Buying a SIM card at Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) for Travelers 2024

This guide is for travelers arriving at Don Mueang International Airport – Bangkok’s regional budget airport who look for ways to stay connected during their Thailand trip. Discover the essential steps for purchasing a SIM card at Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) as a tourist in Thailand, including the latest prices. Additionally, we will explore the merits of buying a Thailand SIM card at the airport and present the optimal alternatives for accessing the internet in Thailand.

Key Takeaways:

  • Buy prepaid, data-only Thai SIM card at Don Mueang international airport if you need instant Internet connection if your phone does not work eSIM
  • Choose eSIM for Thailand to alternate prepaid SIM cards
  • You CANNOT get MVNOs’ SIM cards at Bangkok Don Mueang Airport.
Buy Bankgok Donmueang airport sim card

I. Should You Buy a SIM Card at Bangkok Don Mueang Airport (DMK)?

This is the fastest and easiest way to get Internet access for Thailand travel (true if your phone does not work with eSIM).

If you need immediate internet access upon arriving in Thailand and are not concerned about price, plan options, or waiting in line, you can buy a Thailand SIM card at Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport (DMK). While there are other options available for internet access in Bangkok, such as roaming with your home SIM card, pocket wifi, free wifi, or prepaid international eSIM, purchasing a SIM card at the airport remains the most convenient and efficient choice for the average traveler.

However, it is important to consider the pros and cons of buying and using a SIM card at the airport. Here are the main advantages and disadvantages:

Pros:

  • Instant internet access upon arrival at the Bangkok airport
  • Stable and fast internet connection with major Thai mobile networks
  • Avoid high roaming charges
  • Protect your privacy by avoiding the use of potentially insecure free wifi
  • Avoid the hassle of carrying a portable wifi device
  • Assistance from staff when setting up the SIM card
  • Overcome language barriers

Cons:

  • More expensive than buying a Thai SIM card outside the airport (in the city center)
  • More expensive than purchasing an international tourist eSIM for Thailand
  • Need to wait in line at the airport’s SIM stores
  • Must present passport or ID card
  • Limited plan options to choose from

Our recommendation:
If you require immediate internet access and don’t mind waiting in line, we suggest buying a SIM card at Bangkok airport (DMK) upon arrival. However, if you prefer better prices and plan options, consider alternative methods.

Choose a SIM card with data only to save money because you can still access the internet while staying connected with people back home through voice apps.

If your phone supports eSIM technology, consider using an international tourist eSIM for Thailand. This option allows you to activate your plan online without the need to wait in line at the airport’s SIM stores. Simply scan the QR code provided.

II. How to Buy a SIM Card at Bangkok Don Mueang Airport? 

Regarding Thailand cellular internet providers, there are major Thai cellular network operators like DTAC, AIS, TrueMove H, and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) like Penguin SIM and My by CAT.

However, you CANNOT get MVNOs’ SIM cards at Bangkok Don Mueang Airport, so the only choices are from major network operators. 

Getting a SIM card at DMK airport is simple. There are 02 main options:

1. Pre-order online for pickup at DMK airport

Many Thai carriers allow pre-ordering SIMs online for collection at the airport. Simply select a plan, pay online, then pick up the SIM at the designated counter using your order details

2. Buy on arrival

SIM stores are plentiful throughout DMK airport. Look for signs as you exit customs – shops are in immigration, baggage claim and arrival areas. The major carriers like AIS, True and DTAC have multiple stalls.

What to prepare: have your passport, unlocked phones ready. Cash and cards are usually accepted.

Plans range from daily tourist SIMs to longer packages.

Buying on arrival means no waiting for delivery. And airport prices are competitive versus downtown. 

Sign up takes just minutes to get connected in Thailand.

III. How Much Does a SIM Card Cost at DMK Airport?

The prices of SIM cards at DMK Airport differ based on the provider and the particular plan you select. Typically, tourist Thailand SIM cards cost from 259 THB ( $7.3 USD) to 1650 THB ($46.4 USD) at Bangkok Don Mueang Airport (DMK).

Good to know: One great thing about buying SIM cards at Don Mueang International airport is that you do not need to pay tourist tax or airport convenience fee.

IV. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Bangkok DMK Airport? 

Note: Do not buy SIM cards at domestic terminals. Instead, go to the international terminal where you can find better SIM card options.

You can buy SIM cards at SIM shops of Thai mobile internet providers, Klook stalls or convenience stores like 7-Eleven scattered throughout DMK airport. 

Remember that because the airport does not have many nighttime arrivals, SIM shops here (AIS’s, TrueMove H’s, and DTAC’s will be closed before midnight (unlike BKK airport where almost SIM stores and booths open 24/24)
But, if you buy a SIM card for Thailand travel from AIS, TrueMove H and DTAC official stores in DMK airport, you can avoid tourist/convenience tax.

Here are the detailed locations of each:

1. DTAC stores

Map of Dtac stores at Don Mueang international airport
Map of DTAC stores at Don Mueang international airport

DTAC, a leading network company in Thailand, is the top choice in major cities. Tourists visiting Thailand can enjoy high-speed internet with DTAC Happy Tourist SIM plans, reaching speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

There are 02 stores of DTAC at DMK airport.

