Expats moving to Thailand won’t have a problem keeping in touch with family and friends back home, as the standard of the country’s communication infrastructure is generally solid. Most communication services are high-quality and are available at affordable prices. However, some amenities may be limited to larger cities. 

Mobile phones in Thailand

Owing to Thailand’s new regulations, buying a SIM card in the country is no longer as easy as it used to be, although the government is taking steps to simplify the process. Thailand’s regulations require expats to present their passports to get a registered SIM card.

TrueMove, DTAC and AIS are the three major mobile providers in Thailand. All offer both prepaid and postpaid options. Contract deals are usually better value than pay-as-you-go, but they provide less flexibility in terms of moving networks or closing an account early if one is leaving Thailand.

Internet in Thailand

For most expats, having reliable internet is a priority, whether for work or to keep in touch with family and friends back in their home country. Thailand has many internet service providers, especially in big cities like Bangkok. Nationally, the four major ISPs are True Online, AIS, 3BB Fiber, and TOT Fibernet. The speed of connection varies widely according to the package and service provider chosen.

WiFi hotspots are regularly available in most malls, restaurants and hotels. Free connections in public places should generally be avoided to prevent issues such as hacking or data theft. Free WiFi connections from restaurants and hotels are often safe, but the connection speeds do vary.

Internet censorship

The Thai government has placed blocks on certain obscene internet content, and there is also substantial political censorship in Thailand. Several bloggers and online users have been arrested for voicing anti-government or anti-royal sentiments.

Postal services in Thailand

The Thai postal system is efficient and reliable, if a little slow. Thailand has more than 3,000 post offices across the country, but rural areas are not as well serviced as urban areas. Domestic mail can take up to a week to arrive. Expats, especially those living in urban centres, can use courier services such as DHL to ensure a fast and secure delivery.  

It’s rare to find English-speaking staff at Thai post offices, so expats are encouraged to take a Thai friend to translate for them. With communication difficulties throughout Thailand in general, Thai staff may try to ‘save face’ in public to avoid confrontation and agree to a request even if they do not understand it. 

English-language media in Thailand

Thailand’s media sector is well-developed but highly censored, with the government and the military firmly controlling radio and TV broadcasts. For accurate and independent news, it may be useful to consult an international news outlet. 

There are several English-medium publications in Thailand, such as the Bangkok Post and The Nation, which is a solely digital newspaper.

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