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Phuket Lifestyle – Cheap glasses a sorry sight

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Everyone wants to look good in their new shades, but there are some important health issues and practical points to think about before you run out and buy those designer glasses that make you look absolutely fabulous.

The main health reason for wearing sunglasses is to shield your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays found in natural sunlight. Overexposure can lead to UV radiation which can cause a myriad of short-term and long-term problems with your eyesight.

The EU standard for UV protection requires 95 per cent of the radiation to be reflected or filtered out and the lenses must also be impact resistant. As of 2009, the European “CE mark”, has been added to the arms of sunglass frames to indicate that they offer a safe level of sun protection.

We turned to optician Somsak Laopratai, the successful operator of Somsak Optic in Phuket Town, to help us with the technical aspects of shopping for a pair of sunglasses.

Mr Somsak advised us that most quality sunglasses in Thailand are imported from Europe, so you just need to check for the CE mark on the arms of the frames.

Recently, high-energy visible light has been implicated as a cause of age-related sight loss. Studies suggest that blue light-blocking (amber-tinted) lenses could benefit patients with age-related eye problems.

Unfortunately, the sunglass standards don’t always address protection from blue light. Often manufacturers simply indicate that the sunglasses meet the blue light blocking requirements of a specific standard rather than indicate a specific level of protection. To be safe, you should consider the color of the lenses. But proceed with caution: all blue or gray lenses, and even some of the yellow or brown lenses, don’t offer blue light protection.

Glass lenses provide the best clarity and are easy to care for, but they’re heavy and they’re not impact-resistant. Consequently, 99 per cent of all sunglasses are now made from plastic. There are three types of lenses to consider: the new plastic, CR39 plastic, and cheap plastic.

The newest type of plastic lenses are available from Oakley and to a lesser extent, Ray-Ban, for about 4000 baht and up. Oakley’s Plutonite lens material is engineered to stop 100 per cent of UVA, UVB, UVC, as well as harmful blue light. These lenses are also impact-resistant.

This type of plastic is innovative because the UV protection and color is blended into the plastic before the lenses are fabricated. A thin film is added to other types of plastic lenses to color or polarize the lens. Over time, this film often separates from the lens.

People who need to wear strong prescription sunglasses usually opt for this type of lens as the end-product is thinner than glass.

However, Mr Somsak warns us: “These lenses are difficult to care for. They scratch easily and they shouldn’t be exposed to saltwater as this will damage them. They shouldn’t be stored in high temperatures as the heat can also damage them.”

CR39 is an older standard for plastic lenses that was originally designed to replace thick, heavy, glass prescription lenses. These are dipped in color and UV solution to make the final product. They’re more expensive to make, however, the process is more flexible so it can be used to produce many different kinds of custom plastic lenses.

This standard is still used by most designer brands, except for Oakleys and some new Ray-Ban products. The designer brands are priced from 5000 baht and up.

“All designer brands meet the EU standard. They are easy to care for, are scratch-resistant and can be left in high temperatures without being damaged. They can also be exposed to saltwater without damaging the lenses. They have a higher level of clarity than the new plastic lenses, but they are heavier and more expensive,” explained Mr Somsak.

It is almost impossible to tell the difference between the new plastic and CR39, as shown in the photograph above. “If you want to know what kind of lenses you’re buying, you will need to ask a knowledgeable person at a quality eyewear shop,” added Mr Somsak.

If the designer brands are too expensive, you can opt to buy custom sunglasses at an optical store. You can buy frames for as little as 800 baht and up, and CR39 lenses for 400 to 600 baht per pair.

Cheap sunglasses are a poor choice. They don’t meet any of the UV standards, they have poor clarity, and they’re not anti-reflective.

“Cheap sunglasses do not meet any of the UV standards. Although most of them block UV, they just don’t block enough,” advised Mr Somsak. Dark lenses are even more harmful because they stimulate the pupil to open wider. As a result, more unfiltered radiation enters the eye.

Mr Somsak adds, “If you wear cheap glasses, in the long run they will damage your eyes. They also promote the growth of cataracts.”

Polarized lenses reduce the glare caused by light reflected from polarizing surfaces such as water and sky light. They are good for cutting reflected glare when driving. However, Mr Somsak cautions us again: “Polarized lenses are not popular in Thailand because they present a problem when you’re driving, as most car windscreens have tinted film. I have had more than one customer who has come back to my shop in Phuket and said they got headaches from wearing their polarized glasses while driving.”

