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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

Points deduction system for drivers to be introduced mid-December

The Thaiger

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Points deduction system for drivers to be introduced mid-December | The Thaiger

The point deduction system, for traffic and road infringements, is tentatively scheduled for activation for motorists and motorcyclists in mid-December. It is hoped that the system will help reduce road fatalities and injuries on Thai roads.

The deputy commander of Highways Police Command says that every licensed driver will be given an allocation of 12 points. Each time the driver commits a traffic law violation, points will be deducted. When there are no points left, the driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days, after which the driver or motorcyclist will have to undergo training administered by the Land Transport Department to get their licence back, and another 12 points.

Those who don’t attend the training, however, will have their licence returned after 90 days, but with only 8 points.

Points to be deducted differ, depending on the offence. Offences are divided into four categories:

• One point deduction

Using a cell-phone while driving; exceeding the speed limit; not wearing crash helmets for motorcyclists; not wearing seat belts; not giving way to emergency vehicles, riding on the sidewalk and not stopping for pedestrians on zebra crossings.

• Two points deduction

Running a red light; driving on the wrong side of the road; reckless driving; driving while his/her license is suspended and drunk driving.

• Three points deduction

Organising or promoting street racing without permission; hit-and run; driving while under the influence of narcotics; driving while under the influence of alcohol exceeding 150mg per ml.

• Four points deduction

Driving under the influence of alcohol exceeding 200mg per ml, drunk driving in a way which may cause serious injuries or death to the other people; driving in a manner disregarding the safety of the other people or causing trouble to other people.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Economy

Opposition hits out at government’s military spending in 2020 budget

May Taylor

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Opposition hits out at government’s military spending in 2020 budget | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Reuters | The Business Times

The opposition is accusing the government of being more concerned with military arms than the daily struggles of Thai citizens. During a debate in Parliament on the budget bill, the government was accused of caring more about the growth in military spending than citizens’ financial woes.

The opposition levied the attack after PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha delivered the 3.2 trillion baht bill to the House of Representatives. The debate on the 2020 budget is expected to continue for two more days and if approved by Parliament, the bill will come into force early next year.

The PM says the budget aligns with the “20 year strategy” to improve the living standards of the nation’s citizens while growing the economy, but opponents accuse him of making defence spending a priority.

The leader of the opposition, Sompong Amornvivat, claims that in the five years the PM has been in power, total spending has hit 14.3 trillion baht, with loans of 2.2 trillion baht, without any significant growth in the economy. He accuses the government of spending more than 6 billion baht on defence, with the Interior Ministry getting 25 billion baht more than last year.

It’s also understood that the government has also put 518.8 billion baht aside, which it can spend as it wishes, without the consent of Parliament.

The government’s tourism stimulus plan, whereby domestic tourists would be given cash incentives, also came under fire as Sompong declared it a waste of money that would do nothing to boost productivity.

The subject of the PM’s oath-taking fiasco reared its head again, as the leader of the Seree Ruam Thai Party, Pol General Sereepisut Temiyavej declared the PM and his government unfit to rule or propose a budget bill as a result of it.

Anudit Nakorntab from the Pheu Thai party said the government should postpone unnecessary spending on military arms while the country’s citizens battle economic hardship, accusing the previous junta-led administration of also prioritising the military in its spending.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Environment

Academics warn of high cost of Thai ban on agri-chemicals

May Taylor

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Academics warn of high cost of Thai ban on agri-chemicals | The Thaiger

The chairman of the Thai Sugarcane Farmers Association, Thongkam Cheongklad, says a ban on the weed-killer paraquat would have a severe impact on production costs. Academics and Thai sugarcane farmers have also expressed their concern over the ban, saying it could cost the industry up to 570 billion baht.

The Nation reports that up to 1.2 million people working in the sugarcane industry are understood to be against the ban, saying the proposed paraquat substitute is both expensive and ineffective.

The president of the Thailand Society of Sugarcane Technologists, Kitti Choonhawong, says Thailand has approximately 11 million rai dedicated to sugarcane plantations, generating about 300 billion baht a year.

He claims that a ban on agri-chemicals may lower sugar production, which in turn would affect sugar factories and cause the export market to lose as much as 94.6 billion baht. Thailand is currently the world’s second biggest sugar exporter, behind Brazil.

A research director from the Thailand Development Institute says the ban could ultimately mean the country is not allowed to produce enough food, unless chemical fertilisers are still allowed if chemical pesticides are banned.

Viroj Na Ranong says production costs will still rise however, along with labour costs, adding that the government needs to do its homework.

“The government has to implement measures based on research, not on social trends and politics.”

It’s understood that The National Hazardous Substances Committee will meet on October 27 to decide if a ban on three chemicals currently used in farming will go ahead. The substances involved are paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos and the proposal is for them to be banned from December 1.

SOURCE: The Nation

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