I’ve been obsessing over getting a traditional Thai tattoo for years. I even ordered books from Thailand on designs and meanings and was dead set on a protection tattoo. Now the tough part: Do I take my chances with the monks at Wat Bang Phra and pray they select the same tattoo for me as I’ve been dreaming of for months? Or do I find a traditional artist working in a modern tattoo shop that will do what I ask of him? Ultimately I chose the latter. I couldn’t bare the thought of traveling all the way from Bangkok to Wat Bang Phra only to be disappointed with a tattoo selection that would be on my body forever. Would I go to Wat Bang Phra in the future? Of course, just not this time around!
Que Bangkok Ink. I was perusing instagram for the perfect artist and stumbled upon a traditional artist at Bangkok Ink. Bonus– the shop was only 3 blocks from our hotel. I messaged them right away (it was 2 am as I was still adjusting to the time change). They got back to me within minutes and I scheduled an appointment for the next day. I brought in my books and showed the artist exactly what I was looking for.
The process was more painful than any modern tattoo I’d ever gotten. I’ve had 7 hour tattoos on my hips and ribs with no breaks and this process made those seem like a breeze. I was on the verge of tears almost the entire time (Thanks Keith for capturing that on video) and had to take 2 breaks in the short hour it took to complete. Recovery was immediate as I gazed at the beauty left by the bamboo stick. Unlike modern tattoos that essentially burn the ink into your skin, the traditional method didn’t scab over, there was no healing period, no pain, no lotions or ointments. Just a beautiful tattoo and an unforgettable experience!