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Top 10 tips for tattoos in Thailand

The Thaiger

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Top 10 tips for tattoos in Thailand | The Thaiger

by Inked In Asia and Carl Gulliver

We know for many it might be a holiday whim, while for others it may require months of planning and preparation. Here are some common topics and questions for getting a tattoo in Thailand.

  1. Why are you getting a tattoo in Thailand?

Top 10 tips for tattoos in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

Have you been following a Thai artist, or studio and want to get a piece done? Are you drunk and it is late and your friend suggested it? Do you just want to have a memory of your trip to Thailand? Just because it can be cheap? Peer pressure? You need to have a solid personal reason for your tattoo based on research and knowledge of the risks and consequences. 

The tattoo is for you, so no reason can be a bad one (as long as you don’t force another person to get one as well). You are the master of your own destiny but make sure you are being honest with yourself and take the time to ponder and question, the “why” of it all.

  1. Hygiene matters no matter where you get a tattoo

Top 10 tips for tattoos in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

It’s imperative that you check the hygiene of any tattoo studio you might be considering getting new ink. Ask your tattoo shop as many questions as you like or ask to see the tools and equipment being used to ensure best practice.

Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health issues a certification that will include a photograph of the owner and name of the studio. Studios will usually proudly display this certificate so keep an eye out to ensure that the studio is following the minimal government requirements.”

Those requirements state:

  1. All tattoo operators must be clean and sterile and all equipment must be one-time-use only and then thrown away. All equipment must be neat and sterile before use.
  2. All tattoo operators must always clean the tattoo studio using sterile liquids.
  3. All tattoo needles, ink, cotton pads and gloves must be used only one time (they must not be reused). All of these items must be thrown in a bin specifically for infectious and sharp items and sent to the health officials who will destroy them.
  4. All tattoo operators must ask their prospective customers about their personal health problems before giving a tattoo. Any customer suffering from diabetes or hemophilia must not be serviced.
  5. All tattoo operators must advise their customers after getting a tattoo to ensure the aftercare of their tattoo to avoid infections, for example; not going into the sea or swimming pools.

As one of Inked In Asia’s founders is from Australia, and with so many Aussies visiting the studio, they decided the best approach to take was to comply with the Workplace Health and Safety Standards Australia (WHS) and follow all OHS guidelines set by the Professional Tattoo Association of Australia to give people peace of mind when it comes to hygiene to come and get inked in Asia.

  1. Before, during and aftercare

Top 10 tips for tattoos in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

It’s important to take care of yourself at all times and if you are going to get a tattoo in the near future to be able to prepare your body in the best way possible. Tattooing involves needles piercing the skin, so it’s important to help your body avoid excessive bleeding and possible damage.

24 to 48 hours before your tattoo session…

  • DO NOT drink alcohol
  • DO NOT drink coffee
  • DO NOT take aspirin

All those mentioned above are known or blood thinners and could lead to unwanted and unsafe amounts of bleeding.

This one will be hard to hear, but DO NOT go out and have an all-nighter the night before your tattoo. You will need a full night’s sleep and when it’s done you will be able to go out (in moderation) without having to worry.

Make sure you are well-hydrated at all times, including during your sessions and don’t skip any meals before your appointment. Ensure your body is ready for what lies ahead. We also recommend eating food that contains vitamin C as it aids the body in repairing tissue and the recovery process, as well as onions and garlic which assist in healing thanks to their antimicrobial properties.

Try to avoid eating foods such as dairy, processed foods and sugar as they are believed to slow down the bodies healing process.

Talk to your tattoo studio to make sure you leave with all the aftercare products needed to help your new ink heal properly and listen to the studio’s recommendations for aftercare.

Be careful as you return home, and wash off all ink and plasma with antibacterial soap within two hours. Apply the aftercare cream and, when possible. Let the new art ‘breathe’.

