If you’re spending more than 3 weeks in Thailand, you’ll want to have a phone to stay in contact with your travel companions and any new friends you meet. Used phones in Bangkok are as cheap as $15. Cell phones are easy to buy, set up and accomplish. It’s as easy as 1-2-3. First you need to buy the Thai cell phone and sim card, then insert the pre-pay card and you’re up and running! About 200 baht ($6) per month for calls and 700 ($22) per month for unlimited internet on your phone. So where is the best place to buy a cell phone and sim card in Bangkok?
Take the BTS skytrain to the National Stadium stop, or walk 2 blocks from Paragaon and Siam Square. MBK (Mabukrung) is easy to find, and it’s loaded with new and used cell phones. This is the best place for selection and price of new and used cell phones. They speak English, and will set you up with your pre-paid sim card. Quick and easy.
Fortune IT Mall
At the MRT (subway) Praram 9 station (also called Rama 9), find the IT Mall next to the Grand Mercure Hotel. The second and third floors have lots of cell phones and Thai sim cards, and the sales staff all speak English (at least to some degree).
Across the street from the Mall Bangkapi is a small shopping mall called Mark Place. It’s loaded with cell phones and sim cards. That’s all they sell on the second floor. Great prices, great selection, but no English is spoken there.
Next to the Mall Bangkapi is an outdoor market called Tawanna. At the front of the tents you’ll find an indoor building that houses some electronics and a lot of cell phones. No English here, either, so take your Thai girlfriend with you.
If you’re in the city center, its easy to get to the “big daddy” of IT and electronics in Bangkok. Just around the corner from the famous Central World, you’ll find Pantip Plaza. Take the BTS sky-train to the Chit Lom station and walk 2 blocks to find Pantip. It’s along the start of what’s called “fashion aveneue.” Inside you’ll find several floors of electronics, phones, and DVD products. Most phone products are scattered on the 2nd floor and 4th floor.
There is a Pantip Plaza II just 2 blocks from the Mall Bangkapi. Better prices, but smaller selection of phones. It is more for computers, but still a good place to look.
New or Used Cell Phones
All of the above places sell both new and used phones. I recommend a cheap used phone for your vacation. You can get a standard phone (not smart phone) for just 500 baht ($15), and a cheap older version of a smart phone (like an older Samsung Galaxy) for 1700 baht ($58). New sim cards are just 100 baht ($3) with some time already loaded. Load up about 300 baht ($10), and start talking or surfing right away.
Keep in the that the phone you buy in Thailand can also be used in Malaysia, Cambodia, China, and most other Asian countries. You can use it anywhere in the Asian region. It’s a good buy for your Asian country-hopping vacation, and it will still be good for use next year. You’ll just need a new chip card if you haven’t used it for more than a year.
For More Info See Also: Thailand Travel Beat (Travel Guide)
Terminal 21 Shopping Center in Bangkok