Locations of DTAC Official store at DMK airport:

Branch 1 : International Arrival hall, between Exit No.3 & No.5

Branch 1 : International Arrival hall, Opposite Exit 6

Guide to find the stores: as soon as you turn left after the baggage claim area, you can find one DTAC booth. Another is on the way when you walk towards the domestic terminal. 

Opening hours: 00:00 – 23:59 from Monday to Sunday

What to prepare: passport, carrier-unlocked, cash or card payment (accepted)

Cost: from 249 THB to 1549 THB

Note that Truemove H and DTAC Thailand announced that they will merge into one company called True Corp in March 2023. 

Note: 

  • DTAC stall at DMK airport’s departure hall only sells travel SIM cards to be used abroad  – not in Thailand, so be aware of this.
  • There are some SIM card plans of DTAC that are only sold at DMK airport, and you cannot find them in regular DTAC stores or from other resellers.

2. AIS stores

For visiting towns like Chiang Rai in Thailand, get an AIS SIM card. AIS is a major cellular provider in Thailand, though no longer the largest after a merger. 

You can easily purchase an AIS SIM upon arrival at Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport. However, there is ONLY ONE AIS BOOTH in the international arrivals at DMK airport (unlike DTAC and TrueMove H which have multiple booths). So, you should expect potential waits during busy periods when buying at AIS booth.

What to prepare: cash only, passport/ID card, carrier-unlocked phone

Cost: 299 THB – 1999 THB

Note: 

  • With AIS, you can buy an unlimited data plan at the Bangkok Don Mueang Airport. This is an exclusive option for only DMK airport.  You cannot find this plan in other airports in Thailand. 
  • Prepare cash in advance if you want to buy AIS SIM card at DMK airport
  • The salesperson may take up your photo as part of the SIM card registration laws of Thailand.
  • Most ATMs in Thailand (including DMK airport) apply a standard fee of 220 THB for cash withdrawals using international cards. To avoid multiple charges, you should withdraw a sufficient amount of money upfront to cover your expenses throughout your trip.
  • AIS eSIM is not available at DMK airport, but you can buy it online

3. TrueMove H Stores

Map of Trueshop at Don Mueang Airport DMK
Map of Trueshop at Don Mueang Airport DMK

TrueMove H is the 2nd largest cellular network company in Thailand. In some locations, it has better performance than AIS. 

At DMK airport, TrueMove H has 03 stores in the international terminal. You can also find TrueMove SIM at 7-Eleven store.

TrueMove H has 02 SIM card lines for tourists: TrueMove H Thailand Tourist SIM (data + unlimited minutes for calls within the network) and TrueMove H Infinite SIM (unlimited data at max speeds (5G NR) + unlimited local minutes).

You can also find TrueMove H SIM card plans and prices respectively sold at DMK airport on its official websites. 

Locations: 

  • Branch 1 : International Arrivals Hall, at Exit 3
  • Branch 2 : International Arrivals Hall, at Exit 4
  • Branch 3  : International Arrivals Hall,​ at Exit​ 6

Opening hours: 00:00 – 23:59 from Monday to Sunday

Cost: from 299 THB to 999 THB

Note: Be aware about your flight’s arrival time and opening hours of SIM card shops in the DMK airport. Some SIM card shops do not open 24/7 so if you arrive out of their opening hours, you may not be able to buy a SIM for Thailand.

4. Convenience stores or Klook stalls

Klook store at Don Mueang airport

You can also buy a SIM card for Thailand travel at Convenience stores like 7-Eleven, Familymart, and at Klook stall at Bangkok DMK airport.

Things to note:

  • 7-Eleven only sells TrueMove H tourist SIM cards (no DTAC or AIS SIM).
  • Familymart sells DTAC Happy Tourist SIM cards

If buying from 7-Eleven, the salesperson will help you activate the SIM card. 

But there are not any special deals or promotions of TrueMove H SIM card at the 7-Eleven store. However, you do not need to pay a tourist tax or airport convenience fee here.

Refer the following guides if you land at other Thailand airports:

V. Registration Process to Get a SIM Card at Bangkok Don Mueang Airport (DMK)

To purchase a Thailand SIM card at Bangkok Don Mueang Airport, it is necessary to have an unlocked phone, passport, cash or card payment (which can vary depending on the SIM provider). 

Note: We strongly advise obtaining a SIM card at Don Mueang Airport to avoid any additional fees or taxes typically imposed on tourists or for the sake of convenience.

