Excited for your trip to Thailand? I envy you! Traveltomtom has visited Thailand more than 20 times and it is one of my most visited countries in the world. Staying connected makes traveling in Thailand so much easier and of course much more fun. Don't get stuck with high roaming charges or slow overseas data roaming plans.

This is a complete guide for finding the best sim card for your trip to Thailand. Local prepaid sim cards you buy on arrival in Thailand are cheap, but there are also amazing e-sim card deals for Thailand that you order directly on the internet and you are online as soon as the plane lands.

Find out everything about buying a prepaid sim card in Thailand, the best e-sim cards for Thailand, the best 4G/5G network, up to date prices as per July 2024, where to buy a sim card for Thailand, my recommendations, a vlog and my recommendations, info about buying a sim card at Bangkok Airport, information about international prepaid sim cards and more.

Because I have this crazy idea to visit every country in the world I constantly get to a lot of new countries and airports. Being a full time nomadic travel blogger the first thing I do is searching for the best way to get connected. For most countries I get myself an e-sim card these days otherwise I end up buying a local prepaid sim card on arrival.

To help you getting the best, fastest or cheapest data connection on your phone and save money on roaming charges when you travel abroad I already wrote more than 200 sim card guides from all over the world: Europe, USA, New YorkEgypt, Costa Rica, Panama, Kenya, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Asia, Bali, Singapore, Germany, Italy, France, SpainTbilisi, Istanbul, Milan, Madrid, Jeddah, Muscat, Bahrain, etc.

So next time you are planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your next holiday destination. Bookmark me!

best thailand sim card at bangkok airport bkk

The most convenient place to buy a local prepaid prepaid sim card for Thailand is on arrival at Bangkok Airport. Check out my complete guide and vlog about buying a tourist sim card at Bangkok Airport.

Keep in mind that you can NOT get an e-sim card on arrival in Thailand, they only provide physical prepaid sim cards in phone stores in Thailand. The only place where you can get an e-sim card for Thailand is on the internet.

Check out my complete guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Thailand in 2024.

Some links in this article about the best prepaid sim cards for traveling to Thailand are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I earn a small commission. This is at absolutely no extra cost to you!

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends a True Move sim card for traveling in Thailand. They have an amazing 5G network, similar to AIS, but a True Move sim cards for tourists are with unlimited data and start already from just $8 USD.

You can buy a True Move or AIS sim card at Bangkok Airport, but you will pay a higher price than in Bangkok city center. Also when buying a prepaid sim card for tourists in Thailand always ask for the max data speed, because many prepaid sim card plans come with capped data speed.

However, the easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Thailand in 2024 is an e-sim card. You arrange everything online and you are connected to the internet as soon as the plane lands. Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Thailand via Airalo or SimOptions, but there is also Holafly, Nomad, Jetpac, etc.

If you are looking for a sim card for traveling in Thailand with unlimited data then you definitely want to learn more about e-sim cards. An e-sim card for Thailand for 10 days with 50 GB data already starts from $9.90 USD. Check out Traveltomtom's comparison of the best e-sims for traveling to Thailand.

If you are planning a big trip to Southeast Asia then these international sim cards can come in handy: 12 Best Data Sim Cards for Asia in 2024 or Best World Travel Sim Cards with Data in 2024.

Best e-sim cards for Thailand

Unmistakably the best way to get internet on your phone when traveling to Thailand in 2024 is an e-sim card. No need to swap physical sim cards anymore or visit a sim card store. You simply order an e-sim card for Thailand on the internet and you arrange everything within just a couple minutes.

You order an e-sim card for Thailand on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a Thailand e-sim card installed on your phone.

Upon arrival in Thailand it automatically connects you to an available network and you enjoy data on your phone pretty much when the plane lands.

Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Thailand.

For much more detailed info and an answer to all FAQ's about using e-sims check out my complete guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for traveling to Thailand in 2024 including offers from more e-sim providers like Holafly, Nomad, Jetpac, etc.

