Top 5 Posts: Nadech & Yaya Are Number One

Do you like to know which are Sirinya’s Thailand Blog’s most popular posts? Well, since I’ve been writing my blog for more than nine months now, I think it’s time for a small review of the Top 5 Posts.

Top 5 Posts: Nadech & Yaya Are Number One

Can you guess who is the number one? Yeah, it does not come as a surprise to me that it is Nadech & Yaya.

Nadech & Yaya (photo Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

First among the Top 5 Posts: Nadech & Yaya (photo Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

I think you all know this cute on-screen couple that is also frequently paired for fashion shootings and TV commercials. Both Nadech and Yaya are very talented young half-Thai actors popular in Thailand but also in other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam. For instance, there is the charming Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage that provides fans with the most recent news about the two actors.

Nadech & Yaya in The Rising Sun (phot:o konchke.blogspot.com)

Nadech Kugimiya & Yaya Urassaya Sperbund in The Rising Sun (photo: konchke.blogspot.com)

Not surprisingly either, my article about Yaya Urassaya Sperbund is the second most viewed post on my blog. I think Yaya is so famous and loved by her fans because she is very lovely, playful, effortless charming but also a bit childish sometimes which makes her particularly amiable.

Yaya Urassaya Sperbund (photo: Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

Yaya Urassaya Sperbund (photo: Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

Most recently, Yaya graduated from Chulalongkorn University. Congrats, dear Yaya! You are very talented 🙂

Yaya Urassaya just graduated from Chulalongkorn University (photo: Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

Yaya Urassaya just graduated from Chulalongkorn University (photo: Nadech & Yaya Vietnam Fanpage)

Next follows an article about another young luk kreung actress – do you guess who it is? It’s actress and model Mai Davika Hoorne who became famous with her role as Mae Nak in the movie ‘Phi Mak Phra Khanong’. No wonder she is so popular – she is not only lovely but her beauty is also classic. Thus, she has been the cover girl on numerous glossy magazines like the Vogue for instance.

Thai-Belgian actress Davika Hoorne (photo: Mai Davika FB page)

Thai-Belgian actress Davika Hoorne (photo: Mai Davika FB page)

This leads us to my number four post which is about Thai-German actor Mario Maurer. It seems that the most popular posts on my blog are all about young actors. Well, Mario has been in ‘Phi Mak Phra Khanong’ in the leading role alongside Mai Davika. Apart from acting, Mario also does a lot of TV commericals and has been advertising for TAT ( Tourism Authority of Thailand), thus promoting different areas of Thailand.

Mario (photo credit: TAT Kunming)

Mario Maurer (photo credit: TAT Kunming)

Most recently, there has been a cute Mario Maurer doll (Funko Pop). A must for all true Mario fans, I guess 😉

Mario Maurer with his Funko Pop (photo Mario Maurer FBpage)

Mario Maurer with his Funko Pop (photo: Mario Maurer FB page)

Hence, last but not least, my fifth most popular post varies from the rest since it is about the Thai Tradition of Tattooing called Sak Yant. I can understand that this is a subject of interest to many people since to some extent, Sak Yant has also become popular in Western countries. What is more, Sak Yant differs from ‘common’ tattoos because they are supposed to have a magical meaning and power.

Tattooed Monk of Wat Bang Pra (photo credit sak-yant.com)

Tattooed monk of Wat Bang Pra (photo credit: sak-yant.com)

Did you like this recap? And do you like the top four young actors as much as I do? I think we all love Nadech & Yaya and are thrilled by the Yadech-Factor 🙂 Thus, enjoy reading my blog and getting to know more about Thai (popular) culture!

Yours, Sirinya




The Thai Tradition of Tattooing (Sak Yant)

The custom of tattooing has a long history in Thailand. Tattoos are generally divided into two categories, those for loving-kindness (metta) and those for invulnerability and empowerment. These tattoos are part of Thai magic (Sak Yant) and not for beautification. Thus, Sak Yant is an ancient magical practice using Buddhist, Brahman and animist imagery. In particular, Wat Bang Phra in Nakhom Pathom Province is known for Yantra tattooing by monks living in the temple. During March each year there is a tattoo festival at Wat Bang Phra.

Thai Tattoos

Hlwong Pi Pant tattooing a Yant in Ang Tong Province (photo credit: sakyant, wikimedia.org)

Luang Pi Pant tattooing a Yant in Ang Tong Province (photo credit: sakyant, wikimedia.org)

Tattoos for loving-kindness serve to enhance in the person a feeling of benevolence and kindness towards others and simultaneously instill in others the same feelings to oneself. Some tattoo motifs for loving-kindness are:

Swan – the swan is the vehicle of the great God Brahma (Phra Prom) and it promises liberation from worldly bondage.

