Date: Saturday 19th March 2016
Venue: Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Chaisi in Nakhon Pathom
I think one of the most bizzare festivals I have ever attended in Thailand is the Tattoo Festival. This takes place at the renowned Wat Bang Phra temple in Nakhon Chaisi, about 50 kms west of Bangkok. This temple is famous for its magically charged tattoos and amulets which can protect its wearer against harm and even speeding bullets. The temple was made famous by Luang Phor Boon who sadly passed away a few years back. However his devoted followers still visit this temple every March to take part in a special “wai khru” ceremony and also to have their tattoos recharged.
The date for the Wai Khru ceremony (paying respect to your teacher) varies from year to year but it usually takes place in early March and always on a Saturday. The event is always scheduled to start at 9.39 a.m. However, it is highly advisable to arrive several hours early. Even at 7 a.m. there will already be several thousand people there.
From Bangkok, take highway 4 and head towards Nahkon Pathom. About 10 kms before this city you will see a turn off for Nakhon Chaisi. The route to the temple is well signposted in both Thai and English. Look out for the signs with a blue background. The temple is about 14 kms away from the main highway and 10 kms away from the city of Nakhon Chaisi. We left early in the morning and it only took one hour from Bangkok. However, it took nearly three hours to return in the afternoon.
Map showing location of Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Pathom:
GPS Coordinates: 13.897427, 100.212564