VI. Best Tourist Bangkok Airport SIM Cards Options and Price

Below we introduce some Thai SIM card options offered by mobile internet providers and prices accordingly:

1. DTAC Thailand SIM plans at DMK airport (Happy Tourist SIM)

DTAC happy tourist sim at DMK airport

Here are DTAC tourist SIM plans for Thailand travel:

  • DTAC Happy Tourist SIM 8-days Unlimited Internet: 15 GB data at max speed, calls to DTAC numbers, 100 Baht calls to all networks =  299 Baht (USD 8.32)
  • DTAC Happy Tourist SIM 10-days Unlimited Internet: 50 GB data at max speed, 100 mins calls to all networks = 349 Baht (USD 9.70)
  • DTAC Happy Tourist SIM 15-days Unlimited Internet: 30 GB data at max speed = 599 Baht (USD 16.68)
  • DTAC Happy Tourist SIM Pay-As-You-Go: 1 GB data for 24 hours, calls to DTAC numbers for 1 day = 49 Baht (USD 1.36)

2. AIS Thailand SIM plans at DMK airport

AIS SIM card for tourists at DMK airport

Here are AIS tourist SIM plans for Thailand travel:

  • 7-day plan: unlimited data at 1 Mbps + unlimited social data + 20 THB credit = 219 THB (7.27 USD)
  • 8-day plan: 10GB data + unlimited social data + 100 THB credit = 299 THB  (9.93 USD)
  • 8-day plan: 25GB data + unlimited social data + 100 THB credit = 399 THB (13.26 USD)
  • 8-day plan: 25GB data (throttled at 10 Mbps after exhausting high-speed data) + unlimited social data + 100 THB credit = 499 THB (16.58 USD)
  • 15-day plan: unlimited data at 4 Mbps + unlimited social data + 50 THB credit = 699 THB (23.21 USD)
  • 30-day plan: 50GB data + unlimited social data + 50 THB credit = 899 THB (29.88 USD)
  • 30-day plan: unlimited data at 10 Mbps + unlimited social data + 50 THB credit = 999 THB (33.19 USD)
  • 15-day plan: unlimited data + unlimited social data + 200 THB credit = 1399 THB(46.43 USD)
  • 30-day plan: unlimited data + unlimited social data + 50 THB credit = 1699 THB (56.38 USD)
  • 30-day plan: unlimited data + unlimited social data + 300 THB credit = 1399 THB (46.43 USD)

Note: Social data for using Facebook, Instagram, Line, TikTok, Twitter & YouTube

3. TrueMove H SIM plans at DMK airport

Truemove H SIM plans sold at DMK airport

Here are TrueMove H tourist SIM plans for Thailand travel:

  • 8 Days 299 THB ($8 USD)
  • 10 Days 349 THB ($10 USD)
  • 15 Days 599 THB ($16 USD)

All three plans above offer Unlimited 5G Internet + Unlimited 14 social apps (no data charges) + 100 THB calling credit for international calls + Unlimited calls among TrueMove H numbers + Unlimited WiFi

Note: Plan prices and features are subject to change over time. Contact the provider for updated information.

IV. Thailand eSIM for Bangkok – an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card at Bangkok Bangkok Airport

For travelers to Thailand with an eSIM-compatible device, Gigago is a reputable eSIM provider to consider. Purchasing a Gigago eSIM before arrival allows instant activation upon landing, avoiding physical SIM queues.

Gigago Thailand eSIM - alternative to SIM card at DMK airport

Their plans offer flexibility across devices without swaps plus fast speeds on major Thai networks.

Gigago offers flexible eSIM plans with both data and call credits, including options from an 8-day plan with 15GB of data for $8.90 to a 30-day unlimited data plan for $34.90.

Key benefits of Gigago eSIM include unbeatable convenience, flexibility across devices, fast reliable connectivity, and significant cost savings versus roaming or public WiFi. 

For more details and installation guide, check Gigago Thailand eSIM.

V. Where to Buy a SIM card Outside Bangkok DMK Airport?

Buying SIM cards at DMK airport is quick and easy but more expensive than in the city center. 

To buy a SIM card in Bangkok city center, you can go to the official stores of major mobile internet providers in Thailand like AIS, DTAC and TrueMove Stores. Alternatively, you can also buy SIM cards for tourists at 7-Eleven stores, gas stations, phone stores, etc.

For official stores of MNO in Thailand, you can find them at major shopping malls like CentralWorld, Siam Paragon, etc. and tourist areas like Khaosan Road, Sukhumvit Road, etc.

Price: Starting from 299 THB for a tourist SIM card with 15GB data and 100 THB call credit.

Other options to buy Thai SIM cards in Bangkok city are SIM card from MVNOs like MyByCAT and TOT. These can be found at major shopping malls and tourist areas as well. 

Note: the prices may vary depending on the specific plan and promotions offered at the time of purchase. It’s always a good idea to compare prices and features from different providers before making a decision.

VI. FAQs

Where can I pick up a Thailand SIM?

Most major carriers like AIS, TrueMove H, and DTAC have shops throughout DMK Airport in the arrival areas. You’ll also find 7-Elevens and MyByCAT kiosks selling SIMs.

What do I need for Thailand SIM card purchase at DMK airport?

Just your passport is sufficient for buying a SIM. Some vendors may ask to quickly photocopy your visa page as well.

How do I activate my new Thailand SIM?

Activation is straightforward – pop the SIM into your phone and follow the on-screen instructions. Within moments you’ll be connected and able to use your new local number during your travels in Thailand.