I’m going to tell you my story about getting my first Thai tattoo in Thailand recently when I was traveling around South East Asia. It’s a heck of a story so hold on to your hat! Let’s get started. It all began with nearly 50 people stood up and surrounding me in complete silence while a really famous monk got ready to my tattoo. I think he’s famous for legendary Thai tattoos.
Before I carry on with this tale, let me educate you a little as to what Sak Yant tattoos really are. First it’s good to know that they also go by the name of Sak Yan and even Yantra tattoos so don’t think they are another form of religious tattooing when you hear them, they are the same. People in the West also just refer to them as thai tattoos most of the time. Unless they are familiar with Buddhism and then maybe they’ll have heard of Sak Yant. As part of the tattoo process there’s also chanting and Buddhist prayers too as it’s essentially a blessing designed to give the wearer protection and good luck. There are also variations that the monk can choose to give the wearer actual magic powers, these can range from healing ability, good luck as aforementioned, a higher level of strength and also finally a nice dollop of protection from evil. Always handy that one eh!
How long have Sak Yant Thai tattoos been around for I hear you ask? Well, actually this amazing art form has existed for over two thousand years, impressive eh. So what’s the origin of these tattoos? It turns out that Buddhist monks used to engrave early forms of Sak yant traditional Thai tattoos onto warriors who were seeking to increase their level of protection and also strength during battle times.
Nowadays, people can wait for hours to get their Sak Yant tattoo. This means that you should get there very early to avoid this very long wait as much as you can at the temple you choose. So was I ready for the long spiky bamboo stick to penetrate my skin and begin to dap ink made from indigo, bamboo ash and cobra venom? Damn right I was! Bring on this magical mystery tour I thought. Was I very pleased with outcome of my first Thai Tattoo at Wat Bang Phra temple to the West of Bangkok? You’ll have to check here again next week when I reveal the design, show you a pic of the monk and also show you the design of my tattoo.