Best 4 SIMs in Thailand

sims in thailand

I researched and tested some of the leading sims in Thailand and found AIS to be the best sim in Thailand, especially in terms of reliability and coverage.

Despite my extended stay in Thailand, I made sure I was consistency connected to family back home and to colleagues I work with. This is what got me on research mode to search for the best option to stay connected.

Considering all the factors—coverage, plan variety, data speeds, and convenience—AIS excelled in most of them. However, other competitors fared decent and only DTAC really lagged behind.

If you’re curious what are the pros and cons of each sim option in Thailand, then keep on reading!

AIS – Best SIM Overall

AIS is one of the leading telecom operators in Thailand, known for its extensive coverage and reliable service. They offer a variety of prepaid and postpaid SIM cards catering to different needs. The AIS Traveller SIM is a popular choice among tourists, providing ample data, free calls, and a validity period that suits short-term stays.

sims in thailand

Quick rundown on Available Plans

30 days
15 days
8 days
Price
฿ 899
฿ 599
฿ 299
Data & Speed
50 GB (5G speeds)
30GB (5G speeds)
15 GB (5G speeds)
Call price
฿ 1 per minute
฿ 1 per minute
฿ 1 per minute
Includes
฿ 50 intercall credit
฿ 50 intercall credit
฿ 50 intercall credit
Prices as of november 2023

Pros of AIS

  • Best Coverage Nationwide
  • Consistently high data speeds
  • Free 7 social apps like TikTok Facebook LINE Instagram WhatsApp WeChat and Twitter plus some discounts
  • Optimal for mobile gaming among all providers, giving you a smooth and lag-free gaming experience
  • Boasts the best speed for voice apps
  • Rated as the best for Download and Upload Speeds
  • Generous Service, with some customers reporting receiving more time and data than advertised
  • Reliable service in North Thailand, Bangkok, and Surat Thani, even in remote areas.

Cons of AIS

  • Installation Challenges. There are some challenges with installation and altering phone settings, but this is also true for a lot of other sim installations. Buying directly from a brick-and-mortar store is recommended to avoid such issues.
  • eSIM version, as reported by some users, may not provide optimal performance. Speed discrepancies have been noted, with physical SIM cards delivering significantly higher download speeds in comparison.
  • Long-Term Usage Limitations. For users staying longer than 30 days without a Thai debit/credit card, taking advantage of deals to keep the service active may pose challenges. Rates for the SIM card can become relatively high after the initial promotional period.

DTAC – Best for Consistency

DTAC is another major player in the Thai telecom market, offering a range of prepaid and postpaid options. Their Happy Tourist SIM is designed specifically for travelers, providing a good balance of data, talk time, and validity.

Quick rundown on Available Plans

15 days
10 days
8 days
Price
฿ 599
฿ 349
฿ 299
Data & Speed
30 GB (4G/5G speeds)
50GB (4G/5G speeds)
15 GB (4G/5G speeds)
Call price
฿ 1 per minute
฿ 1 per minute
฿ 1 per minute
Includes
฿ 15 intercall credit PLUS unlimited chat in 5 social media application
฿ 15 intercall credit PLUS unlimited chat in 5 social media application
฿ 15 intercall credit PLUS unlimited chat in 5 social media application
Prices as of November 2023

Pros of DTAC:

  • Consistent coverage. While speed is not great, the coverage is also pretty consistent

Cons of DTAC:

  • Customer service is not great. DTAC is noted for having subpar customer service, potentially impacting the overall customer experience.
  • Network Switching Issues. Users have reported issues with network switching, particularly with unlimited 4G plans, where the network frequently switches to 3G.
  • Limited High-Speed Data. Despite claims of unlimited data, users have reported limitations on high-speed data, which ended up in additional payments for faster and more reliable connections.
  • DTAC is really staying behind when it comes to upgrading their 5G network compared to AIS and True Move.

True Move – Best for Convenience

TrueMove H is wide availability in 7/11 stores in Thailand. They offer a variety of prepaid and postpaid SIM cards, with the Tourist SIM catering to short-term visitors.

sims in thailand - true move

Quick rundown on Available Plans

True Move Tourist Infinite SIM
15 days
10 days
8 days
Price
฿ 599
฿ 349
฿ 299
Data & Speed
30 GB (4G/5G speeds)
50GB (4G/5G speeds)
15 GB (4G/5G speeds)
Call price
฿ 1 per minute
฿ 1 per minute
฿ 1 per minute
Includes
฿ 15 intercall credit PLUS unlimited chat in 5 social media application
฿ 15 intercall credit PLUS unlimited chat in 5 social media application
฿ 15 intercall credit PLUS unlimited chat in 5 social media application
True Move Tourist Infinite SIM
15 days
10 days
8 days
Price
฿ 599
฿ 349
฿ 299
Data & Speed
30 GB (4G/5G speeds)
50GB (4G/5G speeds)
15 GB (4G/5G speeds)
Call price
฿ 1 per minute
฿ 1 per minute
฿ 1 per minute
Includes
฿ 15 intercall credit PLUS unlimited chat in 5 social media application
฿ 15 intercall credit PLUS unlimited chat in 5 social media application
฿ 15 intercall credit PLUS unlimited chat in 5 social media application
Prices as of november 2023

Pros of True Move H:

  • Availability of social media and Internet plans if you don’t want to pay for calls. It is tailored for users who prioritize data over calls.
  • Unlimited Data Version. There is an unlimited data version without any data caps, providing a high-volume data allowance for those who heavily rely on internet services.
  • Works decent where there is coverage
  • Convenient Distribution in 7/11 Stores and small pop and mom shops.
  • Best for overall video streaming 

Cons of True Move H:

  • Network is the least consistent among providers
  • Free wifi on select spots is very spotty
  • While coverage is extensive, users have reported limitations in talk time and texting when communicating with non-DTAC customers, prompting the use of third-party apps for calls and texts.