Turtle – since turtles appear to be slow and clumsy, they arouse compassion and pity. Thus, nobody truly wants to harm them. Thus, the Great Turtle Yantra also stands for auspicious blessings.

Yant Paya Tao Ruean – Great Turtle Yantra – excellent auspicious blessings, riches, treasures (Pokasap), health and long life from this Yantra (photo credit: Ajarn Man Anusas, sak-yant.com)

Yant Paya Tao Ruean – Great Turtle Yantra – excellent auspicious blessings, riches, treasures (Pokasap), health and long life from this Yantra (photo credit: Ajarn Man Anusas, sak-yant.com)

House Lizard – the house lizard is supposed to warn people. Hence, according to Thai belief if one hears the cry of a house lizard when about to leave the house, it is recommend not to go because something awful might happen.

Mynah Bird– the common mynah bird is sometimes tattooed on the tongue, since its song is enchanting and causes those who hear it to experience great joy.

A Buddha Image (Ongk Pra) is flanked by a Heavenly Bird Yant (photo credit: sak-yant.com)

A Buddha Image (Ongk Pra) is flanked by a Heavenly Bird Yant (photo credit: sak-yant.com)

Buddha – since the Buddha is an enlightened being, he feels compassion and loving-kindness towards all living creatures.

Tattooed Monk of Wat Bang Pra (photo credit sak-yant.com)

Tattooed monk of Wat Bang Pra, sacred Thai tattoos (photo credit: sak-yant.com)

Sak Yant, the tattoos for invulnerability, however, have been selected for the intrinsic power that they possess. These characteristics may be fierceness, speed, strength, cunning and endurance among others. The tattoos are supposed to protect the wearer from bullets, knifes and other weapons. In particular, people who work in high risk occupations like soldiers, taxi and tuk-tuk drivers like to wear these kinds of tattoos.

Yant See Bantat (four lines), Yant Gao Yord (Nine Peaks of Meru) Yant Jing Jok (Gecko Charms), and Yant Paed Daan (eight sided Yantra) (photo credit sak-yant.com)

Yant See Bantat (four lines), Yant Gao Yord (Nine Peaks of Meru) Yant Jing Jok (Gecko Charms), and Yant Paed Daan (eight sided Yantra) (photo credit: sak-yant.com)

In addition, tattoos for invulnerability are also sought after by people with a criminal background like gang members and convicts. Nevertheless, Sak Yant tattoos or Yantra tattooing are nowadays very popular both with Thai people and Westerners. However, some Thai people think that Westerners fail to appreciate the true meaning and spirituality of the Sak Yant. Tattoos for invulnerability are:

Dragon – the dragon stands for fearlessness, strength and wisdom.

King Cobra – the cobra is a venomous fearless snake that will attack rather than retreat.

Eel – the eel stands for the ability to escape because it is very slippery and hard to catch.

Hanuman – the monkey god from the Ramakien is known for having powers of invulnerability and invincibility from the God Shiva.

Yant Hanuman Haw Pen Daw Pen Duean (Hanuman Yawning the Moon and Stars (photo credit: sak-yant.com)

Yant Hanuman Haw Pen Daw Pen Duean (Hanuman Yawning the Moon and Stars (photo credit: sak-yant.com)

Tiger & Mythical Lion – they represent cunning, strength and fierceness.

Toad – the toad is supposed to be a robust animal since it has coarse skin.

Sak Yant on Monk by Luang Pi Pant (photo credit sak-yant.com)

Sak Yant on Monk by Luang Pi Pant (photo credit sak-yant.com)

The Thai tattoo master is called ajahn (teacher) which is a title of respect. He is different from other tattooist because he is most often a Buddhist monk and knows the magic of symbols, figures, cabalistic signs and verses of power. It is also important to note that each tattoo has a ‘heart’ wherein the power lies. Merely the tattooist knows the location of the heart of the tattoo. Verses of power are often reduced to a few letters or even numbers. Hence, each tattoo master knows which verse is represented by the particular groups of letters. Thus, their power is protected. The following clip shows Luang Pi Pant tattooing Wat Ko Poon in Singhburi.

Summing up, we may claim that the art of Thai Tattoos are both spiritual and traditional. However, today Yantra tattooing has become an international phenomenon and there are also places in Western countries that offer these kind of tattoos. Nevertheless, people should not forget about the origin and spiritual and ‘magical’ meaning of the Sak Yant.

Yours, Sirinya

(Reference: Writing From Asia. Treasures Myths and Traditions. The National Museum Volunteers Group, 1996)