If you are wearing tight, irritating clothing, or for sleeping during the first 3-5 days, wrap the tattoo to avoid damaging it.

Avoid direct sunlight on your tattoo, and if your holiday involves a beach in Thailand it is recommended to avoid swimming in water for at least several days and ideally stay away from the beach until it heals. You are susceptible to both infection and amoebas and it is in your best interest to plan ahead if you are going to be getting a new tattoo during your holiday in the Kingdom.

  1. Check the studio’s credibility and the artist’s quality of work  

Top 10 tips for tattoos in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

There are thousands (and counting) of tattoo artists across the Kingdom. Some are sought after by international celebrities, and some are sought after by Thai’s for their particular style. Some are monks who work locally while other monks have months of waiting lists.

This all means that you have a lot of choices.  Many tattoo studios now have various reviews online, whether from publications or from their customers, it’s important to read some impressions before spending your money.

Tattoo artists have never before been able to so easily share their work. Search around the internet and see if something catches your eye, perhaps one artist’s style resonates with you.

Once you can identify a few artists you like, visit their shops and meet them to talk and try and see more of their work. Various tattoo studios promote their artists on their websites and social media pages with posts including links to the artist’s private page, where you can find a full range of their work.

No matter who might be considered the most popular or best artists, this will be YOUR tattoo so make sure that the artists suits your taste, and trust your gut-feeling (but make sure the studio is clean!).

  1. Research Thailand’s Tattoo History

Top 10 tips for tattoos in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

The origin of tattoos in Thailand can be traced back to the Khmer Empire in Angkor (presently Cambodia), where people would decorate their bodies with intricate designs. They believed these markings would not only give them great powers but also protect them from danger. Tattoos in Thailand would also display a man’s status and military level.

Thailand’s tattoos have a deeply rooted religious history, with it being the only country to celebrate tattooing as an annual religious celebration. The Wai Khru ceremony at Wat Bang Phra, 50 kilometers west of Bangkok, is the biggest gathering of Thailands tattoo enthusiasts. Every year over 10,000 people gather at this famous temple to recharge the energy of their sacred tattoos.

  1. Don’t offend the locals with the wrong image or placement

Top 10 tips for tattoos in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

With an estimated 94% Buddhist population in Thailand it’s important to be aware of a few things. We recommend to often rethink getting any form of the image of Buddha tattooed on your body in Thailand.

The Thai Ministry of Culture is hoping to ban tattoo studios from being able to do so and have created guidelines for studios to follow. You will also notice upon exiting most major airports in Thailand and driving into the city (and across the Kingdom) that there are giant billboards telling you it’s wrong to have any decorative image of Buddha.

Also note that the head is considered the most sacred part of the body in Thailand, with the feet being the most disrespectful . If you are considering getting a Buddhist tattoo (or an image of Buddha tattoo) it is common practice to get it done above the waist and can be offensive to go below.

For the actual Buddha image, some believe it is ok to have one above the waistline but proceed at your own discretion and consultation with the tattoo studio management and artist.

  1. Know the religious aspects and expectation of the Sak Yant

Top 10 tips for tattoos in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

In Thai Sak means “to tap” or “to tattoo”, while yant means “yantra” a form of mystical diagram. Traditionally, it is believed these tattoos bring luck, power and courage while providing protection from death. Its purpose is to provide a magical blessing which requires commitment on behalf of the recipient to ensure the magic lasts. For the spiritual benefits of the yantra to last, one must lead a good life and be a good person.

It is believed that anyone who gets one of these tattoos must then live their life by a certain set of rules which differ depending on who gives the Sak Yant. The general rules for the Buddhist tattoos follow the major precepts of Buddhism: do not kill, do not steal, do not desire another person’s lover or spouse or be unfaithful, do not lie, do not get intoxicated, and do not speak ill of your mother.

The rules then vary depending who gives the tattoo, which could include asking the wearer of the tattoo to abstain from eating certain fruits and some more distinct ones including “do not eat left-overs.

