This was my second visit to the legendary tattoo temple, the sak yant. I first visited this place in January 2014 and had a great experience and have wanted to go back ever since.
Since coming to Thailand yesterday this was my first thing on the list of things to do. I was expecting the same great experience but this time it was different. I guess they wanted to start making loads of money by turning the place into some sort of attraction.
So I get to the place and it’s full of diggers and construction stuff & things. Ignoring all that, i’ve gone to the same place as last time to get in line. For some reason the taxi driver whips me upstairs and tries to make me pay 5000 THB (about £100). After a bit of a debate and loads of confusing conversations via Google Translate I decide to just join the back of the queue in the downstairs main room.
Wat Bang Phra is a Scam
Once I tell them thats nonsense they tell me to join the queue downstairs and advise me against it. So i’ve told the taxi driver to piss off by this point and i’m on my own in a queue of about 60 people, as I get closer to the front I realised something. They are now using a tattoo gun instead of the spike. After watching for what seemed like hours I come to the conclusion that this place i only after the money now.
A traditional Sak Yant is supposed be done with the spike and they charge a small fee and rely on tips. Charging someone 5000 THB for one done properly or have it done with a dirty and possibly HIV ridden tattoo isn’t right. I’m writing this as a warning to anybody out there wanting to visit Wat Bang Phra. Don’t.
Getting Back was Worth the Trip
Pissed off and without a ride back home I just wondered around the village Wat Bang Phra is located and chilled out with an iced tea trying to speak to Thai people who haven’t even got a clue what the words hello and English are. I was thinking i’m stuck there forever and sat down on a curb. It was also at this point when I heard some tunes from a vehicle down the road. It was some massive rusty ass bus playing 90s dance classics which pulled up. I got on in the hope it was going in the direction of Bangkok and it turns out it was. The disco bus had a sound system full blast going through some villages 50 miles away from Bangkok in the middle of nowhere and I was the only passenger. It was the funniest thing ever. After about 40 mins it has picked some old deers up and then it dropped me off at Tesco and the old boy told me directions for the onward minivan.
This post is dedicated to the random disco bus. I with I had got a picture of the bus because it looked funny. The seats inside were ripped and the wooden floor had holes in so you could see the road but it saved me from being stranded in the middle of nowhere.
I had my camera in my hand and I was looking out the window and some bloke was waving at me which was pretty funny. I had the lense on f8 and tried to guess the focusing distance but i’m guessing i missed it because the old boy is a bit blurry. Oh well.
After the minivan dropped me off at Victory Monument and still not being used to the humidity, I spent the rest of the day strolling about central Bangkok not really doing much. I ate some noodles and drank ice tea on the way to one of the best places to visit in Bangkok, Lumpini Park. It was also the place of a horrible bomb last week which is quite scary to think. The park is nice to lay on the grass and not do much. I found a tortoise just casually walking about and a load of monitor lizards. The image below is on the corner os Lumpini park and the bomb site is off in the distance. This was also the place of massive protests in January 2014.
First blog post of the new trip written. It’s not been the best or most exciting post but i’ll try get into the swing of things more as I go on through these.
With regards to the blog, now I am outside of boring old Banbury, I will be trying to post as regularly as possible so keep an eye out on here. I’ll try and get up to something decent a few times a week to keep the content coming.
Thankyou for reading.
Keep checking back.