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Toby Keps

Travelled to 12 countries / regions

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I backpacked across Thailand in winter 2019

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Asia > Thailand > Koh Samui > Samui International Airport (USM) > Useful Info
Updated on Jan 18, 2020 Useful Info

How to buy prepaid SIM card at Koh Samui International Airport

  • You can easily get a prepaid SIM card at Koh Samui International Airport in the arrival hall. Both international and domestic passengers exit to the same arrival hall so regardless of where you're flying from you should have no problem buying the card
  • These are tourist SIM cards so they'll be much more expensive than the ones locals and long-term expats can buy. But they'll still be cheaper than international roaming
  • Of the three major telecom providers in Thailand, only True and Dtac have booths at the airport. AIS, which happens to be the biggest and best telecom (and also the most expensive one) in Thailand, does not have a booth at USM so if that's what you want you'll have to get it in town
  • SIM Card Prices:
  • True: 299 baht ($9.8USD) for 3GB of data for 8 days; 599 baht ($20USD) for 8GB of data for 15 daysUser submitted photo of Samui International Airport (USM)
  • Dtac: 159 baht ($5.25USD) for 5GB of data for 4 days; 299 baht ($9.8USD) for 15GB of data for 8 days; 599 baht ($20USD) for 30GB of data for 15 daysUser submitted photo of Samui International Airport (USM)
  • They accept both cash baht and international credit card for payment
  • For the latest prices check True's website and Dtac's website. The actual packages offered at the airport may be slightly different from what's advertised online, but it the website should still give you a ballpark
  • Where to find the booths: after you have picked up your luggage and exited into the arrival hall (from either international or domestic you exit into the same arrival hall), you will see lots of booths for various services, including taxi, hotels, ferry etc. Here, you will easily spot the booths for True and Dtac; they look like this:User submitted photo of Samui International Airport (USM)This is the official booth location map posted on Dtac's website for Samui Airport:User submitted photo of Samui International Airport (USM)The booths are open during the entire operating hours of the airport so whatever time your flight lands you should be able to buy a card no problem
  • Should you buy from True or Dtac?
  • As you can see from the prices above, you get way more data from Dtac than True for the same amount of money. So if you're on a tight budget, definitely go with Dtac
  • Dtac and True are both comparable in speed. In Thailand, AIS is universally recognized as having the best speed and highest geographic coverage, but obviously it's not available at the airport
  • However, where True does better than Dtac is national coverage. If you compare their coverage maps, you'll see that True trumps Dtac when it comes to fast 4G+ network coverage (map provided by https://www.nperf.com/en/map). This doesn't make any difference if you're only planning to visit Koh Samui, Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and other major cities/tourist areas, but if you're planning to venture in Thai countryside and smaller islands, True will be able to provide more consistent high speed mobile internet than Dtac can. However, if it's super important that you get the best coverage across the country, you should get your SIM card from AIS in town located here
  • True coverage map:User submitted photo of Samui International Airport (USM)
  • Dtac coverage map:User submitted photo of Samui International Airport (USM)