Why you don’t believe every Sak Yant blog post

Sak Yant Blog Post gets it wrong

Don’t believe every Sak Yant Blog Post: Why does information differ among different Sak Yant blog post and sources?

Anyone who has attempted to find information from blogposts, forums, or FaceBook pages about the Traditional Thai Sak Yant Tattoo will notice that information differs (sometimes wildly) between the different sources. There are many reasons for this, and Sak Yant Thailand will attempt to provide information articles that explain these differences.  Sometimes the difference is just a reflection of personal philosophy (Tradition Vs Modern Approach to getting a Sak Yant) and sometimes it is pure lack of knowledge, a desire to be seen as an expert of paid affiliate articles.

Sak Yant Thailand will attempt to explain the reasons why this information is different and provide information that comes directly from the Sak Yant Monks and Ajarns themselves with our articles and recommendations.

This following article deals with some of the reasons you should take Sak Yant blog posts about a persons Sak Yant Experience with a grain of salt.  When looking for information about the Sak Yant Traditional Thai Tattoo online, you will find the majority of articles that appear top of the search engines are written by travel bloggers detailing their personal experience.  These types of articles are helpful to provide a great deal of information about the experience an individual may have had.  But they contain a few flaws that it pays to be aware of as you read them.

Let’s examine some of the more common mistakes you are likely to find in Sak Yant blog posts and explanations for them.

Tourist Sak Yant Blog PostSak Yant blog post are written by Tourists and not Sak Yant Masters

Obviously it is going to be difficult for a travel blogger to have any real in-depth knowledge about the Sak Yant Tattoo and it’s traditions.   It takes a Sak Yant Master many years to learn the meaning behind the designs and the special blessings that belong to each.  Even if the Ajarn could speak English explaining the complexities to someone with no background is difficult.

There are some great articles online that create an amazing story about the experience and what someone might expect when receiving a Sak Yant. While a great deal of effort has been made by some bloggers, very little is made by others, and it can be difficult to tell the difference.  Some issues can arise when the blogger attempts to explain the meaning of the design and experience from the Thai prospective and not their own.

Three of the most common errors repeatably reported in Blog-posts are

1) The Monk or Ajarn decides the Sak Yant Design – Reality: You choose if you know what you want

2) The Ink is made of strange ingredients – Reality: Most use regular tattoo ink with a ‘touch’ of magic starter

3) You can get a Sak Yant by donating a packet of Cigarettes Reality:  Wat Bang Phra Temple in Bangkok will accept a 200 baht offering you purchase outside the Temple.  Then you are expected to talk with the Monk and ask how much for the design.  People who do not speak Thai do not know this.  One person calling himself the Expert Vagabond websites article ‘Blessed By A Monk: How I Got My Magic Sak Yant Tattoo’.  He did not ask how much the Monks wanted, gave them nothing, and so they reused ink and needles from another person and gave him a pretty horrible looking Sak Yant.  He wrote about his experience and the myth began.

You can do this if you wish, but you will need to pay 2-3 hours of taxi fare, wait half a day with 40 other tourists and then get a design you have no choice in.  It is a more appropriate situation to ask one of the locals that speak English to come and translate for you and pay the Monks the respect they deserve.

Sak Yant Blog Post gets it wrong

Travel Bloggers often ‘borrow’ wrong information from other blog to write as many articles as they can

As seen above, 3 myths that got copied and pasted and written enough times people can start to believe this is the reality.  One of the major benefits of the information a travel blogger can give to a reader can also create one of the most misinformation.  The bottom line is in reality the ‘bottom-line’; a travel blogger must make money.  To do this they need to write lot’s of content.  In the chase for content, a blogger often decides 2-3 days in any one place is enough to write a “Top 10 Places to” article.  Be it where to eat, where to stay, what to do or any other topic where an attempt is made to come across as an seasoned expert.

Hardly any blogger has actually had coffee in their top 10 coffee spots, or eaten at their top 10 places to eat. It stands to reason then, that they also do not have the time to research much detail in the centuries old practice of Sak Yant.  Research can often take the form of reading the top rated search results for the same title and borrowing information but presenting it with their personal experience and bias.  Problems arise as articles start to reflect the 4th or 5th time the information has been through the ‘Chinese Whisper’ system of personal reinterpretation

Sak Yant Blog Post gets it wrong

That “Bottom-Line” issue again – Affiliate Commission writing.

No one can blame a blog-post writer for accepting affiliate commissions for sending customers to a place they have experienced (or sometimes not even been too).  The goal after all of a travel blog is to have an adventure of a lifetime and try to get the website to pay for it by sharing that adventure.

A recent issue in the credibility of an article you read is that some tour companies will provide affiliate commission to bloggers which include a ‘press-kit’ so that the writer does not even have to have had the experience to write about it.  On the plus side the information provided about the Sak Yant designs, meanings and protocols are very accurate as they have been written by someone at the company who knows.

However the types of companies that provide affiliate commissions usually charge a much higher price.  Luckily there are some telltale signs of an article that was written for money rather than sharing an experience.

1) There will be links to book spread throughout the article
2) They will often refer to the owner by name, often quoting the owner with bit’s of ‘secret information’ only they had access to by having insider knowledge
3) There will often be precaution information to avoid ‘other’ companies operating in the same city as they are less than trustworthy

The irony of course is, that tour companies that are offering commission sales to bloggers are usually owned and run by westerners, charge much more than local tour guides and end up taking you to the same local Ajarn or Monk as the cheaper and ‘less authentic’ option.

Classic case of Affiliate marketing, goes to one place then recommends another competitor that offers commission

In this example above the Gadsventure Blog  write about their experience getting a Sak Yant tattoo from a service provider (Sak Yant Chiang Mai), and then suggest if you wish to get your own, you go to the competition who charge 3 times the price for the same service to the same monk.  The difference is the travel blogger makes commission on referring people to service provider they did not use themselves.