How to Activate and Use an eSIM for Thailand: Easy Guide for Beginners 

All basics about eSIM for Thailand travel, cost compared, best service providers recommended, prepaid eSIM data plans and detailed guide to use for tourists.

Traveling to Thailand can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, staying connected while traveling in the country of Golden Temples can often prove challenging and costly. That is where electronic SIM cards, or eSIMs, come in handy. eSIMs provide cellular and data connectivity just like regular SIM cards, but without the need to physically switch out cards. For travelers heading to Thailand, eSIMs offer a convenient and affordable way to access calling, texting, and internet data during your trip. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about how to activate and use an eSIM for Thailand, including:

  • What is an eSIM for Thailand? Why get one?
  • Factors to consider before purchase
  • Checklist before installation
  • How to buy and download eSIM for Thailand
  • How to install and activate eSIM for Thailand by phone models
  • Frequently asked questions by travelers about eSIM for Thailand setup and activation
How to install and activate eSIM for Thailand

I. Is eSIM available in Thailand?

Yes. International eSIM is available in Thailand and offered by major Thailand cellular network carriers, which are AIS, DTAC and TrueMove H.

There are some Thailand eSIM providers on the market, but Gigago has the best data plans on offer. See more details below to know why.

II. What is Thailand eSIM? An Easy Explanation for Beginners

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM (embedded SIM) is an electronic or digital SIM card stored on your device instead of a physical nano SIM card. eSIMs connect to local cellular networks to enable calling, texting, and mobile data just like regular SIM cards.

Main difference between Thailand eSIMs and Thailand SIM cards is that eSIMs are directly downloaded to your device versus inserting a physical card. Changing carriers can be set on the device, so there is no need for physical replacement.

eSIM for Thailand is the eSIM that includes network plans for Thailand. If your phone supports eSIM, we advise getting an eSIM for Thailand before your trip to Thailand. By doing this, you may avoid the lines and inconvenience of getting a SIM card from a phone store and have an immediate data connection when you arrive in Thailand.

Which Type of Thailand eSIM are Best for Travelers?

Regarding types of eSIM plans for Thailand travel, there are 02 common types:

  • data-only eSIM
  • data + voice + text eSIM

The average travelers to Thailand often choose eSIM plans with data only.  This type is more affordable and still allows them to browse the web, navigate the map, stay online on social media, and stay in touched with people back home though apps like WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, etc.

The latter, data, voice and text plans may be suitable for businessmen or those with the need to maintain contacts via analog calls and SMS.

III. Why Get an eSIM for Thailand Travel?

eSIM can replace traditional SIM card for travelers
eSIM can replace traditional SIM card for travelers

Using a Thailand eSIM allows you to get immediate travel data after arrival in Thailand.

There are many advantages of Thailand eSIM for tourists, but below are the most appreciated by travelers:

  • Use it as soon as you arrive in Thailand
  • Do not need to find and purchase a Thai SIM card when you arrive
  • Easy to set up before your trip from home
  • Convenience of not having to swap physical SIM cards
  • More secure and reliable than using public WiFi in Thailand
  • No risk of loss or damage
  • Avoid expensive roaming charges from your provider back home

With an eSIM, staying connected in Thailand is simple, convenient, and cost-effective.

IV. Where to Buy eSIM for Thailand?

To buy eSIM for Thailand travel, you have many ways like buying before travel, buying at Thailand airport, or buying in Thai cities after arrival. However, the most recommended is buying online, one day before departure, and from a prestigious eSIM provider.

You should buy eSIM online because it does not require you to go directly to the SIM card store or show passport or personal information. This helps save your time and effort.

You should buy eSIM one day before your departure to Thailand to warrant that you can maintain the longest usage duration for your plan.

You should buy eSIM from a prestigious eSIM provider to ensure that you can get the best value per money, multiple plans to choose from and good customer support. As a specific recommendation, we suggest Gigago eSIM provider for your Thailand trip thanks to its wide range of plans, affordable prices, and professional customer support through 5 languages namely English, Vietnamese, Japanese, French, Spanish and Chinese.

