You need to know this if you do not want to pay 300 THB for a 50 THB SIM. Prepaid SIM cards, especially the ones that tourists look for in Thailand, are sometimes sold at ridiculously higher prices as compared to their official prices. I was once asked to pay 200 THB for a 50 THB SIM at Nana Square Mall in Bangkok and another time was quoted a price of 290 THB for a 49 THB SIM in Pattaya. That had prompted me to call it Thailand’s SIM Card Scam. Actually, the simple way around this problem is to buy a prepaid SIM from a telecom company’s official shop. There are official shops of all Thai telecom companies at Suvarnabhumi airport where prepaid SIM cards including the “tourist” SIM cards can be purchased. Similarly one can buy prepaid SIM cards even at Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok. However, if you neglect buying one at the airport on arrival, this might become a troublesome issue for you.
Finding an official SIM card shop in Bangkok is not easy. There are a few shops scattered in the city but not many in the tourist areas. The best bet for a tourist is to look for an official SIM card shop inside a shopping mall. Just go to the help desk on the ground floor and ask the staff there about a company SIM card shop. However, If you happen to be near the BTS Nana or Asoke stations, you are in luck.
Terminal 21 Shopping Mall Next To Asoke BTS Station
6th floor of Terminal 21 Shopping Mall adjacent to the Asoke BTS station (Exit 1) has official SIM card shops of AIS, DTAC, and True Move. The shopping mall is open everyday from 10.00am to 10.00pm. The only shortcoming is, these shops operate mostly for the local customers and hence may not stock all the “Tourist” variants of SIM cards. Still, they will have some type of a prepaid SIM card that you can buy at the official price. Another benefit of going to an official SIM shop is that you may be able to buy a data pack for your prepaid SIM at a promotional price. These promotional offers are not disclosed to the customers at the airport shops. In Terminal 21, one may even go to all the three company shops and compare their SIM prices, call rates and data offers.
Read my articles on Tourist Prepaid SIM Cards in Thailand
Now A Bonus Tip
After buying your SIM card on the 6th floor, come down to the 5th floor for this super-duper vegetarian meal of rice with three different curries at just 40 THB. You won’t get such a deal anywhere else in Bangkok.