If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, having a reliable sim card is essential. In this digital age, having access to the internet while exploring new cities can greatly enhance your travel experience. From finding the top restaurants to getting directions to your accommodation, booking a taxi, and sharing memorable moments with your loved ones, having a sim card allows you to stay connected on the go.
While roaming is an option, the international fees can quickly add up. That’s why we always recommend either getting an eSIM or a local sim card in Vietnam to take advantage of the local phone rates. Luckily, acquiring either option is a breeze in Vietnam, but it’s important to know which one suits your needs best.
This comprehensive guide is here to provide you with all the information you need about purchasing a sim card in Vietnam, including the latest pricing and the absolute best sim card option for your trip.
The best sim card in Vietnam is sold by Viettel. Although all the mobile internet operators have good coverage and fast speeds, Viettel has significantly better coverage in remote areas which can be helpful for travellers who plan to explore outside of the main cities or intend to travel by land. For this reason, we can’t recommend Mobifone or Vinaphone.
When it comes to price and packages it gets a bit crazy in Vietnam (a bit like the traffic to be honest). Each shop will offer different prices, data and durations regardless of the provider. For this reason you will need to ask around a bit once you arrive in Vietnam, and it will always be better to visit a physical Viettel store in the city rather than at the airport.
To help you shop around, it should cost you around 200k – 300k VND for a suitable sim card that lasts 30 days.
Shopping around can be quite challenging and stressful, not to mention there’s a pretty high chance you’ll get ripped off and walk away with a sim card that will stop working or offer a lot less data than you paid for.
For backpackers, I recommend taking the challenge as the local sims are much cheaper. But if you’re not on a budget then purchase an Airalo eSim here before you depart. The prices are a few dollars higher but it’s worth it to remove the stress and hassle when you arrive. It’s better to enjoy your holiday.
A Tourist Sim Card in Vietnam costs between 200k VND and 500k VND in November 2023, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.
Alternatively, an eSim in Vietnam will cost between $4.50 USD and $32 USD. This, again, depends on how much data you require and which eSim provider you choose.
I generally recommend this Airalo plan for most tourists visiting Vietnam which includes 5GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $13 USD.
Vietnam, a rapidly growing economy in Southeast Asia, is witnessing a surge in mobile phone users. The country is served by three major sim card providers: Viettel, Vinaphone, and Mobifone.
Viettel, the largest telecommunication company, offers reliable coverage and competitive rates. It boasts a wide range of services including 3G/4G connectivity and international roaming options. Vinaphone, a subsidiary of Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group, focuses on offering affordable plans with extended coverage. With a large customer base, it provides various data packages and attractive promotions.
Mobifone, the third major provider, offers extensive network coverage and a range of prepaid and postpaid plans. It caters to diverse customer needs with flexible options for data, calls, and texts.
All three providers play a vital role in connecting people across Vietnam, empowering millions with seamless communication services.
Viettel is a leading telecommunications company in Vietnam that offers tourist sim cards to travelers. Their sim cards provide a reliable and affordable option for staying connected during your visit to Vietnam. With extensive coverage across the country, Viettel ensures strong signal quality and internet access. Additionally, their tourist sim cards come with various data packages, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your needs. Stay connected and explore Vietnam with Viettel’s convenient and affordable sim cards.
The price of a Viettel tourist sim card in Vietnam is 200k VND.
The plan offered by Viettel stores includes unlimited data valid for 30 days.
Vinaphone is one of the leading telecom providers in Vietnam, offering reliable mobile services to both locals and tourists. Their tourist sim cards are specifically designed to cater to the needs of travelers visiting Vietnam. These sim cards provide affordable data plans, allowing tourists to stay connected and navigate the country effortlessly. Vinaphone’s strong network coverage ensures seamless communication and browsing experience, making it a preferred choice for tourists exploring Vietnam.
The price of a Vinaphone tourist sim card in Vietnam is 200k VND.
The plan offered by Vinaphone stores offers unlimited data valid for 30 days.
Mobifone is a prominent telecommunication company in Vietnam, offering tourist SIM cards to enhance connectivity for travelers. With affordable plans, these SIM cards provide uninterrupted data and voice services, enabling tourists to stay connected with friends, family, and explore the country hassle-free. Mobifone’s coverage is extensive, spanning major cities and remote areas, ensuring reliable communication throughout Vietnam. Their efficient customer service and user-friendly activation process make Mobifone an ideal choice for tourists seeking seamless connectivity during their Vietnam adventure.
The price of a Mobifone tourist sim card in Vietnam is 200k VND.
The plan offered by Mobifone stores includes unlimited data valid for 30 days.
Identify mobile providers: Viettel, Vinaphone and Mobifone are your best options in Vietnam.
