What is a Sak Yant Tattoo?

What is a Real Traditional Thai Monk Tattoo?

Understanding the Sak Yant Tattoo | What is a Traditional Thai Tattoo

Sak Yant Explanation from Sak Yant Masters:

What is a Sak Yant? The Sak Yant Tattoo is a Traditional Tattoo applied using the hand poke method by a holy man, while chanting prayers using a Steal Needle in either Ink (visible) or oil (invisible) that is started with an offering and ended with a Magical Blessing The Sak Yant Tattoo offers protection to the wearer and serves as a Talisman of Affirmation for a personal quality, quest or goal.

Sak Yant tattoos are a traditional form of tattooing that originated in Southeast Asia. They are also known as Yantra tattoos and are deeply rooted in the spiritual and religious beliefs of the region. In recent years, these tattoos have gained popularity across the world, with many people getting them as a form of body art or as a symbol of their spiritual beliefs.

In this article, we will explore what a Sak Yant tattoo is (compared to a Fake ‘Bamboo tattoo’ promoted by normal tattoo parlors), its history, meaning, and how to get one.

What is a Sak Yant Tattoo?

What is a Sak Yant Tattoo?

A Sak Yant tattoo is a traditional form of tattooing that originated in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar firsts by a Holy men and later Buddhist Monks.   The word “Sak Yant” translates to “magic tattoo” or “blessed tattoo” in Thai. These tattoos have to be made by Buddhist Monks or spiritual masters (called Sak Yant Masters or Ajarns), who have undergone years of training and practice.

Sak Yant tattoos are believed to have magical powers, which can protect the wearer from harm, bring good luck, and ward off evil spirits. They are also thought to enhance the wearer’s physical and mental abilities, such as strength, courage, and wisdom.

The tattoos are usually made up of intricate designs and symbols, which are believed to have different meanings and powers. Some of the most common Sak Yant designs include the Hah Taew (Five Line), Gao Yord, (9 Peaks) and Paed Tidt (8 Direction)

The 3 Parts Meaning of a Real Sak Yant

1) The Design

This is the picture or design of the Sak Yant. While all Sak Yants come with their own meaning implicit to the design, if you like a certain design, it might be able to be used but changed to include the Kata and Blessing elements into the final meaning

2) The Khata

This includes the magic spells within the mind of the Sak Yant master as they create the Sak Yant. The master is reciting special prayers as they apply the design so that it becomes filled with the desired intention of the final design.

The Kata also includes the text written around the Sak Yant. This text is usually presented incorrectly in drawn images you find online and are corrected by the Master. This is design to keep the knowledge so that only those qualified to give Sak Yants can give them.

3) The Ritual

An offering is made at the beginning of a Sak Yant to honor the Master and the Tradition.

A final blessing given at the end of the Sak Yant Process. Special intentions and desires can be requested for this. The Blessing of the Sak Yant can only be done by an Authentic Sak Yant Master trained in the magical arts.

Sak Yant Tattoo Meaning - สักยันต์ - Sak Yant

Meaning of a Sak Yant
The Meaning of Sak Yant Tattoo depends on the design, the Text and the Magical Blessing

The term Sak (สัก in Thai) means to ‘Tap’ or ‘To Tattoo’. Traditionally done with a Bamboo Needle, hence the combination of ‘Tap Tattoo’

The term Yant (ยันต์ in Thai) means ‘Yantra’. Originally derived from the same Sanskrit word a Yantra or Mantra is the magical design and Text.

Sak Yant Tattoo are the Thai name for the Tattooing of Sacred geometrical designs on the skin. Yant (or Yantra, as they are call them in the west), can only to be tattooed by Buddhist monks, or Brahmin Holy men.

The Yant tattoos have developed over the centuries under the influence of several different religious philosophies. The Yantra designs that already existed in Hindu India were adapted by the Thais as Buddhism arrived from neighboring India.

