Many foreigners who want to show their connections with China run more than skin deep think ink when mulling ways to commemorate their time here.
Surely, a tattoo from the country is a bolder memento of a traveler's China experience than an "I climbed the Great Wall" T-shirt.
In addition to Chinese characters - by far the most prevalent subject matters - dragons and phoenixes are among the more popular options. Those seeking something equally genuine but less predictable might opt for ancient Chinese ghosts, which are particularly popular among younger locals.
"Foreigners might have similar depictions at home, but many want authentic Chinese tattoos. It's a symbol of where they've been," China Association of Tattoo Artists (CATA) president Wang Kisen says.
"Getting a tattoo here is a process of getting to know another culture.
"When a Westerner gets a tattoo in China, they learn about the specific and unique way a Chinese artist draws a dragon, which is different from the way Westerners draw versions of the Chinese dragon."
It's also different from the way Western tattooists write - or botch - Chinese characters.
Most foreigners would be aghast to know how inaccurate, or at least context based, most Western tattooists' hanzi (character) charts are - Chinglish in reverse, in a sense, but permanently inked into your flesh.
That's why, according to the New York Times, Britney Spears' tattoo, which was meant to say as "mysterious", instead translates as "strange". It's also why, according to Sports Illustrated, NBA star Tyson Chandler was wise to check with Yao Ming to make sure the character he had selected actually meant "love". It did.
If you're considering getting a tattoo, here are some Beijing tattoo artist locations:
Address: Room 1502, Door 2, Suite D, Shou Kai Xing Fu Guangchang, No 38 Xing Fu 2 Cun, Xindong Lu, Chaoyang district 朝阳区新东路幸福2村38号首开幸福广场D栋2门1502房
Address: 9-1-301 Dingfuzhuang North Street, Dongli Jie, Chaoyang district 朝阳区定福庄北街动力街区9-1-301
By Erik Nilsson
Editor: Feng Hui