In this Thailand sim card guide, I compared the three best providers, AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove H, in terms of pricing, Internet coverage in the country, and data speed.
Hi Trisha! I found your digital nomad blog through a friend here in Berlin and I must say wow you have traveled a lot in your life!!! I am particularly interested in all your Asia content since I have not been. Thank you for all the solo female travel and remote work tips. I can see that you go to Thailand a lot. What is the best Thailand sim card you recommend? I am getting mixed information and different recommendations among friends so I thought to ask you. Thank you so much in advance!Bernd Finkel, Germany
Thank you for the message and for supporting this blog! AIS is normally the preferred Thailand sim card but I’ve been using my DTAC sim for years so I did not change it to AIS. I realized I don’t want to collect hundreds of sim cards for every country I visit so I kept my Thai sim since I always go to this country.
I am only with DTAC because of the time I have been using it but you can opt for AIS if you want to. I’ve compared the three different top Thai sim card providers in this post so you can check what works well for you.
As usual, I can’t really decide what sim card works best for you as I don’t know how you use the Internet. If you are going to use it for Hotspot, definitely go for DTAC but if you are traveling around the whole country, AIS is great!
If you have any questions that weren’t answered here, I’d be happy to update this post – just let me know! Good luck on your trip and enjoy Thailand!
🙋 Questions about Thailand sim card? Ask me on Tiktok!
📡 Thailand sim card coverage
Thailand, a popular travel destination in Southeast Asia, offers comprehensive SIM card coverage throughout the country, ensuring that locals and tourists can stay connected while traversing its diverse landscape.
With an expansive network infrastructure and competitive service providers, Thailand boasts muscular signal strength and impressive internet data speeds, catering to the needs of the country’s growing digital population.
Thailand’s mobile networks predominantly operate by three major providers: AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove H. These companies have invested heavily in improving and expanding their coverage, resulting in a vast and reliable network that extends from bustling city centers to serene rural areas.
As a result, you can expect to find a dependable signal in most parts of the country, including popular tourist destinations like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket, as well as more remote locations.
In recent years, Thailand has made significant strides in upgrading its mobile networks to 4G and 5G technologies. This advancement has enhanced internet data speeds, with users experiencing faster and more stable connections.
In urban areas, it is common to enjoy high-speed connections that facilitate seamless streaming, video calling, and online gaming. Though generally equipped with lower data speeds, rural regions still offer satisfactory performance for most basic online activities like browsing and messaging.
The availability of affordable and flexible prepaid Thailand SIM card options adds to the appeal of Thailand’s mobile network coverage.
You can easily purchase Thailand SIM cards from any of the three leading airport providers or retail locations nationwide. These prepaid options typically include data allowances, calling minutes, and the ability to top up as needed.
This versatility ensures you can remain connected and share your experiences with friends and family back home without breaking the bank. Thailand SIM card coverage is extensive and reliable, offering muscular signal strength and impressive internet data speeds nationwide.
The widespread network availability, the adoption of 4G and 5G technologies, and affordable prepaid SIM card options make staying connected in Thailand an enjoyable and hassle-free experience for locals and visitors alike.
📍Where to buy a sim card in Thailand
In Thailand, purchasing a SIM card is a straightforward and convenient process, as there are numerous locations where both locals and tourists can obtain one. The following are some of the most common places to buy a SIM card in Thailand:
Thailand airport sim card kiosks
One of the easiest and most convenient places to purchase a Thailand SIM card is at the airport upon arrival. Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and Don Mueang Airport (DMK) in Bangkok, as well as other international airports like Chiang Mai (CNX) and Phuket (HKT), have dedicated kiosks and counters for the major mobile network providers (AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove H).
Airport staff are usually well-versed in English and can help you choose the most suitable plan based on their needs.
Official mobile network provider stores
AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove H all have official stores and service centers throughout the country, particularly in major cities and tourist destinations.
These stores offer a wide range of SIM card options and can provide additional assistance in setting up the card, topping up credit, or addressing any other concerns.
Popular convenience store chains such as 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, and Tesco Lotus Express can be found in nearly every corner of Thailand. Most of these stores sell SIM cards from the three main providers, making it a convenient option for tourists who may have missed the opportunity to purchase one at the airport.
