Sacred Tattoos at The Siam’s New Tattoo Studio

  • Sak Yant tattoo artist Arjan Boo in residence at The Siam in Bangkok.

    Sak Yant tattoo artist Arjan Boo in residence at The Siam in Bangkok.

  • A villa at the Bill Bensley-designed hotel.

    A villa at the Bill Bensley-designed hotel.

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For those looking for a long-lasting Thai souvenir, Bangkok’s The Siam has recently begun offering a unique tattoo service. In its Opium Spa, the Bill Bensley-designed hotel has opened a studio that specializes in Sak Yant, a Southeast Asian form of sacred tattoo art that’s recently become popular among tattoo enthusiasts (model Cara Delevingne has a Sak Yant emblem on her neck). Heading the studio is Arjan Boo, who studied the art at Wat Bangphra—a Buddhist temple about 50 kilometers west of the city—and is renowned for the detail of his work. After receiving their tattoos, guests are taken to the temple to have their ink blessed, thus activating its powers of warding off evil and bringing good luck. —Gabrielle Lipton

This article originally appeared in the August/September print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Skin Deep”)

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