Friday, August 11, 2006

Pattaya Expats Club - telephone tips in Thailand

TELEPHONE TIPS (1 August 2006)

This free information is provided by Pattaya Expats Club.

Mobile Phones: The various providers have offices in Pattaya: D-tac
office in Big C South Pattaya, and Carrefour supermarket. -- AIS
(1-2-call) Telewiz in IT City (TukCom) & Carrefour supermarket. -- Orange is in
Royal Garden Plaza, ground floor, Beach Rd., entrance.

The Thai Government have announced changes to the Mobile Phone
Numbering System. It is planned to add another digit - an 8. e.g. an existing
number (01 234 5678) will become (081 234 5678). This will apply to all
providers of Mobile services. If you plan a change to your business
cards, please be aware. The suggestion is for this to happen in 2006.

House Phones: ToT current charges for a new installation is 3700 baht
(+ 100 baht line rental per month)

Save money on Domestic calls in Thailand, from a 'fixed-line' (house
phone), using either ToT or TT&T lines.

Pattaya telephone numbers starting 0382xxxxx or 0384xxxxx are TOT
lines. Those starting 0383xxxxx or 0387xxxxx are TT&T lines.

When dialling within Thailand, but OUTSIDE your own 'local' area, dial
1234, then the area code and number you are calling, to ANY phone -
ANYWHERE IN THAILAND (both fixed line AND mobile), you will get a
substantial discount (since 13 October 2000). The discount varies slightly with
the carrier (ToT or TT&T). I live in Pattaya, I've used this system
for years. A call to my wife's 'home' village, to a mobile phone, is
normally 12 baht/min (ToT). Using this '1234' system the cost is reduced to
2 baht/min every time, 24hrs a day (currently a promotion gives 1.5
baht/min). The SAME pre-dial code is used for both ToT & TT&T lines.
[Currently my mobile phone promotion (D-tac) is even cheaper than this!]

(this works FROM any fixed-line phone TO both fixed and mobile)
(example of dial sequence 1234-053-43xxxx for Chiang Mai area)

Many people find a problem when they first acquire Internet access in
their home. The phone number used to connect to your choice of ISP
(Internet Service Provider) may NOT be a 'local call'. A 'local call' will
cost you only 3 baht to make the call, no matter how long you are on
line. An 'out of local area call' will be charged per/minute. Pattaya area
phone code is 038 - so is the whole of Chon Buri, Rayong, &
Chachoengsao. To call Chachoengsao would NOT be a 'local call' - you would be
charged per/minute. Make sure the number you call is local. 0382xxxxx,
0383xxxxx, 0384xxxxx, 0387xxxxx are 'local numbers' for Pattaya.
If you have to call outside your area use the '1234 system' (listed
above). At least it will be cheaper than a direct call.
The only time you can use a 'national' number and get a local charge is
if the complete number is a 4 digit number (e.g. 1222, similar to the
0800 system). For example ToT has a national Internet access number
1288. You can use these numbers from anywhere in Thailand.

Domestic - Thailand Mobile Discount

D-Tac. 25 Satang/min (.25 baht) after the first minute (5 baht or 1
baht for the first minute, depending on the promotion). If you have D-Tac,
or Dprompt, or Happy sim, dial *1003 and follow the instructions, or go
to one of the D-Tac outlets in the big supermarkets. I did, it works.
It's also handy to top-up your prepaid time with this carrier from an
ATM, or via internet-banking. Again a promotion exists - 900 baht of time
for 800 baht cost. It's getting better! (I now find I run out of 'usage
time' before I run out of 'available money' - guess I'll just have to
talk more!)

One more tip. SMS (this is the text messaging service, available on
most mobile phones) charges are less than 10 baht per message (a fixed
charge, depending on provider) to anywhere in the world. D-Prompt Baby Sim
has now reduced this charge to 3 baht per message. D-Tac/Happy charge 5
baht per message international, and 3 baht domestic.

The internet is still the cheapest world-wide telephone service (Skype,
for example), but it continues to have some drawbacks, and requires
computer equipment. However, if you are one of those lucky ones on a good
fast connection (or better still Broadband) you could try 'DialPad'
(, they have 3 monthly plans and 2 prepaid.
Particularly good for US access (from member Dave - thanks!)

Most Thai mobiles these days will call International, including
pre-paid card phones.


There are now two 'official' companies offering International Telephone
Services here in Thailand.

CAT - offers 'International' connections via the prefix 001 & 009
(different prices), and is available for almost all phones.

ToT - offers 'International' connections via the prefix 007 & 008
(different prices), and is available for all phones.

001. The original International Access code for use FROM Thailand. All
phones will connect if prefix 001 is used. The quality is excellent,
BUT this is the most expensive method. In most cases it will NOT be
necessary to use 001 - try these others first.

007. This is the new high quality service for ALL lines + mobiles
(cheaper than 001). Recommended for fax use, and '1st class' voice.

009. This is the new prefix number for all TT&T lines, AND mobile
phones of these providers (AMPS, GSM, CDME, D-TAC, AIS, ORANGE). This prefix
provides a good discount via Voip (reduced quality) (cheaper than 007).

008. This is the new reduced quality service for ALL lines + mobiles,
perfectly adequate for voice (cheaper than 007).

Note - 007. Prices vary with destination, but, until further notice a
promotion of no more than 9 baht/min will operate 24/7 to the following

Note - 009. Prices vary with destination, and promotions come and go,
but many 'western' countries are either 5 baht/min or 7 baht/min. see
prices at:

Note - 008. Prices vary with destination, but, until further notice a
promotion of no more than 6 baht/min will operate 24/7 to the following

Alaska, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, China, Denmark,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Indonesia,
Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Laos. Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway,
Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, U.K, USA.

