Holiday Tattoo: Getting Tattooed In Thailand

Published February 21, 2024
By Celebrity Ink

The term ‘tattoo holiday’ is becoming increasingly popular as tourists flock to destinations where getting a tattoo is much cheaper than in their home country. Boasting affordable and high-quality tattoos, especially Buddhist tattoos, thousands of tourists head to Thailand each year to get inked.

So, if you’re planning a tattoo holiday to Thailand any time soon, what are some of the things to look out for? This article discusses how to find the best tattoo studios in Thailand, the types of tattoos to get in Thailand and how you can heal your tattoo while on holiday. 

Tips on Finding Safe and Hygienic Tattoo Studios in Thailand

So, you’ve decided that you want to get a tattoo while on holiday in Thailand. But where do you start to look for safe and hygienic tattoo studios?

Since tattooing in Thailand is so popular, you can expect there to be lots of tattoo studios, so it’s recommended that you research to find the best studio for you. When researching tattoo studios in Thailand, customer reviews are always an important factor when checking out how trustworthy a tattoo studio is. Look on Google for reviews as well as comments on their social media accounts to get firsthand information from customers who have been to that particular studio.

Another way to see if the tattoo studio is right for you and ticks all of your boxes is to visit the studio. If you can, visit the studio in person before making any decisions. This gives you a chance to assess the cleanliness of the place, the staff’s professionalism and how they handle their tools and equipment. While you’re there, ask about the studio’s sterilisation practices. A reputable studio should use an autoclave to sterilise equipment. Single-use needles and inks should be standard practice. Watch to see if artists open new needles and inks in front of clients.

If you have found a tattoo studio you like but aren’t sure about the artists, review their portfolios to check their skill levels and styles. It’s important that their artistic abilities align with the tattoo you want. Experienced artists are more likely to follow safety and hygiene protocols strictly.

Once you think you’ve found the tattoo studio where you’d like to get inked, book a consultation with the tattoo artist to discuss your design, placement and any health concerns. This is a good time to assess how seriously they take allergies, skin sensitivities and overall hygiene.

Types of Tattoos To Get in Thailand

Tattoos are considered very spiritual in Thailand. In fact, in Thailand, tattoos are seen as a form of protection to ward off evil spirits. Here are the most common types of tattoos you can get while holidaying in Thailand:

Sak Yant

Sak Yant are traditional Thai tattoos that are believed to provide protection from evil spirits, strength and good fortune to whoever wears them. Traditionally, these tattoos are given by a Buddhist monk in a monastery with a bamboo stick; however, you can get them in a tattoo studio with a rotary needle as well.

Popular Sak Yant designs include

  • Hah Taew (five lines): Each line carries specific blessings and protections, including good luck, protection from evil and attracting success.
  • Gao Yord (nine peaks): This design is believed to offer powerful protection against bad luck and harm.

Thai animals

Other popular tattoos to get in Thailand are animals that are significant in Thai culture, such as

  • Elephants, which are symbols of good luck and prosperity
  • Tigers, which represent power and protection
  • Koi fish, which are symbols of perseverance and strength

Buddhist imagery

Tattoos of Buddha, lotus flowers (symbolising purity and enlightenment) or the Bodhi tree (under which Buddha attained enlightenment) are popular for their spiritual significance. However, be mindful of cultural sensitivities surrounding religious tattoos, especially images of Buddha, as they are considered sacred.

Thai script

Phrases or words in Thai script make for beautiful tattoos. Common choices include words like “love”, “peace”, “strength”, or even personal names. To ensure the translation is correct, consult a native speaker.


While not exclusively Thai, mandalas are popular in Thailand due to their spiritual significance in Buddhism. These intricate designs represent the universe and are used as a meditation tool.

Healing A Tattoo While on Holiday in Thailand

Healing a tattoo while on holiday in Thailand requires special consideration due to the tropical climate, which can affect the healing process. The high humidity, strong sun exposure, and the temptation to swim and explore can all pose risks to a new tattoo.

If you plan on going on holiday to Thailand to get a tattoo, one of the best pieces of advice we can give you is to get your tattoo at the end of your trip. If you get your tattoo at the beginning of your holiday, you won’t be able to make the most of your time in Thailand, such as relaxing in the sun or swimming in the pool/ocean.

So, here are some other things you can do to promote proper healing of your tattoo while on holiday in Thailand:

  1. Wait to get your tattoo: As mentioned above, wait until the end of your trip to get your tattoo so you can maximise your time in the sun and swimming beforehand.
  2. Don’t get sunburnt beforehand: That being said, if you’re getting your tattoo towards the end of your trip, ensure that you don’t get sunburnt before your tattoo, as it can be painful and also affect the ink deposits in your skin.
  3. Keep it clean: Clean your tattoo gently with mild, unscented soap and water. Pat it dry with a clean, soft towel. Avoid soaking the tattoo in water, so short showers are preferable.
  4. Avoid excessive sweating: The humidity in Thailand can be unbearable and can also lead to excessive sweating, which can lead to infection and ink leakage. The best thing to do after getting a tattoo in Thailand is to spend as little time outside in the humidity as possible.
  5. Avoid direct sunlight: The sun’s rays can cause significant damage to a healing tattoo, including fading and blistering. Keep your tattoo covered with loose, breathable clothing when out in the sun.
  6. Don’t submerge your tattoo in water: Avoid swimming in pools, the ocean, or any body of water. Waterborne bacteria can cause infections, and soaking can cause the ink to leach out, affecting the tattoo’s appearance.

Get Tattooed in Thailand at Celebrity Ink

Are you thinking about heading to Thailand for a tattoo holiday?

With studios in Chiang Mai and Phuket, Celebrity Ink tattoo artists are ready to bring your design to life. Whether you’re looking to get a Sak Yant tattoo or a Thai script tattoo, our experienced and professional tattoo artists will sit down with you to discuss your preferences and answer any questions you may have.

Contact either Celebrity Ink Thailand studio to get the conversation started.

Get your next tattoo at Celebrity Ink

The team at Celebrity Ink can provide you with not only a tattoo that tells your story but also detailed aftercare information that goes beyond the question of how long does a tattoo take to heal.

Our team sets standards in tattoo design while working alongside you to bring your vision to life. Whether you’re seeking traditional tattoos, realistic designs, mandalas, or any other, we have artists specialising in a range of tattoo styles that can provide you with the tattoo you have envisioned.

Book a consultation to discuss your tattoo design, get in contact with the crew at Celebrity Ink, and we will lock you in for your next ink session.
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