Getting a sim card and eSIM at Chiang Mai Airport (CNX) is easy and convenient for travelers thanks to the presence of various SIM card providers’ stores like AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove H at the airport. But is there any other better option for staying connected during a trip in Thailand? Sure, check out below!

Getting a SIM card for tourists at Chiang Mai Airport is a straightforward process. 

You can easily get a SIM card at Chiang Mai International Airport, which is the main gateway to the city for most tourists.

There are several options available for travelers, such as the counters of mobile network operators like DTAC, TrueMove H and AIS.

In this article, we will guide you step by step on getting a sim card at Chiang Mai airport for tourists and also suggest another better alternative for physical travel sim cards. You will learn:

  • Where to buy a sim card for travelers in Chiang Mai airport?
  • How much does a sim card cost at CNX airport?
  • Which type of sim to choose for staying connected at Thailand after arrival at CNX airport?
  • Where to exchange money if buying sim cards by cash?

First, you should know some facts:

Editor’s notes:

  • To use a prepaid SIM (both international sim card and esim) that covers Thailand, your phone must be unlocked. Phones bought from Europe, Asia and Australia are generally unlocked while phones from the USA may be locked.
  • Most data plans from Thai mobile network operators are relatively the same regarding to data volume and validity. However, you should go for the plan offering max data speed.
  • We recommend the DTAC sim card for Chiang Mai due to its affordable price, fast speed and various features.
  • If Chiang Mai is one of the stops on your trip to multiple countries, then you should choose an international travel sim cards, which allow you to stay connected in many countries covered in the package.

I. Where to buy a travel SIM card at Chiang Mai airport after arrival?

The Chiang Mai airport sim card counter is located near the International arrivals hall. 

After landing and leaving the Customs, go to the International arrivals hall, and you will see booths of TrueMove H, AIS and DTAC around with True Shop being on your right hand side and AIS being across from you.

See Chiang Mai airport map below:

Chiang Mai airport map
Chiang Mai airport map

There are many plans at Chiang Mai airport for you to choose from. Now, let’s go into details:

1. Where to buy an AIS sim card at Chiang Mai airport?

Location: Departure Hall

Opening hours: 08:00 am – 08:00 pm daily

Location of AIS booth at Chiang Mai airport CNX

 Popular AIS packages for travelers at CNX airport:

219 Baht plan for 5 days

  • Usage 2.5GB (Maximum speed 4Mbps)
  • 128Kbps non-stop net speed after using 2.5GB

599 Baht plan for 15 days

  • Usage 32GB (Maximum speed 4Mbps)
  • Nonstop network speed of 128Kbps after using 32GB
  • Free 50 baht credit (phone / SMS / MMS)

299 Baht plan for 8 days

  • Usage 8GB (Maximum speed 4GB)
  • Non-stop net speed of 128Kbps after using 8GB
  • Free 30 baht credit (phone / SMS / MMS)

30 days 899 Baht plan

  • 110GB usage (maximum speed 4Mbps)
  • Non-stop net speed of 128Kbps after using 110GB
  • Free 50 baht credit (phone / SMS / MMS)
Buying tourist sim card at  Chiang Mai airport

2. Where to buy a TrueMove H sim card at CNX airport?

Location: International Hall, Exit 2, near Check-in counter

Opening hours: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm daily

Location of True Shop at CNX airport

Popular TrueMove plans for travelers to choose from at CNX airport:

200 Baht plan for 3 days

  • Usage 1GB (Maximum speed 4Mbps)
  • Nonstop 4G Internet
  • 50 baht phone credit

600 Baht plan for 15 days

  • Usage 8GB
  • Nonstop 4G Internet
  • 50 baht phone credit

300 Baht plan for 8 days

  • Usage 3GB
  • Nonstop 4G Internet
  • 100 baht phone credit

30 days 700 Baht plan

  • Usage 16GB
  • Nonstop 4G Internet
  • 50 baht phone credit

30 days 1650 baht plan

  • Usage 8GB
  • Unlimited internet
  • 45 baht phone credit
Popular TrueMove plans for travelers at CNX airport

