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SIM Cards in Bangkok

When traveling to Bangkok, one of the critical items on your checklist should be securing a local SIM card.

This will ensure you stay connected with family and friends back home and provide a lifeline to local services and resources.

With many options available, choosing the correct SIM card can seem daunting.

This guide aims to simplify the process, making your transition into the vibrant streets of Bangkok seamless and worry-free.

This will ensure you stay connected with family and friends back home and provide a lifeline to local services and resources.

Getting a SIM card in Bangkok is straightforward and can significantly enhance your experience during your visit.

Here’s all you need to know about getting a SIM card in Bangkok:

SIM Cards in Bangkok

Why Get a SIM Card:

Getting a local SIM card in Bangkok is essential for staying connected while traveling. It allows you to make local and international calls, access the internet, use navigation apps, and stay connected with friends and family.

Where to Buy

You can easily find SIM cards at the following places:

  • Suvarnabhumi Airport: You can buy SIM cards at the airport’s arrival area, both in the main terminal and the basement level.
  • Don Mueang Airport: SIM cards are also available at this airport, which handles some international flights.
  • Shopping Malls: Major shopping malls, such as MBK Center, CentralWorld, and Siam Paragon, usually have multiple options for purchasing SIM cards.
  • Convenience Stores: 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, and other convenience stores often sell SIM cards.
  • Mobile Provider Shops: The official shops of local mobile providers, such as AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove H, are scattered around the city.
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Best Mobile Providers

The leading mobile providers in Thailand are AIS (Advanced Info Service), DTAC (Total Access Communication), and TrueMove H.

All three offer good coverage in Bangkok and across the country.

The best provider for you may depend on your specific needs and preferences.

All offer prepaid SIM cards that can be bought at airports, convenience stores, and authorized dealers.

Each operator has its advantages and disadvantages. AIS has the best coverage, while DTAC offers special roaming rates for visitors from other countries. TrueMove H usually offers the most data packages at reasonable prices.

Types of SIM Cards

There are mainly two types of SIM cards available for tourists:

  • Prepaid SIM Cards: These are the most popular choice for tourists.
  • You’ll get a certain amount of data, local minutes, and possibly international calling credit, valid for specific days. You can recharge these cards as needed.
  • Tourist SIM Cards: Some providers offer unique tourist SIM cards with a set amount of data, local minutes, and sometimes even tourist-specific benefits.

Documents Needed

Generally, you’ll need to present your passport to purchase a prepaid SIM card.

Some vendors might also require a copy of your passport, so it’s a good idea to have both the physical passport and a photocopy.

Popular SIM Card Packages:

Exact offerings can change, but here’s a general idea of what you might find:

  • Data Packages: Various options for data packages ranging from 1 GB to unlimited data for a certain number of days.
  • Combo Packages: Bundles that include data, local calls, and sometimes even international minutes.
  • Tourist Packages: Special packages designed for tourists, often including data, local calls, and discounts on tourist attractions.

SIM Card Activation

After purchasing a SIM card, it might need to be activated.

This can often be done by inserting the SIM card into your phone and following the instructions.

Activation might require making a call or sending an SMS.

Top Up/Recharge

If you run out of data or credit, you can easily upgrade or recharge your SIM card.

You can do this online, at convenience stores, or mobile provider shops.

Personal Hotspot and Tethering:

Most SIM cards in Thailand allow you to use your phone as a personal hotspot, enabling other devices to connect to the internet through your phone’s data connection.

Coverage and Speed

All three significant providers offer good coverage in Bangkok’s urban areas.

Speeds can vary depending on your location and network congestion, but generally, you can expect decent 4G speeds in most parts of the city.

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eSim in Bangkok

An eSIM is a digital SIM card embedded directly into your device and can be programmed with the details of your chosen mobile carrier.

You don’t need to insert a physical SIM card into your phone; instead, you can activate a carrier’s plan directly onto your eSIM.

Here’s what you need to know about eSIMs:


Not all phones are eSIM-compatible, but many modern smartphones from well-known manufacturers such as Apple, Google, and Samsung started supporting eSIM technology.

