Thailand Communications Network
The Thailand Communications network is both easy and convenient for foreigners to utilize. Thailand features numerous public telephones, mobile phones are easy for visitors to procure, internet cafes and wireless internet services are widespread, and there is a post office in every major town in the Kingdom. From telephones to the internet, the Thailand communications network allows visitors to stay in touch with comfort and ease.
Telephone (Thailand Phones)
The telephone system in Thailand is both modern and widespread, with reliable pay phones found throughout the kingdom and Thailand cell phone reception covering all but the most remote Thai islands. Furthermore, purchasing a second-hand Thai phone and a SIM card is both cheap and easy, and internet cafes in most urban areas and all tourist areas have Skype installed on their public computers.
If you are using a Thai phone to call home or call Thailand from overseas, both are quite easy. Thailand’s international country code for calling Thailand from overseas is +66, and the code for placing a call to another country from a Thai phone is 001 followed by the country code of the nation you are dialing, (though other long distances providers allow you to dial 007, 008, or 009 rather than 001, but at different, typically higher rates). International operator assistance is available by dialing 110.
When calling Thailand from overseas or calling a Thai phone from within Thailand there is a slight difference. Phone numbers within Thailand begin with an area/city code or a cell phone prefix that is not always used when calling from overseas; For example, the city code for Bangkok is (0)2, the city code for Chiang Mai is (0)53, and the prefix for cell phones is (0)8. When dialing from a Thai phone, one includes the 0, while those calling Thailand from overseas should not include the 0. Consequently, an overseas call to Bangkok would be +66-2…, whereas a call from within Thailand would begin 02….
Emergency numbers are often three or four digit numbers, including Tourist Police, which is 1155.
Coin operated pay phones are available throughout the country and cost around 1 baht per minute for local calls. Card phones, which operate with either prepaid phone cards or, less frequently, credit cards are also widely available, particularly in large urban and tourist areas; Card phones have variable rates, but can cost up to 18 baht (.50 USD) per minute. Prepaid phone cards, which are generally available in 300 baht denominations (just under 10 USD), are available at convenience stores such as 7-11 and phones accepting these cards are painted yellow and are usually not far from the local 7-11 store.Public telephones that charge by the minute for local and overseas calls are also available at general post offices throughout the kingdom.
Thai Cell Phones
The Thailand cell phone coverage is widespread, with reception available in all areas except at the most remote islands and isolated mountainous regions. Many overseas cell phones will work in Thailand, provided they are GSM compatible, as Thailand features both GSM 900 and 1800 networks. While it may be convenient to have friends and family call Thailand to reach you on your “home” cell phone number, receiving and sending calls is likely to be quite expensive. If your cell phone has a slot to insert a SIM card, such cards are available for a few dollars, either at the airport or in IT markets throughout the country. These SIM cards are funded by prepaid phone cards that are available at nearly all convenience stores in the country. If your phone doesn’t have a slot for a SIM card, a Thailand cell phone can be picked up at the airport for a reasonable rate or an inexpensive new or second hand cell phone can be easily obtained at locations such as MBK shopping mall in Bangkok.