What should I expect on this TRIP?
The Sak Yant in Chiang Mai Experience
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 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 Mai 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 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 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 Mai. The ajarn we practice with is also comfortable to give a sak yant to women. You will be assured good quality, and hygiene, while being very traditional in the ceremonies, with a respected ajarn – so you can come worry free and be able to be more ‘present’ both mentally, physically, and spiritually for you experience.
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 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 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 incense burning.
Upon completion of your sacred blessing, your travel guru will escort you to a Thai Buddhist amulet market – one of the largest amulet markets in Chiang Mai. Your travel guru will explain some of the cultural significance to the amulets and their association with your sacred journey. Sak yant are not the only form of blessing tied to these ancient beliefs. They come in the form of amulets to be worn around your neck, statues, masks and “pai yant” – wall hangings with similar yantra designs intended to protect you and your home.
Once you’ve had a chance to look around, we will continue on the journey 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 the city which is truly off the beaten path.
With your new protection and a full belly, our guide will complete your journey back to your hotel with you, happy and blessed.