We can now buy South Korean pre-paid tourist SIMs, but check the price
I am a person who often travels alone. I am very independent, and to make all aspects of my travels easier, there is no way not to use internet. I often buy prepaid sims while I am abroad.
I have checked several times since 2014 how to connect to the net safely in South Korea. Previously, it was the hardest place to get pre-paid tourist SIMs but they are now available.
Currently, KKday is providing KT Olleh prepaid SIM for tourists.
KKday South Korea Unlimited 4G/LTE KT Olleh SIM Card
This is a convenient option but actually $20USD for 5 days without unlimited calling, is not always an affordable price.
My first recommendation is to check your own countries roaming service. Sometimes they can be cheaper than this SIM.
Rental WiFi is another solution that is often recommended
When I visited South Korea in 2014 I opted to rent pocket WiFi.
I had to pick up and return my rental at Port of Busan, which I note, was very inconvenient and took extra time out of my travelling.
I am a person who is always on time ― I want to be at the ports or airports three hours before I have to leave. However, in Korea, I needed to ask for help from a friend of mine and she is the typical very “on time” person. Needless to say, I had to rush to return the WiFi rental and get to my departure on time.
For what it’s worth, the WiFi battery was not great. I had to worry about not only my own devices, but also the WiFi too.
I do note that WiFi rental is indeed the easiest solution, still in 2018. All you have to do is simply add the WiFi on your cell phone even if yours is not unlocked.
KKday South Korea Unlimited 4G Portable Wi-Fi Rental (KT Olleh)
KKday Korean 4G LTE Portable WiFi with Airport Pick-Up (LG+)
Round-up Pre-paid Roaming HK or Thailand SIM
Hong Kong is one of the most famous places to buy pre-paid SIMs. I have bought SIMs from here several times, especially for roaming in Mainland China.
There are also to prepaid sims to roam with using HK prepaid SIM. For my travel to Korea in 2019, I used HK 3 roaming for Korea plan. In the picture above, you can see there are two signals, KT-NTT DOCOMO is roaming by Japan for phone calling from Japan, and the second KT is roaming by HK 3 for data. The speed is pretty enough for my using.
On to our next pre-paid SIM haven,Thailand!
There are two big companies who are serving around Asia with roaming SIMs: one is AIS and the other is True.
In 2016 and 2019, I had the chance to use AIS SIM2Fly.
Some of you may fly to your destination country in Asia with transit to other Asian countries, like to Japan with transit in Seoul or Hong Kong.
You can buy a SIM for each airport, but save your time especially when you are in transit. This is incredibly convenient for people travelling across multiple countries over Asia in one trip.
For me, 4GB in 8days is nice quantity, but you may get many SMS from AIS. Simply ignore them.
In South Korea, it roams to SK network.
I turned on my Xperia / iPhone just after my flight arrived at the airport, but I was waiting several minutes for it to find it’s connection.
See also: AIS SIM2Fly