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Dec02

Seeing is Believing

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Seeing is Believing

Thinking of buying prescription glasses overseas? Here are my personal tips

On a recent trip to Vietnam I arranged to have prescription glasses made and thought I would share the experience with you.

Back in February 2015  I had my eyes tested in Melbourne as the multi-focals I had were well  past their use by date. After the eye test I set about choosing frames for the multi's as well as a pair of prescription sunnies.

I chose a Ray Ban's frame for the multi's and ditto for the sunnies. A few taps on the calculator and the price was revealed - $900 for two pair of specs. Less my health insurance rebate made it $700. I thought that was just a tad over the top. So left it the store  thinking maybe I'll check out my options in a planned trip to Vietnam.

And I'm glad I did. Now the boo boo I made was not taking my prescription with me (yes you can ask your local optometrist for a copy of the script). But they did test my eyes in Vietnam and it was included in the price.

So what was the bottom line? One pair of multis in a Ray Ban frame US$90 - that includes the lenses! And they are great. Plus 2 pairs of single vision prescription sunnies - $30 each.  All up $150 and ready in 48 hours.And they came with cases.Total saving compared to Aus probably in excess of $700.

Margins are slimmer with glasses in Vietnam so little point in haggling too hard. Do shop around though and remember if the shop is busy that says something.  

I hear you asking are the frames genuine or copies and the short answer is ...I have no idea. But after 9 months of continuous wear they haven't missed a beat. The sunnies are fantastic.

Another option is to buy favourite frames offshore and have the lenses fitted in your home town. You'll still save a bucket on the frames but have the peace of mind in dealing with your local optometrist for the lenses.

I had my work done in Hoi An but there are plenty of options in either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.In HCMC there is a whole street of glasses shops all vying for your business. Check out online reviews and forums and even ask your guide to find one that is right for you.

Until next time, travel slow, enjoy the ride.  Ken

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