Airalo

airalo esim card plans for thailand 2024

Traveltomtom has used Airalo e-sim cards in more than 50 countries around the world. For 2024 Airalo offers the following e-sim card plans for traveling to Thailand:

  • 50 GB data + 100 minutes for 10 days = $9.90 USD
  • unlimited data + unlimited calls for 15 days = $19.95 USD

Click here to order this e-sim card for Thailand directly via Airalo.

The above DTAC e-sim cards for Thailand is 5G ready, where most other Thailand e-sim cards only offer 4G/LTE network speed. There is a DTAC 5G signal available at pretty much all tourist destinations in Thailand.

SimOptions

simoptions dtac esim cards for thailand 2024

SimOptions offers the same DTAC e-sim cards for Thailand:

  • 50 GB data + 100 minutes for 10 days = $9.90 USD
  • unlimited data + unlimited calls for 15 days = $19.95 USD

Click here to directly order a DTAC e-sim card for Thailand via SimOptions.

simoptions esim card plans for thailand 2024

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.90 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $29.90 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $54.90 USD

SimOptions also offers other Thailand e-sim card plans, but they are more expensive.

Click here to order any of the above SimOptions e-sim cards for Thailand.

For more information about using e-sim cards when traveling to Thailand check out my complete guide with a detailed comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Thailand in 2024, including much more info how e-sim cards work and everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Thailand.

If your phone is not e-sim compatible then you can also order a physical prepaid sim card for Thailand on the internet. This sim card will be delivered to your home address.

SimOptions is the only sim card provider where you can order a physical prepaid sim card for Thailand.

Why buying a sim card for Thailand

best thailand sim card

Traveling in Thailand is very convenient and well organized with so many travel agencies, trains, boats, busses, cheap domestic flights in Thailand, affordable hotels, amazing Thai streetfood on every street corner and even fast and free WiFi everywhere. So then why do you need a sim card to stay connected when traveling to Thailand?

Imagine having no data connection on your phone. Have you tried it before? Not being able to open Google Maps for directions, unable to order an Uber, find a nearby restaurant or friends. Constantly asking for the WiFi password.

Life is just so much easier with data on your phone and definitely when you are somewhere new and not familiar. Or what to do in case of an emergency or when your bank card isn't working. Simply stay connected, it will make your trip to Thailand much easier.

Did you know that overseas data roaming plans limit your data speed. Why pay $5 to $10 USD per day when you can get 10 GB data for just $5 USD on a local prepaid sim card in Thailand? Forget about roaming charges!

Ordering an e-sim card for Thailand or buying a local prepaid sim card on arrival in Thailand takes just a couple minutes and you are all set with a fast 5G connection and a lot of data for little money.

Keep in mind that an e-sim or a Thailand tourist sim card only works in an unlocked phone! So make sure your phone is unlocked before you travel to Thailand. If you are not sure about this contact your provider in your home country.

How to get around Thailand

Let me also help you out with getting tickets for train, bus, boat travel in Thailand as well as long distance taxis, shuttle services and even domestic flights. Try the search engine below and get all the options in one overview, including time tables and prices.

Powered by 12Go system

No more paper tickets and tour agencies, simply book your ticket online. Select your preferred seat, compare travel options and pick the one that suits you the most based on price, departure time, travel duration and many more variables.

Where to buy a sim card for Thailand

Bangkok Airport or other international airports in Thailand

No matter which country you are travelling to buying a tourist sim card at the airport is always a little more expensive. Though it is the easiest place to buy a prepaid sim card for tourists on arrival and often well worth the couple bucks.

Every international airport in Thailand has official DTAC, AIS and True Move stores in the arrivals halls at the baggage claim and often even before customs.

Don Mueang International Airport Bangkok (DMK): Arrival Floor, between Terminal 1 and 2, also at International Arrivals Hall between Exit 2 and 6.

  • Phuket International Airport (HKT): International Terminal 1st floor.
  • Samui International Airport (USM): Arrival Hall 1st floor.
  • Mae Fah Luang, Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI): Passenger Terminal 1st floor between Domestic Hall & International Arrivals Hall.

Are you flying to Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) in Bangkok then check out my complete guide for buying a sim card at Bangkok Airport in 2024.

