If you are planning a trip to Thailand you are probably wondering how to stay connected to cellular data while you are there.
You have a few options, the old ones being using data roaming or a local traditional sim card. But, data roaming is super expensive and local sim cards come with a ton of hassle. So there has to be a better way, right?
At A Glance: Our Favorite eSims for Thailand
Well, there is, with the best eSim for Thailand. With a Thailand eSim you get the affordability of a local sim card without the hassle. And, you save a lot compared to data roaming.
So, what are eSims, why should you get one, and which Thailand eSim is right for you? All your questions will be answered below.
|SEE ON AIRALO →|
Another Unlimited Data Option
|SEE ON HOLAFLY →|
Very Affordable eSims
|SEE ON NOMAD →|
|SEE ON AIRHUB →|
|SEE ON UBIGI →|
|SEE ON MTX CONNECT →|
|SEE ON MOGO →|
Airola is one of the top global eSim providers. Their coverage and connection speeds around the world are excellent and their customer support is great too. If you are looking for an international eSim, they are a solid bet.
Airalo offers two Dtac Happy Tourist eSim data plans for Thailand and both are the Dtac Happy Tourist eSim. You can choose to have
Both of these plans are super affordable and having unlimited data means you don’t have to worry about limiting your browsing.
There is also the option of buying one of the Asia Plans as well. Such an option is great if you cross borders a lot in Asia. They range from 1 GB (7 days) to 100GB (180 days) and cover these countries: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, China / Hong Kong / Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, and South Korea.
Holafly is in the business of providing unlimited data eSims all around the world, and usually, they are one of, if the only provider doing so for particular countries.
But, in the case of their Thailand eSim options, they are actually very expensive compared to other eSim providers.
Holafly’s Thailand eSim options start at unlimited data for
Note: we have a 5% discount if you click on these links or use EXPERTWORLDTRAVEL at checkout
When you compare this to Airhub, it is very expensive.
Another thing about a Holafly eSim is that they don’t allow hotspots or data sharing with their unlimited data.
Nomad is also a great provider to get a Thailand eSim from. Their coverage and speeds are solid as they partner with Truphone and AIS network providers.
Nomad offers a large range of Thailand eSim plans. You have a total of 5 to choose from all of which are for 30 days.
both of which are reasonable. There are also lots of plans in between, all costing about $1.5-2.5 per GB. The most reasonable is the 20GB for $30.
Unfortunately, they do not offer unlimited data options at the moment, but this may change in the future.
My biggest beef with Nomad compared to Airalo though is their lack of warnings when you are about to run out of data or time. Airalo sends great reminders which has saved me more than once from running out while on the road.
Airhub is an eSim comparison website that offers a great range of Thailand eSims for you to choose from.
Their carriers include DTAC and AIS, both of which offer great coverage and speeds in Thailand.
The Airhub eSim options are incredibly affordable. Their two best are 15GB/15 days with some free calling minutes for $9 and 30GB/30 days with some free calling minutes for $17.50.
30GB/30-days or $17.50 is an insanely affordable plan and you probably won’t run out of data either.
UBIGI is a good global eSim provider but they are relatively new and don’t have the partnerships in place to get the more affordable prices other providers do.
Their coverage is good, and their connections are fast and reliable, but they are expensive, especially when it comes to their Thailand eSim. Ubigi has one Thailand eSim plan and it is not cheap.
In fact, if you want a Thailand plan from them, you might as well go with the Asia plan as it is the same price. So, if you happen to cross the border to Cambodia during your trip, you are covered.
MTX Connect offers a good range of Thailand eSim options and as a provider, they are both fast, reliable, and have good customer support if anything doesn’t work.
But, I have to say, MTX Connect has priced themselves out of the market with their Thailand eSim options and are much more expensive than most of the other providers featured here.
Their data plans start at 350MB/1-day for $3.67 and go up to 10GB/30-days for $63.15 with 7 and 14-day options in between. This is a lot per GB when compared to the likes of Airhub offering unlimited data for $17.50.
Mogo is a great provider at first but the more data you use the slower their connection gets, which is a bit cheeky.
Their coverage is great in Thailand and their customer support is good enough, plus setting up their eSim is easy.
