Bamboo Sak Yant, Japanese, Maori, Tribal and Mandala

These are some of the more popular tattoo types you will find being created in local tattoo shops in Thailand. Continue reading to learn more about the art and the trending styles we can look forward to seeing this year coming out of Thailand. 

Why Phuket Thailand Has Some of The Best Tattoo Artists

As you are about to find out, people travel from all over the world to get inked in Thailand, and we are quickly finding out why. The level of talent here is top-tier and the artwork is an artistic mix of culture, history, religion, and life. All elements of everyday life here in Thailand. 

What Styles of Tattoos are Popular in Thailand in 2022

Tattoos have both personal and cultural aspects, and they often have styles that have years of popularity before they change again. In Thailand there are Buddhist style tattoos, Sak Yant, and a large Sacred Ink Tattoo Festival. Every year hundreds of visitors to the country get tattoos from tattoo shops like the Inked Machine Tattoo Studio in Phuket, before heading home, some not knowing the full meaning behind their tattoos.

Buddhist Tattoos

As much of the country is Buddhist, it can be tempting to get a tattoo of Buddha while in Thailand. This is controversial though, due to the limitations placed on tattooing businesses as well as remaining respectful to the culture and religion. The head is sacred, and feet can be considered disrespectful, so to tattoo a Buddha on a part of the body that is nearer the feet then the head can be an insult to people of that religion. There are other symbols that can still represent the religion and that will represent the culture and your experience, without risking the insult that such sensitive tattoos can cause. 

Sak Yant Tattoo

This is a specific form of tattoo that is done through tapping or tattooing a mystical diagram onto the body. These are considered to bring protection, courage, power, and luck. They are said to protect from death and were often used to cover Thai soldiers, to offer the best protections for them during training and battle, and bring luck to help them in their duties. Currently they are still popular with those who practice or compete in Muay Thai as they are believed to protect them during matches. 

Following traditional methods, these are often done with a bamboo stick of two feet, or with a needle by hand, though there are some places in the country that will use an electric tattoo machine. This traditional method will produce a culturally accurate tattoo, though some are unable to sit for as long as this method can take for the intricate designs. 

Sacred Ink Tattoo Festival

Every year in March at the tattoo festival at Wat Bang Phra, people from around the world to get their tattoo. Wat Bang Phra is not only a temple where many get their tattoos, but is also a working Buddhist temple with monks in residence. They use the space not only for tattooing but also for their daily meditations. 

The tattoo festival is a celebration of the tattoos and their history, and is intended to recharge each tattoo and increase it’s power. A shrine of Luang Phor Pern is present and by running towards it, after searching and running around the space, is said to recharge them. Luang Phor Pern was known for creating tattoos that infused special abilities into the people who received them. Many find this the right time for them to receive their first tattoo, or add to their already present tattoos.