History and Origins of the Sak Yant Tattoo

The origin of sak yants can be traced back up to 2000 years ago, although the oldest known record of its use dates back only to the 1600s, during the reign of the Ayuttaya Kingdom in Thailand. Warriors were bestowed with yant tattoos and yant shirts as a talisman to safeguard them in battle. The yantra tattooing process was conducted by monks through a traditional hand-poked technique using a Steel tool called a Khem.

For detailed information you can read History of Sak Yant Tattoos

Cultural Significance of Sak Yant Tattoos

Traditional Thai Tattoo Sak Yant Scam
Fake Sak Yant’s by Tattoo Artists are highly disrespectful in Thai Culture

Sak Yant tattoos hold a deep cultural significance in Thailand, and are believed to possess magical powers that can bring good luck, health, and prosperity to the wearer. The designs are often accompanied by special prayers and blessings, which are said to imbue the tattoo with spiritual energy.  With the increased popularity of Sak Yant’s many tattoo parlors and artists offer fake replicas of the designs. 

This is not only considered highly disrespectful to the culture and traditions of Thailand. The placing of fake Sak Yants obtained from tattoo shops could result in a Real Sak Yant Master refusing to give an authentic Sak Yant due to the lack of respect for the spiritual aspects of the Sak Yant history and traditions.

What is the Purpose of a Sak Yant Tattoo?

A Sak Yant Tattoo purpose is seen as the strongest form of protection against bad luck, black magic and supernatural forces.  The primary meaning of Sak Yant Tattoos are used as a magical form of protection against negative influences of ones life.  In addition to the supernatural protection they are used as a personal Talisman for creating change in personality traits, life circumstances and assistance in the achievement of goals.

For the wearers of the Sak Yant Tattoo, the Sak Yant does have an important part to play in obtaining assistance in life through the benefit of receiving the positive Karma from the Monk or Sak Yant Master who creates it.  In Thai culture as well as many religions around the world, the ability of a spiritual master to share/bless/charge the spiritual status of another is accepted as a matter of reality.  The Sak Yant Tattoo then, bestows spiritual and magical power to the user from the knowledge and wisdom of the Master.  This is Why you don’t get a Sak Yant Tattoo from a Tattoo Studio

Sak Yant Tattoo Protection Against

Unwanted Spirits
Bad Luck
Physical Harm
Black Magic
Spells & Curses

Sak Yant Ajarn Naruphat Tom Chiang Mai
is it disrespectful to get a sak yant tattoo

Sak Yant Tattoo Personal Qualities

Good fortune and Luck
Avoid bad Habits
Attraction and Charisma
Power and Authority
Overcome Opponents
Comparison and Kindness

Choosing Your Sak Yant Design

Myth:  The Monk or Ajarn chooses your design
Reality:  You chose the design and meaning of the Sak Yant Tattoo

The Purpose of the Sak Yant is to aid in a personality trait or change in your life circumstances.  This is done using a combination of the Sak Yant design, Magical Writing and final Blessing.  Normally when you seek assistance from a Doctor, or Shaman, you know what the symptoms or problems are and the reasons you are there.  The same thing is true for a Sak Yant Tattoo.  Sure you can ask for advice about which design is best suited to your needs, but you can also research the Sak Yant Designs and Meanings and select something that appeals to your individual situation.

A Tattoo is for life, and while the Sak Yant Tattoo holds particular spiritual benefits it is also a Tattoo, so you need to be happy with the design image that you will carry with you for life.  The idea that the Sak Yant Master chooses your design comes from travel blogposts, where a person either did not understand the Thai language and process or did not give a significant donation, and the Monk was left to make the decision on their behalf.

Thai people choose their designs, without leaving it solely to the Sak Yant Master, and this option is available to you as well.  This is where it is important to go to a Master who has English speaking assistants that can facilitate this process for you.

