Where to Find the Cheapest Prescription Eye Glasses in South East Asia

We’ve scoured the earth (or at least south east Asia) searching for the cheapest prescription eye glasses available at retail.  And it looks like Manila is the winner when it comes to frame selection and custom lenses.  So for all of you who are blind as a bat, rejoice!  To find out exactly where this magical place is…keep reading.


Rizal Street, Quiapo District (North of Pasig River) Manila, The Philippines


  • Frames:  
    • $7.50 USD
  • Lenses:
    • Regular:  $7.50 USD
    • Non-glare, Radiation Blocking: $15.00 USD


The frames are comparable to those that you’d find in any other retail shop, although the display is definitely lacking.  You should expect to have to dig through boxes of frames before you find what you’re looking for.  But despite that, you should have no trouble finding a style that suits your tastes…weather it be the “designer brands” or not.  The lenses themselves are top notch.

The Process:

Simply begin by browsing through the frames.  Most vendors will have the same styles for sale so you don’t need to search the entire area.  Once you’ve identified your perfect frames, here’s what to do:

  • Tell the person behind the counter that you want to add prescription lenses to the frames.
  • You will then buy your frames and go to the optometrist upstairs on the 2nd floor.  The person who sold you the frames can show you the way.
  • From here you’ll be working with the optometrist.  To create your new lenses you’ll need either an existing pair of glasses, a prescription or a new eye exam.
  • The optometrist will quote you a price.  If you agree, he will create and mount your prescription lenses in your new frames.

How Long Does it Take?

Now this is where the real beauty comes into play.  You can have your lenses crafted and placed within 1 hour.  We had 4 pairs done within that 1 hour time period.


How to Get There:

The easiest and cheapest way to get there is to take the LTR line north and get off at Carriedo Station.  You will exit the station on Rizal Street, and from there just walk to the East side of the street.  Here, start to look for the vendors selling eye glass frames.  They’re the ones inside the store fronts, not outside on the street.

The Optometrist:

Dr. Ted V. Nicolas, O.D.
TJN Antipara Optical Clinic
U-20 2nd Floor,
Emerald Circle Bldg.,
Rizal Ave., Sta. Cruz,
Manila, The Philippines
Daniel Royse Written by:

Daniel Royse is the founder and editor in chief of the online travel publication, This Boundless World. He has written numerous articles on travel, business and politics and has recently completed his first full-length novel titled The Watermelon King. Daniel is an obsessive writer and explorer who has backpacked to over 50 countries, spanning five continents. To the disbelief of many, he still enjoys long, hot bus rides through chaotic places. More information about The Watermelon King can be found at www.thewatermelonking.com Contact: danroyse(to)gmail.com