Korea: The hassle free way to connect to the Net in South Korea

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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/ SK/ LG prepaid SIMs for tourists. Those three companies are authentic telecommunication carriers in South Korea.

We can now buy South Korean pre-paid tourist SIMs, but check the price.

This is a convenient option, but actually $13USD for 3 days with receiving calls, is not always an affordable price for you.

My first recommendation is to check your own countries roaming service. Sometimes they can be cheaper than these SIMs.

Prepaid eSIMs

I have iPhone SE2 and iPhone 13 Pro, those are unlocked, and with eSIMs. I regularly using eSIMs in Japan (home), and I’d setup them by myself. For my telecom plans, it is roaming that is more expensive than purchasing those Korean authentic prepaid SIMs.

Note: You need another “display”, and a secured WiFi to set up eSIMs. I setup eSIMs while I am in a secured WiFi network, your tethering mobile network is pretty enough.

I found 3 authentic Korean eSIMs in KKday, and seems we need register at LG U+ page, it is annoying. I chose SK and KT. The prices are the same with physical prepaid SIMs, but it is so convenient to set up — I have no need to visit their booth to pickup.

eSIM by SK — my recommend!

My recommend is eSIM by SK. There were no chance to talk in the phone.

But the good points are that, it worked pretty stable, and I got public alert in the SIM.

See also: SK eSIM

Rental WiFi is another solution that had been 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 had been 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. But in 2023, I feel eSIMs I had noted above are the quickest.

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.

battery Hotel

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

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