The Master Sak Yants - The 3 Most popular Sak Yant Designs

Sak Yant Tattoo Meaning of Master Yants

The Master Yants contain univerisal blessings that cover everything.  They are

1) Paed Tidt (8 Direction)
2) Hah Taew (Five Line)
3) Gao Yord (Buddha Peaks)

Other, more complex and complicated Sak Yant designs such as animals and sacred geometry are seen as advanced talismans for more serious and dedicated believers.  I  For more extensive details of various Sak Yant designs you can check out the article “Sak Yant Designs and Meanings”

The Sak Yant design ‘Paed Tidt’ or Eight Direction Yant is a sacred Geometric Yant containing eight Mantras written in 2 concentric circles in the center of the design. The design of the Paed Tidt Yant also incorporates eight representations of the Buddha. These are the groups of 3 ovals each increasing in size from the top.


In Thailand, there is a Buddha image, each one in a different pose, for every day of the week. (On Wednesdays there are 2 Buddhas, one for the morning and one for the evening) and these 8 Buddha Images can be seen in many Thai temples, usually surrounding a Chedi.


The Paed Tidt (8 Direction) Sak Yant Design and Meaning

The Sak Yant Paed Tidt will protect the wearer against harm when travelling in all directions

The Sak Yant design ‘Paed Tidt’ or Eight Direction Yant is a sacred Geometric Yant containing eight Mantras written in 2 concentric circles in the center of the design. The design of the Paed Tidt Yant also incorporates eight representations of the Buddha. These are the groups of 3 ovals each increasing in size from the top.

In Thailand, there is a Buddha image, each one in a different pose, for every day of the week. (On Wednesdays there are 2 Buddhas, one for the morning and one for the evening) and these 8 Buddha Images can be seen in many Thai temples, usually surrounding a Chedi.

The Paed Tidt Yant will give you protection in whichever direction you are traveling and ward off evil spirits. The script used on the Paed Tidt Yant is an ancient Khmer script known as Khom.

The Hah Taew (5 Line) Sak Yant Design and Meaning

The Sak Yant Hah Taew dates its origin back over 700 years to the ancient Kingdom of Lanna which is now known as Northern Thailand. The Buddhist Monk credited with the design of the Hah Taew 5 Lines Sak Yant is Kruba Kam of Wat Ton Pin, a Buddhist Temple in Chiang Mai, which unfortunately no longer exists today. Kruba Kam designed the Hah Taew at around the time King Mengrai founded the city of Chiang Mai in 1296.

Over the centuries, either by accident or design, the original 5 lines of script which were written in Khom, an ancient Khmer language, underwent several changes and in recent years, several Sak Yant Ajarns have completely replaced the original 5 lines of script with lines of their own.

Muay Thai Tattoo 5 Line Sak Yant
Combination of 5 Line Sak Yant Tattoo

The Gao Yord (9 Peaks of Buddha) Sak Yant Design and Meaning

The Gao Yord is the “Yant Kru” or Master Yant and is a most sacred Buddhist tattoo with very wide ranging powers of protection and is quite possibly the most important of all the available Sak Yant designs. Many people will choose the Gao Yord as their first Sak Yant because of its universal powers and later add other Sak Yant designs of their choice.

The basic design of the Gao Yord represents the nine peaks of the mythical mountain of the Gods, Mount Meru. According to Hindu mythology, Mount Meru is the abode of the Lord Brahma as well as other Deities. In Buddhist mythology, Mount Meru is known as Sumeru.


Gao Yord 9 Peaks Sak Yant Tattoo Meaning
The Sak Yant Gao Yord will protect the wearer against evil spirits and all forms of “Black Magic”.
  • The set of 3 ovals are a representation of the Lord Buddha and this grouping of 3 ovals can be seen in many other Sak Yant designs. The Gao Yord Yant has 9 Buddhas represented, with each Buddha bestowing special powers or spells. In some versions of the Gao Yord, there is a Mantra or Katha tattooed at the base of the design.

    In the centre of the Gao Yord design is a patchwork of small squares, the magic box, (although in some designs the outlines are not shown but only the contents), each square containing an abbreviation (in Khom) for the names of all the protection spells that this Yant will bestow. The exact number of these small squares can vary according to the design but the powers granted to the wearer will always include the following.

