the Ajarn that is facilitated by a fluent English speaker so that the Ajarn can custom design your Sak Yant based on this conversation. Our guide told us to pick from a short list of possible “blessings”, like one for love and compassion and one for good friendships. Even though I said at several points that I thought we would have a conversation that our Sak Yant would be based on, the guide just pushed us to pick from the list. The Ajarn then drew a tattoo based on these blessings. After the Sak Yants we were taken to a temple to look at amulets. We got our amulets blessed by a Monk at the temple which was kind of cool. I do understand that with a different guide and perhaps a different Ajarn, people may have a very different experience.

  25. Brieanna Culver (verified owner)

    I had a wonderful time. The experience was like no other. While getting our sak Yants it started to storm a little and it poured. As soon as the Ajarn was done with my friends tattoo the rain stopped. Our guide, khun Lowey told us it meant serenity and the rain was a good sign.

    Our guide even took us to thip net market afterwards to get us a case for our amulets that the Ajarn had blessed for us. I can’t wait to come back and get another sak yant and get reblessed.

  26. Shannon McPherson (verified owner)

    This was an amazing experience. It was my first tattoo and I’m so happy with it! Arjun Rung is amazing, he’s so quick and skilled and my Sak Yant turned out so beautiful. My guide Noi was awesome too. He had a great sense of humor which helped me not be so nervous! Totally worth the money for a once in a lifetime experience and piece of mind that you’re getting a hygienic Sak Yant. ❤️

  27. Jason Phang (verified owner)

    Had my Sak Yant done on 10th July and after everything, I’m really happy with it. The ink, the experience, the people. Right from when I registered and paid for it, I received emails from the WSE team to welcome me and update me on the status of my order

    As we got nearer to the date of my appointment, the team connected me with my guide, Khun Noi, who was an excellent person for the job. He reached out to inform me that the originally planned Ajarn wasn’t available anymore and asked if I was okay with an Ajarn that isn’t a monk. Initially, I was disappointed and apprehensive with a non-monk Ajarn but after discussing with Khun Noi, I decided to go for it.

    This being my first Sak Yant, I was looking for a deeply significant and personal connection with my Sak Yant and I must say: I really got what I wanted. Khun Noi brought me to Ajarn Sam – a young man that has skills beyond his age. He spoke to me sincerely (through Khun Noi’s translations) and listened to me as though he understood. He worked out an image for me and even on the paper, I loved it as he sketched it out. He explained to me how the symbols, the lotus, and the lines answered my questions. The experience was refreshing and… I can’t say for sure if it’ll be my last Sak Yant!

  28. Danielle and Steve (verified owner)

    Yesterday my boyfriend and I did the Lanna Ink Experience and I cannot say enough about it!! It was a truly magical experience that you can’t get anywhere else. Our tour guide was so friendly and went above and beyond to answer our questions and calm my nerves down about being poked with a needle! The monk was so nice and funny and he did an absolutely amazing job on our Sak Yants. To end the trip going to a amulet market, learning about all the different ones and lunch at a local restaurant was the perfect ending! I would for sure do this again!!

  29. tommy2lit (verified owner)

    Such an amazing experience! Very much worth the money to have such an intimate one on one experience and with a translator and sanitary conditions. The experience was as magical as the sak yant! I highly recommend going through this company if you are considering getting a sak yant. Ajarn Rung did a wonderful job and I couldn’t be happier!

  30. Ashlie W (verified owner)

    This was a highlight of my trip! My guide was really nice and helpful. The monk was also really friendly! By telling the monk very little about myself and my birthday he was able to describe me to a T! It was a little crazy! I loved the tattoo he designed for me and it was very customized to what I wanted out of my tattoo. Afterward the guide took gave me an amulet and took me to a find a cover for it! All in all the experience was awesome! I highly recommend doing this! It hurts but it was over so fast!

  31. Anja Seidel

    This was one of my favorite experiences in Thailand! My guide was very helpful and funny so I was’nt afraid at all altough it was my first tattoo. The ajarn is very good, he is fast and the results are amazing. I love my new tattoo and would definitely recommend doing this with WSE travel!