As a final point, to fully protect your eyes from UV light, choose glasses that fit properly. The lenses should fit close enough to your face that very little stray light can reach the eye from the sides, above or below, but not so close that your eyelashes touch the lenses.

Okay, now go and buy the designer glasses you really wanted.

— Eugene Doberer

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Thai Life

Top 5 accounting firms in Thailand

Cita Catellya

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If you own a business in Thailand, there is one service you can’t do without, which is accounting. Accounting, just like human resources (HR), plays a vital role in most businesses. Therefore, hiring an accounting firm can help your business grow and expand, even when your business is still small. In other words, if you want your business to become successful, you can’t ignore the importance of accounting firms.

Accounting firms help you handle critical financial tasks, such as calculating your withholding TAX and VAT and completing your financial statements. In addition, they also ensure that you comply with Thai law. Therefore, it’s only natural that you want the best accountant, someone you can trust, to do these tasks.

When talking about the best accounting companies, the first names that usually come to mind are the Big 4 – PwC, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and KPMG. On the other hand, there are also numerous other main players in Thailand’s accountancy field. Accounting companies are always in tough competition among themselves, so it can be hard to choose the best one. However, we have narrowed it down to the top 5 accounting companies in Thailand.

5 Best Accounting Firms in Thailand

Best of Thailand’s accounting firms, listed below.

1. HLB Thailand

Previously known as BDO Thailand, HLB Thailand is one of the most reputable accounting firms in Thailand. It is an HLB International member, which is a global network of independent advisory and accounting firms. HLB International has hundreds of offices across 160 countries. In 2020, HLB International won ‘Network of the Year’ at the 2020 Digital Accountancy Awards. This award certainly drives up their reputation among those in needs of accounting services.

HLB Thailand expertise in audit and assurance, transfer pricing, and outsourcing. Their client base covers a wide variety of industries, such as telecommunications, manufacturing, constructions, and hospitality. Furthermore, they also offer service to real estate, healthcare, and not-for-profit industries. The firm is led by Co-Managing Partners Andrew Jackomos and Paul Ashburn. The firm’s tax services in Thailand provide a combination of local attention and global capabilities. Furthermore, they also provide financial audit and risk assurance service.

Main Areas of Service: Advisory, Audit and Assurance, Tax.

Locations: Bangkok and Phuket.

BANGKOK: 14th Floor, CTI Tower 191/70-73 New Ratchadapisek Road Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110, Thailand.
PHUKET: 20/90 Moo 2, Thepkasattri Road T. Koh kaew, A. Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand.

Website: https://www.hlbthai.com/

Contact Info: hlb@hlbthailand.com
BANGKOK: +66 (0)2 260 7290
PHUKET: +66 (0)2 260 7297

Top 5 accounting firms in Thailand | News by Thaiger

2. PKF Thailand

PKF Thailand is a member of PKF International’s global family of legally independent firms with over 400 offices in 125 countries. Therefore, the firm is known to provide global solutions to its clients.

As one of the oldest accounting companies in Thailand, PKF Thailand has built its strong reputation for years. Today, it has successfully established itself among the leading accounting firms of choice for both international and local clients. This accounting firm is licensed by Thailand’s SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) to perform audits on public listed companies. PKF Thailand presents highly qualified international and local professionals, so they can help bridge the gap between international business and the Kingdom.

Headquartered in Bangkok, PKF Thailand has active branches on the Eastern Seaboard in Phuket, Hua Hin, Sri Racha, Pattaya, and U Tapao. Therefore, they can offer services to businesses around Thailand.

Main Areas of Service: Advisory, Audit and Assurance, Corporate Finance, Business Solutions, Tax, and Transaction Services.

Locations: Bangkok and Eastern Seabord.

BANGKOK: 28th Fl., Sathorn Square Office Tower, 98 North Sathorn Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand.
EASTERN SEABOARD: 63/14-15 M.10, South Pattaya Road, Nongprue, Banglamung,
Chonburi 20150, Thailand.

