Telephone numbers in Thailand have a three digit prefix (area code) except Bangkok, which has a two digit prefix. All begin with a zero. The prefix for Bangkok is 02. The prefix for Pattaya is 038. When dialing from within Thailand to a Thailand number, you always have to dial the prefix. All mobile phone numbers in Thailand have a prefix of 01 or 08 followed by seven digits.
To call Thailand from abroad you first dial the international access code in your country: Australia for example is 0011. This is followed by the Thailand country code: 66. Next you dial the prefix BUT OMIT THE ZERO; Bangkok for example is 2, Chiang Mai is 53, Phuket is 76. Finally you dial the local number. Bangkok numbers are 7 digits whereas other areas are less.
To call other countries from Thailand you first dial the international access code: 001, then the country code, then the number. Discounted rates are available using special codes from the various carriers. These change from time to time but are usually less costly than just dialing 001. For example, CAT offers special rates by dialing 009 and TOT uses 007 and 008. These numbers do not work for all mobile phone companies.
There are several options for using a mobile phone in Thailand:
1. Get a pre-paid SIM card in Thailand (at any 7-11, phone store) and swap your Australian SIM for the local SIM. To be able to do this you need to ensure that your phone is “unlocked”. Note once you swap SIM cards you wont have access to numbers stored on your Australian SIM so make sure you write them down.
2. Buy a cheap mobile phone handset in Thailand along with a local SIM card and call credit from any 7-11 store.
3. International Roaming – this is the most expensive option which you will need to activitate with your local carrier before leaving home but means that you will retain your existing number so people can readily call you. Note you will be charged for all incoming and outgoing calls and the rates are very high.
Alternatively you can buy a cheap calling card at any local supermarket, plaza, convenience store, or tourist area. You may need to use a pay phone (lacking convenience) but the call costs are between 2.5-10cents a minute which is much cheaper than hotel phones.
Internet access in Thailand is available at most hotels & resorts – often free wifi within central resort areas or inside your room. Internet cafes can also be found in most town centres.