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Thailand SIM card: the best options to get Internet abroad | November 2023

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Última actualización: November 1, 2023
Roams UK
Autor: Roams UK
25 personas han leído este post en los últimos 12 meses
In a nutshell

Getting a SIM card in Thailand is a good way to access the Internet, but you can also activate your provider’s roaming service or connect to a pocket or public wifi network. But your best option is to get an eSIM that you can easily activate when you arrive at the airport.

How much does it cost to have Internet in Thailand?

You may have everything ready for your trip to Thailand, but you are missing the most important thing: Internet access. After all, mobile data offers many conveniences to make the most of our experience abroad. But don't worry – you've come to the right place.

If you still don't know how to get data plans in Thailand, this post will detail all your options. We'll explain all the pros and cons, so you don't waste time and money preparing for your adventure.

Before we go any further, here you can check out the main alternatives beyond SIM cards:

How much does it cost Internet in Thailand?
Service Price/Days Data
eSIM Thailand Holafly
  • From £19/5 days
  • Unlimited
Thailand SIM card True Move
  • From £8/month
  • 3GB
Wifi in Thailand:
  • Portable
  • Public

  • From £4/day
  • Free

  • 2GB/day
  • Unlimited
Roaming in Thailand:
  • EE
  • O2
  • Three

  • From £44/30 days
  • From £6/day
  • From £3/day

  • 8GB
  • 1MB
  • 1MB

SIM card in Thailand

One of the first options you will think of is to get a SIM card in Thailand. After all, you can easily buy one in the country itself, either at the supermarket or any phone shop.

You also have the option to purchase your SIM card with international data before you travel to Thailand. Likewise, you can do it online. This is a very convenient alternative, although you should bear in mind that you will hardly have unlimited data with a prepaid card.

Our expert opinion

If you buy your Thailand SIM card online, we recommend you check that it is compatible with your mobile phone. Just look at the frequency it operates on and the size, which can be normal, microSIM or nanoSIM.

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Roams UK

These are the main phone providers in Thailand that you can use to get mobile Internet:

  • AIS Thailand SIM card: offers cards with a large amount of data for an acceptable price. Their plans go up to 30GB.
  • DTAC Thailand SIM card: it is AIS's main competitor, so their 15-day plan also comes to 30GB.
  • True Move SIM card for Thailand: this is the cheapest option in case you need a small amount of data for one-offs. You can easily get simple 3GB plans.

What we do not recommend under any circumstances is to buy your SIM card at the airport. It may seem like the easiest thing to do, but believe us you will pay much more than you should. Sometimes, it pays to lose some time and move to downtown for your card.


eSIM Thailand: your best option

The truth is that eSIM cards are beating traditional SIM cards (1) . Mainly because of the great convenience they offer for travellers to access the internet in Thailand. These cards are digital, so you can purchase yours online and activate it with a simple code as soon as you arrive in Thailand.

This saves you time on your journey and, as you don't have to remove your SIM card, you can have both phone numbers on one mobile. In addition, you will have a unlimited data plan that will save you from paying high roaming charges.

What is an eSIM card?

If you ask us, an eSIM for Thailand is your best option to connect to the internet in Thailand. There are a few phone companies that can offer this service, such as Airalo or Maya Mobile, but we recommend you take a look at Holafly's eSIM Thailand. Mostly because it offers unlimited data.

eSim Thailand
undefinedMóvil
Prepaid: 5 days expiry
Data Unlimited

Coverage
AT&T
Connection speed 4G
Pay as you go£195 days expiry
taxes included

With Holafly's eSIM you won't waste your travel time going to a shop to buy a mobile Internet card. You can spend your time on what really matters: settling in at the hotel, relaxing with the family or booking a table at a restaurant in town.

