Bangkok Tattoo (...not the book)
July 17, 2008 3:04 AM   Subscribe

Where to get tattooed in Bangkok?

I'm looking for somewhere in Bangkok, or in the surrounding areas, to get tattooed in the next month. Most of my google searches are leaving me with places only on Khaosan Road, and while I know there are decent places there, I'd like to avoid Khaosan if I can.

I'm looking for somewhere to do a traditional Thai image (the giants that guard the temples) in color. Autoclave and sterile conditions obviously a must.

Does anybody have any good (or bad, for that matter; I'm also up for places to avoid) experiences with tattoo shops in Bangkok that are a bit less touristy than the ones the internet is helping me find?

I'll look into any recommendations given more on my own. I'm a big believer in going to a shop in person and meeting the artists before deciding, but I could use some help to figure out where to go to find them in the first place.

Thanks so much!
posted by plaingurl to Society & Culture (3 answers total)
I can't really answer your question directly but it's really easy to approach locals and ask them about this kind of thing. I just left Bangkok and all I had to do was sit down and have a beer at any family owned restaurant or corner shop and by the time I got up a few hours later I felt like a regular (I'm not all that outgoing and speak almost zero Thai).
The area I'm talking about didn't have too many tourists but it was a few hundred feet from Khaosan Road so maybe they were more accustomed to Falong wandering around their neighborhood than in other parts of the city. If you're looking for authentic then that's probably a good place to start. Sorry I can't give you a more direct answer.
posted by Kevbo947 at 9:28 AM on July 17, 2008

I have had a couple tattoos done in Thailand. You mention that you want to avoid the touristy areas, however, these areas are more inclined to be clean and sterile. They don't want a bunch of tourists getting Hep C. In fact, I was told by the locals to avoid the shops that the locals frequent.

One of my tattoos was done by a monk using a traditional bamboo stick. The stick was never used on anyone else. I would recommend making sure you are the first person on the end of whatever they use. Also, bring your own bleach wipes and clean their equipment if you don't feel comfortable. Finally, get your Hep A and B vaccinations before you go if you have not already done that.

As for specific tattoo parlor, I found a few excellent ones in and around the areas where Muay Thai boxing takes place. I would recommend just talking to the locals, American dollars go a long way with these people. So for a small price they might even take you to their fav place.
posted by birdlips at 10:22 AM on July 17, 2008

One of my buddies got some good work from Mr. Khon in Lamai Beach on Koh Samui. Unfortunately, his specialty is black and gray, and he's pretty far from Bangkok.

My friend totally feels you on the "meh" touristy feel around Khaosan Road. However, he did like the vibe and portfolios at the Banana Leaf, which is above a restaurant/bar. (Or maybe the restaurant/bar is called the Banana Leaf; I'm not sure.)

Good luck; I can't wait to see what you get! : )
posted by kwaller at 5:39 PM on July 17, 2008

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