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Sak Yant – Magic Tattoo » Thai Guide To Thailand

A Sak Yant is a magic tattoo which bestows mystical powers. This Sak Yant magic tattoo is normally given by a Buddhist Monk or Brahmin Priest but a Sak Yant can also be performed by a layman.

Of the Countries in Asia where Sak Yant tattooing is carried out, Thailand is by far the country with the highest number of devotees. The Thai word Sak means to tattoo and a Yant is a sacred design that incorporates Buddhist prayers called Mantras or Katas that will invoke supernatural powers.

Yants came to Thailand via the Khmers long before Buddhism and these magic spells were originally inscribed onto cloth and were known as Pha Yants. Many Thai soldiers wore cloth jackets called Seua Yant, that were printed with a Yant to give protection in Battle. After the influx of Buddhism into Thailand it became common for these Yants to be inscribed or tattooed onto the skin. Today, you will see many Thai men with one or several of these Yant Tattoos. Thai people believe in the powers of a Yant and there are many stories of people being shot at close range and the bullets failed to pierce the skin or horrific car crashes where the wearer of a Yant was completely unharmed.





Traditionally, a Yant is tattooed using a long bamboo stick with a split sharpened point like a quill called a Mai Sak or alternatively a long metal spike known as a Khem Sak. There are many designs of Yant available, each chosen to give either protective powers or good luck in business or in love. Many of the designs are universal but the Mantras may differ according to the Tattooer.




Sak Yants, so popular in Thailand, have attracted the interest of people in many other parts of the world who come to Thailand to receive a Yant including such well known people as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

Indeed, such is the popularity of the Sak Yant that several of the Sak Yant Masters have achieved almost superstar status themselves. The majority of people who receive a Sak Yant magic tattoo are male but many females also have a Yant, often done with an almost invisible oil rather than ink. Muay Thai boxers will invariably have a Yant of Hanuman to receive strength and invulnerability.

We are often asked by foreigners where they can get a Sak Yant. Unfortunately, in many cases it is just a desire to follow fashion and get an unusual mystical looking tattoo. If people do not believe in the power of a Yant and are not prepared to follow the rules of conduct that go with a Yant then they would be better just to go to a Tattoo Studio. Sadly, some of the Monks and Brahmin Priests are not completely blameless in this matter. The lure of money has meant that some of the “big names” in Sak Yant now charge $1000 US or more.


Sak Yant – Chiang Mai

Sak Yant Designs

Sak Yant – Power of Magic
Sak Yant – Hanuman
Sak Yant – Hah Taew Five Sacred Lines Yant
Sak Yant – Gao Yord 9 Spires Yant
Sak Yant – Tiger
Sak Yant – Monkey Ling Lom
Sak Yant – Paed Tidt Eight Direction Yant
Sak Yant – Phra Narai Song Khrut
Sak Yant – Paed Dan Eight Sided Yant
Sak Yant – Ganesh
Sak Yant – Tong Maharat Great Flag



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67 Responses to “Sak Yant – Magic Tattoo”

  1. Dave Shaw says:

    Hey, I am really interested in getting a Sak Yant tattoo but Altho I have seen some I like,
    I need to know the meaning of the designs. I do Muay Thai myself and have quite a few Thai
    themed tattoos of which I took the time to get the proper translation for and if asked I can ,
    without hesitation, answer with the correct meaning!! I know these Sak Yant designs have their
    meanings and would like you to help please. I cannot proceed with any tattoos until I understand
    what I’m having. Thankyou

  2. dave shaw says:

    hey, i am looking into getting a Sak Yant tattoo but i need to know the meanings of some of the designs. i have a few thai related tattoos would love to have a Sak Yant done but i cannot go any further without understanding what the design means. if you can help somehow i would be very grateful. thank you

  3. koushik muhury says:

    i want to take this tatoo in my body.plz alow me to take this tatoo

  4. kevin says:

    please anyone know how can i get sak yant tatoo i always want to get one but dont know where to get.

