We visited Thailand for 30 days, spent between Koh Lanta and Bangkok, and the first thing we did when landing at Krabi’s airport was buying a Thailand local SIM card. With a local SIM card, you can make very cheap local calls, and, even better, you can use internet on your smartphone during your trip to Thailand, useful for keeping in touch with friends and family, contact hotels and other businesses, book flights, use Google Maps to get directions, etc.
In this post you will find all the information you need in order to buy a local SIM card in Thailand; what are the different companies, what is the price of the SIM card, how to get data packages, how fast is the connection, etc.
Mobile Operators (Companies) in Thailand
First things first: what are the main mobile operators in Thailand? Following is a list of the 3 main companies, with an indicative price for 2GB of data:
- AIS: It is the main operator with very good coverage (check AIS coverage here). They operate under two brands (1-2-call y You! Mobile). Indicative price: 2GB for 2 weeks – 195 TBH (6$)
- dtac: Second biggest company, also with very good coverage; less than AIS, but probably not a problem in touristic places (check dtac coverage here). Indicative price: 2GB – 299TBH (10$)
- True Move H: It is the 3rd company, but the one with the biggest advertising. Owned by the same company that owns 7-Eleven. They have the biggest 4G coverage (Check True Move H coverage here). Indicative price: 2GB – 299TBH (10$)
Practically speaking, any of these three options will work well for you, so depending on the airport at which you arrive, check which ones are for sale there, compare prices and choose the one that better fits your budget and needs in terms of data.
For more information and (normally) updated prices, check Wikia, and take a look at possible promotions when you get there
Where to buy your Thailand local SIM card
Our first contact with Thailand was Krabi’s airport. Our destination was Koh Lanta so we flew there, as it is the nearest airport. You will find local SIM cards for sale in all the major airports in Thailand, although not all companies will be there. Normally the staff speaks english so you will have no problems understanding the price and what’s included in what they are offering you.
We finally decided to buy a dtac SIM card, which worked well both in Koh Lanta and Bangkok
What is the price of a dtac SIM card?
When we landed in Krabi, the price of a dtac local SIM card with 5GB for 30 days was 450TBH (15$)
dtac SIM card coverage and internet speed
In the destinations we visited during our trip to Thailand (Koh Lanta, Krabi and Bangkok) we had 4G with the dtac SIM card, and decent speeds most of the time, enough for making calls with Skype, browse the internet, using social networks, etc.:
Recharge your dtac SIM card
If you consume all the GB included in your initial package, or if you need more money for using your dtac SIM card to make calls, you just need to recharge your SIM card and activate a new data package.
The easiest way of doing this if using their website, https://my.dtac.co.th/. It’s english and it is usable enough.
Remember that you can use the tethering function on your smartphone to share internet with other smartphones, tablets, laptops… If you do it, we recommend you carry with you a decent powerbank as this consumes lots of battery. We travel with these two powerbanks:
- This one from ANKER with 5000mAh, that charges a smartphone one time.
- This one from Xiaomi with 20000mAh, that charges a smartphone 4-5 times.
If you prefer, you also have the option of buying a mobile wifi hotspot and carry it to any country you visit, so you can put the local SIM card on it and share internet with different devices; for example this one (3G), or this one which is more expensive but supports 4G
We hope this post helps you buying your Thailand local SIM card!