A 'Phone Net' card obtainable from CAT (and many small mini-marts) cost
300 or 500 baht. These allow International calls to various
destinations for as low as 4 baht-min (when you use the 009 prefix). Prices vary
for different destinations. A survey at our Sunday meeting found 4
people who used it & loved it, and 1 had no success at all. Cards are valid
for 1-year from initial use. Prices can be found in English at: (Thanks Jay)

David in Udon wrote: When I travel to USA, I take along the US 800-
tollfree number printed on CAT's Phone Net enclosure, along with the
card's code. That way, I pay only 6 baht/min with instant access to the
familiar CAT-girl's voice menu. Idea for US-based farang wishing to call
their tee-rak: have your honey buy a CAT card locally, then email the
code to you. (good one David, thanks. BM)

Many questions come up relating to International Telephone Calls to
Thailand. The following is a very basic explanation:

Four sets of numbers are required to successfully call Internationally
- FROM anywhere.

1. The International Exchange access number in the country you are
calling FROM.

2. The country ID-code number you are calling TO.

3. The 'area-code' in the country you are calling TO.

4. The actual subscriber phone number in the country you are calling

1. To access the International Exchange if you are in USA: 011

1. To access the International Exchange if you are in UK: 00

1. To access the International Exchange if you are in Thailand -
varies, see above.

2. The Country ID-code for Thailand is: 66 (USA is: 1, UK is: 44,
Australia is: 61)

3. The 'area-code' for Pattaya is: 38 (Bangkok is: 2, Chiang Mai is:

3. The 'area-code' for a mobile is either 1 or 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or 9
(so many mobiles!!)

4. Here's where the problem usually occurs!

Thai numbers are listed as (e.g) 038xxxxxx or 02xxxxxxx or maybe
07xxxxxxx (always 9 digits), but this only applies when dialling from WITHIN
Thailand. When calling International TO Thailand the first '0' is
always omitted (leaving 8 digits).

So when calling a Thai mobile from UK, the full dial would be 00 66
7xxxxxxx (12 digits).

00 is the international access code within UK.

66 is Thailand's international ID code.

7xxxxxxx - the actual mobile telephone number of the subscriber in

And a 'house-phone' in Pattaya from USA would be 011 66 38xxxxxx (13

011 is the international access code within USA.

66 is Thailand's international ID code.

38xxxxxx - the actual fixed-line telephone number of the subscriber in

As you can see, how many digits you dial depends on WHERE you are
calling FROM, and where you are calling TO.


If you are calling from the UK there are a number of 'cheaper-rate'
companies to choose from. In each case you are required to dial a UK
number BEFORE dialling international. (The access numbers change
periodically, so keep checking the websites).

Look here for an index of cheap phone call operators in UK (many at 1p
per min):

EXAMPLE. If calling a Thai 'House-phone' or 'mobile' from the UK, you
would dial the UK phone number first - pause briefly (maybe hearing a
short announcement telling you the cost per minute) - then ALL of the
'normal international' number (mentioned above)

e.g. (everything you need to dial) 08444621919 - wait for announcement
- 006638xxxxxx - that's it!

(Beware - non BT line providers may charge extra for this service)

UK mobiles can call Thailand using the above systems. To find out the
cost of calling from a UK mobile, or a non BT landline, you should
confirm the rates directly with your service provider as these may vary.
Here is a short list of the information access numbers to a few popular UK
mobile providers:

Orange - (07973 100 150)

Vodafone - (07836 191 191)

mmO2 - (08705 214 000)

One 2 One / T-Mobile - (08454 125000)

Virgin - (0845 6000 789)

NTL - (0800 052 2000)

Telewest - (0845 142 00 00)

BT - (0800 800 150)

One.Tel - (0800 957 0700).

Check the rates before you call. They do vary a lot, but some are VERY

A reader from Belgium uses - Always very good access
and good sound quality. To verify the credit card you have to give your
telephone number and they call you to ask for the 3 digit control number
from your credit card. This procedure happens only once during the
opening of your account. Good now for 15 months. (Thanks to Guido & Phai
January 2006)

A reader sent this recommendation for 'reduced cost' calls to Thailand
(and to many other destinations). Visit for further information. (Thanks Nick)

To call Thailand from Australia - March 2006 - I've been using a
prepaid calling card called "Click" that can be purchased in Australia at
many tobacco shops, convenience stores, some petrol stations. Not every
shop would have it, ask around. This card may not be the cheapest,
according to the advertised rate, but this was the best deal I could find -
in total cost and experience. After you bought the card (in 10, 20, 50
dollar denominations) you can recharge it by calling customer service
1300 300 356 and paying any amount you want by credit card. Current rate
is 5 cents a minute (Bangkok & Chiang Mai) and 12.5 cents a minute rest
of Thailand & mobile. Website: ( - Thank you Andrei.

Please tell us of cheap-rate access to Thailand from other countries,
especially USA & Australia (email Expats
helping Expats!

ToT service center - dial 1100 (Thai language)
ToT faults - dial 1177 followed by (for Pattaya) 0382xx or 0384xx
(where 2xx or 4xx is the first 3 digits of your own phone number). This
should take you direct to the engineering depot for your location.

If you're still having problems, email - (

If you discover errors in the above, please send corrections to -


Post a Comment

<< Home