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Southeast Asia forum

Mobile phone while traveling?

Posted by LeChron on 9/1/2011 at 05:22

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 LeChron has been a member since 7/1/2011. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 45

Posted by EricQC on 9/1/2011 at 11:43

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 EricQC has been a member since 9/1/2011. Posts: 9


Posted by ryder80 on 9/1/2011 at 11:52

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 ryder80 has been a member since 19/12/2010. Posts: 83

Posted by EricQC on 9/1/2011 at 12:36

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 EricQC has been a member since 9/1/2011. Posts: 9

Posted by raindog on 9/1/2011 at 13:23

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 raindog has been a member since 26/7/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 10

Posted by travellingsarah on 9/1/2011 at 19:18 TF writer

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 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 681
 Where has travellingsarah been?   Website 

Posted by ryder80 on 9/1/2011 at 21:04

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 ryder80 has been a member since 19/12/2010. Posts: 83

Posted by LeChron on 10/1/2011 at 03:13

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 LeChron has been a member since 7/1/2011. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 45

Posted by EricQC on 10/1/2011 at 06:23

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 EricQC has been a member since 9/1/2011. Posts: 9


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