HK Magazine Archive

Yantra Tattoos at The Siam, Louboutin x Upper House Staycation and Flat-Swapping with PandaBed

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 August, 2015, 4:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 4:47pm

Ask an Expert

The gorgeous Siam Hotel in Bangkok recently introduced a surprising new service to its Opium Spa: Sak Yant tattooing. Getting a “magical” tattoo might not exactly be your idea of a vacation, but the sacred one- or three-day tattoo retreat is gathering a following from celebs like Cara Delevingne and Michelle Rodriguez. Here’s what The Siam’s own master tattoo artist Arjan Boo has to say about the experience.

HK Magazine: What exactly isSak Yant tattooing?

Arjan Boo:
It is a traditional form of tattooing that uses magical ancient geometric and deity symbols called “Yants” that essentially imprint Buddhist prayers onto the body. These Yants impart magical powers for luck, protection, charisma, fortune and others onto the wearer. Each design has very specific powers and gives the wearer a responsibility to follow certain rules—the more lines of Yant, the more rules there are to follow. 


HK: When did you learn to do Sak Yant tattoos?

As a young monk I had to assist my master with chores and was sometimes called to help prepare tattoos. The first time I drew a Yant, we were copying stencils by hand since there was no photocopy machine. I kept drawing for one and a half years and then was chosen by the monks to make Yants—later becoming known for my especially detailed work.

HK: Why do you think Yantra tattoos are more popular?

Yantra tattooing has always been popular but was kept quiet and underground. As people and society have become more accepting of tattoos as an art form, people have started to be proud of showing their Yants and are comfortable with the power

Tattoos from THB30,000 ($6,666), includes all supplies and traditional ritual with Arjan Boo. The Siam, Khao, Wachira Phayaban, Bangkok, Thailand, (+66) 2-206-6999,

The Upper Echelon

Whether you’re a big fan of Louboutin or simply love a luxurious staycation, The Upper House’s autumn room package might be of interest—from now ‘til October, book at least two consecutive nights and you’ll have your very own pampering courtesy of the French luxury fashion house: We’re talking daily breakfast, a “Red Slipper” welcome drink, an LV “With Love” leather cardholder, scented candle, $500 credit, and an in-room manicure or pedicure from The Nail Library, using Louboutin varnish. Upgrade to a suite for double the spending credit, private car transfer, a personal consult at Louboutin’s flagship in Central and a pair of “Air Loubi” flats.
From $4,500 per night until October 31. Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2918-1838,



Is PandaBed Asia’s answer to Airbnb? Sure seems so. With 10,000 listed accommodations all over Asia, the peer-to-peer platform does apartment rental, house swaps, villas, bed and breakfasts, and even homestays using a few extras to improve the whole experience. Take the PeerMatch algorithm, for example, which is useful for those looking for a homestay experience. The algorithm attempts to line up travelers and local hosts who have similar interests and cultures based on their profiles and preferences. When searching for a place to stay, users will see a “match” score with the host, which could be a pretty good indicator of whether you will get along. So if you don’t want to get stuck with a crazy cat lady or some raw-food revolutionist maybe make a note of it.
Check it out at

Have a query you need answered or a travel tip you’re keen to share? Email me at [email protected] or tweet @KateSpringer, #hktravels.