Website: https://pkfthailand.asia/

Contact Info:
BANGKOK: thailand@pkf.com / +66 2 108 1591
EASTERN SEABOARD: esb.th@pkf.com / +66 38 195 252

Top 5 accounting firms in Thailand | News by Thaiger

3. HUMANICA

HUMANICA is a business solutions provider in Thailand. They are pioneers in the HR and ERP industry in Thailand. However, they also offer finance and accounting services in the country. Their finance and accounting services are designed for companies who need to outsource tiresome office tasks. Moreover, they have provided accounting service and system advisor for SME businesses in various industries for over a decade. Their clients range from manufacturer and construction to trading, e-commerce, and services.

Located in Pathum Wan, Bangkok, HUMANICA is part of the Human Resources Consulting Services Industry. They provide accounting, finance, and taxation services. Their taxation services include value-added tax, withholding tax, and corporate income tax.

Main Areas of Service: Accounting, finance, and taxation.

Locations: 2 Soi Rongmuang 5, Rongmuang Rd., Rongmuang, Pathumwan, Bangkok, Thailand 10330.

Website: https://www.humanica.com/

Contact Info: sales@humanica.com / +66 2 636 6999

Top 5 accounting firms in Thailand | News by Thaiger

4. Mazars

Mazars is a French accounting, audit, and consulting group. This accounting firm set its foot in the Thai market for the first time in 2008. However, they are quick to establish a reputation of being one of the top accounting firms in the Kingdom.

Mazars boasts a multinational team, with its consultants consisting of Thai, British, German, Dutch, Indian, Korean, Japanese, and Australian nationals. As a result, they are among the leading companies in the country that provide accounting services globally. In addition to their accounting services, they also offer legal and consulting services for businesses across Thailand. Mazars is committed to helping their clients succeed. They understand and respect your business, so they will adapt their approach accordingly.

Main Areas of Service: Audit and assurance, financial advisory, tax, outsourcing, and international services.

Locations: Empire Tower, Tower 2, 12th Floor, South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120, Thailand.

Website: www.mazars.co.th

Contact Info: +66 2 670 1100

Top 5 accounting firms in Thailand | News by Thaiger

5. M&E (Thailand)

M&E (Thailand) Co., Ltd. is a German-Thai organization. It is a well-established accounting firm offering comprehensive services to a wide range of industries, such as manufacturing, IT, food and beverage, and payment gateway. As a result of their personal and individualized service, their client can focus on their business growth instead of dealing with the accounting department.

In addition to its excellent accounting service, M&E (Thailand) also provides company registration service and financial consultation. Thus, they can be considered as a one-stop solution for your business needs.

Main Areas of Service: Bookkeeping, taxation, and financial reports.

Locations: 159/40 Sermmit Tower 26th Floor, Room No. 2608 Sukhumvit Road (Asoke), Klongtoey Nua Wattana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand.

Website: www.mandethailand.com

Contact Info: info@mandethailand.com / +66 2 0461200

Top 5 accounting firms in Thailand | News by Thaiger

Being a lucrative market for businesses and foreign investments, it comes as no surprise Thailand is seeing the rise in accounting firms competition. With the number of businesses in needs of accounting services, the competition for accounting firms in the country seems to never end.

 

 

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Food Scene

Cooking food at home more? Most Thais are during Covid-19

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Ramen noodles again? More people are eating in because of Covid-19.

Are you an excellent chef? Did Covid-19 force you to learn how to cook food? Or maybe it caused you to pay closer attention to how healthy, how clean, and how well packaged your food is? A new Suan Dusit Poll found that Thai people are eating healthier and eating at home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The poll, conducted last week by Suan Dusit Rakabhat University, asked 1,192 people about their eating habits.

The poll found that nearly 76% of people were cooking at home more often and 71% responded that since Covid-19 they have paid more attention to the importance of food. Only 3% said they pay less attention to their eating since the Coronavirus outbreak.

Most of the poll answers aren’t too surprising, with lockdowns forcing more home meals, and fear of a contagious virus creating more awareness of hygiene practices. Nearly 48% of those polled believed that healthy eating helped against the Coronavirus while 38% were unsure. Nearly 50% were interested in knowing about foods that could build a Covid-19 resistance.

55% though herbs helped strengthen Coronavirus resistance, while Pad Ka Phrao, ginger, tom yam soup and kaeng som maroom (a sour moringa soup) were also mentioned favourably (51%, 49%, 43% and 32% respectively).

60% of those surveyed said they were choosing more healthy food, and 56% paid closer attention to the importance of food packaging. Somewhat surprisingly, 39% of respondents said they were spending more on food during the pandemic, about 37% said the amount was unchanged, and nearly 24% spent less money.