  • Advantages of signing up for an eSIM to travel to Thailand with Holafly
    • You can easily activate it with a QR code to have your mobile Internet ready as soon as you get off the plane.
    • With WhatsApp, you can call and send messages from your old number.
    • Customer service is available 24 hours a day, 356 days a year.
    • You'll have unlimited data, so you'll enjoy the convenience of the internet for as long as you need it.
    • You do not have to remove the SIM card from your phone at any time.
    • The eSIM is delivered immediately to your email address.
    • It is one of the cheapest options.
  • Disadvantages of the Holafly Thailand eSIM card
    • Although mobile data is unlimited, you will not be able to share it with other devices.
    • You won't be able to make calls or send SMS as it doesn't include a local number, but this is something you can work around with WhatsApp.

It is true that, with this digital card, you will not be able to make calls or share your mobile data. But we think the advantages far outweigh the drawbacks. Therefore, at Roams, we believe this is the best eSIM in Thailand for unlimited data.

eSIM Holafly Thailand: all data plans
Plan Price Data
5 days £19 Unlimited
10 days £29 Unlimited
15 days £44 Unlimited
20 days £49 Unlimited
30 days £59 Unlimited
60 days £77 Unlimited
90 days £87 Unlimited

Sign up now for your Holafly eSIM with a 5% discount including the coupon ROAMS

It's not uncommon for travellers flying to Thailand to want to move on to other Southeast Asian countries. If this is your case, you may want to check out roaming in Asia terms and conditions, as it includes a total of 12 countries in the region.


Wifi network in Thailand

If you don`t want to buy a SIM card in Thailand, another viable option for accessing the Internet is to connect to a public wifi network. They can get you out of a jam, but be aware that they are not all-purpose connections. Be aware that they carry a number of risks.

A public wifi network can be very useful when we want to send a WhatsApp message, check the weather or the train timetable. In other words: for very specific tasks.

You should never make purchases or bank transactions when you are connected to one of these networks. It may seem far-fetched, but you would be leaving the door open for a stranger to access your details and bank accounts.

Connect to a pocket wifi network in Thailand

What is more advisable is to carry a wifi pocket or MiFi with you. This is a device you can rent from a company that will give you access to the Internet in Thailand when you need it. These are some of the companies you can contract this service from:

  • Wifivox: for about £6.25/day, you get unlimited data in Thailand and can connect up to 5 devices.
  • My Webspot: their unlimited data plan is £65 for 8 days. You can connect up to 5 devices.
  • Travelers Wifi: for £6.60/day, you can enjoy 2GB per day anywhere in Thailand.
  • Rent n' Connect: if you want unlimited data in Thailand with this company, you can have it from £4/day.

How much does roaming cost in Thailand?

It's one of the most convenient options because you won't have to do much of anything, but activating roaming service will cost you a lot of money. Some providers have plans for European countries, but if you want to go to another continent, you'll have to dig deep into your pocket.

Here you have the roaming plans of the main companies operating in the UK:

  • EE roaming in Thailand: you can pay as you go or activate a monthly plan to get mobile Internet in Thailand.
  • Roaming with O2 in Thailand: offers 24-hour or 30-day plans, depending on the length of your trip.
  • Three roaming for Thailand: you can call and text UK numbers, but, if you want mobile data, you have to pay it.
  • Vodafone roaming for Thailand: to have data plans in Thailand, you can pay £6 per day.

Average Internet speed in Thailand

The average download speed for broadband Internet, the Asian country ranks 7th in an international comparison (2) . We could say that it’s a country where you can comfortably access the Internet.

You'll find 5G networks in major cities (3) , plus 2G, 3G and 4G across the country. Almost all of them are offered by the main Thai companies: AIS, DTAC and True Move.

You should be aware that, as in many other places, there will be rural and unpopulated areas where network access will not be as efficient as you would like. It is therefore recommended that you find out about the areas you will be visiting before signing up for a SIM card in Thailand.


Why you should have Internet in Thailand?