Shopping malls and electronics stores
Large shopping malls, particularly in major cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket, often house stores that sell SIM cards. These stores can be found alongside other electronics and mobile phone retailers. Additionally, popular electronic chains such as Banana IT, Power Buy, and Jaymart may also carry SIM cards.
Mobile phone kiosks and street vendors
In bustling areas, night markets, and tourist hotspots, it is common to find mobile phone kiosks or street vendors selling SIM cards. While this option can be convenient, ensuring that the Thailand SIM card is legitimate and from a reputable source is essential to avoid potential issues.
Buy a Thailand sim card online
For those who prefer to plan, purchasing Thai SIM cards online before arriving in the country is possible. Websites such as Klook, SimOptions, and Amazon offer SIM cards that can be delivered to your home country. Upon arrival in Thailand, insert the SIM card into your device to get connected.
When purchasing a SIM card in Thailand, ensure your phone is unlocked and compatible with Thai mobile networks. It is also worth noting that, in most cases, you must provide your passport for registration purposes. By considering the various options available, you can find a SIM card that best suits their connectivity needs while exploring Thailand.
📲 Thailand sim card sizes
As in most countries, a Thailand SIM card is available in three standard sizes: nano, micro, and standard (or mini) SIM. The size of the SIM card required depends on the specific make and model of the mobile device in which it will be used.
Over the years, the size of SIM cards has progressively decreased, with nano-SIM cards becoming the most commonly used size for many modern smartphones.
When purchasing a SIM card in Thailand, knowing which size is compatible with your device is essential. Most mobile network providers, including AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove H, offer SIM cards in all three sizes to accommodate the diverse range of mobile phones used by locals and tourists alike.
To ensure you obtain the correct SIM card size, these providers often supply a 3-in-1 SIM card, consisting of a standard-sized card with micro and nano-sized cutouts. This enables you to easily break away their device’s appropriately sized SIM card.
If you are unsure about the SIM card size your phone requires, it is advisable to consult your device’s user manual or perform a quick online search.
Alternatively, when purchasing a Thailand SIM card from an official mobile network provider store or a service counter, the staff can help you determine your device’s appropriate SIM card size.
You can purchase a SIM card adapter if you accidentally acquire the wrong SIM card size or need to switch between devices with different SIM card requirements. These adapters are usually inexpensive and widely available at mobile phone accessory stores, electronic shops, and online retailers.
A SIM card adapter allows you to easily resize your SIM card, ensuring it remains compatible with any device you use while traveling in Thailand.
🤳 How to choose the best Thailand sim card
When choosing a Thailand SIM card provider, it is essential to consider factors such as network coverage, internet data prices, and internet data speed.
Here, based on these criteria, I compared the three main providers which are AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove H. FYI, I know that AIS is used by many but I’ve always used DTAC because I’ve had the same sim card for a long time.
All three providers offer extensive coverage throughout Thailand, including major cities, tourist destinations, and many rural areas. While coverage can vary slightly depending on the location, AIS is generally considered to have the most comprehensive coverage, closely followed by TrueMove H and DTAC.
However, the difference in range between these providers is minimal, and you should find all three networks reliable and accessible across the country.
Thailand sim card data prices
The prices for internet data plans offered by AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove H are quite competitive, with all three providers presenting various options to cater to different needs and budgets.
Thailand SIM card plans from each provider typically range from 299 THB to 899 THB, with varying data allowances, calling minutes, and validity periods.
While the prices are relatively similar, comparing the specific data allowances, add-ons, and bonuses each network provides is crucial to determine the best value for your requirements.
Internet data speed
Regarding internet data speed, all three providers have invested significantly in upgrading their networks to 4G and 5G technologies, ensuring fast and stable connections for their users.
While the speed can vary depending on location, network congestion, and device compatibility, AIS is often recognized as having the fastest and most consistent data speeds, closely followed by TrueMove H and DTAC.
However, the differences in data speeds between the providers are generally minor, and most users should find the internet speeds of all three networks sufficient for their needs.
AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove H all offer reliable coverage, competitive internet data prices, and impressive data speeds throughout Thailand. While AIS may have a slight edge regarding coverage and data speed, the differences between the three providers are marginal.
