Since the project I was supposed to be working on until mid-february got cancelled at the end of the year, I extended my original two week trip to Thailand to a couple of months. That’s far too long for a disconnected vacation (It’s been a long time since I went more than a day or two without net access), so I’ve had to get a few things set up.

In theory, everything I use in Sydney should work here without any problems. However, I don’t particularly like the idea of paying $500/day roaming bills, so a little more setup work is required.

Prepaid mobile service is pretty good in Thailand. It’s probably due to the landline company being even more hopeless at customer service than Telstra, but as long as you just need a mobile that’s a good thing. I got a prepaid AIS/One-2-call sim card with a 1.5GB data plan for about $20.

$10/GB is a lot better than the $10,000/GB Vodafone charges for international data roaming, so you don’t have to be staying long for it to be worthwhile. The service is fairly new though, so expect the phone store staff to be confused. The key seems to be to ask for 3G, even though there is currently only one 3G cell in bangkok - otherwise you’ll get a “net sim” which is per minute GPRS.

Obviously using a different sim card makes incoming calls a little more complicated. The solution I have for that is setting up a skype online number (sydney local number) and diverting calls to my australian mobile to that. Initially I tried forwarding calls to my thai mobile,  but I turned that off because if I don’t answer the call it goes to a thai voicemail message - probably fixable, but the english accent on skype voicemail is more appropriate for now, especially as I’m usually on skype during australian business hours anyway.