Sea Gets Tattooed in Bangkok.

Finished Butterfly
Finished Butterfly

My 50+ year old girlfriend is a conservative accountant. She is frugal and conservative with everything. She hates to spend money and owns almost nothing that is not functional or necessary for day to day living.

So I was shocked when she wanted to get one of the most frivolous things imaginable, a tattoo. In Bangkok. She hesitated a bit because of fear of pain, but every time we passed a shop we stopped and looked at the displays

Finally she decided to take the plunge. We selected a shop at random. Well, not exactly at random, it was the one closest to our guest house. We went in. Luckily the shop assistant spoke English and there was a Chinese customer getting a tattoo. We were able to talk and ask questions.

Sea looked through a book of art and picked out a colorful butterfly to go on the back of her shoulder. The assistant made a copy of the design and outlined it so a transfer could be made when Sea decided the exact location.

The assistant said it would cost 3000 baht (about $86.00 USD) and take about and hour. We agreed, the transfer was

placed, and the young artist began his work.

It was very painful for Sea. I went to the guest house where we were staying and got her a cold watermelon drink. I brought it to the shop for her. By that time she was close to tears from the pain.

I can not stand to watch close, small work. I could never be a dentist, a watch maker, a neurosurgeon, or a tattoo artist. Also, I did not like to see Sea wincing in pain. I slipped out and went next door to our guest house for a beer while I waited.

After a beer and 30 minutes passed, I checked back with her. The tattoo looked like it was coming along, and Sea looked like she had adjusted to the pain somewhat. I returned her drink glass back to the guest house and had a second beer.

Before I finished the beer, Sea walked in. The job was finished. It was covered in cellophane and tape, but it still looked pretty good. She sat down while I finished my beer. She was OK, and in fact, she began talking about getting another tattoo on her


The next thing I know, we are back in the shop and the artist was sketching a lotus on her ankle. This one would be done in black and gray. The price of this one was 2000 baht (about $57.00 USD). Everything was agreed, the kid started working. I returned to the guest house for yet another beer.

Before long Sea entered with her second tattoo completed. She sat down and we began talking. She liked the new tattoo, but wasn’t crazy about the shading. The kid asked us if we wanted it shaded, and we left it to his discretion. This time the conversation did not turn to getting another tattoo.

That night Sea was in some pain, but it wasn’t too bad. She slept on her side, but at some time during the night rolled onto her back. The butterfly left its shadow on the pillow where she slept.

The next morning we put salve on the tattoos and went about our business. I worried that the heat might bother her wounds, but they were OK. We went shopping and bought a few trinkets.

Overall Sea has been very satisfied with her

tattoos. The name of the shop is Kai Tattoo Iron Paintbrush. Their email is They are on Kaowsan Road in the backpacker district of Bangkok.


About Charles Kirtley

Have been living in SE Asia and China since 2007. I have an opinion on most every subject, and don't mind sharing them. Lover and collector of worthless facts.
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