Life on the Road

Getting Inked in Siem Reap

  • June 12, 2017

There’s something I’ve been meaning to do for the past nine or so years that I hadn’t quite gotten around to until now: getting another tattoo. But it wasn’t until the past few months that I’d become serious about it. I had an idea for something travel-related, so naturally one of the first things I researched before coming to Siem Reap was reputable tattoo shops. It didn’t take long at all to discover that Ink Lab Tattoo was the place to go.

I assumed that I would get around to visiting them at some point during my stay, but I happened to walk past their shop while wandering on one of my first days here. I stopped in and was greeted by two friendly faces eager to discuss the work I wanted done. My number one concern with getting a tattoo here was cleanliness, and this shop was easily the most immaculate place I’ve been in Cambodia, possibly all of Southeast Asia. They also had air conditioning, free wifi, and cold water. I’d like come back just to hang out sometime.

When they told me they had an opening the next day, I hesitated slightly before saying (direct quote), “Fuck it, why not?” Turning into a real theme for this trip.

I came in for my appointment the next day and I met the artist, Bear. He sketched a drawing based on a photo I had shown him, turning it into something similar yet unique. After sizing it out to my specifications, he created the stencil. Before I knew it, I was laying down to get my very first Cambodian tattoo.

I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. The only other tattoo I had gotten was very small, and I had heard that the inner bicep was a particularly sensitive area. In fact, I actually had made an appointment to get this same tattoo done in New Orleans and chickened out when someone told me a horror story about a badly mangled inner bicep tat. It actually ended up being a kind of meditative experience, and I just zoned out to music the whole time. After about an hour and a half, the work was finished!

 I am so pleased with how it turned out! If you’re looking for a professional, Western-quality tattoo in Cambodia, look no further than Ink LabTattoo. They do amazing work, and did I mention the air conditioning?

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