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Using a Thai sim card in Thailand

Using a Thai sim card while travelling or taking a holiday in Thailand is not just a good idea – it’s almost essential. Why? Thai sim cards are cheap, come loaded with Internet data, and are quick and easy to install in a phone. There are so many reasons why it is important to have one in…

  • Quick access to email for details of flight and hotel bookings
  • Showing addresses of hotel and destinations to taxi drivers
  • Using Google Maps to navigate on foot to bars, restaurants and activities
  • Using review sites (like ours!) to finding new places to go during the trip
  • Using translation apps and Google images to communicate with Thais
  • Staying in touch with friends and family back home by email and messaging services
  • Communicating with any new Thai friends met while on holiday
  • Checking emails for work and business while away on holiday

Travellers, backpackers and holidaymakers young or old who have a Thai sim card generally have a smoother time than people who don’t. Smartphones have become an essential part of our lives, and the same is true while abroad. Surviving without one -even for a week – really is quite difficult!

So how to use a Thai sim card?

  • Get a smartphone. Sure, the old fashioned phones can still be used but to really benefit it’s better to have a smartphone to use the Internet.
  • Make sure the phone is unlocked. If the phone is locked to a certain carrier from home, then a Thai sim card will not work in that handset.
  • Remove the home country sim card BEFORE the plane lands. If the phone is turned on in Thailand there could be some seriously big roaming data charges.
  • Buy a sim card from one of the many sales booths at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) in Bangkok. Thailand’s biggest carriers are DTAC, TrueMove and AIS and they all have booths. The people at these stalls are really helpful – just hand them your phone and they’ll get the sim card up and running.
  • If the destination airport is Krabi or Phuket and there aren’t any booths to buy sim cards, find the nearest 7-11 store. They sell sim cards and the price is roughly the same.
  • If the credit and data allowance is used up during the trip, just find a 7-11 store to top up and add more credit. Again, the staff at 7-11 are helpful and even if they don’t speak good English, will know how to add credit to a phone.

What is the price of using a Thai sim card?

Sim cards in Thailand are actually quite cheap. There are some low cost deals for data, calls and sms packages. 500Baht for unlimited data is about the average. Sometimes the sim card number and package will be set to expire after a month. Other times the Thai card can be kept for the next visit to Thailand.

 

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