     This benefit will help you to improve your circumstances at work

Quick Questions and Answers about the Sak Yant Tattoo

hah teaw 5 line sak yantWhat is a Sak Yant Tattoo?
Yan or Sak Yant (Thai: สักยันต์), is a form of tattooing that originated in ancient Tai peoples. It consists of magical geometrical, animal and deity designs accompanied by Pali phrases that offer power, protection, fortune, charisma and other benefits for the bearer.

Today it is practiced in Thailand and Myanmar, and to a much lesser extent in Laos and Cambodia. Sak means “to [tattoo]” in Thai, and yant is the Thai pronunciation for the Sanskrit word yantra, meaning “magical design” or “mystical insignia”. Hence the Sak Yant Tattoo is a “Magical Tattoo.

Sak Yant designs are normally tattooed by ruesi, wicha (magic) practitioners, and Buddhist monks. Traditionally with a long metal rod sharpened to a point called a khem sak. Although today with many health concerns of the westerners obtaining their tattoos, many practitioners have modernized the hygiene methods to be completely safe.

In it’s basic form, the traditional Thai Sak Yant tattoo is a visual representation (talisman) of a goal, desire or objection (affirmation) that has been created by a religious or holy man and charged with initial power

Is a Bamboo Tattoo the same thing as a Sak Yant Tattoo?

No: The term Bamboo Tattoo is usually used by Tattoo Shops and Artists as a marketing tool for those people looking for a Traditional Thai Sak Yant Tattoo, which is done using the Hand poked method.  Using Bamboo needles for a Sak Yant were never a part of Sak yant History, as they have always used a metal Needle (Khem) which is considered a magical tool of the Sak Yant Masters.

However the term Bamboo Tattoo is still widely used by Bloggers and Tourists when referring to the Sak Yant Tattoo.  Tattoo artists and parlors who are unable to provide a real Sak Yant complete with magical blessing, promote the term Bamboo Tattoo to attract tourists who do not understand the difference between a ‘artistic replica’ and an Authentic Sak Yant. You can read more here Bamboo Tattoo – Thailand’s Biggest Tourists Scam

The Short answer is Yes.

You do not have to be Buddhist to get a Sak Yant Tattoo.  The Buddhist Tattoo, Monk Tattoo or Sak Yant,  has only a partial history in Buddhism.  As Buddhism came to Thailand, many of the old belief systems in the supernatural were incorporated into the Buddhist beliefs.  As it was the Buddhist Temples that primarily taught reading and writing, in order to study any subject you usually first became a Monk to learn. 

While it has remained the tradition of Buddhist Monks to include the Sak Yant tattoo as one of the tools of blessings.  You do not have to be a Buddhist to get a Sak Yant Tattoo.  The principals of the Sak Yant Rules apply to every spiritual tradition, be it Christian, Muslim or a modern spirituality

What Makes a Sak Yant Tattoo Real?

The Sak Yant is a combination of Tattoo design, Prayers administered as the tattoo is being made, and a final blessing to charge and activate it with the power of the Sak Yant Masters.  It takes Sak Yant Masters years of training in the magical art’s and living a good and Spiritual life to gain the knowledge and power to create these personal charms. For a Sak Yant to be real they must be done by a spiritual trained and qualified Sak Yant Master.  Sak Yant Tattoos can not be done from a tattoo shop!


Is it Disrespectful to get a Sak Yant Tattoo?

It is not disrespectful to get a real Sak Yant from a authentic Sak Yant Master.  It is however highly disrespectful to get a fake Sak Yant from a Tattoo Artist.

The reason people get a Sak Yant Tattoo is to gain control over various aspects of their lives – that they are unable to accomplish themself.  Divided into two main categories of Protection and Personal Traits.  The protection aspect usually relates to asking for a supernatural element of assistance in overcoming problems.  The Traits or Personal Qualities aspect relate to changing a persons behavior and thinking to advance in life.  Both of these aspects rely on the Sak Yant being Blessed which essentially means being magically charged by the spiritual authority of the Monk or Sak Yant Master.