Or if you are interested to see what it is like arriving at Bangkok Airport and buying a sim card then check out my vlog above.

Official phone stores

No matter where you go in Thailand you will always stumble upon a DTAC, True Move or AIS phone store in every tourist destination. Just go to Google Maps to find the nearest store, there are uncountable! In official retail stores data plans will be explained thoroughly, English is spoken pretty well, prices are fixed and they will activate your new Thailand prepaid sim card for you on the spot within a couple minutes.

Every shopping mall in Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Krabi and Koh Samui has mobile phone shops that happily sell prepaid sim cards for tourists.

Convenience stores: 7Eleven, Family Mart, Tesco

thailand sim card 7eleven

In Thailand you can buy a sim card at mostly every well known convenience store: 7Eleven only sells, DTAC and True Move. Family Mart and Tesco also sells AIS. But it is NOT as convenient as it may seem!

The hard thing about buying a Thailand sim card in a convenient store is to find someone who can really help you activate your prepaid data package! People working in convenient stores speak ok English, but mostly not enough to help you out.

Traveltomtom does not recommend buying a Thailand sim card in a convenience store! As there is no service agent to help you, you have to activate it yourself basically and packages are mostly displayed in Thai language. Good luck! :)

Online

Buying a prepaid sim card in Thailand always used to be the cheapest way to stay connected when traveling to Thailand, but things have changed. You can already buy an e-sim card for Thailand for less than $10 USD with unlimited data for 10 days. Perfect for a short trip to Thailand.

You can order this DTAC tourist sim card for Thailand via either Airalo or SimOptions as an e-sim.

If your phone is not e-sim compatible then you can also order a physical sim card for Thailand online. These international sim cards for Thailand will be shipped to your home address and are automatically activated when they connect the first time to the network in Thailand. You arrive prepared in Thailand and as soon as the plane lands you have data on your phone.

Are you planning to go to islands hopping in Thailand? Good choice! I have done it many years in a row and it never gets bored! Thailand is one of the best places in the world to go backpacking.

Free sim card for Thailand

They often lure you with a free sim card for Thailand and even hand them out at the airport in Bangkok or when you fly Thai Airways, but remember nothing is for free! These free Thailand sim cards are just a gift but there is hardly any credit on it and when putting them in your phone they tell you straight away to top up.

If you fly to Thailand with Thai Airways they hand out free DTAC Thailand sim cards for tourists to all passengers. The sim card package says free 8 GB data, but that is NOT true, in fact it is only 20 MB. Basically 30 seconds of internet! If you want the 'free 8 GB' you first need to top up.

Registration process

In the past you could easily buy a prepaid sim card in Thailand without any form of identification, but that all changed. If you buy a prepaid sim card in Thailand you need to bring your passport. A copy of your passport will be taken in the sim card store and your new Thailand sim card will be registered on your name and passport number. You can register up to 3 sim cards on your passport.

The physical prepaid sim card you receive you have to put in your phone and if your phone does not have the dual sim option you have to take out the sim card for your home country. You will get a new phone number starting with: +66.

Unfortunately they Thai mobile internet operators do NOT offer e-sim cards for prepaid plans for tourists. E-sim cards for Thailand can only be ordered on the internet.

If for some reason you want to avoid the registration process then look into buying an sim card for Thailand on the internet. Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Thailand via either Airalo, SimOptions or Nomad. Or get yourself an international physical prepaid sim cards for Thailand. These sim cards do NOT require any form of ID verification, only an email address.

Mobile internet providers in Thailand

There are 3 major internet operators in Thailand: True Move, DTAC and AIS. They all sell prepaid sim cards for tourists and you can buy them pretty much everywhere. However, Traveltomtom recommends buying a sim card in an official phone store from True Move, AIS or DTAC as mentioned above and not at a convenience store.

Back in 2014 when you were you planning a Thailand island hopping adventure I would tell you NOT to choose an AIS prepaid sim card because of its weaker 4G/LTE network. Now in 2024 the table have turned and AIS has the best 4G/5G network in Thailand.

