Today Beadsaholic brings details of my trip to Thailand and a review of beads from the event.
In November I made my way across the USA, Canada, Russia to Shanghai, China where I switched over and was on my way to Thailand. I landed I believe around 3 am in Bangkok, Thailand, but times are a bit of a blur after traveling for around twenty-eight to thirty hours. After arriving and gathering my luggage my very sweet roommate Emma met me at the airport and off to a little quaint Boutique hotel we went. Over the next few days I had an amazing time meeting collectors and friends from all over Asia and of course touring Bangkok.
Below is a photo from the plane before landing.
I thought I’d skip ahead to the event, which is two days after landing in Bangkok, I’ll share some of the fun things we did during those two days further on down in this article. Sunday, event day we took two trains and a taxi and finally arrived at the event venue a bit early. The venue was beautifully decorated and had tons of room for everyone to sit and mingle to get to know each other. Along the middle were several tables long-wise with beautiful orchid center pieces with square glass tanks in the middle of each that were created by Daraphan sweet Mother Nareekarn Thaisamak and Grandmother Sompit Thaisamak of the Niwabeads family . Each center piece showcased Niwabeads and beautiful Beta Fighting fish swimming around.
A video of the beautiful center pieces. Note, there was music in this video and I some how lost it in the upload. Oops.
Niwabeads is a family based business that has been creating jewelry for more than 30 years, first started by the uncle Anan and aunt Sanchawee Poopaiboon after the uncles passing in 2016 the niece Daraphan Gerasch alongside her brothers Karin Thaisamak, Pakorn Thaisamak , twin sister Darawan Thaisamak, Mother Nareekarn Thaisamak and grandmother Sompit Thaisamak took the reins in continuing the legacy of Anan and Sanchawee, each playing a special part in the family business. I witnessed first-hand at the event on how well this family comes together and supports one another. The creative talent lies with Daraphan and her younger brother Pakorn who are responsible for creating the beads we all love today, both learning the creative process from their uncle in their youth. Each bead is truly a work of art and you can tell that this creative team pours their heart into each design. I felt so honored to meet this family and to especially meet Daraphan which has the most beautiful energetic creative soul and lights up a room. I am very thankful to have been able to go to Thailand, to this event and spend time with some truly amazing ladies while there.
Niwabeads is based in Thailand and Germany and under this company is also Mama-Mala operated in Asia by Maggie Lo and Huynh Thi Canh Dien and The Luxury brand currently sold in Dubai, but also available through Niwabeads.
Below are a few photos from the venue.
Before continuing with my trip I’d like to share some of the beads offered and shown at the event.
Mama- Mala The Geisha is a beautiful large barrel with a beautiful Geisha lady showing her backside and a side profile of her face, a lotus beautifully sits in her hair. You will see her long flowing dress with a gold lotus at the small of her back, above the lotus is a well detailed dragon tattoo, one arm up and you can see bracelets adorning her wrist. above her head is a phoenix and an umbrella, along the sides are lotus, lotus pods, lily pads and two koi fish. This bead measures approximately 16.41 mm high x 38.48 mm wide and weighs 38 grams in all with 4.2 grams in solid gold. This bead has a universal size core, but will not fit on a bangle as the bead is too wide; however, it will fit most bracelets, necklaces, and leathers. The Geisha is limited to only sixty-six pieces made to order and retails for €399.
Below I’ve mixed Trollbeads Pearls with Niwabeads Spacers, Niwabeads Save Your Secret on a Trollbeads Bracelet.
Niwabeads Into the Woods is a fun bead with seven different leaf dangles perfect for spring, summer and fall compositions. There is a total of one hundred and sixty-six (166) pieces made of this design. This bead measures approximately 25.44 mm long x about 6 mm wide. Into the Woods retails for €65 and is available through Niwabeads, Beads Fanatic and Story in the Bead.
I’ve combined Niwabeads Into the Woods with Trollbeads Round Malachite, Aventurine, Niwabeads Lucky Me Spacers on a PYHA bangle with PHYA stoppers.
Niwabeads Azalea Paradise is a stunning three flower design, each flower has different petal designs. In the middle of each flower is a stunning Rhodolite natural gemstone. This is my absolute favorite bead from the event. It is limited to only one hundred (100) pieces and measures approximately 14.97 mm high x 13.34 mm wide. Azalea Paradise retails for €99. Available through Niwabeads and Story in the Bead.
In this composition I used the Azalea Paradise as the focal along with two glass and two spacers from Niwabeads, Trollbeads Pearls on a Trollbeads bangle with PHYA Stoppers.
Niwabeads Inspirit is another beautiful Tiki or totem style bead. This design has two different faces, one with onyx and the other with garnet. This is a fantastic bead that can be styled more masculine or even used in a more feminine design. This bead measures approximately 11.33 mm high x 15.74 mm wide and can be worn on a bangle, necklace or bracelet. Inspirit is limited to only eighty-eight pieces and retails for €79. This bead is available at Niwabeads and Story in the Bead.
Here I’ve styled all three tiki totems with Trollbeads small round stones on a Trollbeads bangle with PHYA stoppers.
