Jimmy Wong by Jukkoo Wong
With global celebrities clients like Kate Moss and Marc Jacobs, Jukko Wong works under the motto of “I choose my own customers, not the other way around.” The son of renowned tattoo artist Jimmy Wong, Jukko continues his father’s business, which is acclaimed as the first tattoo studio to ever do colored tattoos in Thailand. He specializes in Thai yantra tattoos and trendy colored works. Prices start at B9,500, and prior appointments are a must.
Law Birdy Tattoo
Boasting over 10,000 designs and more than 20 years in the tattoo business, the shop is owned by Tik Sasitorn Prickpetch. With an expertise in intricate Japanese yakuza-style tattoos and Thai yantra tattoos, the shop's three artists can also fix old work. Most clients are foreigners who book online over a month in advance. Open until 5am, the shop is perfect for night owls. Minimum rate is B1,000. Law Birdy is also a tattoo equipment producer and supplier.
183 Sathorn Soi 11, 083-727-9809, 086-995-9891 and 087-058-6789 for English. Open daily noon-5am. www.lawbirdytattoo.com
BKK Ink Tattoo Studio
Formerly known as Khaosan Ink Tattoo Studio, this shop has made a name for itself internationally thanks to experienced tattoo artists like Banky, an expert in old-school tattoos; Kong, who specializes in oriental, graphics, lettering and arabesque; and Ball, a master in hyper-realistic color and portrait tattoos––all of whom have different awards to their name. BKK Ink Tattoo Studio is the first place in Bangkok to receive certification from the Paris Tattoo Convention (they also speak French). Customers are recommended to make appointments well in advance. Prices start at B1,000. They are a supplier of tattoo equipment, too.
The two tattoo artists here, Snot and Bank, have different specialties. Snot is a master of the classics—tribal, koi fish, and more—while Bank specializes in letters and black and grey tattoos. Guest artists from other countries, like Korea or Hong Kong, are occasionally invited to show their skills at OD. The magic is carried out in a small, double-decker spot that can hold two clients at a time. The customers are usually trendy types or foreigners with an affinity for Thai culture. Prices starts at B2,000.
2/2 Sukhumvit Soi 53, 02-662-5153, 081-629-6639, 081-916-7802. BTS Thonglor, Open daily 1-9pm. fb.com/tattoo.odstudio
Owner Leck spent a great deal of time living in New York City during the early 90s perfecting the art of tattooing when it was still an underground movement. In 1997, he came back to Bangkok to open a small studio with his wife, Poo. He specializes in traditional Japanese designs. The small studio puts an emphasis on hygiene, only utilizing tools that have been double-sterilized. The place is mostly devoid of no decoration, just some framed sketches of Leck’s own works. A floor-to-ceiling window on one side of the studio allows Lido Mall shoppers a glimpse of the artist working his magic. Prices start at B2,000.
The Siam Square setting allows you two fashion birds with one stone—get a rad tattoo and then head to Kinky for a new outfit to match. The store is just one room and very cozy: chill on the brown leather couch and browse tattoo magazines for designs while you hear the sound of the needle in Koh or Mo’s able hands. Koh can do almost anything you can think of, from old-school tattoos to portraits, and Mo is an expert of black and grey tattoos. It's B1,500 minimum for something like small stars or a short quote. We recommend you make an appointment about one week in advance.
2/F, Trendy Zone, Siam Square Soi 2. BTS Siam. Open daily 4pm-10pm. 089-059-7111. fb.com/Inkception
Ton, Joo and Joe are tattoo artists with different specialties, like sketching up just about anything you can think of—Japanese tattoos, Polynesian tattoos, tribal tattoos and Thai yantra tattoos. The studio also has a body piercing expert who can give you a simple ear or nose ring, or extreme body modifications. Located in the heart of Khao San Road, the main studio, inside the Buddy Lodge Hotel, has orange and black walls that make you feel like it’s always Halloween. The waiting room has a plush leather couch with a TV for you to calm your nerves before getting inked. The staff also treat you like family. Prices start from B1,500.
This small, plain white studio in Talad Rot fai is a one-man show owned and operated by Nick Chatwarong Trakitrittanon, a master of both Thai and Japanese styles. His black-and-white works impress with their realism, while people also visit to get their old tattoos touched up through Nick’s free-hand techniques. Prices start at B1,500 per hour, but Nick usually charges a friendlier price for smaller tattoos, making him popular among teenagers. We recommend you call up or drop by to make an appointment as Nick is not really a social-media lover and prefers discussing details in person.
Zone C, Talad Rot Fai, Srinakarin Soi 51, 091-004-3008. BTS Udomsuk. Open Tues-Sun 2-9pm. Instagram: rattle_tattoo
Suckamah Tattoo Studio
Suckamah, aka Tattooing With Dog, is a new favorite tattoo shop among local hipsters. The shop’s main attraction is its eye-popping computer-generated tattoo designs from which you can choose your own graphics style, like colored, shadowed (black and grey) or minimal. The original Suckamah is located in the Charansanitwong area and they have already opened a new shop in Nawamin 88. Prices start at B1,000. Do ask about their special promotions.
Charansanitwong Soi 46 (intersection 8), 091-112-7574 and Nawamin Soi 88 (intersection 2), 086-575-7678 Open daily 3-11pm. fb.com/suckamahtattoostudiobkk.
A recent addition to Block C of RCA, just a couple of steps away from Cosmic Café, is Mimp Tattoo. Run by professional tattoo artist Anon “Mimp” Peranantapanya, who has over 10 years’ experience in Thai/Japanese-inspired body art, the clean, industrial-inspired shop is far removed from your usual dingy tattoo studio. Sketches of the artist’s old works are displayed all over the place, almost as if in a gallery, with leather couches and a wooden table providing a comfortable spot to discuss your ink job. Rest assured, all the gear is carefully cleaned with an Autoclave sterilizer. Prices start from B1,500.
How would you feel if your kid got a tattoo saying, “I Love Mom”?
Vorapan Iapgittikul, 55, housewife
“I would think there must be something wrong with my child. There are other ways to show me their love; it doesn’t have to be something that would hurt them or mark their skin. That strikes me more as an act out of guilt.”
Pimjai Toonkamthornchai, 59, business owner
“No way, it’s dirty and messy. There are other ways for my kids to show their love, it doesn’t have to be a tattoo. Some people might see it as art, but I probably lack that artistic vision because I don’t think it’s art at all.”
Watsana Chomchome, 47, civil servant
“I probably wouldn’t feel anything because I want my children to express themselves the way they want to. I honestly just want us to be able to talk or do things together. Just calling and telling me about their lives once in a while would flatter me already.”
Pornravin Tanakasempipat, 56, business owner
“I’m open-minded, so I don’t see anything wrong with tattoos. If my children want to get themselves inked, it’s their choice. And if this is what they want, I would be hugely impressed that they would go through all that pain just to tell me they love me. It’s unnecessary, but it’s touching.”