US cell phone use in Thailand

I’m traveling for a couple weeks in Thailand, leaving this weekend.
I’m finding different recommendations for cell phone use there. From purchase a SIM card and plan on arrival to purchase a burner phone while there.
Verizon, my carrier, says they have a plan for $10 a day while in country. Doesn’t mention any other steps such as new SIM card etc. This would be the simplest method but it seems too easy. Do I need to do anything else? Sorry, but I haven’t traveled internationally since I’ve (everyone) become so reliant on cell phones.

Verizon CDMA service in the USA will be turned off this year, 2020. That is, very old phones still work in the USA, that will not work in Thailand. How old is your phone? What model is it?

Motorola Moto Z3, I think less than 2 years old.

10 a day is very expensive. For about 20 you should be able to het a tourist sim that is valid for 15 days with 8 gb data and free use of wifi hotspots.

Whether you need yo buy a phone as well, depends on the one you have…I just used my second sim slot (I have dual sim).

Verstuurd vanaf mijn moto g(6) met Tapatalk

Looks like the phone is GSM. So I get a tourist SIM, how does that effect my phone number? The phone only has one slot. Sorry for such basic questions.

You’ll get a new phone number with the new SIM.

Thank you. Looks like I can set up text forwarding to that number. Anything else I should be aware of?
God I’m old.

Another idea is to set up an account on WhatsApp and use that for calling from overseas. You’ll still be calling from a new number and this assumes you have free access to WiFi while in country. (And there are other app-based communication options, like Skype.)

I don’t anticipate having to make any actual phone calls to the US while gone. I will be part of a group while there and need to be in contact. Mostly in country communication I expect. Thanks everyone.

You’ll find a whole row of booths in Suvarnabhumi (and Don Mueang, for that matter) where English-speaking folks will sell you a SIM card for about $15 that will be all you need. They’ll be happy to pop it in and test it as well.

For contacting your group, I suggest you all download WhatsApp, which is widely used outside the US. It began as a way of texting without regard for the underlying mobile phone carrier, but can even do voice calls via data to another WhatsApp user. You’ll be able to text or talk no matter what carrier or country other users of the group get mobile service from. So long as they have a signal, they can send and receive the WhatsApp packets.

Thanks for the tip. Hope something is open at 0100 when I arrive. :eek:
I think we are probably going to use LINE. I’ve used WhatsApp before but several in the group already use LINE.

I’ve been dicking around with my and my wife’s phones and think I can probably do the SIM switch without a problem. We’ll see.

Brings up another stupid question. With only one sim slot available, am I able to receive the texts sent to my original (US) number?

Line works exactly the same as Whatsapp, it is just the app that is more commonly used in Thailand (by Thai people).

Verstuurd vanaf mijn moto g(6) met Tapatalk

A plain SIM card can be had for less than $2 (not counting cost of local calls or Internet service). The seller will need to photograph your passport.

A good cheap way to call USA from your Thai phone is 1544; 009 followed by the 11-digit U.S. number and then #. Cost is 1 baht per minute or a little less. Stop at any CAT office to prepay for this plan. (Warning: While US can be called very cheaply with this plan, some other countries are much more expensive.)

you have a Verizon phone that’s GSM? is it somehow unlocked or something?

Verizon supposedly unlocks phones after 60 days now. I’ll know for sure soon.
The specs for my phone say GSM. We’ll see.

Thank you everyone.

I had no trouble at 23:30 on my last trip. But the airport train stops running at 24:00, so things may start to close around then.

No. That’s the advantage of WhatsApp or Line: it’s tied to your phone and not your phone number. A Google Voice number will also work for texting no matter what phone number your SIM card has.

Just a note here for new players: Last I looked WhatsApp is tied to your SIM, not your phone. Your account is transferable from one SIM to another, and unlike your phone number and texts, doesn’t require the help and co-operation of your phone company to do so.

It’s easy to find your self in a situation where you put in a new SIM, your team and communications apps don’t work, and the only way to transfer the account to the new sim is to respond to the message sent to your old SIM…

Fortunately, (1) It doesn’t matter if you use a new account for holiday, because you are on vacation, and it doesn’t matter if the only people who can contact you are the people you are on holiday with, and (2) When you get back home, you’ve got more time to figure out if you can get the photos and whatever back out of the accounts identified with your holiday SIM.

Unlocked Verizon phones have chipsets for both CDMA and GSM and will work on foreign GSM networks.

Thinking more about it, I accept this correction.

Last month I was delighted to find that WhatsApp immediately worked as soon as I popped in a Spanish SIM, and then a Moroccan SIM. But now that I think more about it, I use a Google Voice number for WhatsApp, and so I was using GV data packets to receive WhatsApp data packets, unrelated to any Spanish or Moroccan phone number.

The Verizon $10 a day thing will be as easy as you think it is. It’s seamless, and just works. I used it in China and Australia (actually $5 a day because my wife was an employee at the time), and data, text, and voice just worked as if I was back home.

The continuity of keeping your own phone and number was convenient to me. If that’s not a big deal to you, it sounds like others have suggested some good cheaper alternatives.