Getting a Sak Yant in Chiang Rai
||Your Chiang Rai Hotel (specified to us ‘after’ your online reservation via email)
||Your Chiang Rai Hotel
||Between 3-5 hours (depending on distance of your hotel, and duration of your consultation)
||Moderate (some pain is involved – varies depending on location of the tattoo, and your own tolerance)
||High – Deep cultural exchange
||18+ (must be 18 or older for getting tattoos – observers may be younger)
||Private – Max 4 sak yant/people per booking
Itinerary for getting a sak yant in Chiang Rai
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 Rai, 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 protections from him.
You will be guided through the entire ceremony with the help of your travel guru. The duration of the ceremonies are only about 15 mins total before and after, though the duration of the Sak Yant in Chiang Rai itself can range anywhere between 15 mins to 4 hours depending on the size and intricacy of the design chosen. It all happens in an incredible setting, and one that not many would ever forget. The smells, the sounds, the statues and masks and incense burning.
Upon completion of your sacred blessing, our travel guru will 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 Rai.
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 Rai?
Ajarn Ton – Sak Yant in Chiang Rai
The ajarn we practice with in Chiang Rai is known as Ajarn Ton. He has been a master of sak yant, and well respected in the Thai community for his practice since 2001. Ajarn Ton is the former student of Ajarn Tong, Ajarn Pat, Ajarn Luan Peedt, & Ajarn Nhat Tha Dhed. He studied under all these grand masters learning and perfecting his skills before becoming a sak yant ajarn himself.
Though relatively unknown to the outside world prior to our collaboration with him, he has since served hundreds of foreigners coming to learn about his trade and experience the ancient rituals of sak yant. Much of his popularity has come from bloggers who have joined us in this sacred practice and written about their experiences while here.
Ajarn Ton is known as a mindful sak yant master, with a Lanna style magic. His northern style is light-handed with very fine and concise 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.
Ajarn Ton is an ajarn known for listening well and often shares Buddhist ideas of living a more thoughtful life in his consultations. His knowledge and wisdom is met with an gentle demeanour, and if you get him laughing, it is definitely contagious. We are honoured to work alongside this wise and respected ajarn.
What is included in your Ink Experience in Chiang Rai?
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 Rai).
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 and challenges you face).
– all offerings for the ritual (flowers, incense, etc)
– a high quality, traditional and clean sak yant (included medium size – larger require more to be paid locally).
– food (simple lunch and snacks) to keep your energy levels up
– one complimentary guest to come observe and provide support for you during your experience
What is not included in your Ink Experience in Chiang Rai?
– Travel Insurance (Compulsory)
– International flights or transportation to/from the itinerary’s start point
– Accommodation in Chiang Rai (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 Rai – 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 Chiang Rai resource). Based on old traditions, it is common for locals to come meet with their Ajarn (tattoo master) prior to getting a Sak Yant, to be able to consult them on things troubling their lives. Here, they would discuss their passions, their goals in life, challenges they face, and even their fears – anything based on their values. This enables to Ajarn to select a yantra (there are over 1000 designs of the tattoos associated with various types of protections) which would fully personalized, to help the guest and to give them an enchantment.
There is a common misconception that ajarns just choose based on reading your aura or energy. This idea is likely is due to some foreigners not having the ability to communicate with the ajarn, and so they would choose a yantra which 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 Chiang Rai 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 Chiang Rai. 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, but 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 you experience.
Supporting Local Projects with our TRiP Foundation
Every TRiP that you go on with WSE Travel, we will donate 2% of the total sales price to an environmental or community-based project in the country you’re visiting. We want to ensure that every guest we help, in turn helps support and preserve the destination we’re experiencing together as a direct result. We live by an ethos to Travel Responsibly & Impact Positively (TRiP).
For more information on the projects supported by this experience, please visit our Thailand TRIP projects.
Cancellations & Rebooking
All tours, services and experiences booked through WSE Travel are bound to our Terms and Conditions, which were modelled after most other travel services such as flights, hotels and other tour operators.
Should you need to cancel or change your reservation for any reason (including but not limited to missed flights, illness, or change of mind), you will still be bound to the terms and conditions agreed to at the time of booking.
Should you give us more than 14 days notice of a change in your reservation, we can store your payment in the ‘safety deposit box’, to be used for a future travel date, either by you, or to be transferred to a friend or family member. Refunds are not available, unless your reservation is cancelled by WSE Travel for circumstances outside of our control.
Should you give us less than 14 days notice of a change in your reservation, a rebooking fee will be imposed. We do try to be flexible for our guests, but not at the sacrifice of the livelihoods of any locals hired for your private experiences. As these are private experiences, your guide and any other local service provider block their days off from other work to accommodate your reservation, and may not be able to fill that day again in the event of cancellation. To be fair and responsible to them and their reliance on your reservation’s promised work, your guide will still be paid for your reservation. As such, last minute cancellation or changes will be subject to a rebooking fee of $100 USD (per booking, not per guest), to re-hire a guide for your future travel date.
This flexibility is a bend in our Terms and Conditions to try and be fair both to our guests, and 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.