Local sim cards

Let me start by saying that yes you can definitely get by without one, wifi hopping around whatever town you are in and relying on Maps.me to take you wherever you need to go (other locally stored map apps are available) but... 

Having a local sim makes your life so much more... mobile. You have access to Uber, Trip Advisor, Google maps and of course the internet as a whole. This is unbelievably helpful when you are feeling a little uneasy about a location or where to eat. Having a local sim card allows you to check up on all of these things or get an Uber out of there if you need to.

 In the two countries, we have been in recently (Thailand and Indonesia) for around £5-£7 you can get a sim with a hunk of data big enough to last you the 30 days on the visa or in Thailand an unlimited data amount for a set amount of days.

Thailand was really easy as they were selling them as soon as you get off the plane as a tourist sim card for 249 Baht you get a sim with 50 Baht credit and 7 days unlimited data. This is amazing as it means you can use the internet as much as you like as long as you have the days on the card. 

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It was a bit trickier to find one in Indonesia as we were in a less touristy area, Surabaya. We couldn't find any to begin with so had to use a bit of wi-fi on the first day. Trying to Uber from the airport was a struggle - as soon as you walked out of the range of the wi-fi you lose the Uber signal. Eventually, we took a taxi into the town centre for around 100,000 RP which I think was a good deal in the end after having read a few blogs but we only got this price as we had uber as a price comparison to show the drivers. On the second day, we found a Samsung store in the local shopping mall who happily set us up with a month-long contract with 5gb of data for use over that period. 

In Surabaya there is a bit of a language barrier as English is not as well known as it is in Thailand so it is worth not making our mistake and try to learn a few words to do with phones so that you can get one quicker. The sim card was called a SIMPati and no-one knew what data was. If you stick to calling it "internet" people seem to know what you're talking about. With this being our second day we aren't too well versed in Indonesian yet but the guys in the store were incredibly helpful. Hopefully, by the end of our time in Indonesia, we will have picked up enough to get by somewhat better than we are doing at the moment.

To cap it off wifi hopping and map apps are an amazing resource but having a sim means that you don't have to rely on anything but your phone signal and if you want to upload some images of your food to Instagram (obviously) you can, at any time. 

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