Southeast Asia forum

Mobile phone while traveling?

  • LeChron

    Joined Travelfish
    7th January, 2011
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 45

    Hello there,

    at some point this year im going on a trip around south east asia for 4months and will be visiting 5 countries, I was just wandering if anyone had any advice on what i should do about my phone situation, (apologies if its a stupid question)....can I buy sim cards easily were ever I am?? or is there like a multi country sim card?? do I bring a duel band phone with me??
    any help would be much appreciated

    thanx

    LeChron

    #1 Posted: 9/1/2011 - 05:22

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  • EricQC

    Joined Travelfish
    9th January, 2011
    Posts: 9

    Not a stupid question at all; I wondered the same thing before I went there. SIM cards are easy to find, and very inexpensive. Some are even "free" at airports and hotels. You can recharge them at 7/11s and many stores. You will need a different SIM for each country.

    In Thailand I had lots of time left on a 70THB card so decided to call my bank in Canada: after being on hold for 7 minutes I hung up -- and still had enough time to call Australia for a few minutes!

    Be sure to bring a charger and a suitable adapter.

    #2 Posted: 9/1/2011 - 11:43

  • ryder80

    Joined Travelfish
    19th December, 2010
    Posts: 82

    off topic, but since you mentioned about a suitable adapter.

    what kind of adapter will we need, i'd assume probably each country will have a complete different power outlets? if so, any you recommend of which outlet converter to get?

    thanks

    #3 Posted: 9/1/2011 - 11:52

  • EricQC

    Joined Travelfish
    9th January, 2011
    Posts: 9

    Most new electronics can cope with 120/240V and 50/60 cycle so you normally only need a plug adapter. I found a good no-name one at an airport (under $US15) with fold-out plugs to fit any SE Asian socket as well as ones in Oz, UK and Canada. It also has a USB outlet so I can charge my MP3 and GPS devices.

    #4 Posted: 9/1/2011 - 12:36

  • raindog

    Joined Travelfish
    26th July, 2009
    Location Australia
    Posts: 10
    Total reviews: 5

    Local SIM cards are cheap and easy to find. The SIM (plus a bit of credit) will cost between $5 and 10 US then you can buy top up cards after that. The place you buy it will help set it up (you'll probably need to show your passport or a copy) and the top up cards have English instructions. This is based on the old school type unlocked mobile not iPhones and 3G. Adaptors are best picked up when you get there, I paid $1 for one in Cambodia and it lasted me for Laos and Vietnam too. Take your charger with you to make sure you buy the right one.

    #5 Posted: 9/1/2011 - 13:23

  • travellings-
    arah

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2010
    Location Vietnam
    Posts: 660
    Total reviews: 11
    Places visited:
    At least 87

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    The main problem we had was that our UK phones were locked by our UK providers. I eventually got mine unblocked for free (it took about a month with O2) but Orange were going to charge my boyfriend £20 for the priviledge so he bought a second hand Nokia phone in Thailand which was cheaper and did the trick. This probably isn't a problem for everyone but worth checking out before you leave home.

    #6 Posted: 9/1/2011 - 19:18

  • ryder80

    Joined Travelfish
    19th December, 2010
    Posts: 82

    thanks for your feed-back EricQC,

    by chance, would you have a picture handy of the converter you purchased, give me an idea of what to look for, for $15 that'll work anywhere is a pretty sweet deal. which air-port did u buy it from?

    thanks

    #7 Posted: 9/1/2011 - 21:04

  • LeChron

    Joined Travelfish
    7th January, 2011
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 45

    wow, some brilliant advice, everything I needed to know has been covered!!
    I really appreciate it, its defo put my mind at ease, I am also from the UK so i'll bring a dual band mobile phone and if its still blocked out there I'll take the advice and buy a cheap phone while I'm there and sounds like it wont be a problem for me to sort out sim cards, sounds simple enough, thanks again everyone!


    Much Love

    LeChron

    #8 Posted: 10/1/2011 - 03:13

  • EricQC

    Joined Travelfish
    9th January, 2011
    Posts: 9

    The plug adapter I have was made by Digital & Wireless Group. It is ~5x6x8cm with plug components that fold out of the back to configure for different countries. The two prongs to fit NA plugs swivel to adapt to Australian sockets. You can see a similar device without USB at www.qualitychinagoods.com/worldwide-universal-electric-pins-plug-adapter-p-495.html for ~USD11 (but this is not what I have). I don't have any pictures of mine. I think we picked it up at Heathrow (but it may have been Singapore).

    #9 Posted: 10/1/2011 - 06:23

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