Getting Inked on Koh Chang: A Guide to the Island's Tattoo Studios

14 Mar 2024

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Koh Chang, Thailand's second-largest island, is not just a haven for beach lovers and adventure seekers; it's also a burgeoning hotspot for those looking to immortalize their travels with a tattoo. The island's laid-back vibe, combined with a growing number of skilled tattoo artists, makes it an ideal place to get inked. Whether you're a tattoo aficionado or a first-timer, Koh Chang offers a unique setting for acquiring new body art. In this article, we delve into what makes Koh Chang special for tattoos, and provide a detailed list of reputable tattoo shops along with their locations on the island.

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The History of Tattoos in Thailand

The tradition of tattooing in Thailand is ancient and deeply interwoven with the country's cultural and spiritual life. Historically, tattoos, known as "Sak Yant" in Thai, were believed to offer protection, strength, and other benefits to the wearer. Monks or spiritual practitioners traditionally performed these tattoos using bamboo sticks, a method that some artists still practice today. The designs of Sak Yant tattoos are usually sacred geometrical patterns, animals, and deities, each with its own meaning and power.

This form of tattooing has its roots in the Khmer empire and has spread throughout Southeast Asia over centuries, becoming a significant part of Thai cultural heritage. Despite modern influences, the spiritual aspect of Sak Yant tattoos remains a fundamental appeal to both locals and foreigners, symbolizing a rite of passage, protection, or a personal transformation.

In contemporary Thailand, the tattoo culture has evolved to embrace various styles, including traditional Thai, modern, and custom designs, reflecting both the country's rich tattooing history and the global influences shaping current trends. Koh Chang, with its mix of traditional and modern tattoo studios, is a microcosm of this broader evolution, offering visitors a unique opportunity to partake in Thailand's tattooing tradition within a stunning island setting.

Koh Chang Digital Nomad Guide

Why Koh Chang for Tattoos?

Koh Chang's appeal for getting a tattoo lies in its relaxed atmosphere and the quality of its artists. The island's tattoo scene might be smaller compared to Bangkok or Chiang Mai, but it boasts a tight-knit community of talented artists who excel in various styles, from traditional Thai and Sak Yant to modern designs and custom artwork. Moreover, the scenic beauty of the island provides a tranquil backdrop for those looking to undergo the needle in paradise.

Another advantage is the personalized service often found in smaller communities. Artists on Koh Chang tend to take the time to consult with clients, ensuring the final design is perfectly tailored to the individual's wishes. This personal touch, combined with the artists' expertise, makes getting a tattoo here a memorable experience.

Preparing for Your Tattoo

Before you decide to get a tattoo on Koh Chang, here are a few tips to ensure a smooth experience:

  • Research: Spend time looking into different studios and artists to find one that matches your desired style and has a solid reputation.
  • Consultation: Don't hesitate to visit the studio for a consultation. It's a great opportunity to discuss your ideas, ask questions, and get a feel for the artist's approach.
  • Hygiene: Make sure the studio practices strict hygiene standards. This includes using new needles for every client, wearing gloves, and having a clean working environment.
  • Aftercare: Follow the artist's aftercare instructions carefully to ensure your tattoo heals properly and retains its beauty.


Top Tattoo Studios on Koh Chang

Koh Chang Ink

Location: Near the heart of White Sand Beach, easily accessible from the main road.

Description: Koh Chang Ink is known for its friendly staff and professional service. Specializing in both traditional Thai and modern tattoos, they ensure a custom experience for every client. The studio's prime location makes it a convenient choice for visitors staying near White Sand Beach.

Tattoo by Tawan

Location: Situated in the bustling area of Lonely Beach, a hotspot for backpackers and party-goers.

Description: Tattoo by Tawan stands out for its exceptional custom designs. Tawan, the lead artist, is adept in various styles but is particularly known for his intricate line work and color tattoos. The studio's vibe is welcoming, with a keen focus on client satisfaction.

Siam Tattoo

Location: Located on the east side of the island in the tranquil village of Salak Phet.

Description: For those venturing to the quieter parts of Koh Chang, Siam Tattoo offers a peaceful setting for getting inked. The studio specializes in traditional Sak Yant tattoos, performed by experienced artists. It's the perfect place for those seeking a tattoo with spiritual or protective significance.

Chang Tattoo Studio

Location: In the heart of Kai Bae village, surrounded by lush tropical scenery.

Description: Chang Tattoo Studio is renowned for its welcoming atmosphere and versatile artists. Whether you're looking for a small, simple design or a large, detailed piece, the team at Chang Tattoo can accommodate your needs. They are particularly noted for their realism and portrait tattoos.

Paradise Ink

Location: On the southern end of Klong Prao Beach, a quieter area perfect for those looking to avoid the crowds.

Description: Paradise Ink is a hidden gem among Koh Chang's tattoo studios. The artists here are skilled in various styles, from Japanese to Polynesian, and are known for their attention to detail. The studio itself offers a relaxed, comfortable setting, ideal for those getting their first tattoo.

Getting a Tattoo on Koh Chang

Getting a tattoo on Koh Chang is not just about acquiring new body art; it's about the experience. The island's serene environment, combined with the talent and hospitality of its artists, makes for an unforgettable tattoo journey. Whether you're drawn to the spirituality of Sak Yant or the precision of modern tattooing, Koh Chang's studios have something to offer. Remember to research, consult, and prepare yourself for the best possible experience on this tropical ink paradise. For more ideas on what to do and where to eat on Koh Chang and beyond, follow Phanganist on Instagram!

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