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JimmyJ

Arriving in Bangkok for 90 day visit - suggestions for what and where to purchase air time?

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Posted (edited)

Plan to visit neighboring countries as well.

 

My US carrier just told me that my phone is unlocked.

 

I've been told I can buy a Sim card/air time in the Swampy airport.

 

 

Is there a place you recommend for the purchase, and a specific carrier's Sim/airtime that is best or preferable to you and could be used in neighboring countries as well?

 

Incidentally - Is the airport a good place to exchange USD for Baht? Or just change a small amount there?

 

 

Edited by JimmyJ

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Get a One 2 Call (AIS) Sim Card right at the airport once you clear customs they will be along the wall towards the exit.  You buy the Sim and then top up with credits, up to 1000 baht i believe.  If you plan on  using the internet alot on the mobile 4g network make sure you get the right sim and the right data plan. 

 

I would only change small amount at airport better conversions can be found away from the airport. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

Incidentally - Is the airport a good place to exchange USD for Baht? Or just change a small amount there?

Avoid the booths within the AOT (airport) premises. Identical rip off rates at all booths.

You loose 4% or more (I sometimes compare when have time at the airport).

 

Either change only a small amount or:

(if it's not too much with your baggage) proceed down to the lowest floor where the connection to the airport rail link is.

Right next to the escalator to the platform there is number of booths with top rates that are only beaten by 0.05/0.10 Baht in Bangkok city (Chinatown).

For a rough idea about rates:

https://daytodaydata.net/

select USD/THB/Notes.

Big face value, crispy notes preferred as usual.

Edited by KhunBENQ
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3 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

neighboring countries

Which countries?

This is the interesting part of your questions.

And I can't help much, just know that roaming with an AIS prepaid SIM in Laos was crazy expensive.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, KhunBENQ said:

Which countries?

This is the interesting part of your questions.

And I can't help much, just know that roaming with an AIS prepaid SIM in Laos was crazy expensive.

Planning on definitely Vietnam and Cambodia, but perhaps at least Vientiane for Laos. Possibly other countries.

Edited by JimmyJ

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If you want to Roam with data, get a local SIM or buy a SIM designed for Roaming; http://www.ais.co.th/roaming/sim2fly/en/

 

For a SIM to use whilst in Thailand, you should give a better idea of the amount and bandwidth of the data you need.

If no special needs, you can just pick up a 49/50 baht SIM at the airport or service centre of your choice.

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17 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

My US carrier just told me that my phone is unlocked.

 

What is the make/model? 

 

Which carrier do you use in the U.S.?

 

I'm assuming it can accept a SIM card?

 

I only ask so as to determine if your phone supports the necessary frequencies.

 

You could get a SIM at the airport, but those Tourist SIMs are not all universally convertible to "standard" SIMs to support your 90 day stay. Maybe get one, try it for 30 days, then try to convert it, or just buy a new SIM from the same provider. The downside is a different number.

 

You could just bypass the airport and buy a SIM at one of the ~ 6 million shops, add money, then subscribe to a data plan.

 

There are hundreds, maybe thousands of promotions at any given moment: some with bundled minutes and data (capped), some unlimited volume/capped speed, some limited volume/unlimited speed.

 

It really depends on your individual requirements/budget.

 

While you can roam in nearby countries, the cost to do so is prohibitive. Maybe best to get a separate specialized roaming SIM from a Thai provider (SIM2Fly/AIS, SIM Go! Inter/DTAC), or just buy a SIM in the destination countrie(s)?

 

 

 

AIS, DTAC and TrueMove H are the three major providers.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, mtls2005 said:

You could get a SIM at the airport, but those Tourist SIMs are not all universally convertible to "standard" SIMs to support your 90 day stay. Maybe get one, try it for 30 days, then try to convert it, or just buy a new SIM from the same provider. The downside is a different number.

 

You could just bypass the airport and buy a SIM at one of the ~ 6 million shops, add money, then subscribe to a data plan.

 

There are hundreds, maybe thousands of promotions at any given moment: some with bundled minutes and data (capped), some unlimited volume/capped speed, some limited volume/unlimited speed.

 

It really depends on your individual requirements/budget.