All Thailand mobile internet providers have great network coverage all over the country, even at off the beaten path places you will find a 5G signal, it is really impressive.

Mobile Internet Speed Thailand

It is no wonder that the fastest mobile data is provided by True Move and AIS. DTAC's 5G signal coverage is poor compared to its competitors. Whenever you are traveling to Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Koh Tao or Bangkok or any other major tourist destinations in Thailand you will be pretty much be able to enjoy fast mobile internet with any of the mobile internet providers.

That said, when buying a sim card in Thailand it is very much recommended to ask your provider at which data speed the sim card deal operates. Some have max 5G speed (100 Mbps), but also many sim card deals are capped at 4 Mbps or 10Mbps. You see the major difference?

Anyway data speed always depends on your location and time of the day. During peak hours when everyone is online, data speed is of course significantly slower than during the middle of the night when everyone is asleep.

Best 4G/5G network in Thailand in 2024

Are you ready for a full 5G experience on your trip to Thailand? You might not expect this but Thailand is one of the most advanced countries when it comes to 5G connectivity. There is a 5G signal almost everywhere, even if you travel far off the beaten path in Thailand. Let's have a look at the 4G/5G coverage maps for mobile internet in Thailand updated for 2024.

AIS 4G/5G network coverage map

ais 4g 5g network coverage map thailand 2024

True Move 4G/5G network coverage map

true move 4g 5g network coverage map thailand 2024

DTAC 4G/5G network coverage map

dtac 4g 5g network coverage map thailand 2024

Although the above mobile data network coverage maps are updated for 2024 they are not 100% accurate. However, they are a great reference to compare the 4G/5G networks of the mobile internet providers in Thailand in 2024.

After comparing the above 4G/5G coverage maps for Thailand we clearly see that every mobile internet operator has a more than excellent 4G/5G signal all over the country. However, DTAC is really staying behind when it comes to upgrading their 5G network compared to AIS and True Move.

AIS has the best 4G/5G network in Thailand in 2024. Isn't the AIS 5G network in Thailand impressive? I bet you didn't think the Thailand mobile internet and 5G network would be this good! True Move is a very good second best btw.

Check out these 68 funny & interested facts about Thailand!

Prices Thailand prepaid sim cards in 2024

All info in this article is up to date as per July 2024: $1 USD = 36 THB or 100 THB = $2.7 USD.

Below you can find a comparison of all the prepaid sim cards from the mobile internet operators in Thailand. All info is updated as per July 2024.

Keep in mind that on arrival in Thailand you can only get a physical prepaid sim card for tourists, there are no e-sim cards available in stores in Thailand.

DTAC

dtac thailand prepaid sim card for tourists 2024

DTAC offers 3 prepaid sim card deals with unlimited data for tourists, the exact same sim cards that you can order online via for example Airalo, SimOptions or Nomad.

  • Unlimited data and calls for 8 days = 449 THB - ($12 USD)
  • Unlimited data and calls for 15 days = 699 THB - ($19 USD)
  • Unlimited data and calls for 30 days = 1,199 THB - ($33 USD)

dtac thailand tourist sim cards

  • 15 GB data for 8 days = 299 THB - ($8 USD)
  • 50 GB data for 10 days = 349 THB - ($9.5 USD)
  • 30 GB data for 15 days = 599 THB - ($16 USD)

For more info about the DTAC Happy Tourist sim click here. DTAC does not offer e-sim cards in stores in Thailand, only physical prepaid sim cards are available.

Reminder that Nomad sells the DTAC e-sim card with unlimited data for 8 days for just $8 USD.

AIS

ais thailand prepaid sim card 2024

There are 3 AIS Traveller sim cards available, which are all 5G ready:

  • 15 GB data + free social media + 50 THB calling credit for 8 days = 299 THB ($8 USD)
  • 30 GB data + free social media for 15 days = 599 THB ($16 USD)
  • 50 GB data + free social media for 30 days = 899 THB ($24.5 USD)

For more info about the AIS Traveller sim cards click here. AIS does not offer e-sim cards in stores in Thailand, only physical prepaid sim cards are available.

