Last Updated: March 23, 2023

Best Sim Cards For Thailand: Which One Is Right For You?

Planning a trip to Thailand and looking to stay connected while you travel? Luckily for you, Thailand has a 5G network you can tap into all over the country and Thailand prepaid sim cards are super affordable, so which one is the best for you?

Join me as we run through everything you need to know to buy the best sim card Thailand has to offer. We will look at the top Thailand prepaid sim card deals as costs, coverage, things to be aware of and lots more.

By the end of the article, you will know which Thailand sim card is right for you, where to buy it, how to activate it, and lots more.

Best Sim Card in Thailand


AIS Thailand

AIS is one of the top Thai mobile providers offering reliable coverage all over the country and access to free WiFi on their WiFi networks around the country too, saving your mobile data.

You can buy an AIS sim card at AIS stores as well as other spots such as the airport, grocery stores, and even the post offices.

AIS sim cards work with all unlocked GMS phones and you can choose from a lot of different data plans. You will have to pay for the sim card though, luckily it is only $1.55.

AIS Prepaid Sim Card Options

The data plans for an AIS Thailand sim card vary by length (days) and price for data. You will have to have remaining credit on your sim card to call and SMS (1 Baht per min local call, SMS 3 Baht local, 5 Baht international).

For a 15-day plan, you can get between 1 GB and 5 GB of data for 200 to 340 baht ($6.20 to $10.52). 30-day plans can come with 1 GB to 12 GB of data for 220 to 860 baht ($7 to $27)

AIS also offers a Thailand sim card specifically designed for travelers. The Traveler SIM 1 costs just 599 baht ($19) and gives you unlimited data for 15 days and 30 days of local baht credit.

The Traveler SIM 2 prepaid sim card costs just 299 baht ($9) and comes with 8 days of unlimited data and 30 days of local baht credit.



DATC is the second largest mobile network provider in Thailand and another good provider to get your Thailand sim card through. You will have excellent 5G coverage with a DTAC prepaid sim card and they offer very affordable rates too.

The only downsides are their prepaid sim cards for tourists do not last very long with options for a 7-day, 8-day, and 15-day sim card package.

DTAC Prepaid Sim Card Options

DTAC offers happy tourist sim cards that are super affordable and provides reliable and fast connections all over the country. Here are the best of their sim cards to take a look at.

Happy Tourist 1 costs just 299 baht ($9) and comes with 8 days of unlimited data and 100 baht of free calling credit. You also get unlimited calls to other Happy Tourist SIM 1, ideal if you are traveling as a group and all get these sim cards.

The Happy Tourist 2 sim cards come with 15 days of unlimited data and 100 baht of free calling credit for just 599 baht ($19). This is ideal for longer trips and heavy data usage.

If you are looking for a super budget option, the Happy Tourist 3 sim cards might be best for you. You can get 7 days of unlimited data plus free calls to other people with the Happy Tourist 3 sims for just 199 baht ($6).

For anyone staying for 30 days, there are also some DTAC Tourist sim card options to suit you. The Light User Tourist sim card gives you 3 GB of data and 30 mins of calls for 429 baht ($13) for 30 days.

The Heavy User Tourist sim gives you 6 GB of data and 5 mins of calls for 700 baht ($22) for 30 days.

True Move

True Move

True Move is the third largest network provider in Thailand and has pretty good 5G coverage all over the country but it is not as reliable as DTAC or AIS.

Also, True Move only offers some rather strange packages with their sim card for Thailand, but they are insanely affordable, so there is a balance to play here.

True Move Thai Tourist Sim Options

There are only two True Move prepaid sim card options for you to choose from. With the respective deals, you then have to add baht credit to your account to use your mobile phone as usual.

Their best deal costs just 49 baht ($1.5) and gives you unlimited use of social media apps such as Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook for 24 hours. This is an insanely cheap deal and it can be upgraded.

For 299 baht ($9) you can get free social media apps and 15 GB of data for 8 days.

For 599 baht you can get free social media apps and 30 GB of data for 15 days.

You also have the option of just adding data packages to your True Move sim card. Buy 5 GB of data for 199 baht ($6) or 30 GB of data for 399 baht ($12) and both last for 30 days.

As you can see, True Move offers the best-prepaid sim card deals when compared to both AIS and DTAC sim cards.

Is It Essential to Buy A Sim Card in Thailand?

I would say it is essential to buy a sim card in Thailand for your travels, and this is for numerous reasons which I run through below.

Access to free WiFi in Thailand isn’t as easy as it is in North America, Europe, Australia or New Zealand, so surviving off free WiFi alone is not so easy in Thailand.

