Tattoos in Bali: Do's and Don'ts

Earlier this year I went under the gun again (sorry mom) while on vacation in Indonesia. I've started this thing where I get a new tattoo for every country I visit. Bali is great because there is SO many shops (good and bad) for cheaper prices than you would normally find in any other place. I copped a lot of shit from those who have never been, or have never gotten a tattoo in Bali before. Just like any other tattoo shop, there is precautions to take.

DO: No matter where you are in the world, when you get ink done, HYGENE is always #1. Always make sure they use a new needle between customers - I cannot stress that enough. Observe and make sure the tattooing area is clean and sanitised.

DONT: Go to an artist that uses needles more than once. Even if they "sterilise" the needle afterwords, it's extremely dangerous and can result in hepatitis and HIV.

DO: Scope the place out. Have you ever heard the saying 'Your vibe attracts your tribe'? Well, the parlours vibe attracts me. I personally prefer places that put effort in to their decor. It tells me they take pride in their business and want to create their own unique "look" instead of blending in. 

DONT: Settle for a place that you're unsure about. Cleanliness is key. 

DO: Cover the tat up while in traffic, especially on a scooter. There's some ash and dust in the air which can get into your tat and cause an infection if you're not careful. If you're going on a long haul, cover the tattoo up to the best of your ability. Keep it clean. 

DO: Speaking of having a unique look, If you already KNOW what you want to get, go to someone who specialises in those types of tattoos (Traditional, watercolour, tribal... ect).

I LOVE dainty line work. Eka at Seven & Nine tattoo shop in Canggu, Bali, did a flash pizza slice on my arm and I'm in love with it. I didn't know what I wanted - but I fell in love with his work instantly.  

DO: Listen when the artist tells you about the after care of new ink. Bali can be difficult to find the proper products, if the shop has tattoo cream - BUY SOME. It will save you from looking all around town, just to go back to the shop and buy it. 

DONT: Go swimming for 2 weeks. Salt water, fresh water or a pool - it doesn't matter. It can fade your new ink or possibly lead to an infection. I thought I was leaving Bali sooner than I did, but I loved it there so much I stayed longer. Let me tell you - the days were HOT and I really just wanted to go for a dip. 

If you get a tattoo in Bali, get it near the end of your trip so you can enjoy the sun and water without worry. I ended up just sitting on the steps going into the pool haha. I felt like such a weirdo. 

DO: Judge people. I know you're not supposed to, but when it comes to the person who is permanently marking you, you probably should. I've walked into a tattoo parlour before and walked directly out because his eyes were glassed over. Which brings me to my next DONT.

DONT: Get a tattoo by an intoxicated person. I have friends who let their other friends do silly stick and pokes while drunk - if its someone you know and you can have a laugh at it later, then by all means... but at a so-called 'business' in the middle of the day? No thanks.

At the end of the day, getting a tattoo in Bali is no different than getting one anywhere else. Use your common sense and say 'no' when you need to and 'yes' when you want to. 

Shout out to Eka at Sevenandnine tattoo located in Canngu. I love my pizza flash tat! 
I highly recommend this place for anybody thinking about getting a tat in Bali. 


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