For some people, it’s a holiday whim. For some others, it’s a dream that’s been going through long planning and consideration. Whatever it is, getting a tattoo in Bali often ranks up high in travelers’ bucket list of things to do in the Island of God. Tattoo is a celebrated art in this island for thousand of years, and the trend blooms as the growth of modern tourism. Today, you could find various tattoo shop lining up in Bali’s most popular areas. From your typical dark-themed parlours to a totally modern, naturally lit studio is now open for your tattoo choices.
Safety, however, is a big talk among tourist that just plan to get a inked in Bali. Questions such as “is Bali safe for tattoo?” pops up almost everywhere, from daily conversation to TripAdvisors, LonelyPlanet, and other travel forums. Here, we want to highlight the safety issues around tattoo culture in this island.
There Are Good Places and Dodgy Places
No matter wherever you go in the world, there will always be good places and dodgy places to get a tattoo. Just because it’s a little island in South East Asia, doesn’t mean that the tattoo shops there are blind with international standards. Similarly, you could find much worse tattoo studio in Europe that’s completely ignore safety issues and hygiene standard. Getting a tattoo in Bali is no different. You really need a good eye to spot tattoo studio that practice high standard of safety.
How to Find A Good One and Avoid the Dodgy One
One thing that you should remember when you want to get a tattoo in Bali; don’t rush. Don’t just jump in into a random studio and ask for a tattoo. To spot a good tattoo studio, you need to conduct a little research. Going online could give you a first screening of which tattoo shop that you want to investigate further. Our suggestion is to look on their websites (reputable tattoo shop usually have a well-maintained websites) and social media. See if they could give clear information on what they’re doing, display neat portfolios of their tattoo works, and better, give a glimpse of their working space.
Visit the parlours in your list to see how they actually work. Look how they maintain cleanliness on their studio. Oily floor and splash of inks are certainly not a good sign. For your own safety, ask these questions:
Are they using new, disposable needles?
You don’t want to get inked with reusable needles which potentially transmit hepatitis, HIV, and other diseases. The tattoo artists should be able to show you individually wrapped packages of new needles.
Do you see autoclaves to sterilise the equipments?
This steam steriliser is also commonly used by surgeon and medical practitioner. If you see the tattoo shop using this, you know you’re in a good place.
What inks are they using?
Many tattoo shops in reduce their cost by using cheaper, low quality ink. We have heard premature tattoo fading, causing infection, and rising other problems because of the use of counterfeit tattoo inks. Your tattoo artist should be able to explain from where the ink comes from and what make it of good quality.
When you’re success at finding a tattoo shop that meet all standard requirement above, getting a tattoo in Bali shouldn’t involve worries on safety issues. It’s now time to get inked in peace.
You Get What You Pay
One thing that you should keep in mind: good tattoo is not cheap and cheap tattoo is rarely good. On very rare occasion you might get a good bargain of high quality tattoo; a tattoo shop opening, tattoo festival, or when a really talented tattoo apprentice is looking for a ‘blank canvas’ for their portfolio. At most times, you get what you are pay for. A good tattoo in Bali can be quite pricy because the cost of disposable needles, high quality inks, and good steriliser are not cheap. It’s basically paying for your own safety. The price could further surge up if the tattoo artist is highly experienced and their quality of the work is superior. If you can’t afford a decent one, maybe you should’t get a tattoo at all.