There is a wide range of Sak Yant diagrams that can be tattooed on the skin, but as a first Sak Yant tattoo there are three main (master) yants with a wide range of blessings which cover 95% of people desires.

The Hah Taew (five lines) which is most famously seen on Angelina Jolie, the Gao York (nine peaks) and Paed Tidt (eight directions). The more complex sacred geometry and animal designs are often reserved for dedicated and serious believers as they are considered advanced talismans.

  1. There is the easy way or the original way to get a Sak Yant.

Top 10 tips for tattoos in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

Nowadays most tattoo shops will give you a Sak Yant in their studio, but to get the true experience you must have a Buddhist monk create one for you through various tools, rituals and an elaborate ceremony.

The monk must use a two-foot-long bamboo stick or needle to carry out this traditional art form, jabbing it into the skin repeatedly until the piece is complete. Some artists around Thailand are willing to create this ancient technique with electric machines.

If you are considering one of these traditional tattoos it might be worth taking the time to research temples such as Wat Bang Phra in Bangkok for the genuine experience.  

In its more traditional form, one would be required to study under a Sak Yant master until the person was deemed to have reached the necessary level of spirituality. Once the stepping stone was achieved the monk would then proceed to ‘interpret’ the person’s spiritual energy and create a Sak Yant.

This method has become more difficult over time for foreigners due to language barriers, time commitment involved and the finding of such a teacher. With continuous studying and practicing of Buddhism over time, one would continue to reach higher levels of enlightenment and have them immortalised by their teacher on their skin.

  1. The lower price point could definitely be considered incentive

Top 10 tips for tattoos in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

One of the most attractive qualities of getting a new tattoo in Thailand is the lower price point when compared to many western countries. In general, both overheads and fixed costs are much lower in Thailand hence a more affordably-priced service, but the quality of work and reputation also comes into effect with the more sought after artists.

Size of the work, colour or black and white, the amount of detail and the location are all factors that will affect the price.

“Ok. We are going to go out on a limb and say, for most studios, it’s only a fraction of the price compared to Australia. We’d rather say that if you want a tattoo sleeve it will cost you the same as Australia but you can get a holiday in Thailand where you can party or sightsee Thailand, rent a room and a motorbike, etc and get your tattoo for the same cost as just getting one in Australia.” – Inked in Asia partners

  1. Spell-check for your own sake

Top 10 tips for tattoos in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

There are plenty of  horror stories of people abroad or at home wanting a tattoo in a foreign language and not taking the time to double check that the spelling is correct in the desired language. You can always laser off (painful and expensive) or do a cover-up later in life but why if all it takes is a few extra hours of research.

You might think that work or sentence looks cool in Thai, but sometimes for all you know it could say “sweet basil stir fry”.

Ariana Grande was recently under fire by the online world as she showed off her new Japanese language tattoo on her palm. Unfortunately, instead of getting “7 rings” as she intended, the tattoo roughly reads “small charcoal grill”. Don’t be like Ariana.

Conclusion

Tattoos can be just as personal as they are impulsive and spontanexxous, but it’s always a good idea to be informed if ever you do have the sudden urge. Some people dedicate themselves to covering their whole body in ink while others get tiny symbols in hidden place.

It’s what makes YOU happy and never forget that. One of the studios founders told of us of how he waited untilt he was thirty years old to get his first piecce. It was a giant back/shoulder piece, but he took his time and knew exactly what he wanted and would never changer it. 

For Inked in Asia, tattoos are about expressing yourself and finding something you want to wear on your skin forever.

When we look at our own tattoos, we are taken on a journey of our lives, whether lived or still to be experienced, it represents our own views and memories. They are a part of us.