 

While you can roam in nearby countries, the cost to do so is prohibitive. Maybe best to get a separate specialized roaming SIM from a Thai provider (SIM2Fly/AIS, SIM Go! Inter/DTAC), or just buy a SIM in the destination countrie(s)?

 

 

 

AIS, DTAC and TrueMove H are the three major providers.

My phone accepts a single SIM.

 

I'm okay with getting a different local number with each SIM. I don't think it will be a problem.

 

What is the difference between a tourist SIM and a standard SIM?

 

"While you can roam in nearby countries, the cost to do so is prohibitive. Maybe best to get a separate specialized roaming SIM from a Thai provider (SIM2Fly/AIS, SIM Go! Inter/DTAC), or just buy a SIM in the destination countrie(s)?"

 

I didn't realize the cost would be prohibitive.

In that case I think your suggestion of buying a SIM in each country would work best.

 

 

Edited by JimmyJ

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39 minutes ago, JimmyJ said:

My phone accepts a single SIM.

 

So will your phone "work" in Thailand?

 

39 minutes ago, JimmyJ said:

What is the difference between a tourist SIM and a standard SIM?

 

Most Tourist SIMs are designed for "Tourists", amazingly enough, and have non-extendable expirations of 7/10/15/30 days. Some of these tourist SIMs can be extended, or converted to standard plans, but you'll have to review the T's & C's.

 

Roaming in another country on a standard SIM will be quite expensive. Using a special Thai roaming SIM like SIM2Fly/AIS less so, and using a local SIM the least expensive option.

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2 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

 

So will your phone "work" in Thailand?

 

 

Most Tourist SIMs are designed for "Tourists", amazingly enough, and have non-extendable expirations of 7/10/15/30 days. Some of these tourist SIMs can be extended, or converted to standard plans, but you'll have to review the T's & C's.

  

Roaming in another country on a standard SIM will be quite expensive. Using a special Thai roaming SIM like SIM2Fly/AIS less so, and using a local SIM the least expensive option.

 

 

The part about expiration is incorrect.

 

All Tourist SIM are extendible.  Some only allow you to have 90 days airtime in advance, but they are all extendible.

The only issue one might face is if you can only extend up to 90 days in advance, it will be more difficult to maintain the same SIM for a later trip.

Some maintain Tourist SIM as opposed to normal SIM as you can get relatively cheap call home if you aren't using Skype and the like. DTAC Tourist SIM charges 1 baht per minute to the USA. Similarly Truemove H. 

So, maintaining a Tourist SIM is an option.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I have a VOIP service with a US phone number and should be able to call the US  for no charge using the VOIP as long as I can use wireless service.

Edited by JimmyJ

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Just now, JimmyJ said:

I have a VOIP service and should be able to call the US  for no charge using the VOIP as long as I can use wireless service.

 

 

Then you should consider just a basic 49 baht SIM. Then you can choose an appropriate data package, such as unlimited data at 1 Mbps/4 Mbps/6 Mbps or 10 Mbps. Ranging from 214 baht per month to 588.50 baht per month. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, mtls2005 said:

 

So will your phone "work" in Thailand?

 

 

 

My phone is CDMA with a removable micro SIM card.

I just called both the manufacturer and my US carrier and they both stated it will be compatible, even though I assume Thailand is GSM.

 

Have you heard of problems with US CDMA unlocked phones unable to use Thai SIMs?

Edited by JimmyJ

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Jimmy go down to the train level at Bkk airport .The exchange rate down here IS UPTO 10 per cent better than upstairs .

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Posted (edited)

I get a SIM from the AIS stand at the airport and then they add on a data plan. Currently, this is 12 GB at 4G speeds for 799 baht for 30 days. This plan automatically renews each month, so you have to make sure you top up with enough credit to pay for the data before the automatic renewal. Each time I top up, it extends my validity by a month. DTAC and True have similar deals and coverage, so just go to the stand with the shortest line. Or you can go to one of their shops in a mall.

”Tourist SIM” and “Traveler SIM” are just marketing gimmicks. A SIM card is a SIM card. It’s what you add on that counts.

I recently got a SIM for 1week 4G in Cambodia at the airport in Phnom Penh – unlimited volume for $6. In Vietnam I believe it was $10 for something similar.

Edited by billp
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BANGKOK 16 July 2018 15:49
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