V. Factors to Consider Before Buying a Thailand eSIM

Knowing factors that are important before purchase will help you select the best eSIM and plan for your upcoming trip.

  • A carrier-unlocked, eSIM-compatible device – eSIMs only work on newer model iPhones and Android devices.
  • Carrier and plan options – research Thailand carriers and data plans. Consider Thailand eSIM plans by Gigago
  • Activation requirements – some eSIMs require unlocking or VPNs to activate
  • Coverage areas – ensure your travel destinations are covered
  • Duration of trip – pick a data plan that aligns with your travel dates
  • Budget – eSIM data packages range from affordable to premium options
  • Usage needs – assess how much data, calls & texts you’ll require

► Check if your phone can work with eSIM before purchase with our updated list of eSIM-supported devices.

VI. Checklist Before Installing eSIM for Thailand Travel

Checklist before installing eSIM for Thailand
  • Confirm your device is unlocked, eSIM-supported, and already has an activated primary SIM
  • have the QR code or details handy after buying your Thailand eSIM data plan
  • Reliable Wi-Fi connection for installation and activation

Advance preparation is key to getting connected smoothly with your Thai eSIM.

VII. How to Buy and Download eSIM for Thailand?

Follow these steps to purchase and set up your Thailand travel eSIM:

  • Browse eSIM providers and select a Thailand plan that fits your device, dates, and budget needs. Top option belongs to
  • Choose your connectivity plan and enter payment details to complete checkout.
  • Receive your Thai eSIM via email as a digital QR code or activation details
  • Save this eSIM info to your device or cloud storage for easy access when you arrive in Thailand.
  • Download the appropriate carrier assistance apps for your chosen eSIM provider if any. This is where you will manage your plan.
  • Follow any instructions from the provider to pre-configure your eSIM app or settings.

You are now ready to seamlessly activate your Thai eSIM once you touch down in Thailand!

See how to install and activate eSIM Thailand on different phone models in the next section.

VIII. How to Install and Activate eSIM Thailand on iPhones

Time required: less than 10 minutes

Regarding what to do for installation and activation for Thailand eSIM on iPhoness, we divide into 02 phases: before departure and after arrival Thailand.

1. Before departure

There are different ways to set up and activate eSIM on iPhone. However, the most common is QR code. Below are two ways you can install and activate your eSIM. But, note that this may vary depending on your model and current iOS version.

1.1 Scan QR Code sent to your email by eSIM provider

To ready your iPhone for eSIM activation in Thailand:

  • Connect iPhone to a stable Wi-Fi network to ensure smooth downloading and installation.
  • Go to Settings > Cellular/Mobile data
  • Tap on Add a cellular plan to add eSIM
  • Use the phone’s camera to scan the QR code sent in your email by the eSIM provider
  • When the Cellular Plan Detection notification appears, tap Continue. After scanning, tap Add cellular plan again, wait 15-20 minutes to allow the eSIM to completely activate on your device.
  • Name your eSIM: Go to Cellular Settings > label the new eSIM with a personalized name like “Thailand eSIM”
  • Choose Data Source: choose your newly installed eSIM your default mobile data option over the primary SIM. Toggle off the cellular data if necessary
  • Switch mobile data: enable this option to allow the switching function between physical SIMs and eSIMs.
Set up eSIM Thailand on iphone using QR code - step 1-3
Set up eSIM Thailand on iphone using QR code – step 1-3
Set up eSIM Thailand on iphone using QR code - step 4-6
Set up eSIM Thailand on iphone using QR code – step 4-6

1.2. Manual Activation

  • Go to Settings > Mobile/Cellular section
  • Add eSIM > Enter details manually
  • Import the SM-DP+ Address and activation code for the eSIM
  • Tap Next
Set up eSIM Thailand on iphone manually - step 1-3
Set up eSIM Thailand on iphone manually – step 1-3
Set up eSIM Thailand on iphone manually - step 4-6
Set up eSIM Thailand on iphone manually – step 4-6

2. Upon Arrival in Thailand

Once you land in Thailand, finish setting up your eSIM:

  • Enable eSIM: Go to Settings > Cellular > Choose the eSIM > Turn on
  • Enable data roaming: switch on this feature
  • Optimal SMS activation: Some eSIM plans may require an SMS for activation.
  • Manual APN configuration: when your phone has internet issues, change the APN settings according to the guidelines in the email.

