History of a Tattoo …Thai ~

Tracy History of a Tattoo Thai Style is next on my list for those of you interested in the Art of Tattooing.  In previous posts we have covered Polynesian and Japanese.

Traditional Thai Tattoos~

In Thailand tattoos were the norm for nearly all men.  Men would be tattooed as a sign of spiritual and religious faith.  Very rarely were they done as some kind of meaningless artistic display, but more often as a catalyst for change or to mark a stage in their lives.  To me that is a perfect reason to have your own canvas inked.  I like the interesting story behind a tattoo, it’s meaning is what makes the process complete.  Thai tattoo

The most popular style of tattoos in Thailand are the depictions of Buddhist Temples or Buddhist deities, such as Arya Tara our Goddess here on Tara Cronica.  Those who got these temple tattoos or Buddhist deities believed that they contained power to protect them.  These tattoos are usually done by Thai monks using India Ink or Rotring ink and were often accompanied by prayers while they were being done.

The mythical monk is still today one of the most popular creations in Thailand and Myanmar.  They are put on the human body by monks who incorporate magical powers to the design while tattooing.  Women are excluded because monks are not allowed to be touched by them and because Thais believe women do not need the extra boost as they are already strong enough on their own. How can we not love that ladies! 

Unlike Western style tattooing traditional Thai tattoos are done using hand tools and Bamboo and don’t use the same kinds of sterilization methods as you would in a shop-front tattoo studio.  Although apparently other things are added to the ink such as battery acid, plant extracts and snake oil which supposedly kills bacteria.  After being through the process myself, I can appreciate how painful the Thai method must be.  Having the religious experience brought into the art of tattooing I can understand how many are attracted to the Thai style.

Authentic Traditional Thai Bamboo Tattoing in Chiang Mai City, Northern Thailand.  Pik was a student of Grand Master Ajarn Hnuu Ganpai in this ancient art.  Angeline Jolie uses this Grand Master for her body Art


Tracy signiture


Tripping for me

I feel compelled to write about travel today because it seems to me that everyone on the planet is going away somewhere warm with the exception of me.  And with our recent snow fall you can’t avoid daydreaming about being somewhere warm and exotic.

Juara Bay Tioman, Malaysia

I’ve had a few Tripping adventures in my life but you can always use another!

By the time I turned the ripe old age of 25 I had explored over 46 different countries in the world.  My parents exposed me to the travel bug at the age of 11. That was a huge chunk of the 46 right there. We sold our house, they quit their jobs and put everything we own in storage including the dog. We gallivanted around Europe and Asia for a year.  Not many families did that in the 70’s!  I was young but still to this day it was the best experience ever!

Villa Margarita Costa del Sol Spain

Travel shows us that, like the universe, there is far more out there for us to explore than we can ever imagine and that there’s no place like home all at the same time. If you love to travel you will agree with me that life experience and memories far outweigh anything you own.

You can travel or vacation. To me there’s a big difference.  Both are top on my list of things you should do as often as you can.  A traveler gets off on going to places they’ve never seen before.  A vacationer likes the ease of planning a trip where there are some comforts of home.  Both have their purpose.  It just depends what your looking for.

Boys will be boys! ThailandTravel (in my opinion) needs to be a visual experience as well as a cultural experience.  I want to meet the people who live where I’m going.  Get to know the locals.  I like there to be a language barrier!  I want to come home with a better understanding of what it’s like to live somewhere completely different, like the Hill Tribes in Northern Thailand or The Costa del Sol in Spain.

dirt biking to Burma

Meeting new friends is one of the greatest gifts of travel.  I’ve been writing to Sylvia, a pen pal from the Netherlands, for over 30 years.   We met in Spain where we lived for 5 months and her family vacationed.  Although I still receive letters from her, I miss the letters of broken English because it made me even more aware that she was different.  It reminded me of my childhood adventure every time I received one.  Her letters now are more easily understood and I love receiving them still after so many years.

Bonnie & Tracy down underTraveling when I was younger gave me the desire to continue when I was older.  At 21 I gallivanted with Bonnie through Australia for 6 months.  Now that was a completely different adventure!  I think at 21 traveling away from home is one of the best growing experiences you can have.  You find out quickly what you are really made of.

I  backpacked throughout Malaysia and Thailand in my 30’s with ‘a really good friend of mine’. Scott with Thai boys That trip literally changed my life.  I learned more about myself in 3 months than I thought possible.  I believe I came home a better person.  I came home thankful for what we have here in North America but it also made me realize I don’t really require a lot to be truly happy.

Hill tribe trek in Pai, Thailand

So you see, there are experiences out there waiting for us. We just need to get out and make them happen.  So the next time you pack your suitcase or back pack to travel or vacation, slip out of your comfort zone a little and really enjoy it for what it is~ life experience, memory making and expanding your circle of friends.Tracy