Find your nearest store: Locate a store or retailer by searching on Google Maps for your nearest store or asking at your hotel reception. I’ve never had issues finding a store as they can usually be found in major cities, shopping centers, or tourist areas. If possible, I always recommend to to avoid airports and head in to an official store in the city.
Bring the necessary documents: It is always a good idea to carry your passport or identification documents for sim card registration purposes. We’ve found most providers will need to confirm your identity to provide a sim card and it can be a major hassle to head to a store only to have to come back again later with your passport.
Choose your plan: Either request the plan you are after or consult with the staff in the store to select the right plan for you. My recommendations at the beginning of this guide are a good starting point, but the staff will usually be able to suggest the best option.
Pay and activate your card: Pay for the SIM card and plan, and the staff will activate it for you.
Test: It’s always a good idea to check that you can access the internet before you leave the store. I always search for something on Google then refresh my Instagram feed to check it’s working fine.
Buying a prepaid sim card for Vietnam at the airport is usually considered the most convenient option for travellers arriving by plane.
However, airport stores selling sim cards are almost guaranteed to charge inflated prices, so if you are a cost-conscious traveller then you should definitely buy your sim card from a store in the city center.
In addition to this, we would argue that buying physical sim cards at all aren’t particularly convenient now that most people use esim compatible phones. If you are looking for the most convenient option, then buying an esim before you arrive or with the airport wifi is much easier and will save you having to queue up or communicate with staff.
If you must purchase a sim card at the airport in Vietnam then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Vietnam have stores selling sim cards. Despite the prices being higher than normal, the staff are knowledgable and will be able to get you set up with the correct sim card relatively quickly.
If you want to avoid the inflated sim card prices you’ll find at the airport and your phone isn’t esim compatible, then you’re going to need to head in to a store to buy your sim card.
I recommend visiting one of the official retail stores of the mobile internet operators such as Viettel, Vinaphone and Mobifone. Your best option is to enter their names into Google Maps and find the branch closest to your hotel or accommodation. Typically the staff in the official stores in Vietnam are knowledgable and helpful which means you can ensure you’ll walk away with a functioning sim card.
Despite this, it’s always a good idea to check your internet is working before you leave the store by loading a Google search results page and your preferred social media app. You should also ensure you always bring your passport with you when purchasing a sim card in case they need to register it.
If you like to be prepared and would prefer to arrive in Vietnam with your sim card all sorted and your phone ready to connect to the internet immediately then you should look into purchasing a sim card online.
The first option is to buy your sim card in advance via SimOptions, which is a company that will prepare and ship a sim card directly to your door. It’s a reliable and effective service, but with the invention of eSims it’s becoming obsolete.
The better option is to purchase an eSim online. We’ve written more on that below!
An eSim is a digital version of a traditional sim card and is most likely the future of connectivity for mobile devices. The convenience of no longer visiting a store, handing over your passport and purchasing a physical sim card is quickly making physical sim cards obsolete in favour of eSims.
We recommend Airalo’s eSim when travelling to Vietnam. The Airalo Vietnam eSim offers fast internet speeds, wide coverage and extremely competitive prices making it a far more compelling option than purchasing a physical sim card from any of the local sim card providers.
In order to get set up with an Airalo eSim, all you need to do is visit Airalo here and purchase the eSim online (the $13 USD plan is suitable for most travellers). Once you’ve purchased the sim card Airalo will email you instructions and a QR code. Following these instructions should take just a couple of minutes, then you’ll have a sim card in Vietnam without having to venture outside.
Our preferred eSim provider in Vietnam is Airalo. We used them, alongside a local sim card on another device, for our most recent trip to Vietnam and found the service to be equal to the local sim card but without the hassle of acquiring a sim card in a store.
Airalo’s Vietnam eSim uses the Mobifone and Viettel networks to provide data and connect users to the internet. You can expect very good coverage and reliability with the Mobifone and Viettel networksnetwork as they are amongst the best mobile internet operators in Vietnam.
Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Vietnam eSim:
1GB data valid for 7 days – Price: $4.50 USD
2GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $7 USD
3GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $9.50 USD
5GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $13 USD
10GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $21 USD
20GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $32 USD
For most travellers we recommend the 5GB data plan for $13 USD which is valid for 30 days. Some travellers may prefer a larger plan, whilst travellers visiting for just a couple of days may be fine with a smaller plan.
An alternative eSim provider we can recommend is Holafly.
Holafly’s eSim is a suitable option for travellers who require large amounts of data, such as digital nomads and people who work online while they travel. All of Holafly’s Vietnam eSims offer unlimited data.