Mama- Mala Spacer set consist of three sets of spacers Peonies, Lotus and Plum Blossoms. These are a really beautiful spacers that will complement any design. Each measuring approximately 9.89 mm high x 4.09 mm wide. The set retails for €129 and are available through Niwabeads, Maggie Lo or Huynh Thi Canh Dien, you can reach out to all three on social media or click their names for emails.
Niwabeads The Mermaid is simply a stunning work of art with her long hair, she has her arms up, one hand in her hair and the other combing her hair, in the back you will find starfish and seashells, She has beautiful fins and can see her scales and starfish and shells under each fin. The attention to detail is simply amazing. This bead measures approximately 16.01 mm high x 36.54 mm wide and fits perfectly on a bracelet or necklace; however, will not fit a bangle as it’s too wide. The Mermaid is limited to sixty-six (66) pieces and retails for €115. Available at Niwabeads and Beads Fanatic.
I have mixed the mermaid with beautiful Niwabeads glass from the event, Niwabeads silvers and Trollbeads Pearls on a Trollbeads Bracelet.
A shot of the glass tray at the event.
Now back to my three days hanging with some friends in the wonderful city of Bangkok.
In this first photo we were on a ferry on our way to this huge and amazing mall Iconsiam. One thing about Bangkok is they have the largest malls I’ve ever seen! Not just one mall but several. Dien, Emma and I went to Iconsiam to visit with Gea at her PHYA Jewelry shop. We walked around the mall for a few things for me to bring back home to my family.
Along the way to the mall we pass some really cool boats.
This was a huge beautiful display outside the mall.
We had a nice dinner on a balcony overlooking the river, it was truly a beautiful view during the day light and at night.
All the malls were decorated for Christmas, but I really enjoyed the Thai decorations the most.
Saturday, Daraphan and her mom Nareekarn took me, Emma, Dien and Maggie to the floating market as it was one of the places I wanted to visit on my Thai bucket list. It was such an interesting experience. Here in the US this would be a jockey lot, flea market or even like some farmers markets, except this market there is a canal that runs through the middle where boats deliver fresh fruits to the market. There are also boats that give tours down the canal into the surrounding area. We walked around and tried some fried Chicken skin and some other local sweets, we had lunch then took a boat ride along the canal area where we were able see homes, a monitor lizard, a lotus farm, temple and stopped at an orchid farm. Along the way we even stopped by another boat that was selling coconut-based ice cream. I personally had my ice cream in a bowl, but did you know that in Thailand they eat ice cream on a hotdog bun? I may have to try that next time!
Young Coconut milk is Delicious!
Buddhist alters outside residential homes.
I love this Buddha that is facing towards the flowers.
A lady on a boat with fruit headed towards the market.
A temple we passed by on the canal.
There were tons of orchids, but this color was by far my favorite.
Saturday night we all went to China Town to walk around and of course eat.
This first photo is at the train station when you arrive in China Town.
When you walk down the streets in China Town it reminds me of the French Quarters in New Orleans, except with food vendors instead of bars. I tried some Durian and I’m not a fan, haha. I also had a small young coconut milk and a small pineapple both were yummy.
Monday my last day in Thailand I spent the day with Daraphan and her husband Sebastian both are such lovely people and I had so much fun. It seemed like I’ve known Daraphan forever, though it was our first-time meeting. We had lunch, then visited one of the local temples which was stunning, bought some lucky jades, then headed over for a Thai massage which was fantastic, but do have to say I was sore for two days! We had a wonderful dinner and they escorted me back to the airport where they kept me company until time to leave. I do have to say that I so wish I had more time to stay and spend with Daraphan, she is truly a beautiful sweet person inside and out and I enjoyed our time together. If you ever have a chance to go to a Niwabeads event and meet her and her family, I suggest going as they are all such wonderful people.
This photo shows the trays of meat that are on the table and a pot of broth that we cook these thin slices of meat in, in front of us. There were also veggies we could add to our broth. It was so good and there was more food than the three of us could possibly eat.
After we ate we visited the temple. It would be impossible to include all the photos from my trip, but I wanted to share a few with you all.
Did you know there is a Buddha for every day of the week? It is said that on the day you were born that is the Buddha who looks over you.
The trip was amazing, and I wish I had more time there and well, I can’t wait to go back one day. I am so thankful to Daraphan and her family for being wonderful host and for spending time with me while I was there. I also, want to Thank OHM Thailand for coming out on Sunday evening after the event to take me to a wonderful little restaurant for dinner and to Emma, Dien and Maggie who kept me company the entire time I was there. I met so many wonderful people like Chu , Gea, Fai and so many more. I truly enjoyed the trip. The ride home was extremely long and though I didn’t have jet lag when I landed in Thailand, I did when I returned home, but it was worth it!
Overall, it was a wonderful trip and of course I brought home some beautiful beads and treats. Most of the event beads are still available and you can get these in the links I’ve provided above with each bead. If you have any questions or need help let me know.
Great new! NiwaBeads officially has a website and you can browse the full line here < click.
I know many of you have been wanting me to share the details of my trip and though I didn’t share every single detail or photo as it would make this article so very long. I didn’t share any photos taken with the girls either as I didn’t have time to get permission, but if you would like to see them I’ll ask and share on social media! I do hope you enjoyed the photos and hearing about Thailand and Niwabeads! Have you ever been to Thailand or would like to go? Any favorite beads from the event? Leave me a comment below ❤