During our bike tour we noticed the Southline Tattoo in Ko Yao Noi and we just wanted to have a look. We were particularly interested in the traditional technique of tattooing with bamboo the so-called Bamboo Tattoo. With the machine we have already some motives on our body.
Because Alf has his forearm tattooed for several hours, we decided not to rent a scooter. Our plan to walk the five kilometers were not quite thought through and we underestimate once again the morning heat, as well as the gradient of the way. The luck was on our side and a pick-up driver took us with him on his loading area. He didn’t want to take any money for the ride.
The motive finding of the Bamboo Tattoo
Alf wished for a Bamboo Tattoo to his existing tattoos. He wanted one in Thai writing. There are already tattoos in Spanish and French that decorate his body. “Viva la Vida” is typical for Spain and “Je ne regrette rien” is typical for France. Both are typical for Alf.
Now he hoped for an equally typical tattoo in Thai. It should have something to do with luck and health and every Thai should understand it. Giggs knew immediately what Alf means and called “Sukh kay subayei”. His colleague Chiro and his wife agreed with him. Translated it means inner and outer health, as well as contentment. His motive was found.
The motive finding of Jana’s Tattoo
With me it was a little easier, because I wanted flowers called Plumeria. In Thailand you can see them blooming everywhere and already in Germany I liked to wear them as a clip in my hair. It was clear that I wanted mine to be engraved with the machine, so details and fine lines were possible. I showed him a few flowers and we agreed on a number. Everything else was a surprise that I was allowed to see the next day. Of course, changes are still possible, because you have to like it yourself. But I knew that he would draw just the right thing for me.
I was very excited to see my new tattoo and I was not disappointed. Alf was also happy with his artwork. He had to decide only the size. First it was my turn and the design was transferred to my skin. So I could look in the mirror and make possible changes. I was happy with the position and it began. We both already knew the procedure from Germany. But contrary to me, it was a new experience for Alf. But what is the difference between machine and bamboo tattoo?
The tattoo machine in comparison
Tattoo machine: This technique will be known to most people. Tattoo machines always run on electricity, either with solenoids or small electric motors that move the needles back and forth. The tattoo is doing by machine.
Advantage: With the machine the duration of the tattooing is shorter and shading is possible. It is much easier to do filigree lines and motifs. With my motive Giggs said that such a thin line would not be possible and I agree with him that I have never seen such a fine and neat line before. But above all, the shades would not have become so beautiful. I don’t want to generalize this, but it’s our experience. Also, they are usually cheaper, because the time and effort is less than a Bamboo Tattoo.
Comparison of Bamboo Tattoo
Bamboo Tattoo Technique: Tattooing with bamboo is an old Thai tradition, which mostly has a religious background. Still today monks teach this technique and they remain the masters in this domain. Sak Yant tattoos are known for a long time beyond the borders of Thailand and not only believers get them traditionally tattooed.
For hygienic reasons, nowadays only sterile needles are attached to the bamboo stick. The number of needles varies depending on which motif is being done and how detailed it is. The tattoo is done manually by hand and requires a lot of experience and feeling, but also patience. We looked at Giggs and found that it was exhausting for him.
Advantage: Giggs told Alf that he could go into the sea immediately but I couldn’t. This is because the bamboo technique causes much less injury than the machine. The wound does not bleed and heals faster. Although I have to say that he even worked so well with the machine that not a drop of blood flowed from my skin. This may be the case with others, but with me it was the first time that a tattoo didn’t bleed. Alf’s tattoo was much less encrusted than mine. Especially with a tattoo on vacation, this is a big advantage. It’s no problem to jump into the sea and the aftercare is less complicated. As already mentioned, these are our personal experiences and do not apply to everyone.
The result of our tattoos
Alf’s tattoo was tattooed in three hours and mine in two. However, the motives are not to be compared with each other. We claim that the machine tattoos faster. We are both very happy with the result. I wondered how well my skin had tolerated the procedure. Giggs has a great feeling for it, because besides the machine he also working with the bamboo.
Alf can’t say whether the machine or bamboo technique hurts more, he thinks it’s just a completely different feeling. It was also very pleasant that the bamboo technique is silent and almost had a meditative effect on us. This was probably also due to the cool tattoo artist, with whom we felt very comfortable.
We had a very talented tattoo artist with a lot of experience. So far everyone thought that Alf’s artwork was done with the machine. Many Thais don’t believe us that it was made with bamboo.
So if you should be on the beautiful island and want a tattoo, you are at the right place at Southline Tattoo in Ko Yao Noi. Maybe we’ll see you there then.
From Alf at this point a dear greeting to his mum: ” Well, yes okay, you were right “.
If you want to know more about Ko Yao Noi, there is the article that goes beyond tattooing.