Food spending in Bangkok averaged 268 baht a day, while other provinces averaged 207 baht, creating a national daily food spending average of about 227 baht.

So how do Thaiger readers compare? What are you spending on food – more or less? Are you eating healthier? Are you dining out less? Perhaps some have become experts at cooking the #1 food in the world? Any recommendations for superfoods that ward off Covid-19?

The Thaiger looks forward to your responses in the comments on this story.

SOURCE:Bangkok Post

 

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Tourism

‘One Night In Bangkok’, an unlikely hit about a bygone era in Thailand

Tim Newton

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“One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain’t free”

When ‘One Night In Bangkok’ was released in 1984 it was an unlikely hit. It was the opening song from a (at the time) little-known stage pop-opera called ‘Chess’. The song made Number 1 in South Africa, West Germany, Switzerland and Australia, and Number 3 in Canada and the US. It has remained a staple of Classic 80s Hit radio ever since. Have a listen (below).

The musical was the first outing for the two ‘Bs’ in ABBA – Benny Andersson and Bjoern Ulvaeus. Their pop grooves had made ABBA one of the most famous music groups in the world between 1973 and 1982 with a string of hits including 20 singles in the Billboard Top 100 from 8 albums, etc, etc. The lyrics of the song were penned by Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Joseph and his amazing technicolour dreamcoat, Aladdin, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast).

In the opening song of ‘Chess’, the American chess champion Freddie Trumper gets ready for a chess game with his Russian counterpart. He ridicules Bangkok’s ‘pleasures’ and tourist attractions – the Chao Phraya River (“muddy old river”), Wat Pho (“reclining Buddha”), and the red-light distractions. The choruses are more complimentary about Bangkok’s well-documented excesses.

Thailand’s ladyboys feature too… “You’ll find a god in every golden cloister, And if you’re lucky then the god’s a she“. And the famous Oriental Hotel (these days a little less ‘oriental’) is mentioned where girls are “set up in the Somerset Maugham suite“. But the singer says he isn’t interested… “I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine.

At the time the sarcasm of the song didn’t go down well with the Thai Mass Communications Organisation (now the NBTC) issuing a ban on the song in 1985, saying its lyrics “cause misunderstanding about Thai society and show disrespect towards Buddhism”, a line still trotted out when Instagrammers and vloggers shoot in front of Thai temples dressed in a flimsy singlets and short shorts.

37 years later the song still paints a picture of a contrasting ‘oriental’ city alive with lights (including red lights), colour, pungent smells, culture and a vivid history.

We’re not sure if the ban was ever lifted but I hear the song played on Thai stations from time to time. At the time, when Bangkok was less on the tourist map than now, the song was a lone reference point for westerners.

How does it stand up 37 years after becoming a world-wide hit? Leave your comments below..

One Night In Bangkok

Bangkok, Oriental setting
And the city don’t know that the city is getting
The creme de la creme of the chess world
In a show with everything but Yul Brynner (referring to the actor’s starring role as the King of Siam in ‘The King and I’)

Time flies, doesn’t seem a minute
Since the Tirolean spa had the chess boys in it
All change don’t you know that when you
Play at this level there’s no ordinary venue
It’s Iceland or the Philippines or Hastings or,
Or this place!

One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain’t free
You’ll find a god in every golden cloister
And if you’re lucky then the god’s a she
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One town’s very like another
When your head’s down over your pieces, brother
It’s a drag, it’s a bore, it’s really such a pity
To be looking at the board, not looking at the city
Whaddya mean?
Ya seen one crowded, polluted, stinking town
Tea, girls, warm, sweet
Some are set up in the Somerset Maugham suite
Get thai’d, you’re talking to a tourist
Whose every move’s among the purest
I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can’t be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me

Siam’s gonna be the witness
To the ultimate test of cerebral fitness
This grips me more than would a
Muddy old river or reclining Buddha
And thank God I’m only watching the game… controlling it

I don’t see you guys rating
The kind of mate I’m contemplating
I’d let you watch, I would invite you
But the queens we use would not excite you
So you better go back to your bars, your temples
Your massage parlours

One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain’t free
You’ll find a god in every golden cloister
A little flesh, a little history
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can’t be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me

Songwriters: Tim Rice / Benny Goran Bror Andersson / Bjoern K. Ulvaeus

 

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