Best place to get tattooed in Bali?

As someone who used to have a long-running column in a tattoo magazine, and as a rather coloured-in human, I get asked for tattoo shop recommendations a lot. So when I was heading off to Bali, I flipped the switch and asked around for some recommendations of my own.

This turned out to be necessary, as when you walk around Bali you are surrounded by cool and trendy tattoo shops. I may not be exaggerating when I say there must be hundreds here. Imagine Shoreditch-style tattoo shops dotted EVERYWHERE, nestled in between the hundreds of trendy East London style barber shops.

I was of course grateful for the recommendations I received, however I am rather fussy these days, and they weren't quite right for me. I decided to scour instagram. After about half an hour I knew I'd found it. Bold and Bright Tattoo Parlor has only been open a couple of months, but their work is already standing head and shoulders above the rest. They're so new they don't have a website, just a facebook and instagram.

After a quick email, we decided to go and have a chat on the Friday night to discuss getting tattooed on our last day Saturday. You don't want to get tattooed at the start of your holiday and it shouldn't get in the sun or in the water. It's a tricky shop to find, even in a taxi, I suggest trying to direct your taxi to Pretty Poison first.

We both went nautical, as it seemed most fitting. B went with a kick arse Neptune from Ebie. We were talking about this bold naive style being popular in London, but newer in Bali. Do check Ebie out, I loved his creative portfolio and I'd happily get something from him too!

After my snorkeling adventure seeing manta rays, I decided on a manta ray from David. His freaky colour combinations are right up my street!

We're over the moon with our holiday tattoos, but doing some research definitely pays off. Don't chase cheap. A tattoo is for life, not just for the holiday hangover.