  5. Joe says:

    To everyone asking how to get sak yant and where… First things first. You CANNOT copy a yant design off of google or even out of a book and take it to a tattoo artist. More often than not the khom (writing) is mispelled on purpose so that the yant is ineffective and only a real sak yant master knows the correct letter order. You want a sak yant, your best bet is to go to thailand as Cambodia and Laos have nearly zero masters left. Do some research, facebook has plenty masters on there. i.e. Ajarn Thoy. The place where sak yant are done is called a “samnak” search that online to find adressess. The truth of the matter is, if you don’t speak Thai or have a friend who lives in Thailand, it’s going to be really difficult to 1. get to the samnak (which in some cases is a simple house) 2. tell the monk or Ajarn what you want. Best bet, book a trip, with hotel, have an adress of the samnak, give it to a cab driver or ask the hotel personell. Bangkok and Ayutthaya have the most samnak in the whole country, find out which temples have sak yant (not all do) and go from there. And again DO NOT print anything out and take it to a tattoo shop, as they can’t read it, and there will be zero ritual, you will not know the kata (verses) and the sak yant will be pointless. This kind of tattoo is NOT a fashion item.

  6. ella says:

    The address of the temple Wat Bang Phra is:
    Phra Udomprachanat (Luang Por Phern)
    Wat Bang Phra, Tambol Ban Gaew Fa
    Amphor Nakornchaisri, Nakornpathom
    In Thai to print for Taxi driver:
    วัดบางพระ (วัดหลวงพ่อเปิ่น)
    ต.บางแก้วฟ้า, อ.นครชัยศรี, จ.นครปฐม
    GPS Coordinates are N 13 53.846 E 100 12.773
    Tel: +66(0)343893333


  7. Shadow says:

    Hey, im going to phuket patong next week. I would like to get a sak yant. But do not really know any sak yant masters nearby. Where is the nearest Sak yant master? Help me please

  8. AGATHIAN says:

    i am 19 year old boy….i need a tatoo in animal symbol or in god symbol….which not affect me,always protect me,helps me in any situation,must suitable with me,take care of my family members and what ever i think can be do with myself….my date of birth 25-09-1994….date time….of time 2.33

  9. chris harriss says:

    how much does the 5 sacred lines cost??

  10. Joe says:

    Do you know the address of Wat Sam Ngam where LPYeam lives?

  11. laurence says:

    Hello. Can anyone help me identify these sak yant tattoos? They were given to me in a monastery in Cambodia but I am not aware of their meanings.

    Images at


  12. laurence says:

    please note there are two different photos on the flickr photostream, one tattoo on each hand

  13. leonardo says:

    hi, I’m from Chile, I have previously visited Wat Bang Phra, where I received several Sak-Yant, I would like to be present in the Wai Kroo in March 2015, but I need to know when exactly is the festival to organize my trip, please would greatly appreciate someone can help me with that information

  14. Tina says:

    This is a response to Joe’s claim that there are no masters left in Cambodia. Cambodia is where this sacred art originated from, as well as pradal serey (to which eventually gave rise to sport of Muay Thai). it still exists in Cambodia, and just because you can’t find these masters on Facebook, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Maybe they are just a bit harder to find. Keep going to your Ajarns who want your money, but know that they tattoo Khmer script onto your skin… Not Thai. I’ve seen videos of Thai tattoos drive people to madness because of inaccuracies. So if you think you want to trust it, that’s your decision.

  15. JOE says:

    Dear Sir,
    I will be traveling to Cambodia and would like to know if you can recomend a traditional sak yant master there?
    Thank you for any and all help,

  16. angi says:

    hi! can u plz help me?
    is it possible or okay to have a sak yant tattoo done by professional tattoo artist? instead by a monk?
    im just really wanted to have this kind of tattoo but im afraid if it would be fine or not if only a professional tattoo artist instead by a monk can do so…

  17. angi says:

    hi is it possible if only a professional tattoo artist can do so?instead by a monk?

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