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SIM card collection from Southeast Asia

SIM cards in Asia

As a digital nomad, it’s crucial that we’re always connected and online. And it’s actually a LOT cheaper and easier than you’d imagine!

Staying connected

A major contributing factor that allows us to continuously travel is the fact that we both work from home. We redefine the definition of “home” and remain flexible in most aspects of our life – with one very important requirement…

I absolutely have to be online M-F 9-5 EST.
Well, sometimes Pacific Time, but that’s another chapter. 

Hotel wifi

My clients are US based and I often have conference calls and work remotely, so we can’t always rely on hotel wifi. For the most part, the signals are great. Hotels often have 1 router per floor, and you may have to try each floor to find the best one, but it’s generally reliable late night. Other times you may find yourself in the hostel lobby or fielding mosquitoes in the “community hut” trying to cop a signal.

So, I like to have a backup.

SIM  Cards

The process couldn’t be easier. Really. And the affordability of it, it makes me question where ISP companies back home get off charging the prices they do. But, I digress…

Where to get them

SIM cards in Thailand
SIM cards in Thailand

Most convenient stores sell SIM cards as well as “top up” scratch cards to purchase data – and the shopkeepers are usually kind (and curious) enough to help you get started!

In Thailand, 7-11’s are on every street corner. It not only serves as convenient 24-hour access to all things cheap and yummy, but you can also pay bills, transfer money, it’s the post office, it’s a police station… and they have SIM cards. TrueMove is the way to go. Then you select which data plan you want from a display of red credit cards. I generally choose the 4G unlimited for around $12.

You have options.

And they’re all great, from my experience.

In other parts of Southeast Asia, there are no 7-11’s, so you have to scout out a variety of convenient stores. I used Viettel in Vietnam, Unitel and in Laos, Smart and Metphone in Cambodia.

We rely on Verizon when we’re camping in the States, and it’s sad how complicated, expensive and contract-binding mobile internet is in the US! They add an incredible amount of markup and taxes and fees… and it all adds up.

I’m thankful such inexpensive and reliable solutions are accessible while traveling Southeast Asia.


Author: Daisey

Daisey is a UX designer for Art+Logic by day, soul/funk singer by night, full of love and always smiling.

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