It is advisable to review each provider’s specific plans and offerings to determine which best meets your requirements and preferences.
🏆 AIS: best Thailand sim card
✅ Pro: Great coverage all over the country
❌ Con: Too many gimmicks on data plan prices
AIS, also known as Advanced Info Service, is one of Thailand’s leading mobile network providers, offering a wide range of SIM card options catering to the diverse needs of locals and tourists.
Known for its extensive network coverage and reliable services, AIS is a popular choice for those looking to stay connected while exploring the country.
How to activate AIS Thailand sim card
First, to activate an AIS SIM card, ensure your mobile device is unlocked and compatible with the Thai network. Upon purchasing the SIM card, please insert it into your device, and follow the instructions provided by AIS.
In most cases, the SIM card will automatically activate upon insertion. However, if you need further assistance or activation is not automatic, you can visit any AIS service center, where the staff can help you with the activation process.
AIS sim card prices
AIS offers a variety of SIM card plans, including prepaid options explicitly designed for tourists. These plans come with different data allowances, calling minutes, and validity periods, allowing users to choose a plan that best suits their needs.
- AIS 30-day plan ($36 USD): 300 GB high-speed Internet
- AIS 15-day plan ($17 USD): 30 GB high-speed Internet
- AIS 8-day plan ($9 USD): 15 HB high-speed Internet
- A pay-as-you-go option for AIS data starts at $1.50 USD
All AIS plans have unlimited social media plans for Facebook, Line, Whatsapp, Instagram, WeChat, Tiktok, and Twitter. Unlimited calls to AIS numbers only and international calls are charged at 1 BHT ($0.0029 USD) per minute.
How to top-up your AIS sim card
Topping up your AIS SIM card credit is a simple and convenient process. Credits can be added through various methods, such as purchasing top-up cards from convenience stores like 7-Eleven or FamilyMart, as well as at AIS service centers and authorized retailers.
To add credit using a top-up card, follow the instructions on the card, which typically involve dialing a specific code and entering the unique PIN provided. Alternatively, you can top up your credit online through the AIS website or the myAIS mobile application, which allows for secure credit card payments.
In conclusion, AIS is a reliable and widely recognized mobile network provider in Thailand, offering a range of SIM card plans tailored to the needs of both locals and tourists. With its easy activation process, flexible plans, and multiple top-up options, AIS ensures that staying connected while traveling in Thailand is a hassle-free experience.
📱 DTAC: Thailand sim card that locals use
✅ Pro: Can use in other Asian countries (I use this in Indonesia too)
❌ Con: Poor pricing on data plans
DTAC, short for Total Access Communication, is another prominent mobile network provider in Thailand, known for its competitive pricing and comprehensive coverage.
Offering various SIM card options for locals and tourists, DTAC has become popular for those seeking reliable connectivity while exploring the country.
How to activate DTAC Thailand sim card
Activating a DTAC Thailand SIM card is a simple process. First, make sure your mobile device is unlocked and compatible with Thai networks. Once you have purchased the SIM card, insert it into your device, and it should automatically activate. If the activation does not happen automatically, you can call the DTAC customer service hotline at 1678, where an English-speaking representative can assist you with the activation process. Alternatively, you can visit a DTAC service center or store for in-person assistance.
DTAC sim card prices
DTAC offers a range of SIM card plans, including prepaid options specifically designed for tourists. These plans vary in data allowances, calling minutes, and validity periods, allowing users to select a plan that best fits their needs.
- Unlimited 8 Mbps for 1 day: $0.99 USD
- Unlimited 1 Mbps for 1 day: $0.90 USD
- Unlimited 2 Mbps for 7 days: $4 USD
- Unlimited 10 Mbps for 1 day: $2 USD
- Unlimited 512 Kbps for 7 days: $3 USD
- Unlimited 2 Mbps for 30 days: $12 USD
- Unlimited 512 Kbps for 30 days: $9 USD
DTAC also offers social media only packages for as low as $1.50 USD for 7 days of unlimited usage for platforms like Tiktok or Instagram. This is the best option if you don’t want to pay for calls and texts.
How to top-up your DTAC sim card
Topping up your DTAC SIM card credit is a convenient and straightforward process. You can add credit through multiple channels, such as purchasing top-up cards from convenience stores like 7-Eleven or FamilyMart, as well as at DTAC service centers and authorized retailers.