  32. Woody Wu (verified owner)

    The Llana ink experience was everything I had hoped it would be. The guide, Khun Khai, was super awesome and helpful along the way with answering any questions we had. Ajarn Rung customized special Sak Yants just for us using his ancient astrological teachings and it turned out perfect. We even had an elephant tour booked at 12:45 on the same day and the guides made sure we would be back in time. Worth every penny.

  33. Rochelle Ryden

    I was told about Ajarn Rung before I came and thought I knew what i was asking for. The first 2 sak yant’s being great experience as well . We were picked up promptly from our hotel ….Louie was very knowledgeable. when we arrived we were first ….. it had a relaxed at home feel. There was a drawing of a sak yant on his mirror …. not in the book i saw I asked what it was for. transformation is not what I thought I wanted. I is how ever exactly what I need! Ajarn Rung has a gentle hand and does beautiful work. The healing herbs in his Ink’s was a great help to heal my sak yant quickly. I was also given an amulet and given a tour of a amulet market in Chiang Mai. I cant wait to see every one at W.s.e. travel and Ajarn Rung again.

  34. Sydney Weldon (verified owner)

    I got my Sak Yant back in February 2018 and could not have been happier with both the experience and the outcome!

    I had hesitated about spending so much for the experience, but it was 100% worth it! It’s really not that much for a tattoo when you consider whats included and the piece of mind it gives you knowing you’re going to have a safe and hygienic experience.

    Communication was great right off the bat–I received a very detailed email almost immediately. Any questions I had were answer quickly.

    My guide during the experience was khun Noi. He was knowledgeable, very helpful throughout the whole process, and super friendly. He was great at calming any nerves and keeping my mind occupied during the tattooing process. Overall, a great guy!

    The tattooing process itself was great as well. The arjun was friendly, funny, and gave some great insight about the tattoo he chose for me and why he chose it.

    I’m not a particularly spiritual person but something drew me to these tattoos and I believe that mine has already helped me in more way than one. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience! It’s something that I will never forget.

  35. Meagan Bogdanovs (verified owner)

    I was a littlw worried at first but soon after I booked I got a response email. I emailed them a couple times before my Sak Yant asking random questions about some concerns I had or what to bring to keep it clean and they got back to me ever time. Even after I had gotten the Sak Yant I emailed them and again they get back to me within a day.
    The guide was fantastic and made me feel comfortable on the journey there and even through the process, when I was making faces because I was pain he would tell me a funny story to make me laugh and try to forget about the pain.
    It was such a memorable and special experenice. I loved it. When we left my husband said he should’ve gotten one to. I will be getting another one if I ever come back to Chiang Mai.

  36. Katy Shaw (verified owner)

    I did not have any design in mind when I arrived at the tattoo studio. I talked to the monk about why I wanted the tattoo while Prasong translated. The monk seemed genuinely puzzled over my decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. He chose a design which focused on building relationships, a foundation of good health, wisdom, and direction. I loved it immediately. What an amazing experience.

  37. Brynn (verified owner)

    There are no words to describe how truly amazing this experience was. Our guide Lowey was hilarious and was such a pleasure to be around. We are truly thankful to have been able to share this experience with someone like him. Regarding the tattoo itself, our conversation with our monk could not have been more accurate. I’ve been stuck in a bit of a rut lately and being able to have someone look me in the eyes and articulate my strengths, weaknesses, and define the exact problems I’ve been having left me speechless. The entire experience surrounding the tattoo itself was absolutely magical, and I would have done it a million times over. I cannot thank Ian, Lowey, and WSE enough for allowing us to have this life-changing experience.

  38. Nadia (verified owner)

    I am so overdue on this review and my apologies for being so late! My cousin and I had the most amazing experience. Our guide Noi was the sweetest, as was the ajarn. He walked us through the whole process and explained the meaning of each tattoo. Afterwards Noi took us to the amulet market and treated us to lunch. One of my favorite and most memorable moments in Thailand. When I return, I would definitely work through this company again. Ian was awesome with keeping in contact with me and helping me through this booking. WSE is an amazing company and I only see the best happening for them. Thank you so much!

