Mobile Phone Calls and WiFi / Internet in Thailand

Last month, I was handed a free SIM card at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport after my plane from Laos landed. I didn't have the chance to use it as I was flying home to the Philippines a few hours later.

Yesterday, I was once more in Bangkok and was finally able to test the Happy sim (more info at From my research online, this one costs THB 49 and has THB 15 free load. As soon as I cleared immigration, I inserted the sim in my extra phone to call my uncle who I was meeting a few hours later. 

Unlike in the Philippines where texting is cheap and voice calls are expensive, local text messages here cost THB 3 each while calls are at THB 0.99-1.50 per minute. Internet costs THB 2 per megabyte. 

After my first call, I tried to activate the English menu by calling 1678 as per the brochure's instruction. All I heard was someone speaking in Thai. The wasted call further deducted THB 3 from my free load. 

I looked for a DTAC booth to buy extra credits so I can connect to the Internet. The lady at the counter suggested I just buy the Happy Tourist sim that provides unlimited 3G access for 7 days and THB 100 load credits. Knowing that I would probably be out sightseeing most of the time in the next five days, I bought the new sim.

I inserted it in a Samsung Galaxy Y phone and used that as my mobile hotspot. When the data packet is on, I can connect my laptop, Windows Phone, and iPad mini to the internet as well. The catch though is that the Samsung phone's battery drains faster when WiFi is on so I made use of a power bank to make sure my hotspot doesn't die on me.

In fairness, the connection is not bad, although I've never seen the signal reach as high as 3G status. I am able to post photos on Instagram, check my emails, and keep updated on Facebook both in Bangkok and in Pattaya. There are just some areas where the signal goes from E to H. When it rained heavily earlier today, I had difficulties posting pictures online.

Still, I am very thankful that for a few extra bahts, I could still communicate with my loved ones back home as well as keep updated with news from the Philippines. 

Aside from DTAC, another mobile service provider here is AIS. Rates and SIM cards cost the same but my uncle says the signal of AIS is believed to be better. If you do get to try it when you're in Thailand, please leave a comment on this post so other readers can also make use of the information :)

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