3. Where to buy a DTAC sim card for tourists at CNX airport?

Location: International Arrivals Hall, 2nd floor

Opening hours: 7:00 am – 10:00 pm

Popular DTAC plans for tourists at CNX airport:

299 Baht for 8 days, 15GB max speed data

  • Free 15-baht call credit
  • Unlimited calls among DTAC network
  • Special international call rate via 00400
  • Free 5 chat apps usage for 8 days

599 Baht for 15 days, 30GB max speed data

  • Free 15-baht call credit
  • Unlimited calls among DTAC network
  • Special international call rate via 00400
  • Free 5 chat apps usage for 15 days

149 Baht for 4 days, 5GB max speed data

  • Free 15-baht call credit
  • Unlimited calls among DTAC network
  • Special international call rate via 00400
  • Free 5 chat apps usage for 4 days
DTAC sim plans for tourists at Chiang Mai airport

III. How much does a travel prepaid sim card cost at Chiang Mai airport?

A prepaid SIM card at Chiang Mai airport typically costs around 200 baht. This includes a SIM card and some credit. 

The cost may also depend on the amount of data, talk time, and validity period included in the package.

Additional credit can be purchased at the counter or at convenience stores.

Note: Prices may differ between mobile network providers and some providers may offer promotional packages with additional benefits, such as unlimited data or free calling, for a limited time.

IV. How to register a sim card at Chiang Mai airport?

To register a sim card for tourists at Chiang Mai airport, you need to prepare:

  • Your passport: This is for registration purposes, a copy of your passport may be taken.
  • Sending a SMS or calling a registration hotline to complete the registration process (staff at the counter may do it for you)
  • An unlocked phone: Your phone needs to be unlocked so as to use Thailand’s mobile network

It is worth noting that the registration process may be different between mobile network providers in Thailand, some may require extra info like local address or even a work permit. 

Pro Tip:

  • Follow the guidelines of the mobile network provider you choose and keep a record of your sim card registration details for future reference.
  • Better option: If you want to avoid this registration schemes, consider buying an international sim card online and pick up at CNX airport and buying an Thailand eSIM for tourists.

Here are some popular esim data plans for tourists to Thailand

AIS eSIM 10 days
AIS eSIM 10 days
$14.9
DTAC eSIM 15 days
DTAC eSIM 15 days
$19.9
Best Thailand esim plans to buy before getting at CNX airport
Best Thailand esim plans to buy before getting at CNX airport

V. Currency exchange – cash only

Those travelers who buy tourist sim cards for Thailand by cash will have many options to exchange money. You can exchange money after passing through customs. However, many sim card stores in the baggage claim and before customs only accept cash, which can be inconvenient if you don’t have Thai Baht yet. 

There are currency exchange booths at Chiang Mai Airport, which are located at Domestic departures, International departures, International arrivals. Some of the options include:

  • Currency exchange counters: there are several currency exchange counters available onsite. including at the arrival hall and departure hall. They offer competitive rates, but may charge comission fees.
  • ATMs: avaiable at both Domestic and International Terminals. Be noted that ATMs in Chiang Mai may charge a small amount of fee per transaction. Make sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and the limitation of your daily withdrawal if you are planning to travel internationally.

Specific places are Super Rich, Siam Exchange, Vasu Exchange, and ATMs of various banks like Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, and Kasikorn Bank.

To pay by card, you must wait until you reach the arrival hall, where all mobile shops accept credit card payments.

VI. Free Wi-Fi

At Chiang Mai Airport, travelers can enjoy free Wi-Fi access for a duration of 2 hours. 

To connect to the network, passengers simply need to select the “@AirportTrueFreeWiFi” network.

Pro Tip:

To extend the free WiFi access beyond the initial two-hour timeframe, travelers can re-register with fresh information every 2 hours. This allows them to continue to enjoy the convenience of the airport’s WiFi network throughout their time at the airport without incurring any additional charges.

► If you land at other Thai airports, we also have a list of sim card buying guides at other airports in Thailand.