  39. Katherine Yatko (verified owner)

    We loved the Lanna Ink Experience and it met every expectation we had. Everything promised was delivered to include a very personalized experience with the monk. The guide was super nice and super helpful. We accidentally booked the wrong city for our experience and would have had to cancel last minute, Ian was so nice in letting us rebook last minute for $100 as opposed to losing out on the experience and $400. Overall a great experience and would definitely do again. Thanks Ian!

  40. Matt (verified owner)

    Chiang Mai ~~ Long story short, this experience was above and beyond what I had hoped for when I began researching Sak Yant!! Before ever embarking overseas, Ian was communicative, thorough, and rapid in responding to my emails. He happily explained why WSE is generally more expensive than some of its competitors and I have to say, he was right: it was worth every penny and more. We were picked up at our Airbnb by a driver and our guide/translator, Lowey. On the approximately thirty minute drive, Lowey answered all our questions and told us stories as we quickly got to know each other; Lowey happens to have a fantastic sense of humor.

    Once at Ajarn Rung’s residence, we made sure to follow all of Lowey’s advice and instructions before sitting down for our consultations. Lowey translated as we discussed our personal information with Ajarn Rung. He created original Yants particular to our needs and desires. Ajarn Rung is not only very experienced, but practices hygienically. He as well has a great sense of humor and depths of wisdom. I could not be happier with my tattoo. Side note: be as open and honest as you can with your Ajarn as it will truly influence what he prescribes/designs. Remember, these are magical tattoos that will protect you and provide for you, not decorative pieces for show (despite how badass they look).

    After our beautiful time with Ajarn Rung, we went to an amulet market and lunch (included in price). This truly immersive experience gave so much extra meaning and depth to my first Sak Yant.

    Icing on the cake: while at lunch, we discussed our desire to go to the Sticky Waterfalls (Bua Tong or Bua Thong). Our driver had the afternoon free so we negotiated a rate for him to drive us there and back and he even made a couple amazing temple pit-stops on the way back. All in all, this was probably the best day of a two-week adventure.

    TLDR: Ian is honest, passionate, and a solid communicator. Price is more than some competitors but SO incredibly worth it (see above). WSE is the best!!

  41. Tiffany Bass (verified owner)

    If you want a sak yant, this is where you’ll have the best experience. Ian, the owner of the company, is extremely professional and is great thru email. The day before he will confirm your appointment via email so you have no worries. I booked other activities in Thailand with other companies and his company stands out as the most professional and organized.
    My guide walked me thru the whole process. He helped me communicate with the monk so my sak yant would be exactly what I needed. I felt like the monk and guide wanted me to have the right sak yant as much as I did.
    It also didn’t hurt. It was nothing compared to the other tattoos I have. And he was so fast! It took maybe 10-15 mins of actual tattooing. I thought they were joking when he said he was done. But I turned around to see a very detailed design. I love my sak yant!
    After the sak yant, we went to a amulet market. I had such a great time there too. It was a very spiritual sacred experience. I feel very protected with my sak yant and amulets. This is a life changing experience. Don’t pass it up.

  42. Pax (verified owner)

    One of the highlights of my time in Chiang Mai was getting a sak yant tattoo through the Lanna ink experience! My travel guru picked me up and we journeyed to the amulet market where he explained some of the meanings and what the amulets represented to the Thai people. It was informative and nice to have a local who knew what was up. I even got to pick out some amulets for myself from one of the booths. Then we had lunch and made our way to meet with Ajarn Rung a bit outside of Chiang Mai. Ajarn Rung was funny and wise. We talked for a good 30 mins while he asked me questions and dropped the Buddhist knowledge. We had some good laughs and I received some great reminders about life and the spiritual path. From our talk he was able to create a unique and one of a kind sak yant design just for me. He let me choose where it was placed on my back. Center, left, or right side. I choose center to represent the middle way as the Buddha taught. The tattoo it self only took about 15 mins. It was a bit painful, cringe worthy at times. My sak yant is called Phra Bhuto. It was my first tattoo ever and I am very happy I choose to get it through the Lanna ink experience and that it has so much personal meaning for me. A great way to start my 6 month journey around SE Asia. Also, I’d like to mention Ian Ord (founder of WSE) was very helpful through the whole process of setting this up and he really went above and beyond. Thanks for everything!

