Monday, March 23, 2009

Thailand's Supernatural Tattoo Fest

At a large temple just west of Bangkok, one of the strangest Buddhist festivals in Thailand takes place. Once a year thousands of young men gather at Wat Bang Phra to be tattooed by the temple's monks. Travel with Lonely Planet.

Buddhist monks who give tattoos? We got up at 3:30 am at Wat ("temple") Tunnati in Bangkok and were out by 4:20 am. A group of 50 to 60 people had already gathered. We were soon on the road, arriving at Wat Bang Phra at 7:00 am.

We started with an offering to the Buddha. Then went straight to the tattoo room where three Buddhist monks were giving tattoos. That's odd enough. But then there's "the power." What is "the power"?

People with these tattoos go into a trance. They start screaming and running wildly. (I'm due for one in the next month). Here's my version:

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