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Worth it to have glasses made in Bangkok?

Worth it to have glasses made in Bangkok?

Old Oct 21st, 2007, 05:01 PM
  #1  
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Worth it to have glasses made in Bangkok?

Hi-
My mother would like to get prescription sunglasses and I suggested she wait until we're in BKK.
However, I've searched on this, but not really found any indication as to price so I can't tell if it's really a good deal or not.
Can anyone give me an indication as to cost? She's not looking for super expensive "designer" frames.
Does anyone have a recommendation for a specific place to go?
Thanks!
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Old Oct 21st, 2007, 05:19 PM
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Tong's husband is an optician...family shop.
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Old Oct 21st, 2007, 05:50 PM
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My wife has had her glasses made twice when we have been in BKK. The last time Tong's husband made her an awesome pair for about $80US. She has a very thick RX and we paid about 1/4 what we would of paid here, plus we could never of found anything like these where we live!!!!!!
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Old Oct 21st, 2007, 06:01 PM
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I knew I had read something about Tong's husband being an optician but I couldn't find anything when I searched for it!
That's great as we have a day scheduled with her while we are there. I will contact her.
Thanks!
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Old Oct 21st, 2007, 07:13 PM
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Cheryl has had glasses made in Bangkok and in KL. In Bangkok last year she had glasses made with a great Armani frame that we've never seen in the US for about one-half the US price for other Armani frames. She chose the highest quality lenses and they were progressive, so relatively expensive, but obviously much less than in the US. She bought at a store in Siam Paragon, Paris Miki. There are half a dozen optical shops in Siam Paragon, all on the same floor and in close proximity. Each of those shops carries different frames (and I would guess that Tong's husband's shop carries yet different frames).
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Old Oct 21st, 2007, 07:15 PM
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Oops, I forgot to mention that Cheryl had really great prescription sunglasses in a stunning frame for a great price as well... much less than the other glasses as the lenses were single vision.I 'm thinking about having custom reading glasses made for me this year.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 03:52 AM
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Hi Kristina

I've had glasses made on a number of occasions. I have progressive lenses and my husband has single lenses. Both are about half australian price so I don't know how that compares to US but I'm sure it should still be good.

Sunglasses are well made but there is just one consideration. Unless its very recently changed, there is no factory producing polaroid lenses so you can only get tinted ones. If this is an issue then you will have to think about it. I'm very happy with the tinted ones I've had done as is my husband but he has on occasion opted for polaroid ones make here in Australia because he wants them for specific purposes.

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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 05:08 AM
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Can we get some cost info here.
1) Cost of eye exam, lenses and frames
2) Was there a large assortment of designer frames to choose and what were the range of prices for these frames?
3) When you say it cost less than in the US can you gives us the cost comparisons- and would that cost comparison compare to what one's pays with Vision coverage here in the US?
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 06:59 AM
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Bill, the eye exam, lenses and frames were rolled into one price for us. (I'm sure you could break it down, but it wasn't relevant to Cheryl). Cheryl brought her prescription along, but they re-checked it at the opticians anyway. For a high-end Armani frame with Hoya progressive lenses with anti-glare coating, she paid 13,940 baht (US$ 400 at last year's exchange rate), and she was quoted $780 (plus tax of 8.8%) for a high-end frame, progressive lens and anti-glare coating here in Seattle. That price did not include an eye exam.

There are lots of wonderful frames to choose from. In my experience, each shop has a different assortment. We looked in all of the shops in Siam Paragon.

If you have vision coverage on your insurance check and see what it covers for you (every policy is different). If you have a Health Care Savings account, check with your company and see if they will accept receipts from foreign countries and will reimburse you out of your account. Cheryl's account does reimburse her, and she submitted both her glasses and her dental exam and cleaning from Bangkok.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 08:05 AM
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Bill, our experiences were about the same as Kathies and Cheryls. The price at home for just the lenses for the lightweight transition kind that turn dark outside was about $250, then whatever frames they had. Both times in BKK when we bought them the exam was free, we brought her RX from the US but they wanted to double check it to make sure. We dont have vision coverage so I dont know how that would work. The frames she got I cant give a comparrison to because we would never see them here in Missouri, they are some weird Thai brand. We are a young tattooed couple and she always wants funky glasses. we are also both freelance interpreters and work at 4 or 5 different places everyday, not a week goes by that my wife isnt asked about the glasses and then gets to share our wonderful experiences of Thailand!
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 06:38 AM
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A note on eyeglasses in BKK. While we found wonderful frames everywhere from Bangkok to Chiang Rai (tons of places in Khoalak), I did not find the pricing to be better than what I was able to get at home -- in the US. Our traveling companions however, felt the pricing was wonderful compared to theirs in Canada. I had thought to have a pair of perscription sunglasses made, but was told everywhere that they are unable to do Polarized lens. Not sure why, but we got the same answer in multiple shops in Paragon shopping center in BKK.
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 06:42 AM
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TC that is a good reminder to always know what you would pay at home rather than assuming the prices will be better in Bangkok.
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 07:40 AM
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Hi-
As the OP I thought I'd comment on our experience.
We did not end up getting glasses made as we felt they were too expensive.
However, if you are looking for designer frames then yes, prices are less than the US.
If you don't care about "designer" then places like Costco at home are certainly cheaper.
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 07:48 AM
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Kristina, Thanks for clarifying what the difference in between Cheryl's shopping experience and TC's.
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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I ended up getting great glasses made at a place called Good Times near Siam Paragon. I got very nice French Connection frames with thin lenses for $120, made in 1.5 days. Very happy with the purchase. Don't forget that bargaining is a must. The price mostly depends on the frame. The lenses themselves are usually under $20 unless you need something very unique.
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 11:34 AM
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TC
 
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O.K. I'm not offended that you don't know me and might assume that I would buy eyewear from Costco. Trust me....I would NOT. My electric blue, "Klik" designer frames from Denmark were still less expensive in Minneapolis than they were in BKK. I paid only $250 for the frames + the lightest, non-glare, anti-scratch, aero-space, super-duper, better-than-ever, over-the-top, new-and-improved, something-or-other lens.

The electric colored, laser cut designs in the bows, metal frames were all the rage in Thailand and I was pretty surprised that I had bought them here in the (who knew we were stylish?) Midwest just a month ago.

Go figure.
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 11:48 AM
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lenses: I'm not sure what type of lenses smartcookie might have got for under $20. I went to several shops last year, and all quoted me around $150 for progressive lenses with a relatively simple prescription. Frames, of course, were additional.
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 12:08 PM
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TC
 
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Rizzuto, totally agree. I did have one pair of glasses made in BKK on this trip. My simple reading glasses broke and I needed to get new lens. They used my current frames and made new lens; nothing fancy, no coating, no anti-glare, no bifocal, not light weight or ultra anything -- just a single lens for reading. The cost was $55 at a simple little shop adjacent to Sheraton Royal Orchid.
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 12:54 PM
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Yes, lens prices do vary a lot. You can choose Thai-made lenses that are less expensive or the best Hoya lenses. And of course, progrssives are much more than single-vision lenses.
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 01:02 PM
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So do you think it would be good if I bought my frames here in NYC and had them made over there? I am not really interested in stuff like Armani frames but in something a little more cutting edge...
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