And of course the Sak Yant Tattoo just looks awesome.  If you are going to get a Tattoo while in Thailand, why not get one that has special and significant meaning?

Can I get the Monk to read my Aura and choose the Sak Yant for me?

No: Auras are not part of Buddhist belief.

Monks will pick up of personality and spiritual vibes and consult with you regarding your intentions. But Monks reading your aura is a myth that does not exist in real life. What has probably happened is someone went to Wat Bang Phra, where they do 30-100 Sak Yants a day. We have found from experience that it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours for a guest to chose a Sak Yant design. When Wat Bang Phra have 100 people a day wanting a Sak Yant, the Monks does not have time to ask you what you want. You get what they decide your getting if you do not have any personal request. Not understanding what happened, someone in an attempt to explain the experience used their own spiritual belief system (aura’s) and started promoting the myth.

Does the Monk Choose the Sak Yant?

Not Really: Generally the purpose of the Sak Yant is to bestow the wearer with a special blessing and purpose using the power of the magic associated with the process of getting a Sak Yant Tattoo. If you do not know why you are getting a Sak Yant then why or how is the Monk supposed to know?

The Sak Yant Master can and does discuss with people the options available to them, which sometimes includes asking their birthday and using astrology. However most of the time a student (person getting the Sak Yant tattoo) knows exactly what they want and what design they would like to have to represent it. For the westerner not familiar with or using the Chinese version of astrology or having a grasp of Thai language sufficient enough to discuss Asian metaphysical concepts – asking the Monk to decide what design you have is leaving you open to having a life long tattoo you do not like.

confused buddhist monkMany years ago, way back before the internet, an uneducated in spiritual matters person would often ask the advice of the Sak Yant Master. This does not happen too often now days, since most people can research online. However the internet is a double edged sword and this is why people mistakenly believe they should ask the Monk to choose for them.

Here is how the myth began

A travel blogger went to a famous temple just outside of Bangkok, deciding that getting their Sak Yant had to be an amazing adventure they must do on their own without any assistance. They joined the other 30-100 people a day getting a Sak Yant, and at their turn, did not pay a donation (thinking the $5 offering sold at the front of the temple was enough). They did not speak Thai to be able to communicate their choice of design, and had no idea why they were there except for an ‘amazing spiritual adventure to blog about’.

The Monk, not being able to communicate with the person, gave them a standard Master Yantra (usually one of the 3 you get for your first Sak Yant).

There was no reading of aura’s, no inner knowledge making a magical choice. The simple reality was, the person went unprepared, and with 30-70 people coming after this person, the Monk did not have time to muck around. You may have even read this account online yourself, and because it is a highly ranked article on Google, others looking for content for their own blog-posts will copy the same incorrect information.

At Sak Yant Chiang Mai, we go over the reasons, purpose, intention and blessing of a customers Sak Yant, along with the design preferences. Sometimes designs can have the Khata (text) modified to reflect the goals of the person with a design they like the look of. Sometimes for specific designs are only available with specific blessings.

Can I get a Sak Yant Tattoo anywhere on the body?

Short Answer Yes and No. Sacred and Buddhist related images must go above the waist. This includes the majority of Sak Yant Designs.  Some designs (mostly featuring animals) can go below the waist.

Sak Yant Location: Not much below the waist
Can I pick my Sak Yant Location?

Sak Yant’s are a spiritual and magical Tattoo and those images that represent Buddha or the Master Yant’s have to be placed on the back, the arms and side torso. Females can not get the Sak Yant placed around the breasts (or have the area exposed) or below the waist. Men can have some designs placed on the thigh.

The feet are off limits for everyone. In Thai culture the feet are the lowest part of the body which is why it is against the law to point your feet towards a Buddha, or step on money with the image of the King. You certainly can not get a sacred symbol placed there. Only animal designs can be placed below the waist (no images representing Buddha or powerful Yants), and a few examples are below

Sak Yants allowed Below the Waist

Can a Female get a Sak Yant Tattoo from a Monk?

