(Everything you need to know )


“Tattoos" are a form of art that narrates the stories of their own. A tattoo, once you get it done, becomes a friend for life, and thus it has to be done in the right way and at the right place. And with some of the best tattoo shops in Thailand, it seems to be a pretty good destination, with its history with tattoos, dating back to Kher Empire at Angkor. For long, people in Thailand have been into the sport of getting intricate and mystical figures, tattooed on their bodies. From modern day art to traditional Sak Yant Tattoo, Thailand have been a tattoo hub, for visitors around the globe. So, the most important question that clicks in anyone’s mind, who is planning to get a tattoo in Thailand must be- “Is it safe?” And yes, of course, it is, provided you know the right details. To make it easier for you, here is the checklist you need to work upon, before hitting the colourful land of Thailand.

 1)   What Your Tattoo Should Narrate?

It's very important for you to understand that what you desire to display from your tattoo. It is going to be your identity and don't you think, it needs to portray, who you are? So, give your time into thinking, what you want to get inked on your body and specifically at which part. Once you visit Thailand, you will be flooded with ideas ranging from modern-day art to traditional Buddhist tattoos and some best tattoo shops, offering you the same. So, prioritizing your thoughts would be a wise step to avoid all the attractions. You want your tattoo to be unique. I would suggest you take a few designs of your choice, that will make things easier.

Sak Yant Thai Tattoo

2) Selecting the Best Tattoo Artist for Your Tattoo

Having done with the selection of your tattoo, it is very important to select artists and parlors that are specifically fit to draw your design, perfectly. Do some research over the internet, take tips from your friends who already wear tattoos, or better if you know someone who had their tattoo done in Thailand. Because, Thailand is a center for this art, there are various artists, excelling in their kind of designs. People, usually prefer monks for getting a traditional Buddhist tattoo. For example, the famous SAK YANT TATTOO is beautifully crafted at the temple of WAT BANG PHRA.  Located 30 miles of  Bangkok, this temple welcomes thousands of visitors to get the SAK YANT TATTOO. Similarly, numerous artists have a good hand in modern day Japanese art. So, if you are willing to get that cool, Japanese stuff to go with your look, modern parlors are your place. Good hands will give your TATTOO life of their own. Therefore, you must find out the best suitable artist for your tattoo.

 3)Choosing the artist by recommendation:

It is essential to know the details about the artist you are going to get your tattoo done. Shortlist the artists you think are best for your particular design and then find out things about them. As I mentioned earlier, you can do internet research or talk to your friends about it. You can always follow the celebrities and find out the places and artists in Thailand; they had their tattoo done. Say, for example, Angelina Jolie visited the place to get the Sak Yant Tattoo done by a certain Thai Monk.

You will lose your time if you go without any prior research of your own. And in case, if you happen to reach the destination without any plans, you can always take help of local pals, after all, who else will know better? Talk to them, tell them what you want and see what names you come up with. There are always few names that pop up repeatedly, google those artists and get the required details and you are done. As they say,  “Your safety is in your hands”; and getting something on your very skin, this idea needs all the safety measures.

 4) Style or substance:

Believe it or not, somewhere deep down, we all are style freaks. We all wish to make a style statement, with our looks and the way we carry ourselves. So, why will the tattoo industry not follow the norm? And thus, Thailand entertains the idea of style over substance in some of their best tattoo shops. But, let me warn you, not all the stylish artists and parlors treat you with the best work. Talent and perfection can be found at the smallest corners and the darkest lanes.

So, don't fall for catchy call outs and style studded designs. Do your homework nicely and reach the place and a man that will serve you with the best of art. For instance, there is a tiny shop in Chatuchak Weekend Market, that gives you a lifetime memory of getting yourself tattooed in the best ways possible.

 5) Beware of the fake tattoos:

Another very crucial things to check out whether you are getting that holds meaning, or it is something that is nothing but fake. Because there is a tremendous flood of artists and parlors all over Thailand, you need to look for the best combination possible. Supposedly, you are looking for a traditional Buddhist tattoo, and you end up getting it in some fancy parlors by some new artist experimenting with your tattoo, your whole experience will taste sore. You probably will want to have something that auspicious, done over at some old temple by a monk. That will assure your heart that the real meaning of your tattoo is well portrayed. Isn’t it? Moreover, these traditional Buddhist tattoos are related to power and protection in Thailand, so, it would be useless to go for something this meaningful into a fancy shop.

6) Tattoos in Thai script and Buddhist Tattoos:

sak yant by monk

Now, if you are planning to get a tattoo in that script, make sure it spells right.

You are a foreigner, visiting a foreign land and you probably won't be knowing the spoken language there. So, you need to check the spelling as well as the meaning; and get it rechecked by some local fellows. After all, you will not want to make a fool of yourself by wearing something that is different from what you believe it means. Am I right?

For instance, you think that beautiful tattoo in the Thai script on your left arm means, "LIVE," but annoyingly it spells "EVIL." Now, won't that piss you off? Plus, you need to be very careful if you are going for traditional Buddhist tattoos. It had happened that often tourists end up annoying the local Buddhist followers, by getting "THE BUDDHA” sculpture or face, tattooed on the lower body.

People of Thailand, put the head or upper body at the supreme position, something to be prayed; whereas for them the feet or the lower body is something that is low in values, and getting the face of THE BUDDHA inked on lower body is a matter of shame for them. So, you ought to keep this in mind. After all, you don’t want to offend anyone’s sentiments.

7) Methods of getting tattooed:

Thai hand poke bamboo

Lastly, you have to know and be very sure about the technique by which you would like to get tattooed.

 See, the old traditional places, use wooden sticks to ink the design. Thai Tattoo Café and many tattoo places in Thailand use a stainless steel stick due to hygiene and cleanliness standards. Don’t put your heart in doubts. And if you are not ready to bear the pain, then they have got some electrical machines to give you a painless memory. Isn’t that appealing? See, there is a reason why they say that Thailand has got some best tattoo shops. So, these are the few go-throughs, you must do before planning to get your body part tattooed.

It is a beautiful form of art, with ink taking shapes to tell the world your story.

Make it yours, have the best experience, and trust me THAILAND is one of the best-suited places to do that.

Don’t wait and start planning to visit the beautiful “LAND OF SMILES”


Koolraphat Phongphaew