In my recent solo trip to Korea, a 14-day itinerary, my hunt for a budget data SIM card, and optionally with voice calls, revealed pricing that way exceeded my ideal budget. For a Korean SIM card: $56 for 15-days for unlimited data and voice calls, or otherwise a $77 for a 30-day unlimited SIM card?!

My budget was only $15-25 and I perhaps required roughly 2 GB of data for the 14 days, mainly for navigating around on map application, and googling on-the-go. So here, I would like to recommend something else (not only limited to travelling to South Korea)

After a long search and asking around, the conclusion comes to this:

Starhub Happy Prepaid SIM card

starhub happy prepaid sim card

I will just list the appealing data bundles – For 30 days:

  • 2.4 GB at $15
  • 3.6 GB at $20

Additionally, data freebies may tag along :D. In my case, I purchased a prepaid card with $32 value, and it came with

  • Free 2 GB overseas roaming data for 10 days
  • Free 100 GB local data for 10 days

Data freebies are activated once you purchased, so the 10 days starts right away – this means I had 2 GB for free to surf in Korea right-away! (The 100 GB local data expired without much utilisation of course…) Then I would just need to purchase additional data when I ran out, and the left-over value in the SIM card could be used for voice calls or my next trip.

The card would expire after 180 days, so does the remaining cash value. You could always top-up the SIM card to extend the expiry date.

Available Travel Destinations

Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, and USA.

Disclaimer – this list is only accurate as of today – Hopefully the list will expand more!


i) Purchase the SIM card, which comes in option of $15, $32, and $50. These cash value already preloaded in the SIM card.

ii) Next, install Starhub Happy Prepaid App on your smartphone, which is available on both App Store and Google Play

iii) Insert SIM card into your smartphone

iv) Login on Starhub Happy Prepaid App using your SIM number

budget travel data sim card to taiwan japan south korea starhub happy prepaid

v) Purchase your desired data bundle with the preloaded cash value. You can also top-up your account if you ran out of the preloaded cash value

vi) Enable data-roaming on your smartphone to start surfing!

Of course, the caveat here is – there isn’t an unlimited data bundle. If you decided that you required a larger data bundle, then this option may or may not be more cost-effective. I do recommend you check out Starhub webpage for more options, and hopefully they update and expand their offerings.

All in all, I had used this on my Taiwan trip in 2015, and Korea 2018. I rave this prepaid data roaming service for its low cost budget and highly recommend it. Hope this recommendation had been useful for your trip budgeting! Let me know!

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