Travel Guide: Where to buy a SIM card for travel in Thailand 2022

You’ve finally touched down in Thailand after the hiccup caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. You’re excited about the change to travel again or possibly call Thailand your new home. You reach for your phone to call a cab, but wait, you don’t want to turn on roaming and you can’t connect to WiFi. What to do?

Buying a Thai SIM card with a Thai phone number is simple. All of the country’s major mobile network service providers have special offers specifically for travelers. All you’ll need is an unlocked phone, a wad of baht, and your passport. To simplify your decision-making process, we’ve created a guide to phone providers in Thailand.

A short-term, or tourist sim, starts at 149 baht for 4 days, with unlimited data at a max speed of 5Gbps. That’s followed by plans costing 299 baht for 8 days, and 599 baht for 15 days. There is also a pay-as-you-go option, costing just 49 baht per SIM card.

Who are the providers?

There are three main providers in Thailand: DTAC,AIS and TRUE MOVE. All three companies will have many packages to choose from, including short-term SIM cards for travelers called Tourist or Traveller SIM cards. There will be packages for those who will be here long-term, too, either between pre or post-paid. Whichever provider you choose, we recommend you to install their app on your phone so you can easily top up, manage your data usage and receive special promotions.

Where should you get the SIM card?

In most cases, getting a SIM card will require your passport, as most carriers activate the SIM card under your name as written on your passport and your passport number.

If you’re just in Thailand for a short vacation, buying a temporary plan at the airport is probably the best choice. Currently, you can find pop-up SIM card booths at the Suvarnabhumi Airport inside the baggage claim area. There’ll you can get tourist-oriented deals that include internet, minutes, and texts for short periods.

These booths used to be located outside in the arrivals hall after exiting baggage claim. But due to the hall being used to accommodate arrivals for the Test & Go program, all the booths that used to be located on the ground floor near the entryway have since been boarded up and only select businesses have relocated to inside the baggage claim area.

The potential problem with this is you’ll be unable to purchase a SIM card if you don’t already have some Thai baht on you or are unable to find a currency exchange both inside the baggage claim as well. So make sure to visit your local bank all exchange your local currency for at least a few thousand baht before you travel here.

For longer stays, whether it’s an extended vacation or you’re planning to live here, it’s preferable to buy your plan straight from a carrier’s official store. There you’ll find a range of plans that will meet your requirements at a better cost.

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