Jump to content
mochatsubo

Occasionally short time visitor - SIM strategy?

Recommended Posts

mochatsubo

Hello everyone:

I'm in Bangkok/Pattaya about 3 times a year for visits that last as short as 5 days to long as 3 weeks. In the olden days, when I'd come once a year for a week at a time, I would just get a tourist SIM from one of the BKK booths (DTAC, AIS, etc) and not worry to much about cost and capability. Now I'm looking for a longer term solution. After reading the forum I guess I can do the following:

1) Buy a tourist sim at BKK if I want phone use right away. But then buy a proper non-tourist SIM in town? Are there regular SIMs available at BKK?

2) Walk into one of the mobile stores in Central Mall Pattaya and get a regular sim from DTAC or AIS, etc. Does it matter where you buy your SIM card initially?

3) Purchase the appropriate length / speed data PLAN I want for this trip.

4) I can purchase top off codes in 7-11 etc, and keep my SIM validity on going.

5) When I'm not in Thailand, I can still use a roaming connection to check balance and top up using USSD keycodes? If so how do you pay for top up when not in Thailand?

6) I can always use https://mobiletopup.com/ to top up the account when not in Thailand.

7) When I come back to Thailand purchase another PLAN.

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
themelonman

Not sure what you expect the difference to be between a 'tourist SIM' and a regular plan. It's just branding for the starter package you choose AFAIK. They are SIMs.

What you choose as a top-up plan once the first x days expire is what makes the difference, and that's up to you.

I got a 'tourist' DTAC inc 30days a year and a half ago which lasted the duration of my stay. Back half a year later, I popped it back in, added 300b at the kiosk for another 30days, and carried on. Did the same the next time - after which I've been resident and refilling the same way.

As they are pay-as-you go, a few months away with no top-up just means no service, no charge. No issues re-activating later (within sensible timeframes) that I have seen.

I have the DTAC app on the phone that shows me balance, plan, and lets me top up over wifi or other network if needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hioctane

With AIS (I think the others are similar)... Every time you top up (even if it is 20 baht), you extend the validity by 30 more days. I topped up so many times, my expiration is way into next year.:D BTW, I don't like to leave too much baht on the SIM. When your plan expires, it seems to drain the baht away! I also have a Bangkok Bank account which can easily top up so I don't need to go to the Family Mart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mochatsubo
19 hours ago, themelonman said:

Not sure what you expect the difference to be between a 'tourist SIM' and a regular plan. It's just branding for the starter package you choose AFAIK. They are SIMs.

What you choose as a top-up plan once the first x days expire is what makes the difference, and that's up to you.

OK. I think I understand now. The "tourist' SIMs are just regular SIMs that start off with a package (8 days, 15 days, etc)? If that is the case, I can just get one at BKK and then keep it going as my Thai SIM indefinitely as long as I top off occasionally to validate, correct?

Thanks for the info!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
themelonman
1 hour ago, mochatsubo said:

I can just get one at BKK and then keep it going as my Thai SIM indefinitely as long as I top off occasionally

That's been successful for me, yeah. Using the account management app or website, it seems that all the local options and promotions are available to me, 'tourist' SIM or not. Though some of the packages are promoted differently in the English-language side of things, all the rates seem competitive with each other and I don't think that 'tourist package means 'tourist prices' in any significant way.

BUT you can certainly get overcharged with tourist tax depending on which kiosk you walk up to in the arrivals hall. I know at least one official-looking stand was happy to try and take 900THB for a 400THB package. Despite the signage making them look like official reps, I think some are just resellers that add their own margin.

I'd say to not pay more than the listed price on the package envelope - but I'd also say that if I've just got off a long-haul flight and need net now, I don't mind paying some markup to let the shop dude go through the 10 minutes of installation and activation hassle for me. What's your own time worth?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Geordie59

I had one that expired. My next one I went to the DTAC office (in pretty much any shopping mall) and got them to extend it for 1 year. I think it was free, if not it only maybe 30 baht.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kandinski

Buy a SIM, top it of to extend validity and thats it

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.