Skin Deep: Sacred Tattoo Sessions at Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel

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The Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel offers a very special service: Private sacred tattoo sessions by one of the city’s most famous Sak Yant masters, Ajarn Neng Onnut. Anantara Siam is the only hotel in Thailand that offers this exclusive private service by the revered bamboo tattoo master.

Ajarn Neng Onnut
Sak Yant master Ajarn Neng Onnut ©Anantara Siam

Private inking sessions

Private sacred inking sessions have become increasingly popular with foreign visitorts to Thailand, thanks in part to Ajarn Neng Onnut who inked Sak Yant tattoos on Hollywood actors including Brooke Shields, Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradford and famed Hong Kong actor, Alex Fong.

A master, teacher and learned scholar in the sacred art of Sak Yant, Ajarn Neng Onnut has more than ten years of perfecting his expert craft on over 10,000 people under his Khem Sak, and his fascination with this sacred art has been described as something of an obsession.

Being an Ajarn in Sak Yant was not something I planned, but when I realized it was what I must do, it was as if everything before had been leading me to that moment.

Ajarn Neng Onnut, Bangkok’s Revered Bamboo Tattoo Master.

The private Sak Yant tattoo sessions by Ajarn Neng Onnut are performed in the privacy of a guest’s suite, or in a private treatment room. A consultation by the Ajarn takes place the day before when the master meets and learns about the guest’s life and goals in life and decides on a fitting Yant. Before and after inking the Yant, the Ajarn performs a ceremony where the body and art are blessed, giving the wearer a permanent and deeply significant reminder of the unique experience.

Tattoo session
Private sacred tattoo session with Sak Yant master Ajarn Neng Onnut (left) at Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel – ©Anantara Siam

Anantara Siam Tattoo Prices

Prices for a private Sak Yant tattoo session by Ajarn Neng Onnut at Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel start from $800 USD for a small symbol called Na and $1,000 USD for a one-line Yant, to $3,000 USD per hour for a Twin Tiger design.

Sak Yant tattoos, also referred to as bamboo tattoos, are expertly engraved into the skin entirely by hand using a traditional Khem Sak – a handcrafted metal rod designed to replicate the shape of a bamboo stick that is often passed down to an Ajarn, meaning master in Thai, by their own master.

These tattoos are popular among Thais who mostly visit a temple to get inked by a Buddhist monk and are traditional forms of tattooing magical ancient geometric and deity symbols with Buddhist prayers onto the body. The tattoos are sacred blessings that are believed to impart magical powers for luck, protection, charisma, fortune, and other powers onto the wearer to help in their own personal journey.

Female guest at Tattoo session
Private sacred tattoo session – ©Anantara Siam

The most famous Yant is the Haah Taew or five-line Yant, and Ajarn Neng also inks simple one-line Yants and Gao Yord, a nine-spine Yant; or much bigger Yants designs like Twin Tigers.

Sak Yant is one of the world’s most ancient and sacred traditions and becoming learned in it includes mastering the intricate artwork of the tattoos, which consists of almost 1,000 different graphic images. Ajarn Neng’s passion to become a master also saw him learning how to read and write the entire ancient Khmer and Pali scripts, memorizing all the unique prayers and secret spells, chants and mantras that relate to the sacred tattoos.

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