  43. Nick (verified owner)

    I was more than pleased with the entire experience, end to end. My sak yant is beautifully crafted. Truly one of a kind. If you’re worried about getting a low quality design, fear not. Mine is amazing and was very carefully and thoughtfully placed. The attention to detail is awesome. It was a great time, and the amulet market afterwards was pretty neat. My guide and driver were very accommodating and very nice.

    I would do it all again without hesitation.

  44. Bruno

    Guys, this Sak Yant tatoo experience was the best of my trip, thank you so much about all this wonderful experience.

  45. JP Ardelle (verified owner)

    C’était vraiment pas mal, et enrichissant !

    D’abord, je choisis de faire cette review en français pour aider un peu les francophones qui ne parleraient pas anglais : vous pouvez y aller, mais pas les yeux fermés ! En effet, avoir un Sak Yant n’est pas une mince affaire et il faut bien y réfléchir. c’est une expérience sacrée et que j’ai trouvée assez puissante. Il n’est en effet pas nécessaire de débourser autant d’argent pour en avoir un, mais, et le mais est de taille, il n’aura sûrement aucune valeur. Un vrai Sak Yant est fait par un moine, sinon ce n’est qu’un vulgaire tatouage au bambou. Ensuite, passer par ce site permet d’avoir avec soi un traducteur (enfin bien plus qu’un traducteur en fait, un ami!) lors du tatouage. Avoir quelqu’un près de soi pour traduire au moine ses attentes (pas vis-à-vis du motif, c’est le moine qui choisit), ses raisons est essentiel. Sans la communication avec le moine, encore une fois, le tatouage ne vaudra rien. L’expérience est puissante (et douloureuse) et je le referai sans hésiter. Le moine sait ce qu’il fait et je dois dire qu’il respire l’intelligence, la bonté et la confiance.

    Pourquoi seulement 4 étoiles alors ? Si j’ai voulu un Sak Yant, l’obstacle majeur à ma décision était évidemment l’hygiène. Si vous cherchez, vous verrez que certains moines, la plupart même utilisent la même aiguille pour les 50 personnes qu’ils voient dans la journée, et en bon européen que je suis, je suis trop bien informé des risques de contraction du Sida au pire des cas, ou d’une hépatite dans le “meilleur”.

    On m’a assuré que ce moine-ci utilisait une encre qu’il faisait lui-même (donc aucune idée de ce qu’elle contient, je sais que certains moines ajoutent de la peau de maîtres ou du venin de serpent, âmes sensibles s’abstenir) et qu’il changerait l’aiguille à chaque personne. J’ai eu la chance d’être passé en premier ce jour là, donc je ne m’inquiète pas trop, mais les standards d’hygiène ne sont toujours pas acquis. J’ai été tatoué à l’extérieur parmi les gens, mais c’est aussi peut être ce qui fait le charme et la puissance de l’expérience. Concernant l’hygiène, je ne pense pas que le risque de contraction d’une maladie soit élevé. mais je ne pense pas non plus qu’il soit de zéro. et j’ajoute que ça reste plus propre qu’ailleurs au vu de mes recherches.

    Bref, c’est une expérience extraordinaire qui me marquera et qui m’a marqué à jamais. C’est à vous, en votre âme et conscience de décider si oui ou non vous voulez prendre un petit risque.

