Bangkok. This metropolis of Thailand has polarized travelers: some love it, most hate it, everyone has to go through it. I’d gone through Bangkok twice already without actually seeing the city, so the three days I spent there at the end of January were finally my chance to experience this supposedly insane place.
I spent 90% of those days on Khao San Road. It’s not that I didn’t think it was worth it to explore more of the city, and I did get out twice to do some sightseeing activities, it’s just that my time in Bangkok was focused more on the people than the place.
Alex, Ben and I were reunited. The three musketeers from Siem Reap couldn’t bear to be apart so the day I left we devised a plan to meet up in Bangkok. I arrived hours before the others and anxiously waited in the hostel common space for their arrival. Alex was first, with a new haircut and a lost voice it took a second to register who this tall guy standing in front of me was, but once it clicked a jumping swinging hug was all that seemed appropriate. Then we had to wait hours and hours for Ben’s midnight flight to arrive and once he finally walked through those doors we triple hugged in pure excitement.
We had picked a hostel near Khao San Road so we would have close access to the bar scene and quickly learned that we didn’t need much beyond this road. Since the whole point was to just hang out together we weren’t too fussed to go far, plus we had one mission that had to be accomplished: tattoos.
Somewhere along the way in our group chat it was mentioned that we should get tattoos in Bangkok. Alex wanted his first, Ben wanted another, and I was into getting one, but then got one in Khao Lak so I ended up not participating in this round. We searched around Khao San for a bit and found an awesome shop, Ferrider Tattoo.
The first stop at Ferrider was just to check it out, see if we liked the vibe, the art, the cleanliness, and it was all great. Alex had to go back later that night to check about the unique image he was going to get, so our second stop in was after dinner and a few beers. Alex and Ben set a time for the next day now that they both were set on this place and what they wanted to get, but since we were already there Ben decided to get a tattoo immediately.
Of our names. On his ass.
The way I understand it, at some point during Alex and Ben’s reunion in Sihanoukville this idea of getting our names tattooed on Ben’s butt came up. We each had a cheek and were allowed to pick an image or phrase to accompany our names. So when we arrived in Bangkok, Ben told me to pick what I wanted with my name. I got left cheek and picked the Facebook emoticon of Scooter Cat, a personal favorite, to ride forever underneath Kristen. On the right cheek he got ALEX TO THE MAX, a favorite saying from Siem Reap. Nothing says true friendship love like an ass tattoo. After it was done the Ferrider guys gave us a drink in celebration, and later that night Ben would show off this new tattoo in the bar to strangers who now have pictures of his ass.
We returned to Ferrider the next day for visit #3. Serious tattoo time. Ben and Alex both got tattooed at the same time while I hung out and went on a lunch run: McDonald’s and it was so damn good. We listened to music, the guys made a video, we had some Jack and coke while waiting for Alex’s 3 hour artwork to be done; it was a great time. At the end of the afternoon Ben had an awesome new piece on his arm – a bottle with a pirate ship and skull that says Sailor’s Grave, an image that he discovered on the wall of the shop that perfectly accompanies his Sailor Jerry style tattoo ambitions – and Alex’s Angkor Wat stone relief was beautifully replicated on his side. The guys told us to come back later that night for a drink and we’d all go out.
So after a celebratory Swensen’s ice cream stop (what an American food day, but we had to after the excitement of Swensen’s in Siem Reap) and some relaxing at home we went back to Ferrider for visit #4. After drinks in the shop we went to The Club (seriously that’s what it’s called) with our new friends for a bit before going to explore a different part of Bangkok nightlife. They’re great guys. If you ever want a tattoo in Bangkok I really recommend Ferrider.
So that’s how I ended up spending most of my time in a tattoo parlor in Bangkok. The relationship I have with Alex and Ben facilitated the lack of movement around Bangkok because really all we wanted to do was hang out. We could’ve been anywhere and it wouldn’t have mattered, these three days were about us reuniting. So we hung out at the hostel and had dinner and drinks on Khao San Road every night. Because when you know that this is it, after Bangkok everyone goes their separate ways that won’t overlap again without some serious effort (Europe motorcycle road trip 2019), all you want to do is spend time together while you can.
And when that time together involves a butt tattoo, even better.