But, again, Mogo is expensive when it comes to their Thailand eSim options. Their lowest offering is 1GB/15-days for $4 and it goes up to 30GB/90-days for $60.
While these prices aren’t bad, they are still a long way off the unlimited data plans of the other providers.
There are a ton of benefits to getting a Thailand eSim compared to using data roaming or a local sim card.
The first is affordability. The prepaid eSim data plans available for Thailand are incredibly affordable, much more so than data roaming and equivalent to a local sim card.
The next benefit of a Thailand eSim is convenience. You can buy your Thailand eSim before you get there and activate it as soon as you get into the country. You will be online in a matter of minutes without having to find a sim card shop, queuing, swapping sim cards, or topping up.
You can also leave your sim card from home in your phone. This saves you from possibly losing it and it allows you to receive texts and calls on your normal home number.
This is so useful especially for things like bank transfers that send you a text to confirm you are not being scammed.
The final benefit of a Thailand eSim is that it is much more eco-friendly than buying a local sim. There is no packaging and you aren’t using a new sim that is made from metals mined in Africa.
Not all devices work with eSims and this is because eSims are rather new and actually need to be built into your phone or tablet.
An eSim stands for embedded sim card, so it’s not a bit of software, there is a physical eSim card inside your phone or tablet.
Supported devices are generally about 3 years old or less. But the device can’t be a budget smartphone or tablet either, it needs to be relatively high-end to have an eSim inside it. To give you an idea, the iPhone XS is the oldest iPhone with an eSim.
To check if your smartphones are compatible with eSims, simply dial this phone number *#06#. It will bring up all the unique data about your phone up including your IMEI number and perhaps an EID (Embedded Identity Document) number.
If you see an EID number then your phone will work with eSims. The next step is ensuring your phone is unlocked from your network provider. To do this, call your provider and ask, if it is locked, ask them to unlock it – it should only take a few minutes.
It is always wise to use an eSim provider that partners directly with local mobile operators in the country you are heading to. The reason being is that the local network operators provide the most coverage and fast connection speeds.
There are 3 local mobile operators allowing the use of eSims on their network and these include AIS, TrueMove H, & DTAC. These are the ones to look out for so you are on the best network with the best coverage.
Some of the best eSims may even allow you to add calling minutes and SMS to your eSim data plan so you can make phone calls and texts too on your Thailand eSim.
How much data you need from your Thailand eSim depends on how long you are going for and how much data you usually use.
The average data consumption across the globe is about 5GB per week per person but it can be as high as 20 GB per week if you do a lot of Instagramming and Netflix on your phone.
So, how do you work out the amount of data you use every week or month? You should be able to run a report on your phone that tells you this, and it will even break it down by app, showing you which ones are more data-heavy than others.
If your phone doesn’t do this, then you can ask your provider for a report. Once you know how many GB per week you use, choose a data plan to match for your Thailand eSim, taking into consideration how long you are going to be there.
Luckily data packages for a Thailand eSim are super affordable compared to other countries so you won’t have to worry about your data usage too much if you are on a small travel budget. You can get unlimited internet for $20.
As you know by now, eSims come with a limited number of days that they are valid for. Once activated, they can not be deactivated.
If you activate early before you get to Thailand, your Thailand eSim will start losing days and you have to add more data to make up for it.
Everyone in Thailand uses Whatsapp to communicate and the great thing about it is that it’s free and it only uses data to make phone calls and receive messages. It is the perfect app for a data eSim and you can make plans with local hotels and tour operators there with it too.
You can buy your Thailand eSim from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. Buy it either from the online store or app of your preferred Thailand eSim provider.
Here are the steps to follow:
Do not activate your eSim until you are in Thailand or you will start losing the number of days it works for.
Activating your eSim in Thailand is easy. All your need to do is be connected to the internet and enter your activation code or scan your QR code. You should then be on the internet via your phone within minutes.
The best eSim for Thailand in my eyes is either the 30GB/30-day plan from Airhubb for $17.50 or the Airalo unlimited data for 15 days plan for $20.
If you are a heavy data user then the Airalo plan is the way to go. If you can conserve your data and are in Thailand for more than 15 days, go with the Airhub plan.