Short Answer No  (At Sak Yant Chiang Mai) normal answer Sometimes.  Women can get a Sak Yant from a Monk – but it can not be done at a Temple. Females getting a Sak Yant from a Monk is possible outside of the Temple.   

This is a question that 99% of blog posts about Sak Yants or Thai Monks get wrong, by confusing tradition and culture with the actual Vinaya (Monk code of conduct).

Thai Buddhist Monks are permitted to touch a women, so long that it does not create lust. For this reason many Monks decide that it is better to be safer than sorry in this regards, and if they do touch a female they use prayer clothe (or gloves for Sak Yant) as an added layer.

Many Monks nowadays just outright refuse to give a Sak Yant to a woman to save themselves the inconvenience of having to explain themselves (especially if tourists take and publish photographs). This is further complicated (only in Thailand) when the cultural tradition of women not touching Monks is added to the mix.

Can a Female get a Sak Yant from a Monk

At Sak Yant Chiang Mai, if a Monk is working with the In-House option they can provide a Sak Yant for females because it is not done on Temple grounds

What is the difference between a Sak Yant Monk and a Sak Yant Ajarn?

The major difference between an Sak Yant Ajarn (almost always an Ex Monk of many years) and a Monk (someone still engage in Temple duties) for the purposes of getting a Sak Yant Tattoo is that the Ajarn will generally do their Yantra Tattoo for a set fee and will do Tattoo’s on Women. There are many subtle differences as well, far too many to explain in a section of a FAQ, but we will cover some of the basics.

Difference between monk and ajarn?
Same Same – But Different. Almost all Sak Yant Ajarns have spent years as a Monk previously

Sak Yant Ajarn

The term ‘Ajarn’ is used to describe a learned person… similar to the term Professor or Master. When we refer to the term ‘Ajarn’ we are referring to a Sak Yant Master. Generally an Ajarn (or Sak Yant Master), is a former Monk that has taken their training in the Magical Art of Sak Yant and continued to provide the service to people after they no longer work within the Temple environment.

Getting Sak Yant Tattoo from an Ajarn means, they are free from the ‘touching female’ restrictions. Often Ajarns are open to additional training in the Sak Yant Tattoo and general tattoo arts. The Ajar opens his Sak Yant temple to Thais and Foreigners alike and operates it like any other business and charges a fee for his expertise. The Ajarn is a highly respected and sought after adviser to both the normal Thai person and the Monk community

Sak Yant Ajarn’s, (like Monks) gain their magical power from meditation and following may spiritual rules for living a good and harmonious life. Ajarn’s will spend a considerable amount of their time in meditation, retreats, serving charities and living life to exceptionally high moral codes and ethics. They will take the responsibility of performing Sak Yant Tattoo’s at the same level as Monks do.

The Ajarn usually has more of a worldly interest outside of Temple life, more familiar with westerners seeking a Sak Yant, can speak better English and can be much more relaxed in accepting our lack of knowledge of protocols.

Sak Yant Monk

Generally a Monk (for the purpose of a Sak Yant Tattoo) is a Temple associated Monk that has duties engaging in the local community. The Monks role in Sak Yant Tattoos is only one of their duties and seeking a Sak Yant from a Monk can mean waiting along with other Thais, seeking advice, magic and blessings from the Monk.

A Sak Yant Tattoo from a Monk is done by donation (like all their duties) and a higher level of respect must be shown because you are at a Temple. However many Westerners have written blogposts proudly claiming they only donated a few hundred Baht for their Sak Yant. This is a ridiculously cruel thing to do, coming to another country, and cheating Monks by paying less than the locals.

Many Monks now will just tell westerners that they are busy, or can not preform a Sak Yant because of their previous experience with cheap travelers.

Can I get a Sak Yant from a Tattoo Shop?