Inked In Asia

If you’re looking for the absolute best tattoo experience in Asia, please consider Inked in Asia. They a new brand facility taking the tattoo scene by storm!:

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Thailand

Pre-Songkran inspections of public buses and their drivers

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Pre-Songkran inspections of public buses and their drivers | The Thaiger

The Land Transport Department has started the inspection of drivers and mechanical condition of public transport vehicles at bus stations ahead of the Songkran holiday period next month.

The period, aka. the ‘seven days of danger’, is notorious for a marked increase in road accidents due to much higher traffic levels as Thai’s head home for celebrations.

On the first two days of inspections, March 15-16, a total of 25,636 buses, and their drivers and rest schedules, were checked, but no flaws that could affect road safety had yet been found, according to the deputy director-general Kamon Buranapong.

25,636 buses checked and not ONE mechanical defect!

Bus drivers were also given blood alcohol tests. There were no drivers over the alcohol limit.

The vehicle inspections – a Land Transport Department collaboration with the Office of Vocational Education Commission and related agencies, to be conducted at 195 transportation hubs and locations – form part of a Songkran 2019 road-safety campaign, which kicked off on March 15 with the main theme to get motorists “to drive slowly, turn on headlights and wear seat belts” and motorcyclists “to turn on headlights and wear safety helmets”, Kamon explained.

Vehicle inspection is being carried out in three phases: the preparation period from March 15-21, the pre-Songkran period from April 4-10, and the Songkran period itself from April 11-17.

Pre-Songkran inspections of public buses and their drivers | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Business

King Power’s duty free monopoly under review

The Thaiger & The Nation

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King Power’s duty free monopoly under review | The Thaiger

King Power Duty Free’s monopoly of duty free concessions at some of Thailand’s busiest airports may be coming to an end.

The Thai PM has warned against the “monopolisation” of the country’s airport duty free sector ordering a review of the auctioning process that could threaten the multi-billion-dollar empire of current concession holder King Power.

Thailand expects to welcome over 40 million foreign visitors this year, mostly through its airports which rake in an estimated US$1.9 billion a year in duty free sales.

Airports of Thailand (AoT) awarded King Power the sole concession back in 2006 but is set to expire in September 2020. AoT is a state-run enterprise.

King Power was founded by Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the tycoon who made billions from duty free stores and invested in everything from hotels, property and, famously, the Leicester City football club. His helicopter crashed outside the club’s home ground in October last year. According to Forbes Magazine, Vichai had handed his empire to his youngest son Aiyawatt. At his death the company was valued around US$5.8 billion,

The new contract for duty-free sales, AoT says, will be managed by a single company with a proven track record of experience in the sector, creating fears of a prolonged monopoly.

But PM Prayut Chan-O-Cha has stepped in saying the government has received complaints from interested parties “on the issue of monopolisation”. He assigned an urgent review of the bidding to find a “suitable process to be fair”.

Thailand’s Mall Group and shopping empire Central Group are eyeing entry into duty-free while South Korean giant Lotte is also wanting to bid for the valuable concession.

Last year, a Thai court rejected an attempt to sue King Power for hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid revenue to the airport authority.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thailand

One dead, kids injured in school bus accident in Prachinburi

The Thaiger

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One dead, kids injured in school bus accident in Prachinburi | The Thaiger

Photo: Prachinburi PR Office

A bus has crashed just north-east of Bangkok, killing one and injuring another 10.

Wangkhon Police in Prachinburi were notified of the accident at 4:40am early today.

The bus was travelling from Nong Bua Lamphu, north east of Thailand, to Prachinburi. The bus was carrying 20 high school students and 19 teachers.

When the bus arrived at the section of the road at Nadee in Prachinburi, the bus careered off the side of the road and overturned.

One female student died instantly while others 10 passengers sustained injuries. They were rushed to the Nadee Hospital.

Police are continuing their investigation this morning.

One dead, kids injured in school bus accident in Prachinburi | News by The Thaiger One dead, kids injured in school bus accident in Prachinburi | News by The Thaiger One dead, kids injured in school bus accident in Prachinburi | News by The Thaiger

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