It was about this time last year that I got my first bamboo tattoo done in Thailand – a traditional Sak Yant 5 Lines design down my ribs. It’s not the first travel tattoo I’ve had done – in fact I’ve racked up a few. I got the shipwreck surf spot from Byron Bay on the back of my right leg (the spot where I smashed my face up on my surfboard!), a surfer on my stomach done in Spain (not my best decision!) and even got my website logo done whilst in Peru!

I definitely prefer getting my ink done the bamboo way – it’s heaps less painful and without the buzz of a machine the vibe is just, well, much more relaxed and nice!

I’ve been swelling over some new designs a lot recently so when I was speaking to a fellow diver down in Khao Lak earlier last month and noticed his awesome sleeve design I enquired a bit more. Turns out it was fully done by bamboo and the artist was in Khao Lak. Out of curiosity I got him to point me in the direction the place and got chatting with the Thai artist about designs.

A few days later I went back and was stoked with the design he produced – a compass to represent my life on the road – and booked an appointment. When Stephen from a Backpackers Tale came along he decided to get his first sleeve started with a world map around his arm…so we bought some beers, cracked on some reggae tunes and let the bamboo get to work.

Since I’ve written about the experience before in my first bamboo tattoo post I’ve decided simply to present this one in pictures…

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Tattoo Studio – Thai Style!


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Stephens Ink Getting Started


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Fresh Ink


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Feeling The Pinch!


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Tools Of The Trade


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Ready To Go…


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First Blood!


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Any Excuse For A Selfie!


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Nearly Finished…


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Stoked With The Finished Result!

Cheers to the guys at Top Tattoo in Khao Lak for the awesome ink session. Both my compass (including design) and Stephens map outline took around 1.5 hours and set us back 1,500 baht each – roughly £30. An absolute bargain given the skill doing it via bamboo and quality of the final ink.

Stoked as!

If you’re looking to get one of the traditional Sak Yant Tattoos in Thailand check out this Bamboo Tattoo Tour which provides a safe, authentic experience.

Any of you guys got some awesome tattoos on the road or any done with bamboo?

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9 Responses

    • Chris

      You have a superman tattoo Val?! Why wasn’t I aware of this?!haha!
      Yes defo get a bamboo one when you finally make it back here…we’ll have to join you!

    • Chris

      Good to hear your not rushing into it Agness!
      To be honest it’s not as bad as you may think – more irritating than painful (except places like your ribs and feet!)

    • Chris

      Indeed – it’s a true skill! You’d be surprised though, it hurts WAY less than a traditional gun tattoo – one of the reasons I choose to do this design in bamboo again!

  1. Kara Brandt

    So much respect to this tattoo artist. Never heard of bamboo tattoo before. Though I don’t have any tattoo but I really appreciate the skill that he has. The result is great!


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