No,  The Sak Yant Tattoo is a magical and spiritual talisman and blessing that requires years of training in the ancient magical arts. While you can get the pattern of a Sak Yant from a Tattoo shop, it will be based on the incorrectly provided online drawings and easily recognized as being fake by real Sak Yant Masters and many Thai people.

Having an existing fake Sak Yant, will not come with any power, it can not be blessed by a real Sak Yant Master, who may refuse to provide the real thing on a body that already has a fake, and will usually cost more from a tattoo shop than the real thing.

Tattoo shops will often advertise “Bamboo Tattoo” along with the catalogue of Sak Yant images in the hopes that the customer has no idea about what a real Sak Yant is. For more details read “Why you Don’t get a Sak Yant from a Tattoo Shop

What are the Sak Yant Rules?

The Sak Yant Rules of Conduct refer to the rules you must follow once you have become a student of a Monk or Ajarn (a title inferred after receiving a Sak Yant). Every Monk or Ajarn has different Sak Yant Rules which they sometimes suggest and sometimes do not. There is great confusion as to the Rules which you can read about in detail at Sak Yant Rules of Conduct.

The general rules are …..

  • Do not kill
  • Do not steal
  • Do not desire another persons lover or spouse or be unfaithful to your own
  • Do not lie
  • Do not get Intoxicated
  • Do Not speak ill of your Mother (or any Mother)

Each lineage of Sak Yant traditions have their own rules, some of which apply in some situations, specific people and particular designs. Some rules apply to student Monks, some apply to Thai (but not Westerners).  The Bottom-line is you can pretty well ignore any rules you see in travel blogs, except the ones above – unless the Sak Yant Master has specifically told you differently.

How long does a Sak Yant Tattoo take to Heal?

The Sak Yant tends to heal within 1-3 days after getting the Sak Yant when the Tattoo done with a Khem (Steal Needle), as it usually does not go as deep into the skin. For the 1st few days you should treat it much like a normal tattoo, and most importantly use a medicated ointment to avoid infection.

Many people think a natural moisturizer product like aloe or coconut oil is sufficient – It is NOT! Getting a tattoo in another country with different pathogens opens you up to risks of infections that natural products do not address. If you have lived in Thailand for 3 months or more you can go this route. Otherwise always use pharmaceutical products to avoid infections and heal faster.

Why do Some Sak Yant Tattoos have Gold Leaf?

Gold leaf is a way for Thai Buddhist to pay respect and honor the Buddha and his teachings.  Gold Leaf is sometimes applied to Sak Yant Designs that have an association with Buddhism as a way to placate spirits and request favour. This is however totally unnecessary for the Sak Yant Tattoo that receives it’s power from the prayers and chants of the Sak Yant Master and many Sak Yant patterns have nothing to do with Buddhism.

The gold leaf on a Sak Yant looks nice in photos, and has been adopted by some Sak Yant Masters as a extra bonus for the personal satisfaction of the person getting the Sak Yant.  

In reality, the gold leaf has never been part of the Sak Yant tradition.  Historically, gold leaf required a lot of work, and most Masters came from poor rural villages.  They just did not have the time or resources to hand beat sheets of gold.  With the advent of modern gold leaf making processes and an increase in wealth in Thailand, it is sometimes now added mostly for decoration rather than any spiritual purpose.

Got a Question not address here?  We have a whole page dedicated to Sak Yant Questions and Answer

How to Get a Sak Yant Tattoo

If you are interested in getting a Sak Yant tattoo, it is important to do your research and find a reputable artist or spiritual master who specializes in this type of tattooing. It is also important to understand the cultural and spiritual significance of these tattoos and to approach the process with respect and reverence.

In many cases, getting a Sak Yant tattoo involves a ritualistic ceremony, which may include offerings, prayers, and blessings. It is important to be prepared for this experience and to follow the instructions of the artist or spiritual master.

Sak Yant Chiang Mai is a Co-op of Real Sak Yant Masters giving authentic Traditional Thai Tattoo expereinces for western tourists.

What is a Sak Yant Tattoo? Video

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