GOMO – Best Challenger SIM

Potentially, the dark horse of Thai SIMs. GOMO was originally from Singtel, Singapore’s telecom company, but have since expanded in other parts of South East Asia like Philippines and Thailand. AIS rolled out this brand in Thailand and it offers the closest you can get to non-expiring data plans that AIS do not offer.

sims in thailand - GOMO

Quick rundown on Available Plans

365 days (XXL)
365 days (XL)
365 days (L)
365 days (M)
365 days (S)
1 month
Price
฿ 1399
฿ 999
฿ 599
฿ 199
฿ 99
฿ 299
Data & Speed
200 GB (5G speeds)
150GB (5G speeds)
100 GB (5G speeds)
25 GB (5G speeds)
10 GB (5G speeds)
30 GB (5G speeds) then unlimited internet at 10 Mbps
Call price
฿ .99 per minute
฿ .99 per minute
฿ .99 per minute
฿ .99 per minute
฿ .99 per minute
฿ .99 per minute
Includes
500 mins calls to any network PLUS access to AIS Super WiFi spots
300 mins calls to any network PLUS access to AIS Super WiFi spots
200 mins calls to any network PLUS access to AIS Super WiFi spots
50 mins calls to any network PLUS access to AIS Super WiFi spots
10 mins calls to any network PLUS access to AIS Super WiFi spots
200 mins calls to any network, 100 SMS messages PLUS access to AIS Super WiFi spots
Prices as of november 2023

Pros of GOMO

  • 100% online sim. You still need to use a sim card but activation, topping up and other necessary support can be done online
  • Unlimited data usage at 10 Mbps
  • Cheaper compared to all alternatives
  • Data does not expire
  • Special promotions for roaming in other countries

Cons of GOMO

  • Gomo App has reported usability issues
  • Data is reported to slow down, and it will be difficult to switch if you have a 1-year plan

Wrapping Up

There are a variety of options to stay connected in Thailand. Compared to other Asian countries, Thailand’s internet infrastructure is developed and choice of what to pick really depends on factors like convenience, coverage, internet speeds, and other value add-ons like extra minutes of call.

If convenience is top of mind for you, maybe it’s worth considering eSIMs. We’ve rounded up the best options on our best eSIMs for travel post.

However, you’re set on getting a physical sim, AIS takes the top spot for coverage and speed. However, it’s worth keeping an eye on both DTAC and True Move as they merged to provide better coverage and distribution. True Move H has better distribution of their SIM cards, but coverage is usually the main factor in picking out a SIM card to use and AIS really excels in this area.

Buying Guide for SIMs in Thailand

Should you get an eSIM or physical SIM in Thailand?

When deciding between a physical SIM and an eSIM in Thailand, it’s essential to consider your device compatibility and personal preferences. Each option comes with its own set of advantages, so choose accordingly to ensure a seamless experience during your stay.

Where do you buy physical SIM in Thailand?

Purchasing a Thailand SIM card is most convenient at the airport upon arrival. Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), Don Mueang Airport (DMK), and other international airports like Chiang Mai (CNX) and Phuket (HKT) have dedicated kiosks for major providers (AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove H). English-speaking staff can assist in choosing a suitable plan.

Additionally, popular convenience store chains such as 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, and Tesco Lotus Express, found across Thailand, sell SIM cards from the main providers. However, buying from a convenience store may pose challenges in activating prepaid data packages due to language barriers.

Can I get a physical SIM in Thailand before my arrival?

For those who prefer planning ahead, purchasing Thai SIM cards online before arriving in the country is possible. Platforms like SimOptions and Amazon offer SIM cards deliverable to your home country. Upon arrival, insert the SIM card to get connected. Ensure your phone is unlocked and compatible with Thai networks. Passport registration is typically required upon card activation. Alternatively, you can also consider eSIMs.

Where’s the best place to get your SIM in Thailand?

The airport is often recommended as the best place to purchase a SIM card due to English-speaking staff who can assist with troubleshooting on the spot, ensuring a smooth start to your connectivity in Thailand.

How do you top up your SIM?

Topping up your SIM card is a straightforward process facilitated through the official app provided by the mobile operator or at authorized retailers.

What’s included on the Thailand SIM card package?

While the contents may vary, a typical Thailand SIM card package includes the SIM card itself and relevant information on activation, top-up, and data plans. 

Do SIM card plans expire?

Yes, Thailand SIM cards have a time limit. How long they last depends on the package and company you choose, usually between 30 days to one year. Any data you haven’t used up will usually go away after this time. Make sure to check when your card expires after you buy it so you don’t run into problems or extra charges later.

Do you need to show passport to buy a sim card?

In the past, you could get a prepaid SIM card in Thailand without showing any ID. But now, you need to bring your passport when you buy one. They’ll make a copy in the store, and your new Thailand SIM card will be linked to your name and passport number. You can link up to three SIM cards to one passport. Unfortunately, if you’re a tourist, you can’t get an eSIM card from Thai mobile internet operators. You have to order E-SIM cards online, and they don’t need in-person registration – just an email address. If you don’t want to deal with the registration process, think about buying a SIM card for Thailand online.


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