In Thailand, the vast majority of cafes, restaurants and hotels will provide you with WiFi Internet access. But some hotels will ask you to pay for it, sometimes a lot. It is much more reliable to buy a SIM card with unlimited internet from a local mobile operator. In this article you will learn how to connect to the Internet, how to buy a SIM card and how to top up an account in order to use your unlimited mobile Internet in Thailand.
- How to book a hotel with free internet in the rooms
- Mobile Internet in Thailand
- How to buy a SIM card for Internet Service in Thailand
- How to get unlimited mobile Internet
- How to top up your account and extend your internet service
- Price for mobile Internet in Thailand
- Options for those who do not want to change their phones' SIM cards
How to book a hotel with free internet in the rooms
Having to pay for Internet at your hotel, or not having it at all, is almost always an unpleasant experience. To avoid this is easy - when booking a hotel, use the "Free Wi-Fi in rooms" filter and choose from hotels that provide their guests with free access Internet access.
Mobile Internet in Thailand
The ability to connect to free internet at your hotel is, of course, good. But it is not very convenient. If you want to be constantly in touch, and have round-the-clock access to messengers, your mailbox and social networks, then you should buy a SIM card with Internet service. In Thailand it is very easy to do. Prepaid starter packs from Thai mobile operators are being sold:
- in special kiosks at airports,
- in 7 Eleven and Family Mart convenience stores, which can be found literally on every corner.
Three of Thailand’s largest mobile operators, DTac, TrueMove and AIS, have good coverage, high-speed mobile Internet and special starter packages for tourists. Service quality differs only slightly, so it's not worth running around in search of the best deal. You're better off spending your time on the beach.
How to buy a SIM card for Internet Service in Thailand
Buying a SIM card with unlimited internet can be done on arrival in Thailand. There are kiosks of mobile operators at practically every international airport in Thailand. But it is honestly possible to get stuck in the queue or find it closed for lunch.
It is much more convenient to order a SIM card while sitting and relaxing at your computer at home, with no rush, all the while, taking advantage of a great discount on the Klook website (by the way, you can also buy discounted tour and entrance tickets). Order your SIM card online, and you can pick it upat the airport:
- sim card or 4G router at Bangkok airports (Don Mueang or Suvarnabhumi),
- sim card or 4G router at Phuket airport,
- sim card at Krabi airport,
- sim card at Chiang Mai airport.
Sim cards can also be bought in 7 Eleven and Family Mart stores, but for this you will need to master the SIM card activation yourself (not all sellers of these stores are able to help you with this).
How to get unlimited mobile Internet
I want to clarify that “unlimited internet” is terminology used by Thai mobile operators to describe a tourist starter pack, like the one above, with a DTac SIM card (other operators have about the same thing, but in a different package).
The most popular package Happy Tourist Sim for 8 days offers:
- High-speed Super 4G Internet (maximum speed reaches 100 Mbps),
- 100 baht for calls,
- cheap international calls (you need to call via code 00400),
- free calls to numbers with the same tariff (if you buy several identical starter packages, you can call each other for free),
- unlimited internet for 8 days - the first 3Gb (gigabyte) at maximum speed, then the speed drops from 100 Mbps to 384 Kbps.
In the long run, it turns out that, while your internet is technically unlimited, it is limited to gigabytes and speed.
I want to be clear that, for the majority of users, 3GB is more than enough for the entire 8 days.
If you like to download movies in high quality, then you may need additional gigabytes and they can be very easily purchased. The code for adding to the package is another 2.5 GB of Internet at maximum speed for 63.13 baht - * 103 * 567 # call. Remember that you need to top up your account first, and then send the code to additional gigabytes.
How to top up your account and extend your internet service
To check the balance on the tourist card DTac, you need to dial * 101 * 1 * 9 # and press the call.
What happens when the 8 days specified in the start package end? The SIM card will continue to work, you will still be able to use the Internet, but at the price of 2 baht for 1 MB until you have money in the account or until you buy another package with internet service.
For example, unlimited internet for another 7 days at a speed of 4 Mbps costs 160.50 baht and is activated with the code * 104 * 388 # (dial the code and press the call).
To get this extension or purchase additional gigabytes of Internet service, you first must top up your mobile account.
You can top up your account in any 7 Eleven or Family Mart store:
- To improve understanding with store employees, write down on paper the phone number of your Thai SIM card and the name of the mobile operator (Dtac). You can find out your number by dialing the code * 102 * 9 # and pressing the call.
- You will be asked how much you want to top up on your account (minimum replenishment amount is 50 baht).
You can also top up your account in self-service devices, which are located near the entrance to 7 Eleven and Family Mart stores, or online on operator websites.
Price for mobile Internet in Thailand
If you are not satisfied with the information above and want to go even further into the detailed prices for more high-speed internet services, I can recommend you:
- when buying a starter pack, study its description (usually there are codes with promotional conditions),
- read SMS from the operator (they often send promotions with discounts and recharge codes),
- examine the rates on the mobile operator site.
For example, I prefer the maximum speed internet service option. the DTac operator provided information about the one month packages I was interested in:
- 5 GB for a month - 299 baht (*104*325*9# dial),
- 10 GB for a month - 499 baht (*104*320*9# dial).
Options for those who do not want to change their phones' SIM cards
If you do not want to replace the SIM card in your phone, but you still want to use unlimited Thai internet service without turning off your "home" phone number, you can rent a mobile 3G / 4G router that will distribute the Internet via WiFi to all your devices (up to 10 devices at the same time).
Compact 3G / 4G routers are very convenient travel gadgets. You should not rent, but buy one, so you can always take it with you on the road.
A couple of interesting models of 3G / 4G WiFi routers for travelers:
- compact and inexpensive 3G / 4G version, that works from any USB slot (computer, phone charging, powerbank),
- 2 in 1: 4G router plus powerbank (WiFi with you, wherever you go).
In these 3G / 4G routers, you can insert the SIM card of any local operator and enjoy the Internet on multiple devices.
Useful links to save your time and money:
- Find cheap flights to Thailand - SkyScanner and JetRadar.
- Easy book cheap flights across Asia - Airpaz.
- Save money on a hotel by booking at the best price - Hotellook and HotelCombined.
- Rent a car at any airport in Thailand - EconomyBookings или Rentalcars.
- Buy tickets for buses, ferries and trains in Thailand - 12go.asia.
- Book airport transfer in Thailand - Intui.travel или Kiwitaxi.
- Buy entrance tickets and tours with discounts - Klook.