However, verifying whether your specific device supports eSIM functionality is essential.


Activating an eSIM is typically done through a QR code provided by the carrier. You scan this code using your phone’s camera, and your device is then connected to the carrier’s network.


  • Convenience: No need to physically insert or remove a SIM card.
  • Dual SIM Functionality: Some phones support dual SIM functionality, allowing you to use both a physical SIM card and an eSIM simultaneously.
  • Ease of Switching: If you switch carriers, you don’t need a new physical SIM card; you can switch to a new carrier’s eSIM plan.

Use for Travel:

  • International Roaming: eSIMs can be particularly convenient for travelers, as you can activate a local carrier’s plan for data and calls while abroad without needing a physical SIM card from that country.
  • Multiple Country Support: If traveling to multiple countries, you can easily switch between local carriers by activating their eSIM plans.

Getting an eSIM:

  • Providers: In Bangkok, major mobile providers like AIS, TrueMove H, and DTAC may offer eSIM options. It’s best to inquire directly with these providers about their eSIM availability.
  • Activation: To get an eSIM, you would usually visit the carrier’s shop, provide the necessary identification, and receive a QR code that you scan to activate the eSIM on your phone.

A 3 USD discount from me

Experience even greater convenience and savings with Airalo’s eSIM services.

Using the discount code “MATAN5401,” you can unlock a $3 discount when purchasing an eSIM through the Airalo app.

This code ensures you can enjoy seamless connectivity and mobile services at a reduced cost.

Whether you’re a traveler seeking hassle-free communication or simply looking to enhance your mobile experience, Airalo’s eSIM solutions, combined with the exclusive discount, offer an excellent opportunity to stay connected while saving on your digital journey.


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about getting a SIM card in Bangkok:

How much is a SIM card in BKK?

These SIM cards range from 249 THB (approximately 7.20 USD) to 1549 THB (about 44.70 USD).

This price range can be attributed to each SIM card’s varying features and benefits.

Additionally, the validity periods of these SIM cards span from seven days to 180 days, providing flexibility to travelers based on their duration of stay and communication needs.

Where to get a SIM card in Bangkok?

SIM cards can be purchased at airports, shopping malls, convenience stores, and mobile provider shops.

You can also buy SIM cards online from resellers with delivery services.

Should I buy a SIM card in Bangkok?

Having a local SIM card in Bangkok comes with many advantages.

You’ll have access to the internet, be able to make calls and send text messages locally and internationally, and even use your phone as a personal hotspot.

So, yes, it is recommended to get a SIM card if you are visiting or living in Bangkok for

Can foreigners buy SIM cards in Thailand?

Yes, foreigners can purchase SIM cards in Thailand.

You must present your passport as identification; some vendors might require a copy.

However, most operators offer special tourist packages for visitors with discounts and other benefits.

In conclusion

Obtaining a SIM card in Bangkok, whether physical or eSIM, is a simple process that brings considerable advantages for locals and tourists.

It provides access to high-quality internet services, local and international communication, and added conveniences like personal hotspot functionality.

Regardless of your stay’s duration or specific needs, various options are available to suit your requirements.

Remember, adequate preparation and understanding of the available options can help you make the most out of your mobile services during your stay in Bangkok.

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Matan Cohen

Hi, I'm Matan and I'm passionate about exploring the world. Bangkok is my favorite place - the sights, sounds, flavors and hospitality there are truly captivating! I'm an adventerous spirit who loves discovering new cultures and immersing myself in different environments. When I'm not traveling, you can find me reading a good book or enjoying some outdoor activities with friends.

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About Me
About Me

Hi, I’m Matan! I’m a world traveler passionate about exploring the beauty and culture that cities around the globe have to offer.

My favorite city in the world is Bangkok – it’s truly a magical place with its vibrant nightlife, fantastic food, diverse culture, and fascinating attractions. Whenever I visit Bangkok, I find something new and exciting to discover!

It’s my favorite destination worldwide, and I always look forward to my next opportunity to explore this incredible city.

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