Angelina Jolie is the first notable celebrity to sport what has become the ever-so-recognizable Thai tattoo. The world of fashion took note as she first donned the famous 5-line “ha taew” design from Thailand down her left shoulder blade. As the years went by Angelina Jolie added more and more Thai-style tattoos, joined along with other celebrities like Michelle Rodriguez, Cara Delevingne, Brittany Daniel, and most famously Anthony Bourdain, who introduced lots of the world to the Thai form of body art called “sak yant.”

But beyond this celebrity trend to follow an ancient style of tattooing, Thailand has become a hotspot for tattoos, fueled by legions of 20-somethings traveling to this country from around the world.

Among the trips to the beach, visits with elephants, photo sessions at Buddhist temples, massages, night markets, and the like, tattoos have become a prominent feature of the itinerary for a traveler to Thailand.

Due to Thailand’s rich history with tattoos, the country presently is home to many of the world’s top artists and studios, which can be found in Bangkok, Phuket, Samui and Chiang Mai.

One of the country’s hottest tattoo shops in Panumart Tattoo Chiang Mai (Thai tattoo) owned by local artist, Panumart Ahm.

A hot trend that is being seen more and more in Thailand is that of minimal line work. These simple lines give a soft black touch to the body, highlighting the beauty of the owner’s skin.

Watercolor tattoos have been in style for some time now, both amongst women and men. And while the colors pop more on pale skin, talented artists can make the colors look beautiful on people of all skill colors and shades.

Neo-Thai style has become very popular amongst men. This style, which looks like what most people know as Japanese style, is very popular amongst locals in Thais. But foreigners alike have fallen in love with it, regularly getting half sleeves, full sleeves, and full back pieces.

One of the most important things with tattoos is to choose something symbolic to you, as if it is close to your heart then it will withstand the test of time. This is far better than getting inked just because it is cool at the moment.

To get an idea for Thai tattoo designs, check out this Pinterest link.