To top up using a scratch card, follow the instructions on the card, which generally involve dialing a specific code and entering the provided unique PIN. Another option is to top up your credit online via the DTAC website or the DTAC mobile application, which allows for secure credit card payments.
DTAC is a reputable and widely recognized mobile network provider in Thailand, offering a range of SIM card plans catering to the needs of both locals and tourists. With its user-friendly activation process, flexible plans, and various top-up options, DTAC ensures that staying connected while traveling in Thailand is a seamless experience.
📳 Thailand sim card with extensive data plan: TrueMove H
✅ Pro: Has social media and Internet plans if you don’t want to pay for calls
❌ Con: Expensive than most Thai sim cards
TrueMove H, a subsidiary of the True Corporation, is one of Thailand’s leading mobile network providers, known for its competitive services and extensive network coverage.
With a wide range of SIM card options for locals and tourists, TrueMove H has become popular for those seeking a dependable mobile network while traveling in Thailand.
How to activate TrueMove H sim card
To activate a TrueMove H SIM card, ensure your mobile device is unlocked and compatible with Thai networks. After purchasing the SIM card, please insert it into your device, which should automatically activate.
If the activation does not occur automatically, call the TrueMove H customer service hotline at 1242, where an English-speaking representative can guide you through the activation process. Alternatively, you can visit a TrueMove H service center or store for in-person assistance.
TrueMove H prices
TrueMove H offers various SIM card plans, including prepaid options specifically designed for tourists. These plans differ in data allowances, calling minutes, and validity periods, allowing users to choose the most suitable plan based on their needs.
- Daily plan ($1.50 USD): free 14 social media apps + 15 BHT call credits
- 8-days plan ($9 USD): 15 GB non-stop Internet, free 14 social media apps, 10 GB of TikTok, 100 BHT call credits for local and International calls, and unlimited calls among TrueMove H numbers only
- 15 days plan ($9 USD): 30 GB non-stop Internet, free 14 social media apps, 10 GB of TikTok, 50 BHT call credits for local and International calls, and unlimited calls among TrueMove H numbers only
- Unlimited 5G Internet and calls for 8 days: $12 USD
- Unlimited 5G Internet and calls for 15 days: $20 USD
- Unlimited 5G Internet and calls for 30 days: $29 USD
How to top up TrueMove H sim card
Topping up your TrueMove H SIM card credit is easy and hassle-free. There are multiple ways to add credit, such as purchasing top-up cards from convenience stores like 7-Eleven or FamilyMart and at TrueMove H service centers and authorized retailers.
To top up using a scratch card, follow the instructions on the card, which usually involve dialing a specific code and entering the provided unique PIN. Additionally, you can top up your credit online via the TrueMove H website or the TrueMove H mobile application, which enables secure credit card payments.
⁉️ Thailand sim card FAQ
Which Thai SIM card is best?
When choosing the best Thailand SIM card, it is essential to consider factors such as network coverage, data plans, and cost. Thailand’s top three mobile operators are AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove H. Among these, AIS offers the most extensive network coverage, providing reliable service in both urban and rural areas. This makes it a popular choice for travelers and locals alike. Their prepaid data plans are affordable and cater to a wide range of needs, including short-term tourist packages and long-term options with unlimited data. AIS also supports 4G and 5G networks for faster internet speeds. Ultimately, the best Thai SIM card for you will depend on your specific requirements and preferences, but AIS is a solid choice for most people due to its wide coverage, variety of plans, and competitive pricing.
Can I buy SIM card in Thailand airport?
Yes, you can buy a SIM card at Thailand airport. Once you land at the airport, you’ll find several counters offering SIM cards. Many of these counters are located at the Arrival Halls before passport control and offer both prepaid and postpaid plans to meet any traveler’s needs.
If buying a SIM card upon arrival, bear in mind that the process could take more than 30 minutes to complete due to lengthy queues. Therefore, you should purchase their SIM cards before boarding the plane or take advantage of offers for pre-booking them online. Pre-booked SIM cards can be collected from dedicated counters when arriving at the airport and require minimal paperwork making it ideal for those in a hurry.
