Reduce your roaming rates by using a local SIM.
If you’re planning a trip to Thailand, a top tip for keeping costs down is to switch to a local SIM card. Take advantage of better tariffs, plans and deals to reduce your roaming rates. Thailand has some good SIM card options, but the coverage can sometimes be questionable. You can get 1GB of data from Thailand’s top telco providers for just THB100 (AUD$3.86). So, whether you’re a short- or long-term traveller, you can save money by comparing your SIM card options on finder.com.au.
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Telco providers in Thailand
There are three main telco providers in Thailand: AIS, dtac and TrueMove H. Locals and travellers use SIM cards from all three networks, and they can be trusted no matter which plan you choose. According to OpenSignal’s coverage map, the main cities, highways and urban areas offer great network coverage, while the more remote areas can sometimes lack a good signal.
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About Thailand’s telco providers
All operators offer prepaid SIM cards, and you can buy them from stores, supermarkets, kiosks, drug stores and official outlets as well as at the Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and Udon Thani international airports. 2G, 3G and 4G plans are available on all networks for unlocked GSM phones. You can buy a SIM card by showing your passport, and your telephone number is already active when you purchase it. To add credit, there are several prepaid card machines around various towns and cities, and vouchers are stocked in corner stores and supermarkets.
Below, we have broken down each telco provider to highlight exactly what they can offer you during your stay in Thailand.
AIS is the largest provider in Thailand and offers customers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores or approved resellers, and credit can also be picked up from the same retailers or by using your credit card online. There are two different prepaid SIM cards available: “1-2-1 Call” and “you! Mobile”. Dial *700# <call> and choose option 5 to change the language option to English; otherwise all prompts and notifications will be in Thai. Top-ups can be made in varying amounts between THB50 and THB500. Dial *120*<16-digit voucher PIN># to add credit. Dial *121*3# to check your balance.
The following options are available on the “1-2-1-Call" SIM card:
- Super Play 4G: THB15 which comes with 1GB of data
- Zeed 4G: THB100 which comes with 500MB of data, 2GB of YouTube data, valid for 1 month. AIS Super Wi-Fi is also included.
- Super Social 4G: THB100 which comes with unlimited Facebook, LINE, Kakao Talk, WeChat, BeeTalk, WhatsApp and Twitter plus 1G of data.
- Net SIM 4G: THB100 for the data-only SIM card, which comes with 1GB of data.
AIS also offers a popular “traveller SIM card” for tourists. The following three options are available:
Traveller SIM THB49: Free SuperWi-Fi for 7 days, THB15 worth of credit and extra bonuses.
Traveller SIM THB299: Free unlimited Internet for 8 days, THB100 worth of credit and THB1-per-minute calls, plus extra bonuses.
Traveller SIM THB599: Free unlimited Internet for 15 days, THB100 worth of credit and THB1-per-minute calls, plus extra bonuses.
The data packs below can be added to the traveller SIM card:
|THB9.63||Unlimited Wi-Fi||1 hour||*777*380#|
Social media packs are also available:
- Facebook: THB29 per week, activation: *777*91#
- Line: THB19 per week, activation: *777*97#
- WhatsApp: THB19 per week, activation: *777*93#
The following “Net SIM” data-only packs are available:
- 2GB per week, free AIS SuperWi-Fi: THB99 (default pack)
- 1GB per month: THB299, *777*3002# to activate
- 2GB per month: THB399, *777*3003# to activate
- 3GB per month: THB499, *777*3004# to activate
- 5GB per month: THB699, *777*3005# to activate
- 8GB per month: THB899, *777*3006# to activate
- 14GB per month: THB1,099, *777*3007# to activate
AIS also has thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots dotted around Thailand. The table below shows which packs can be used on prepaid SIM cards to access the Wi-Fi points:
AIS also provides a selection of roaming offers that can be used across southeast Asia. Check stores for the latest deals.
AIs’s APN: internet, website: www.ais.co.th
dtac is the second-largest provider in Thailand and offers customers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores or approved resellers, and credit can also be picked up from the same retailers or by using your credit card online. dtac prepaid SIM cards are called the “Happy” SIM. The following options can be purchased:
- Super 4G SIM: THB150 per month top-ups will give a selection of bonuses on voice and data credit. Check promos at time of purchase, as these deals often change.
- Social Hero SIM: THB100 per month. Free social media use and 1GB data for 7 days.