True Move

true move thailand prepaid sim cards for tourists

There are 3 different True Move H prepaid sim card plans for tourists:

  • Unlimited data and calls for 8 days = 449 THB - ($12 USD)
  • Unlimited data and calls for 15 days = 699 THB - ($19 USD)
  • Unlimited data and calls for 30 days = 1,199 THB - ($33 USD)

Check the True Move website for more info. True Move does not offer e-sim cards in stores in Thailand, only physical prepaid sim cards are available. Quick conclusion is that True Move and DTAC offer the exact same prepaid sim cards for tourists.

Best sim card for Thailand in 2024

happy tourist dtac thailand esim 2024

If your phone is e-sim card compatible then for me it would be an easy choice to order your sim card for Thailand on the internet and arrive prepared. As soon as the plane lands you are online and the best Thailand e-sim card plan gives you 50 GB data for $9.90 USD for 10 days. Staying longer? Order two of them or check out the one for $19.90 USD for 15 days.

You can order this e-sim card directly via SimOptionsNomad or Airalo.

However, if you prefer to buy a local prepaid sim card on arrival in Thailand then here is Traveltomtom's conclusion of comparing the Thailand prepaid sim cards for tourists and the mobile internet operators in Thailand:

  • DTAC has the weakest 5G network
  • AIS and True Move have both an excellent 5G network
  • All providers offer data plans with a lot of Gigabytes
  • True Move and DTAC offer the exact same tourist sim cards with unlimited data

Taking everything in consideration Traveltomtom recommends buying a True Move prepaid sim card in Thailand on arrival. For $12 USD you get an True Move sim card with 8 days unlimited internet.

This is the best buy, but not the best sim card.

However, be aware that the above comparison of of the tourist sim card prices when you visit any True Move, DTAC or AIS phone store. If you decide to buy a sim card at Bangkok Airport then you easily pay double!

For short trips to Thailand it is worth getting an e-sim card for Thailand with unlimited data for 8 days, check out my complete guide with a comparison of the best e-sim cards for Thailand in 2024.

Order a prepaid sim card for Thailand online

orange holiday world international prepaid sim card for thailand

If your phone is not e-sim compatible and buying a prepaid sim card in Thailand sounds like too much hassle then you can always order a physical prepaid sim card for Thailand on the internet before your trip.

Arrive prepared in Thailand with an international prepaid sim card. You order them online and a physical prepaid sim card will be delivered to your home address. You put this sim card in your phone and it automatically connects to an available network upon arrival in Thailand, basically when the plane lands you are instantly online.

SimOptions offers the following prepaid sim card deals for Thailand:

Orange Holiday World - $49.90

  • 10 GB data
  • Valid in 124 countries
  • 4G/LTE
  • Data only
  • NO calling/texting
  • Valid 14 days

Click here to order an international sim card for Thailand directly via SimOptions.

Also another last reminder that if your phone is e-sim compatible you can easily order a tourist e-sim card for Thailand with unlimited data, calls and text via Airalo or SimOptions. You keep your own phone number and arrange everything online in just a couple minutes.

These are trusted e-sim providers that Traveltomtom recommends. For more info about everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Thailand check out my guide with the best e-sim cards for traveling to Thailand in 2024.

Keep in mind that Thai mobile providers are constantly upgrading their network coverage, changing their prepaid sim card plans and aim to provide better and faster mobile data speed.

Let me know if you find anything that changed over time and I am happy to add it to my article.

Before you go I want you to consider reading the following blog with everything you need to know about traveling in Thailand with 65 essential travel tips. From visas to vaccinations, island hopping to jungle trekking, elephant sanctuaries to affordable luxury hotels, the best hostels, electricity plugs, street food tips and many more things.

If you have any specific questions about traveling to Thailand then don't hesitate to send me a message on my Instagram account @traveltomtom. Be aware that this could create some serious wanderlust as I am on a journey to visit every country in the world. As of July 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries.

Take a look at my Thailand page and let my blogs help you planning your trip to Thailand. For example have a look at my article how much does a trip to Thailand cost.

Enjoy your trip to Thailand!