Hanoi tattoo club owner advises against the practice

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The owner of the Hanoi Tattoo Club doesn't wear a tattoo and usually advises his customers against doing so.

Tran Chi Hieu says he personally doesn't think that tattoo is an art.

But the demand for having a tattoo among young people is high, so he opened the club to create a clean tattoo environment, the club owner was cited by the Tien Phong newspaper as saying Thursday.

"For safe racing, we need a racecourse, and for safe tattoos, we need a clean environment.

"Having tattoos in a clean setting is just like wearing seat belts while driving or using condoms while having sex," Hieu said.

He said if he did not open the club, young people would go to other places anyway, which might not be healthy.

The club's motto is stated at the door: "Love your body."

Hieu always has club members consult with customers carefully before giving them a tattoo.

More than 90 percent of the customers who came to have a tattoo of their lovers' names have come back later to change them, the club's statistics show.

"A lot of customers were not really ready to have a tattoo but their friends have a cool one, so they also want one," Hieu said.

Some customers get angry with the club's advice but some realized they were not ready and they left, and never came back, he said.

Hieu said he sets strict regulations to keep the club healthy.

The customers have to show their ID cards and those below 18 or those who are not so sure about having a tattoo will not get one.

Many "underworld" members have visited the club and left because they don't like an environment with no smoking or swear words, Hieu said.

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