If you are traveling to Thailand, one question you will think about at one point before leaving your home country is “Which SIM card is the best to purchase for a foreigner visiting Thailand?”. In this article, I will share what I know and which SIM I will recommend to anyone going to Thailand. I will also cover how and where to purchase these SIM cards.

What SIM card to get in Thailand

AIS SIM cards are the best choice for tourists. There are 3 main SIM cards available for you to choose from: AIS, DTAC or True Move. I’ve tried all of these, and I’m going to save you time and money by letting you know that AIS is the best one in my experience and that should be the one you purchase during your visit to Thailand.

How much is a SIM card in Thailand

Speed Data Active Days Cost
1 Mbps Unlimited 7 days 88 baht
1 Mbps Unlimited 30 days 300 baht
4 Mbps Unlimited 7 days 150 baht
4 Mbps Unlimited 30 days 450 baht
6 Mbps Unlimited 7 days 189 baht
6 Mbps Unlimited 30 days 550 baht

These prices do not include the 7% VAT fee.

How much internet speed do I need in Thailand

To get an idea of which speed you should purchase during your travel, here are some practical examples for you to compare: If you are mainly going to use the internet for chatting with friends and family then 1 Mbps speed is enough for you. You will be able to send and post photos on Instagram just fine. You’ll be able to do the same with videos, but it can get quite slow. To have a smoother experience when sending and posting videos, 4 Mbps speed is what you’ll need. You may also want to watch some Youtube videos during your downtime here in Thailand, and for that, you’ll want 6 Mbps speed. This will allow you to watch videos in 720p or 1080p.

Where to buy a SIM card in Thailand

To buy a SIM card, you’ll either want to go to an official AIS shop (they’ll be in most malls here in Bangkok) or Family Mart. You will not be able to buy an AIS SIM card at 7/11, but Family Mart is also located everywhere just like 7/11. To buy an AIS SIM card, you’ll need to provide them with your passport. They won’t accept any other kind of ID. Your passport will be scanned.

The trick that nobody tells you is this:

  1. Buy the most basic SIM card for 88 baht (about USD 2-3). It gives you 1 Mbps for 7 days.
  2. Top up with the amount you need based on the speed & data you want.

Don’t buy the traveler SIM card packages!

You can top up your SIM at the same place you bought it from. You don’t need to top up if you’re fine with the 1 Mbps speed for 7 days that comes with the SIM card, but if you need more, here are your top up options:

Package Top Up Number
1 Mbps, 30 days, unlimited data * 777 * 7153 #
4 Mbps, 7 days, unlimited data * 777 * 7154 #
4 Mbps, 30 days, unlimited data * 777 * 7155 #
6 Mbps, 7 days, unlimited data * 777 * 7210 #
6 Mbps, 30 days, unlimited data * 777 * 7211 #

Use the top up number on your keypad as if you were to dial a number (including the * and # characters). Nice and simple right?

Should I buy a SIM card at the airport?

You will find that there are shops conveniently situated at the airport after you collect your luggage. DO NOT buy from these shops unless you’re really desperate to get a SIM before stepping out of the airport. You will end up coughing up a lot of money for really slow internet. I remember my first time in Thailand, I bought a SIM card in one of these shops (the person in front of the shop will try really hard to make you buy from them, so be careful). I purchased one SIM card for 599 baht (about USD 20) with less than 56 Kbps speed (I could barely load an image with that speed). Nowhere in the packaging or any of the posters in front of the shop mention anything about the internet speed of these SIM cards.