IX. How to Install and Activate eSIM Thailand on Android Phones

Time required: less than 10 minutes

Similar to iPhones, you also go through 02 phases of installation and activation eSIM for Thailand on Android Phones. Here, we focus on installation guides for Samsung and Google Pixel mobile devices.

1. Before Your Trip

Similar to iPhones, there are 02 ways to set up eSIM for Thailand: Scan a QR code and enter activation code manually.

1.1 Scan QR code

To prepare your Android device for a Thai eSIM:

  • Open Settings: Go to Settings > Network & Internet (for Google Pixel) or Settings > Connections (for Samsung)
  • Add a plan:
    • for Pixel, tap “+” next to Mobile Network
    • for Samsung, choose SIM card manager
    • Scan QR code: get into your email to take a QR code to scan
  • Complete: choose to accept the download and switch off the eSIM if not in your destination soon
Setup eSIM Thailand on android phone -1
Setup eSIM Thailand on Android phone using QR code -step 1-3
Setup eSIM Thailand on android phone -step 4-6
Setup eSIM Thailand on Android phone using QR code – step 4-6

1.2 Manual Activation

  • Go to Settings > Network & Internet / Connections
  • Add a plan: tap “+” next to Mobile Network (for Pixel) or tap SIM card Manager (for Samsung)
  • Enter the Activation code information that your carrier provided
  • Select Confirm/Add to save your eSIM profile

These steps prep your Android phone to connect to a Thai carrier.

Setup eSIM Thailand on android phone using manual -step 1-3
Setup eSIM Thailand on Android phone using manual activation – step 1-3
Setup eSIM Thailand on Android phone using manual activation - step 4-6
Setup eSIM Thailand on Android phone using manual activation – step 4-6

2. After Arriving in Thailand

To activate your eSIM on Android in Thailand:

  • Activate eSIM and data only: Turn ON the eSIM and Data roaming
  • Manual APN setup: manually set up the APN sent into your nail. 

You can now use calling, messaging, and internet throughout Thailand on your Android phone via eSIM.

X. How Much Does an eSIM for Thailand Cost?

Cost of an eSIM for Thailand varies by eSIM provider, plan feature, included data and validity. For Gigago Thailand eSIM, the price starts from $8.9 for 15GB used in 8 days and can be charged up to $19.9 for unlimited data used in 15 days.

XII. FAQs about How to Use an eSIM for Thailand Travel

After ordering, when do I get my Thailand eSIM plan?

You will get your eSIM plan via email within 5-15 minutes.
If you didn’t receive your eSIM plan within 15 minutes, please check your spam folder or promotion folder first, then contact us via [email protected].

Should I turn on data roaming for using the Thailand eSIM plan?

Yes. Please make sure that Data Roaming for the secondary line (Thailand eSIM plan you’ve added) is turned on to use data with eSIM. To turn it on, go to SettingsCellular and turn Data Roaming on as the instructions.

When does a prepaid Thailand eSIM expire?

It varies. Prepaid eSIM plans often expire after a month. Some plans never expire and those that have a 365-day validity period. Numerous prepaid eSIM plans with top-up capabilities allow for extension during top-up.

Can eSIM for Thailand be installed without the Internet?

While initially purchasing and downloading the profile requires an internet connection, moving between previously downloaded profiles does not.

After installing an eSIM on one device, can I use it on another?

A Prepaid eSIM cannot be transferred to another device; it can only be placed on the first.

Is eSIM Reliable in Thailand?

Yes. All major carriers in Thailand now support eSIM capabilities, providing reliable connectivity on compatible devices. Urban areas like Bangkok have widespread access already, with 4G/LTE networks prevalent across the country.
Just take care when traveling to remote islands or mountain villages that you may experience occasional signal issues or degraded speeds.