Almost every tourist that travels to Thailand wants to buy a Thai SIM card, but which one? If you did not gather some information before your trip you are relying on the sales guys at the airport. Can you trust them? Nope! So here is your guide to what is the best Thai SIM card for travellers.
Why buy a Thailand tourist SIM?
Travelling in Thailand is fairly easy nowadays with so many tourists agencies around. A place to sleep can easily be found, good food is always around the corner and transportation can be booked in every street. Then why do you need a Thai SIM card?
First of all to simply be online. I am an internet addicted and I should be, as a blogger I constantly want to be online. For me it is not just a way of keeping in touch with my family and friends it is work as well. So a travel sim is vital! Want to know my tips & tricks about how to get temporary internet access while traveling? Check the link for great travel tips about having internet abroad.
But even if you are not an internet addict it is handy to have a Thai SIM card. Think about emergency situations, meeting up with fellow travellers or using Google Maps to find directions. It makes travelling so much easier and it is really affordable! If you are not a fan a changing your SIM card, then Teppy is probably something for you!
For example I always buy 4.5 GB data package 4G speed for $12 valid for 1 month. Calling rate is 1THB per minute, which is $0,03, which provider? Read down below and find out what I think is the best sim card for travelling in Thailand.
What is the best Thailand prepaid SIM card for tourist?
Are you planning to go to remote islands in Thailand or are you going visit the islands on The Banana Pancake Trail? Do you want a 4G internet connection? Different types of travellers and different types of SIM cards, find out which one suites you most.
There are 3 major suppliers in Thailand: True, DTAC and AIS. All of them have pros and cons, but their signal and 3G coverage is nowadays everywhere the same. So if you are going to the major touristy spots and you are not interested in 4G internet speed then simply choose the cheapest option of one of these 3 mobile companies. You will signs everywhere saying: 'Thailand SIM card for tourist'.
For travelling up north to places like Chiang Mai it only depends if you want to be connected to 4G or not. All providers have reliable coverage, though only True has a big 4G network in these areas, the others do not! So if you are going to travel on a motorbike in Thailand True might be a good option for you.
If you are you planning to go on a Thailand Island hopping adventure and still want to be connected to the world then do not choose AIS, their coverage on remote islands can be shit. DTAC is the SIM card you want for island hopping in the South of Thailand as they have the best coverage on islands. I also wrote a guide to the best sim card in Greece as with all those islands there it is pretty similar to Thailand. Every island has different network coverage so choose wise!
For the fastest internet you should get a SIM card of AIS, as their speed is by far the best, see the chart down below. Although their internet speed is very fast, their 4G coverage is very bad, see the maps. But staying in places like Phuket, Samui, Chiang Mai and Bangkok only, AIS is the best Thailand prepaid sim card for tourist.
If you are just like me addicted to the internet and 3G is not good enough anymore than True Move is your provider. They provide the best 4G coverage in Thailand, see the maps down below.
4G coverage of AIS
4g coverage of True
4G coverage of DTAC
Thailand SIM card for tourist
Heading to a specific area then go to www.opensignal.com and zoom in on your destination to find the best provider. Especially for long term travellers this tool is perfect to see what is the best thai sim card for nomads. The perfect example is myself. I know I was going to live in Koh Tao for 6 weeks, so I zoomed in. The fastest internet is provided by AIS, True has the biggest 4G network, but I chose DTAC. Why? DTAC is the only provider offering 4G in Koh Tao and therefore the best thailand prepaid sim card for tourist on this island.
I did my PADI divemaster training on Koh Tao and lived there for several months. Looking for cool things to do in Koh Tao? Check out my blog: Things to do in Koh Tao Besides Diving. Heard bad stories about Koh Tao in the news? We all did! Read here about my experiences as the famous Koh Tao murders found place on my birthday while I was on the island.
Planning to stay for longer than a week in Thailand then head to a phone shop rather than the 7Eleven. Prices drop for monthly plans, but they don’t sell them at the 7Eleven. In Thailand the golden rule applies as well: do not buy a bangkok airport SIM card, but buy your SIM card in Bangkok itself! No matter which country you are travelling to, never buy a SIM card on the airport as they are always rip offs compared to what they offer in the city. They often lure you with free SIM, but remember nothing is for free especially in touristy countries in South East Asia! ;)
Some countries like the USA sell 'locked' iPhones and therefore buying an international SIM card is not an option. Or may be you are not convinced exchanging your SIM card for a Thai SIM card. In these cases I recommend you to take a look at Teppy a portable WiFi for smartphones, laptops and tablets. It is a very convenient and reliable internet source while traveling and sometimes easier than going all the way and buying a new SIM card and getting a new phone number. Click here to learn more about TEP Wireless.
Probably flying to Bangkok right? Check out my Fun Things To Do In Bangkok with tips like wakeboarding and the famous train market.
This article is based on my own experiences between January and October 2016. Keep in mind that Thai mobile providers are constantly upgrading their coverage, changing their rates and providing better and faster internet.
If you would like to save the hassle buying a Sim card in Thailand then you might want to order it up front. Simeasy.com will send you a Thai sim card home so once you land you can straight away connect to the internet and find your Uber driver! Click here to purchase your sim card for Thailand in advance through simeasy.com.
I have already collected more than 40 stamps of this lovely country in my passport. How I afford to travel for years? Click on the link and read my story and tips how to stay on the road as long as me! Let me help you planning your next Thailand itinerary and take a look at my blogs about the land of the smile on my Thailand Page. Curious why I have been to Thailand 17 times? Read more about me and my 5 year around the world trip on my About page. I also wrote an article for a prepaid sim card in Turkey and the best prepaid sim card for Bali.
Want to keep up with Traveltomtom? Read my weekly returning adventures, like for example:
- Exploring Nusa Penida on a motorbike
- Trying Magic Mushrooms in Gili Trawangan
- Climbing Mount Rinjani in Lombok
That is me living on the edge! Dont waste time, live now...