    Une dernière chose, obtenir un Sak Yant va avec des règles qui sont propres à ces tatouages. Certaines sont communes (5) et d’autres sont spécifiques à chaque Yant; Vous devrez les respecter. On nous fait cadeau d’une partie importante de la culture Thaï et même asiatique; c’est notre devoir que d’en être dignes.

    merci encore à Lewis, (Thanks Lewis ! thank you so much we had a wonderful time).

  46. Ørjan Thune (verified owner)

    Everything just as planned and both my girls are very happy with their Sak Yant’s. 🙂 Thanks for arranging this in a very easy convenient way!

  47. Ty (verified owner)

    Had an awesome experience today getting an authentic Sak Yant done through Where Sidewalks End. The experience was great from start to finish! The hotel pick-up was right on time and the English speaking guide was beyond friendly and very knowledgeable on the process. He showed me the do’s and don’ts for when I arrived to meet the monk and walked me through the whole process. The monk was very friendly and welcoming. The guide translated our conversation as the monk decided which Yant would suit me the best. The monk’s intuition about certain aspects of my life and what I would like were bang on. I had heard these types of tattoos could be very painful and not having any previous tattoos I wasn’t sure what to expect. The pain was negligible and far less than I had expected based on discussions with those who had had them done already. We ended the day by going to the amulet market where the guide continued to explain other types of protections that are used by Buddhists.

    Overall – its been one of the greatest experiences of my travels to date. Thanks Ian and everyone who was involved in this fulfilling life experience. I highly recommend anyone interested in getting an authentic Sak Yant done to let Where Sidewalks End take care of you. Top Notch Service!!

  48. Blythe Cronyn (verified owner)

    I had my Sak Yant experience in Chiang Mai yesterday organized through WSE and cannot begin to express how pleased I am with the entire process. Ian corresponded with me leading up to the tour and was extremely courteous, answering all my questions in detail. He also allowed my sister to come along free of charge. Our guide (Lowey) and driver were excellent, picking us up on time at our guest house and stopping so we could grab some food on the way. Ajarn Rung was lovely and took the time to discuss with myself (translated by Lowey) the design he felt was best for me and why. We also discussed placement and size before he began. The whole tattoo only took about 20 minutes and in my opinion wasn’t as painful as a tattoo gun. It is still healing but I am very pleased with how crisp and detailed Ajarn Rung’s work is. Afterwards Lowey took us to an amulet market and helped me choose one that would be suitable to hang on the wall of my business. Lunch was delicious and they also went out of their way to take us to a jewellery factory when I expressed interest. All in all this was a perfect day and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get a Sak Yant in Chiang Mai.

  49. Tinna and Una (verified owner)

    Dear Alex
    Thank you so much for the most amazing day. We could not have been happier with the service and the authentic experiance you gave us. We were picked up in the morning. Chatted with Alex on our way to the ajarn’s place.

    Una talked to the ajarn first and let him choose her sak yants. She got 2 on her back. Then it was my turn and i let him choose for me. It was very cool that he makes his own ink.

    For anyone who seeks an authentic experiance getting a Sak Yant we recomend WSE travel. The next time we come we are gonna get more Sak Yant’s with WSE travel.

    Best regards Tinna and Una.

  50. V Da Silva

    This was one of the most memorable and meaningful experiences ever. Any anxiety or doubts I had melted away as Dao, my guide and new friend, helped me through the whole thing.
    She picked me up at my hotel and we chatted all the way to the ajarn’s, where she showed me how to show thanks and pay respect to the Buddha. We lit incense and said our prayers in silence, then sat and flicked through the different designs while waiting for my turn. A couple of locals were getting their sak yan so we chatted away with them too!

    When my turn came, Dao helped me communicate with the ajarn – we talked for a good long while I think, but I was so engrossed in the experience I didn’t see the time go! He asked me about my worries and gave me several chunks of wisdom I will carry with me forever. The design and blessings he picked for my tattoo instantly resonated with me and I knew and felt it was just perfect!

    Given how personal and rich this experience is, I highly recommend going with someone like WSE as they’ll have local knowledge and understanding, in addition to the kindness and professionalism required to guide someone through their sak yan – it makes the greatest difference!

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