Excited for your trip to Thailand? I envy you! With 17 passport stamps it is my most visited country! Anyway, don't get stuck with high roaming charges. A local prepaid sim card in Thailand is cheap and there is 5G everywhere. Here is your guide for buying a sim card in Thailand with the best 4G/5G network, up to date prices as per February 2022, where to buy one, my recommendation and even information about e-sim cards for Thailand.
Having this crazy idea to visit every country I get to a lot of countries and airports and everywhere I go I write a local prepaid sim card guide to help you get the best internet and save money on roaming charges. On Traveltomtom you can find sim card guides from Europe, Cameroon, Pakistan, Egypt, Costa Rica, Panama, Kenya, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Tbilisi, Istanbul, Milan, Madrid, Jeddah, Muscat, Bahrain, etc.
Next time you are planning a trip abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the best prepaid sim card advice. Bookmark this website!
Why buy a sim card in Thailand
Traveling in Thailand is fairly easy with so many travel agencies, trains, boats, busses, cheap domestic flights in Thailand and uncountable affordable hotels. Good food on every street corner and even fast and free WiFi everywhere. Then why do you need a Thailand sim card?
Can you imagine a life without being connected. Have you tried it before? Not being able to open Google Maps for directions, unable to order an Uber, find a nearby restaurant. Life is just so much easier and definitely when you are new somewhere and are not familiar. Also in case of emergencies when your bank card isn't working, all these kind of things. Simply stay connected, it will make your trip to Thailand much easier.
Overseas data roaming plans limit your speed, did you know that? And why pay $5 per day when you get 10 GB data in Thailand for $5? Forget about roaming charges! Buying a prepaid sim card and installing it takes just a couple minutes and you are all set with the fastest 5G network connection and a lot of data for little money!
Keep in mind that a Thailand sim card will only work in an unlocked phone! So make sure your phone is unlocked when you travel to Thailand if you want to use a local prepaid sim card. If you are not sure about this contact your provider in your home country!
Traveltomtom recommends a True Move sim card for Thailand. They have an amazing 4G/5G network together with AIS, but a True Move sim card is much more affordable than an AIS prepaid sim card.
E-sim card for Thailand
Unmistakably the best way to get internet when traveling in 2022 is an e-sim card! No need to swap sim cards, go to a store or activate data packages anymore. When buying an e-sim card for Thailand you will receive a code on your phone, follow the instructions, enter the code, change the settings and you can connect to a local network in Thailand, simple as that, all software. Check out the following amazing Thailand e-sim card deals:
- UNLIMITED data for 8 days = $9.90 USD
- UNLIMITED data for 15 days = $19.95 USD
For less than $20 you can be done for your whole Thailand trip and don't need to worry about anything anymore. Click here to directly order an e-sim card for Thailand or find more info.
You can also order a physical sim card for Thailand and get it shipped to your home address. An example is the AIS sim card with 30 GB data for 15 days plus some calling credit for $24.90 USD. Click here to directly order this AIS or one of the other physical sim cards for Thailand.
Mobile internet providers Thailand
There are 3 major suppliers in Thailand: True, DTAC and AIS. If you are visiting the standard tourist destinations in Thailand you are going to be covered with a very strong 4G/5G signal.
Back in 2014 when you were you planning a Thailand Island hopping adventure I would tell you NOT to choose an AIS prepaid sim card. Now in 2022 the table are turned and AIS has the best 4G/5G network in Thailand.
All Thailand mobile internet providers have great network coverage all over the country, even at off the beaten path places.
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Mobile Internet Speed Thailand
It is no wonder that the fastest mobile internet is provided by True Move and AIS. DTAC's 5G signal coverage is poor compared to its competitors. Whenever you are traveling to Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Koh Tao or Bangkok, the major tourist destinations in Thailand you will be pretty much be enjoying fast mobile internet.
Best 4G/5G network in Thailand in 2022
Are you ready for a full 5G experience. You might not expected it but Thailand is one of the most advanced countries when it comes to 5G. There is a 5G signal almost everywhere. Let's have a look at the 4G/5G coverage maps for mobile internet in Thailand updated per February 2022.
AIS Thailand 4G/5G network
True Move Thailand 4G/5G network
DTAC Thailand 4G/5G network
What you can see on the above coverage maps for Thailand is that every operator has a more than excellent 4G signal all over the country! However, DTAC is really staying behind when it comes to upgrading their 5G network. It is difficult to say who has the best 5G network in Thailand. It is a very close call between AIS and True Move H but AIS has the most extensive and strongest 4G/5G network in Thailand.
Check out these 68 funny & interested facts about Thailand!
Prices for prepaid sim card packages in Thailand in 2022
DTAC offers 2 prepaid sim card deals for tourists and although it says unlimited data, don't be fooled! Yeah unlimited on E network speed. I call this false advertisement as it was really hard to find out, but again it is NOT unlimited data!
- 15 GB data for 8 days + 15 THB calling credit = 299 THB ($9.2)
- 30 GB data for 15 days + 15 THB calling credit = 599 THB ($18.3)
For more info about the DTAC Happy Tourist sim click here.
There are 3 AIS Traveller sim cards available, which are all 5G ready:
- 15 GB data + free social media + 15 THB calling credit for 8 days = 299 THB ($9.2)
- 30 GB data + free social media + 15 THB calling credit for 15 days = 599 THB ($18.3)
- 300 GB data + free social media + 15 THB calling credit for 30 days = 1,250 THB ($38)
For more info about the AIS Traveller sim cards click here.