Lastly, keep in mind that prices vary from provider to provider, so comparing different packages may be beneficial when selecting your plan. All major airlines will provide information about local providers and offer available at Thailand airports during their air travel route announcements, so make sure to take note for easy and hassle-free SIM card purchases!
Can I get a SIM card at Bangkok airport?
Yes, you can get a SIM card at Bangkok Airport. Once you arrive at the airport, several counters offer SIM cards. Different providers are available so it’s worth researching ahead of time to determine which would be best for your needs.
Alternatively, if you’re short on time or don’t want to deal with paperwork on arrival, you can pre-book a SIM card online and collect it from the dedicated counter once you land.
Thailand SIM cards purchased at the airport come with different packages and prices depending on how much data and how long you need the card for – make sure to read through all the details carefully before committing! Prices vary from provider to provider so compare the packages before making a purchase. You may also find promotional deals and special offers that could be beneficial if traveling in a large group or staying longer than expected.
It’s important to bear in mind that queues can get quite lengthy when trying to buy a SIM card at Bangkok airport so be prepared for this ahead of time and allow yourself plenty of time to complete your purchase!
Can I use iPhone from US in Thailand?
Yes, you can use your US cell phone in Thailand. Although the local Thailand SIM card providers may not support your US phone, it will still work with Wi-Fi and you may even be able to access some of your current service provider’s international roaming plans.
Most modern smartphones are multi-GSM compatible which means that they will have no problem connecting to the networks in Thailand, however depending on your specific make and model you may need an unlocked handset for this or a special adapter for older phones. It also pays to check that your phone is up-to-date with all the latest software updates before traveling as this will help ensure a seamless transition when switching over to Thai networks.
By taking advantage of Wi-Fi hotspots and subscribing to one of many available international roaming packages you can stay connected during your time in Thailand without needing to purchase a new device or SIM card. However, if you’re staying longer than expected it might be beneficial to look into getting a local Thai SIM Card with cheaper data rates as well as other benefits such as free incoming calls!
Is it necessary to buy SIM in Thailand?
Buying a Thailand SIM card is unnecessary if you plan on staying for a short period. You can still use your US cell phone with the help of Wi-Fi hotspots, and by subscribing to one of many available international roaming packages offered by American mobile carriers.
However, if you intend on staying for a longer duration or making frequent trips to Thailand, then it may be beneficial to consider buying a local Thailand SIM Card. SIM cards in Thailand are relatively inexpensive and could provide with cheaper data rates as well as other benefits such as free incoming calls. Still, it’s important to check that your device is unlocked and compatible with Thai networks before purchasing a SIM card.
Do Thai SIM cards expire?
Yes, Thailand SIM cards do expire. The validity period of each card will depend on the package you purchase and the individual carrier, however, it is usually between 30 days to one year.
After this period has expired, your unused data allowance will typically expire as well. It is therefore important to check the expiration date of your card after purchase and keep track of it in order to avoid any inconvenience or additional charges due to expired SIM cards.
🇹🇭 Thailand Travel Planning
✈️ What’s the best platform for booking flights to Thailand?
Kiwi.com is one of the most trusted sites to book cheap flights to Thailand. They compare all prices for all airlines! Also, try WayAway if you want to get cashback for every booking.
🏥 Is travel insurance mandatory in Thailand?
YES! You need to get into the habit of buying travel insurance, not just for Thailand. SafetyWing, is my digital nomad/remote worker insurance, while I use Ekta Traveling for short trips (from $0.99 per day).
🚗💨 Is it safe to rent a car in Thailand?
ABSOLUTELY! Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com for the best car rental deals in Thailand. Remember to book online prior to arrival and don’t do it in person as cars run out fast!
🛏️ Where can I find affordable hotels in Thailand?
Booking.com is a great platform, but Agoda.com is more popular in Asia. They have the most extensive list of hotels in Thailand that you won’t find anywhere else. Budget travelers should still book using Hostelworld.
📞 Personalized itineraries and moving to Thailand services
Whatever you need for Thailand, I can help you with that! Call my office or send a Whatsapp message to +52 473 171 5259 – our office staff will take care of you!
Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak, and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She’d like to believe she’s not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. In no particular order, her favorite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Tel Aviv.