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

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 Sam’s Wai Kru event is April 27-28! He will not be giving sak yant during this time. If you plan on visiting Chiang Rai as well, please consider booking the Chiang Rai Ink Experience there.


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, adds to your experience of being able to enter the process with the assurance that everything will be ok afterward.

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” in this 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 your hand – see examples below), though 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 Chiang Mai? Please visit our FAQ – Sak Yant resource guide!

Thinking of getting multiple Sak Yant in Chiang Mai on the same day? Traveling 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 sak 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 Sam - Sak Yant in Chiang Mai
Ajarn Sam – Sak Yant in Chiang Mai

For this Chiang Mai Ink Experience, we practice Sak Yant with master Ajarn Sam. He is a younger Ajarn wise beyond his years. He spent much of his youth as a Buddhist monk, which is where he learned not only the art of sak yant but also the empathy and compassion that should be practiced with them. Ajarn Sam is no longer a practicing Buddhist monk, though most of his students from his temple have followed him to his new samnak to continue their teachings. He has quickly built his reputation in Chiang Mai as a powerful and wise sak yant master. 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 many foreigners coming to learn about his trade and experience the ancient rituals of sak yant.

Ajarn Sam is known as a wise and compassionate sak yant master, with Lanna-style magic. He had originally participated in a monk program at the Dhamma retreat in Mae Rim, Chiang Mai. After his program finished, he moved to Ayutthaya and became a monk at Worapho Temple. He later returned to Chiang Mai and became a monk leader at Chedi Mae Krua Temple and started learning about Sak Yant and Ka-Tha from fellow monks and ajarns. He started giving Sak Yant when he was seventeen, and with his focus and devotion, has quickly become well respected in the Thai community. 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 Sam is an ajarn known for listening well and often sharing Buddhist ideas of living a more thoughtful life in his consultations. His knowledge and wisdom are met with a gentle demeanor. We are honored to work alongside this wise and respected ajarn.

In the event Ajarn Sam 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 the skilled and trusted ajarns we work with for getting 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/medium detail – larger/more detailed 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 practice 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 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 canceled 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.

2 reviews for Chiang Mai Ink Experience – Getting a Sak Yant with Ajarn Sam

  1. Dallas Hooks (verified owner)

    Had an amazing experience. Noi was an awesome host and I love the sak yant I got. I want Noi and ajarn Sam again for my next one

  2. Alex (verified owner)

    Ajarn Sam and the whole WSE experience was amazing! I got a really toned down experience which I loved, I really wanted to spend more time with the Ajarn and get a better understanding of the process and meaning behind the Sak Yant and that’s exactly what I got! I would 100% recommend Ajarn Sam his work was so clean and he was so gentle, it felt like I was in a trance

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