There are 2 different True Move H prepaid sim card deals:
- unlimited social media apps (Instagram, FB, Twitter, Whatsapp, Snapchat, etc*) = 49 THB ($1.5)
- 20 GB data (4G speed)** = 120 THB ($3.7)
*Youtube and Tiktok are not included. **20 GB at 4G speed and then unlimited at E-network speed (useless).
Having free social media apps for 30 days for just $1.5 is of course insanely CHEAP!
For using Safari, Chrome, Google Maps, Uber, etc. you will need to top up. These are the 5G data pacakges:
- 5 GB data for 30 days = 199 THB ($6)
- 30 GB data for 30 days = 399 THB ($12.2)
For more info about a True Move prepaid sim card click on the link.
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Best Thailand prepaid sim card in 2022
After my comparison of the Thailand prepaid sim cards I come to the following conclusions:
- DTAC has by far the weakest 5G network.
- AIS keeps it simple at has no data speed limits.
- AIS is the most expensive.
- True Move has data speed limits and it is unclear when you get 4G and when 5G data speed.
Taking everything in consideration Traveltomtom recommends a True Move H prepaid sim card for Thailand. You will get free social media apps for 49 THB and when you then add another 5 GB data you are pretty much set for 30 days for a total price of $7.5 USD or for 30 GB data you pay a total of $13.7 USD for 30 days.
The best prepaid sim card in Thailand in 2022 is AIS, they are however also much more expensive than True Move and DTAC. For basically everything unlimited you pay $38 USD.
Where to buy your Thailand prepaid sim card
Buying a sim card at Bangkok and other International airports in Thailand
No matter which country you are travelling to a SIM card at the airport is always a little more expensive! But well worth the couple bucks as you will be online in no time! Every international airport in Thailand has official DTAC, AIS and True Move stores at arrivals. Check the exact locations below:
- Suvarnabhumi International Airport Bangkok (BKK): International Arrivals Terminal 2nd Floor and International Arrivals Hall around Baggage Claim No. 18.
- Don Mueang International Airport Bangkok (DMK): Arrival Floor, between Terminal 1 and 2, also at International Arrivals Hall between Exit 2 and 6.
- Phuket International Airport (HKT): International Terminal 1st floor.
- Samui International Airport (USM): Arrival Hall 1st floor.
- Mae Fah Luang, Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI): Passenger Terminal 1st floor between Domestic Hall & International Arrivals Hall.
Free sim card for Thailand
They often lure you with a free sim card for Thailand and even hand them out at the airport in Bangkok, but remember nothing is for free! These free Thailand sim cards are just a gift but there is hardly any credit on it and when putting them in your phone they tell you straight away to top up.
Official retail stores
Wherever you go you will stumble upon a DTAC, True Move or AIS store. Just go to Google Maps and find the nearest store, there are uncountable!. Data plans will be explained very well, English is spoken, prices are fixed and they will activate it for you on the spot within a couple minutes. Every shopping mall in Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Krabi and Koh Samui has mobile phone shops.
Convenient stores: 7Eleven, Family Mart, Tesco
In Thailand you can buy a sim card at mostly every well known convenience store: 7Eleven only sells, DTAC and True Move. Family Mart and Tesco also sells AIS. But it is NOT that convenient as it may seem!
The hard thing about buying a Thailand sim card in a convenient store is to find someone who can really help you activate your prepaid data package! People working in convenient stores speak ok English, but mostly not enough to help you out.
Traveltomtom does not recommend buying a Thailand sim card in a convenience store! As there is no service agent to help you, you have to activate it yourself basically and packages are mostly displayed in Thai language. Good luck! :)
What to bring if you buy a sim card in Thailand?
Years ago you could easily buy a sim card in Thailand without any identification, but nowadays they changed a couple rules. If you purchase a sim card in Thailand they will need your passport. Still street vendors sell prepaid data packages without any identification needed, but the official resellers will need your passport. So always bring your it when you are going to buy a sim card in Thailand. They will take a copy in the store or take a photo of it for their administration.
How to get around Thailand
Buy your bus, boat, train and flight tickets online and let 12Go Asia search the best way. No more paper tickets, this is a game changer! Easy, fast, reliable and convenient. Try it below yourself!
Order a sim card for Thailand online
Forget about all this when you buy a Thailand sim card online before your trip. Order an international sim card that covers Thailand and get this pre-registered sim card send to your home address before your trip. Plug and play on arrival! Check out the following sim card deals for Thailand:
- 3 GB data
- 15 THB credit for calling or texting
- Valid 8 days
- 30 GB data!
- 15 THB credit for calling or texting
- Valid 15 days
- 3 GB data
- FREE Social Media
- 100 minutes calling
- Valid for 8 days
- Price $11.49
Click on the links above for more info or to directly order one of these international sim cards!
Keep in mind that Thai mobile providers are constantly upgrading their coverage, changing their rates and providing better and faster internet. Let me know if you find anything that changed over time and I am happy to add it to my article.
Before you go I want you to consider reading the following blog with everything you need to know about traveling in Thailand! From visas to vaccinations, island hopping to jungle trekking, elephant sanctuaries to affordable luxury hotels, the best hostels, electricity plugs, street food tips and many more things. This is you complete guide full of Thailand travel tips!
If you have any specific questions about traveling to Thailand then don't hesitate to send me a message on my Instagram account @traveltomtom. Be aware that this could create some serious wanderlust as I am on a journey to visit every country in the world. AS of February 2022 I have visited more than 120 countries.
Enjoy your trip to Thailand!