Sim card in SE Asia
March 1, 2011 8:57 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be in SE Asia and would like to buy a sim card from a carrier that will work across the region. Specifically we'll be in Hong Kong, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia. Is there a carrier that operates in all those areas on a GSM phone: 850/900/1800/1900? Do I need separate sim cards for each nation?
posted by Keith Talent to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
SIM cards are cheap, and you'll be better off buying one in each country.
posted by cyndigo at 10:13 AM on March 1, 2011

What cyndigo said.

But you can look up local carriers and their roaming/sharing agreements here

The Bridge Alliance

The Filipino carriers also offer some travel/other location plans for prepaid since there are many who work across the region as migrant workers. I've seen Smart's prepaid top up vouchers for sale at teh corner shop, and when I asked the guy he said they were offering specific services in Singapore. All your locations but Cambodia should have a significant Filipino worker base taht you may be able to ask at the 7-11 where to find out about these SIMs adn whether they might suit your needs.

I use a Singapore subscription and in the Philipines found it more gracious towards my local hosts to pick up a local SIM as international Sms and dialling (if you expect to give out your number) will be significantly expensive for your local contacts.
posted by infini at 10:34 AM on March 1, 2011

Response by poster: SO looking at this ( ) it looks like a Vodaphone SIM will allow me to roam in all those areas, correct? I'm not that worried about receiving calls, I only want the phone becuase we're taking our kids and would like to have a phone number I could be reached at in case someone gets lost or an emergency, or perhaps to make a small number of outgoing calls for reservations etc.

posted by Keith Talent at 10:49 AM on March 1, 2011

In all of those countries you can buy a SIM card for $3-$5 US, which will get you up to 30 minutes talk time. Usually there are kiosks at the airport; check sites like WikiTravel for info on which SIM is best.
posted by krunk at 12:00 PM on March 1, 2011

I think the Vodafone is out of Australia - that might be more than you want to roam for the ASEAN.

Try Maxis Malaysia
posted by infini at 12:22 PM on March 1, 2011

There is one carrier who will do Malaysia and Cambodia on the same SIM (they advertise on Airasia planes), but the name escapes me. SIMs can be had for free in Thailand.

All that said, if you're not concerned about receiving calls, I'd just grab whatever SIM they offer you at each border.
posted by pompomtom at 2:30 PM on March 1, 2011

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