If you want to share your adventures on social media or keep in touch with friends and family, you need mobile Internet in Thailand. But there are many other reasons why you should have internet access in the Asian country, such as these:

  • Free calls via WhatsApp: Regardless of which option you choose to have mobile data in Thailand, you'll find it useful to be able to make calls via the app at no extra cost.
  • Restaurant and hotel bookings: You may have everything planned before you leave home, but being able to make or cancel reservations with a couple of clicks is something you'll appreciate.
  • Check prices: As a tourist, you may have to negotiate fixed prices when taking taxis or VTC. You can cover your rear by checking the most common prices beforehand.
  • Google Maps: If you are one of those who find your way around easily, you may not want to use it, but we assure you that having access to this kind of apps will save you more than one annoyance, as well as valuable time.
  • Check the weather: Knowing if a plan is feasible or what kind of clothes you should wear is something you can easily find out with access to the Internet.

Don't forget that having mobile Internet in Thailand will allow you to make many plans easily and conveniently. You can visit the remains of Siam and the incredible Buddha statue, hire a boat at the Damnoen Saduak and Mae Klong floating markets. Not to mention booking a tour to Doi Inthanon National Park or Phuket's Phi Phi Islands.


Recommendations before traveling to Thailand

Like many other countries, Thailand has its own particularities. That is why we believe that you should take into account a series of recommendations before setting off on your trip:

  • Beware of the rainy season: It's true that Thailand is hot most of the year, but be aware that there is a monsoon rainy season between July and September.
  • Taxi fares: You're likely to take a taxi or other private vehicle to get around, so we recommend downloading the Grab app. You can book taxis with fixed prices, so you won't get ripped off.
  • Don't change money at the airport: It's very common to want to do this as soon as you get off the plane, but we ask you to resist. It's better to look around the city more calmly and compare different money exchange offices. Changing money at the airport will almost certainly result in a loss of money.
  • Power adapter: Plugs used in Thailand for electrical appliances are Type A. As you will see, it is very different from the one we usually use in UK, so we recommend buying an adapter.
  • Avoid withdrawing money at the ATM: Even if it takes longer, it's better to withdraw money at the bank's own counter, as you'll save a commission of around £5 or £6.
  • Learn to say 'Mai phet': It means no spicy. You may really like the spicy food so typical of Thailand, but if you don't, you'd better know how to express your tastes.

FAQs about Internet in Thailand

How to sign up for internet in Thailand?

Your options for accessing the Internet range from buying a SIM card in Thailand, renting a pocket wifi device or activating your provider's roaming. But we recommend you get a virtual eSIM card, as it will be more convenient and cheaper.

How much Internet data do I need on my trip to Thailand?

It’s difficult to know how much data you will need for your trip, but you can get a rough idea. If you know which apps you will be using during your stay in Thailand, you can check the data consumption of each of them in their specifications.

How to activate roaming in Thailand?

Generally, it is the provider that automatically activates roaming when you leave your country, but this does not happen in all cases. If you want to avoid unexpected charges, we recommend that you disable data roaming in your smartphone settings.

Are there any banned websites in Thailand?

Thailand has a monarchical regime and it is customary for websites critical of the political system to be shut down. These are usually media websites, so they will not interfere with your regular internet use.

Fuentes del artículo

  1. eSIM : A Silent Revolution. ESIM. https://www.gsma.com/esim/esim-a-silent-revolution/
  2. Internet Speeds by Country 2023. Consulted in https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/internet-speeds-by-country
  3. 3G / 4G / 5G coverage in Thailand - nPerf.com. (n.d.). Consulted in https://www.nperf.com/en/map/TH/-/-/signal/
Our methodology
Roams offers a free information and comparison service, which tries to help anyone find the product that best suits their needs. To ensure that the data presented is correct, extensive market research and product analysis is carried out. Our database of mobile phone and internet rates is updated every day. The content is frequently reviewed by a team of writers with previous experience and/or specific training in telephony.

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Laura Burón
Edited and revised by Laura Burón