This makes having a Thai sim card pretty essential if you want to stay connected to the mobile internet. Also, without access to mobile internet, life becomes challenging.

We use our mobile phones for everything these days from staying in touch with loved ones at home, making travel bookings, using Google Maps for navigating, and lots more. Traveling around Thailand without these tools in the palm of your hands will make life a lot harder.

When you consider the sim card cost in Thailand (they are super cheap), using the best Thailand sim card for your travels will be way more affordable than using data roaming on your sim card from home.

Overall, for less than $30 you can have as much data as you need with Thai sim cards for a month, and use your phone just like you would at home. Getting one is a no-brainer in my eyes!

Things to Know Before Buying A Sim Card in Thailand

nano sim card

Is Your Phone Unlocked?

In order to use a Thai sim card you must have an unlocked phone. Chances are your phone is already unlocked but it is worth making sure of this before you travel to Thailand.

If you bought your phone yourself outside of a contract, then it should be unlocked. If you got your phone for free with a contract, chances are it is locked.

To check, call your provider and ask them to unlock your phone, it should only take a few minutes to do.

Are You Using A GSM Phone?

Mobile phones use either GSM or CDMA in order to communicate with mobile networks. GSM phones will not work on CDMA networks, and vice versa, so you have to have the right phone for the right network.

All networks in the world outside of North America use GSM and GSM phones, if you are not traveling from North America, will have a GSM phone and it will work in Thailand.

If your phone is linked to a North American network, there is a chance it could be CDMA. Sprint and Verizon phones might be CDMA, whereas other North American networks use GSM.

If you have a CDMA phone, you will need a different phone in order to use a Thailand sim card. Buying a cheap GSM might be the best option or you can look into the best eSims for Thailand.

Requirements When Buying A Sim Card in Thailand

sim cards

In order to buy a sim card in Thailand you will need to be able to pay for the sim card and provide your passport as ID. Your passport will be used to register the sim card to you.

How to Buy A Sim Card in Thailand

Buying A Sim Card Before Traveling to Thailand

Buying a physical sim card before traveling to Thailand is impossible if you want to have a local sim card on AIS, DTAC, or True Move networks.

However, you can buy an eSim online before you travel as well as an international sim card, but the packages are usually a lot more expensive, so it is best to wait until you get to Thailand.

Buying A Sim Card in Thailand

You can buy a sim card in Thailand almost anywhere. Sim cards are for sale at most international airports in the country but the data packages available at the airport tend to be more expensive.

Your best bet is to buy a sim card at a convenience store, AIS/DTAC/True Move store, or kiosk outside of the airport. You’ll get the best deals but have to wait a little while to be connected.

I always ask my taxi driver to take me to a place to buy a sim card on the way to my accommodation so I get online quickly after landing.

How Much Does A Sim Card in Thailand Cost?

Buying just a physical sim card in Thailand costs around $1.50. Once you have the sim, you can then add the data packages you want to it, which we have run through above.

Luckily, all the data packages in Thailand are insanely cheap and you can have as much data as you need for around $30 with some providers.

How to Activate & Top Up Your Thai Sim Card

If you buy your sim card at a service provider’s store, it will be activated for you, and all prepaid tourist sims come activated.

During the registration process where you give your passport details, ask the store to also activate your phone and top it up with credit too.

If you need to top up your phone after this you can do so at a 7-Eleven store, Boonterm machines, and any service provider store/kiosk.

Internet Speed & Coverage in Thailand

Thailand pretty much has 5G available all over the country so you will have fast speeds and reliable coverage pretty much everywhere you travel.

AIS offers the best coverage in Thailand. If you need to work while you travel and simply want to be connected as much as possible, stick with AIS.

More Tips for Using A Thai Sim Card

sim card slot

  • Avoid buying your sim card at the airport as it is more expensive
  • Avoid buying your sim card at a 7-Eleven as they are more expensive
  • Buy an AIS sim for the best coverage
  • Buy your sim at a service provider store for an easy process and the best offers
  • Make sure your sim is topped up and activated at the place you buy it

Frequently Asked Questions

Which cellular network is best in Thailand?

AIS is the largest mobile network provider in Thailand and is the best when it comes to speed, coverage, and reliable connection.

DTAC and True Move are also pretty good and True Move offers some of the best prices for data packages.

Can I get a sim card at Bangkok airport?

Yes, you can buy a sim card at Bangkok airport but the data packages available can be more expensive than buying them outside of the airport.

Can I get unlimited data in Thailand?

Yes, unlimited data is available in Thailand with both AIS and DTAC providers, just be sure to ask for the unlimited data plans when you buy your sim card.

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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