Wonderful Malaysia

Buying glasses in Malaysia

Last summer I decided to buy a new pair of glasses. First I thought of buying sunglasses (prescription glasses), but later I flew back to the Netherlands with not only a new pair of sunglasses but also a pair of new regular glasses.

Buying glasses in Malaysia at Insight Optical

In the end we bought glasses at two different stores within Pavilion KL. Both shops are part of two large and well-known chains: Insight and Better Vision. You can find Better Vision on the third floor at the right side (from the entrance). You can find Insight on the ground floor, diagonally ‘under’ the main entrance. You can ask someone at the information counter when you can’t find it; or check out the floor directory.

Better Vision was the first shop that we entered. A kind employee immediately came to tell us that we would get a large reduction in price, a positive incentive. I decided to buy Ray Ban sunglasses with prescription glasses. I couldn’t choose from all available models, but only from models that would ‘fit’ lenses. Fortunately there were enough models to pick from. Although the glasses would normally be ready in two days, it took a little longer in our case because of Aidil Fitri (the end of the Ramadan – a national holiday) was celebrated on that day. I could pick up my glasses after three days. I finally paid RM620 for the Ray Bans.

The next day we accidentally walked through Pavilion again when we saw another shop: Insight Optical. They had a large range of Tag Heuer glasses; and exactly the glasses I tried on a few years ago. This time I couldn’t resist ordering these glasses. It took two days as well here. This Tag Heuer contained great lenses (from Tag Heuer itself); titanium, UV protection, transition and anti-dazzle. I paid RM2200 for these glasses. This seems like a lot of money, but in Europe you pay at least double for these glasses.

In the end I had two very great deals at Better Vision and at Insight. In both cases we could negotiate well about a revised final price. The eye test were of very good quality (I had the test at both shops with the same results), the service was also perfect. I was called by both shops when I could pick up my glasses. I was not yet experienced in buying glasses in Malaysia, but it worked out perfectly (my girlfriend also bought two beautiful pair of glasses there). The range is much larger than in Europe and the prices are much cheaper compared to Europe. Here are some tips for buying prescription glasses in Malaysia:

  • When buying several glasses, you get a large discount.
  • Take the delivery time into account (min one day, max five days).
  • Make sure you stay in Malaysia for some time, so that you can go back if something is wrong.
  • Go to a trusted optician (and ask for extensive eye tests first).
  • Leave your hotel name and room number (or local phone number), so they can contact you as soon as the glasses are ready.
  • Let the employee call the factory to be confirmed that the glasses can be picked up within x days.
  • Find out in advance if coupons are available with extra discount for the frame (you can often find them in brochures).
  • During the special sale months (usually the megasale around August and around December) prices are often much lower.
  • Lenses are also cheap, so you could chose to only get new glasses in your existing glasses.
  • Many brands of sunglasses can be fitted with prescription lenses, always check up front.

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Wonderful Malaysia

Touch ‘n Go

It was way back in 18 March 1997 that the first Touch ‘n Go service was installed and it was used at the Jalan Pahang Toll Plaza. Other toll plazas were soon installed with the Touch ‘n Go service such as the toll plaza in Jalan Cheras as well as the East-West Link Expressway. Towards the end of the year, the system was brought to the 848 km North-South Expressway; this was made possible when the northern sections of the expressway were fitted with the technology.

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Touch ‘n Go makes the electronic toll payment one of the longest in the world as travelers will be able to use the smart card and travel from Jitra in Kedah to Kempas in Johor or all from the north to the south without using cash. The launch of the services was held as the Sungai Dua toll plaza where Datuk Dr Ramli Mohamad the then chairman of Rangkaian Segar Sdn Bhd officiated the event.

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Today, Touch ‘n Go is not just for payments at toll plazas and public transport. A number of popular malls such as Sunway Pyramid, Subang Parade, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Sungei Wang Plaza, Tropicana City Mall and Mid Valley Megamall have started accepting payments by Touch ‘n Go for parking. Simply touch your card at the entrance point and your time of arrival will be captured. At the end of your visit, the time spent and subsequently the parking charges will be tabulated and deducted from your card.

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Your Touch ‘n Go is good for dining too. Have some fast food at AW, Japanese fare at Sakae Sushi, dessert at Baskin Robbins or a cuppa at Starbucks and pay with your Touch ‘n Go card. Your card is as good as a debit card now. You can also grab some munchies at 7-Eleven before catching a movie at Cathay Cineplexes, both retailers accept payment by Touch ‘n Go.

All in all, Touch ‘n Go still provides a convenient cashless system especially to those who travel daily on the highways as well as those who commute by KTM, LRT, Monorail and Rapid KL buses. Drivers and commuters need not carry around or store loose change and they also save time from not having to queue at the cash lanes. Touch ‘n Go is indeed convenient to use, on top of having numerous value top-up centers and banks that can perform the reload transactions.

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Travelers love using Touch ‘n Go because of its convenience. You don’t have to get in line for LRT or monorail tickets every single time. Just buy the card and use it throughout your stay in Malaysia. A new card without balance costs RM10. You can immediately add balance to the card, with RM10 as minimum charge. The card will never expire. After your holiday in Malaysia you can always make someone else happy with your card, or you just take it home as a souvenir.

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Read more at the official Touch ‘n Go website.

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