The following data packs can also be added to prepaid SIM cards:
|24 hours||THB19||500MB||@ 64Kbps||n/a||*104*881*9#|
|7 days||THB79||600MB||@ 128Kbps||*104*883*9#|
|30 days||THB199||1.5GB||Default rate||*104*853*9#|
These social media packs can also be added:
- Facebook for 1 day: THB5, *104*405*9#
- Facebook, WhatsApp and Line for 1 day + 150MB: THB12, *103*242*9#
- WhatsApp for 1 week: THB19, *104*88*9#
- Line for 1 week: THB19, *104*421*9#
- Facebook, WhatsApp and Line for 1 week + 75MB: THB69, *104*512*9#
dtac tourist SIM cards are a great option for travellers:
- Happy Tourist SIM 299: THB299, THB100 credit, valid for 35 days and "unlimited" Internet for 7 days
- Happy Tourist SIM 599: THB599, THB100 credit, valid for 35 days and "unlimited" Internet for 15 days
The following data can be added to the tourist SIM card:
- THB229: 1GB, 30 minutes voice, valid for 7 days
- THB429: 4GB, 30 minutes voice, valid for 30 days
- THB700: 6GB, 50 minutes voice, valid for 30 days
Wi-Fi passes can also be purchased, and they include the use of the Wi-Fi hotspots for unlimited data:
- THB19: 1 hour, activation: *104*619*9#
- THB39: 24 hours, activation: *104*639*9#
- THB69: 30 days, activation: *104*669*9#
- THB99: 30 days including Wi-Fi offered by the 3BB provider, activation: *104*699*9#
dtac’s APN: www.dtac.co.th, and website: www.dtac.co.th
TrueMove H is Thailand's smallest operator but offers some great prepaid plan prices. It provides customers with 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores or approved resellers, and credit can also be picked up from the same retailers or by using your credit card online.
Its prepaid SIM cards come in the following options:
These data packs can also be added:
- THB59: 500MB for 7 days, *900*8923#
- THB79: 1GB for 7 days, *900*8924#
- THB99: 1GB for 15 days, *990*8925#
- THB150: 1GB for 30 days, *990*8903#
- THB199: 5GB for 30 days with auto-renewal, *990*8813#
- THB299: 10GB for 30 days with auto-renewal, *990*8814#
TrueMove H also offers a 4G/LTE-only SIM card:
As well, there is a tourist SIM card available that comes in different sizes:
- Starter Pack: THB49, 90MB data, THB20 call credit, valid for 30 days.
- Value Pack: THB299, unlimited data, THB100 call credit, valid for 7 days.
The following data bundles are also available:
TrueMove H’s APN: internet, and website: https://www.truemove-h.com/
Some top tips from finder.com.au staff
- The official language is Thai. If you don’t speak Thai, you may want to download Google Translate onto your phone before you travel. Not all local residents speak English.
- Locals call a SIM card a “chip” or “SIM”.
- Ask the sellers to set up the SIM for you, because they will know how to do it. If not, follow the instructions we have highlighted above or go to the official operator website to get advice.
- Get to the stores early to receive better assistance and avoid the crowds!
TripAdvisor tips for the best SIM cards and where to buy them
While it’s well known for reviews, booking hotels, flights and holidays, TripAdvisor also has many user comments that can help guide you through what SIM cards have been tried and tested in Thailand.
“You can get a basic SIM for free at the airport, but it’s better to buy a data/calls package from one of the big three, which all have booths in the arrivals hall. AIS, DTAC, TrueMove. Usually, after the card is put in the phone, you wait a very short time and you'll get a welcome SMS telling you the service is activated. The staff will help you.”
“The operators have special tourist SIM packages which are easy to buy but you may find it difficult to extend their validity past the standard validity period (typically 7 or 15) days. This would be inconvenient if you want to keep the same number for repeated visits.”
“They can sell you the appropriate SIM given your needs... Just make sure your phone is "unlocked" and can accept a Thai SIM as these shops don't do any 'servicing' of phones.”
Pros and cons of Thailand’s top telco providers
- Good value for money
- Prepaid credit when required
- No in-store contract needed
- Could be compatible with your current phone
- Some areas can suffer from bad coverage
- No phone devices offered with the SIM card packages
- Can only be used on SIM-unlocked GSM phones
Had more questions about finding the best SIM?
Q: What about other SIM card providers in Thailand?
A: There are several smaller carriers providing SIM cards in Thailand, including My, Penguin SIM, Open by i-mobile and Tune Talk. These are all run through the base providers we have highlighted above. Although you may find slightly different deals and plans, we feel it’s always better to stick with the main providers. However, if you do find a better deal on one of these operators, the service can be trusted.