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RLAretired

Searching for quality in Thailand

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Posted (edited)

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In Thailand, finding "cheap" is easy, but finding "quality" is difficult.  I'll start a thread about where & how to find quality products and services.  (This thread is not intended as a ”winge" about bad quality experiences.)

Restaurants:  Always dependable quality in restaurants in 4-5 star hotels, although taste often uninspired.  Finding good, independent restaurants is possible, just takes some looking.  My most reliable clue to quality is foreign food and foreign management, although not a guarantee.  I look for foreign-owned restaurants that have been in business 5 years or more.  A few examples are Bourbon Street, Bangkok Bob’s, Olive, Chesa, Stable Lodge.

 

 

Vitamins & Food Supplements: With the low quality of most local food ingredients, I've greatly increased my use of vitamins and food supplements since coming to Thailand.  Thai brands of such products are never worth buying.  Imported brands can be okay, such as Blackmore, but even there the quality is mediocre.   Many foreign brands offered on Lazada -- examples are Now, Doctor's Best, Kirkland (Costco) -- but I don't trust anything on Lazada.  Only solution I've found is order from abroad.  Fortunately, many vitamin suppliers offer international shopping at modest rates.


Clothing:  This is a problem area.  Even at Central and Robinsons, emphasis always more on style than on quality.  I’ve wasted a lot of money trying to save money on unknown brands, so now I only buy “name” brands.  Examples are Jockey underwear, Levi's jeans, Scholl’s for shoes.

Furniture:   Another problem area.  A pretty fabric on a sofa is much more common than durable construction.  Again, my answer is imported products.  IKEA is an example: I hate their stores because of their convoluted “pathways”, but their quality endures, so I buy there. 

Appliances:  The worst area for trying to find quality products.  Japanese brands usually last longer without cracking, breaking, or burning out.  Korean appliances are highly variable, but still far better than Chinese-made.  Hatari fans -- a Thai company but could be made in China -- has been steadily improving their product quality in recent years.  Another Thai company with surprisingly good quality is Otto.  Probably made in China, I don't know, but Otto products last longer than other local brands.

Electronics:  For small, electronic items, such as a USP hub or printer cables, I just don’t know where to find quality here.  Everything available is made cheaply.  For larger items -- mobile phone, computer, printer -- buying name brands like Apple, Samsung, Epson, Brother is my solution.

 

Sources:  Ordering from Lazada or AliExpress usually gets junk products.  Not everything, but most things, and in electronics the junk factor is highest.  I’ll pay more at stores where I can shop in person -- like Central or Global House -- because they do a better job of quality control on the products they sell.

Other ideas for finding quality products here?
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Edited by RLAretired
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13 minutes ago, NCC1701A said:

this was one of my biggest culture shocks in the first year here in Thailand.

 

"Culture shock."  I didn't think of it that way, but so true.

 

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Posted (edited)

you can find quality stuff if you look hard enough in the larger cities, the problem is it will be absurdly expensive. 

 

food wise, well you should not be eating any thai food if you care about your health. properly prepared thai food at home is an exception. 

Edited by at15
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I was never under any illusions about Thailand before I got here as I'd read a lot about SEA and had many discussions with experienced travellers. I was also very low-key, so never one with expensive tastes. Still, my biggest disappointments were clothes, which for some reason I had expected to be at least durable. Only after I was freed from the bonds of international school fees (🙂) did I splash out a little and started buying Camel Active shirts - casual and smart, I still have them after 15 years and they still look great, though I've had the collars reversed. Hush Puppy shoes have been another great buy, 13 years and still not needing new soles (but don't get worn much these days).

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22 minutes ago, LivinLOS said:

This is one of the things that gradually has worn on me over the years, to the point where I really debate the overall quality of life aspects. 

 

Whew!  I thought I was the only one.

 

Thank you, @LivinLOS for posting that.

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12 minutes ago, poohy said:

Re hobbies i agree

 

Hobbies: Yes, indeed.  I should have thought of that category -- especially important for older, retired, expats.

 

 

Include bikers, too, eh?  Lots of bikers here.  I wonder what they do for quality tools and parts, and for more serious repair services.

 

And in the same category, sports.  Well, maybe only one sport: golf.  How do the golfers find quality gear?

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Dexlowe said:

Camel Active shirts - Hush Puppy shoes

 

Are you buying in Thailand, or bringing in from abroad?  If in Thailand, what stores, please.

 

 

For myself, I've learned (the hard way, of course) to try on all clothes and shoes here, otherwise waste of money for sure.

 

 

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