Holafly’s Vietnam eSim uses the Vietnamobilenetwork to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Vietnam
Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Vietnam eSim:
Unlimited data valid for 5 days – Price: $19 USD
Unlimited data valid for 7 days – Price: $27 USD
Unlimited data valid for 10 days – Price: $34 USD
Unlimited data valid for 15 days – Price: $47 USD
Unlimited data valid for 20 days – Price: $54 USD
Unlimited data valid for 30 days – Price: $64 USD
Unlimited data valid for 60 days – Price: $84 USD
Unlimited data valid for 90 days – Price: $99 USD
An eSIM, also known as an embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that comes pre-installed in a device like a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. It does not require a physical card to be inserted or removed from the device.
Unlike traditional SIM cards, the eSIM is integrated into the device’s hardware and can be remotely programmed and activated by a mobile network operator. This means users can easily switch between different mobile networks or plans without the hassle of physically swapping SIM cards.
eSIM technology offers convenience, flexibility, and user-friendliness, especially for frequent travelers or individuals who frequently switch between different mobile networks or travel internationally. It eliminates the need to purchase and insert physical SIM cards, making it easier to manage multiple mobile connections on a single device.
To activate an eSIM, users can either scan a QR code provided by their mobile network operator or manually enter the activation details. Once activated, the device can connect to the desired mobile network and enjoy voice, data, and messaging services just like with a traditional SIM card.
There are various reasons why the use of an eSIM is advantageous. Firstly, it offers convenience by eliminating the need to physically insert or remove a SIM card when switching between mobile networks or plans. This is particularly beneficial for frequent travelers who often need to switch networks or utilize local SIM cards in different countries.
Additionally, eSIM allows for dual SIM functionality, enabling two active mobile numbers on the same device. This feature proves useful for separating personal and work numbers or managing multiple phone lines.
Moreover, eSIMs save space as they are embedded within the device, eliminating the need for a physical SIM card slot. This frees up space within the device, allowing manufacturers to create smaller devices or utilize the extra space for other components.
Furthermore, eSIMs allow for remote provisioning, meaning mobile plans can be activated and managed remotely over the air. This eliminates the need for a physical SIM card or in-person visits to stores, providing greater flexibility and convenience in managing mobile connectivity.
Lastly, eSIM technology is future-proof as more mobile networks and service providers are offering support for eSIMs. By using an eSIM-compatible device, users can take advantage of new services and offerings as they become available.
Overall, eSIM technology offers flexibility, convenience, and future-proofing for mobile connectivity, making it an attractive option for many users.
eSIM technology is becoming increasingly popular and is supported by a growing number of smartphones and other devices. Here are some examples of eSIM-compatible phones:
Apple iPhone series (iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, etc.): Apple was one of the early adopters of eSIM technology and offers support for eSIM on various iPhone models.
Google Pixel series (Pixel 3, Pixel 4, Pixel 5, etc.): Google’s Pixel smartphones also support eSIM functionality, allowing users to activate and use eSIMs.
Samsung Galaxy series (Galaxy S22, Galaxy Note 20, etc.): Many of Samsung’s flagship devices now come with eSIM support, enabling users to utilize eSIM technology.
OnePlus devices (OnePlus 7, OnePlus 8, etc.): OnePlus has included eSIM support in some of its smartphone models, offering users the flexibility of using eSIMs.
Motorola Razr (2020): The latest iteration of the iconic Motorola Razr features eSIM compatibility, enabling users to use eSIMs for cellular connectivity.
These are just a few examples, and the list of eSIM-compatible phones continues to expand as more manufacturers embrace this technology. There’s a very strong chance your phone supports eSims so if you’re unsure we recommend looking it up on our list of eSim supported phones.
Using an eSim is new for many travellers, however, the good news is it’s surprisingly easy to get set up – even for the technologically challenged!
Here’s a general guide on how to use an eSIM:
Check eSIM Compatibility: Ensure that your device supports eSIM functionality. Many newer smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and other devices are eSIM compatible including all iPhones produced since 2018.
Obtain an eSIM: There are multiple ways to acquire an eSIM. You can purchase an eSIM online from a provider like Airalo (which we recommend) or directly from a mobile network operator. Some devices also allow you to scan a QR code provided by your carrier to download the eSIM profile.
Activate the eSIM: Your eSim provider will send you instructions to activate the sim. This will usually involve scanning a QR code, entering an activation code, or downloading the eSIM profile directly onto your device.
Set up the eSIM: Once activated, your device will guide you through the eSIM setup process. This typically involves selecting the eSIM as your preferred mobile plan, configuring settings like data roaming, and entering any necessary authentication details.
Enjoy the Connection: Once the eSIM is set up, you can use it as you would with a physical SIM card. Make calls, send messages, browse the internet, and use data services as needed. You can also switch between eSIM profiles if you have multiple eSIMs installed on your device.
Hi, I’m Mitchell. I’m a full-time traveller, explorer and travel blogger. Travel Sim Expert is a blog dedicated to helping you find the best sim card for you, no matter where you are or what your budget is.