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Best Vietnam SIM cards for tourists

Last update: Aug 22, 2022

Planning a trip to Vietnam? Buying a prepaid Vietnam SIM card with data plan to keep you stay connected during your trip is highly recommended.

Let’s go on with all the things you need about the SIM card for your trip to Vietnam.

Vietnam SIM cards for travelers - Vietnam-visa
Vietnam SIM cards for travelers

1. Should I get a new SIM card Vietnam for my trip?

>>Yes. During a trip to Vietnam, it is possible to use the free Wi-Fi of the hotel you’re staying in, and the restaurants you are enjoying your meals, or the café you are enjoying your moments.

But it’s really hard to connect yourself to free Wi-Fi when you are on the road or at public places in Vietnam, such as at a park, or at a tourist attraction, even if you find a no-password Wi-Fi in a public place, its signal is not good.

>> So, buying a SIM Vietnam is highly recommended to keep you connected everywhere in Vietnam.

In case it is needed, please keep in mind that you DON’T need to get a SIM card like a local, but a VIETNAM DATA SIM CARD.

2. Forms of Vietnam tourist SIM

At the moment, the Vietnam tourist sim card is available in 2 forms as follows:

  • Physical SIM (Mini-SIM, Micro SIM, and Nano SIM), and
  • eSIM profile (hereinafter referred to as eSIM).
Vietnam SIM forms
Vietnam sim forms

Let’s see how different they are.

Item

Vietnam tourist SIM – Physical

Vietnam tourist SIM – eSIM

Similarities

  • They are both SIMs, and connect the travelers’ phones to mobile providers’ networks in Vietnam and keep them stay connected everywhere in Vietnam.
  • They both identify your phone and the type of plan is used
  • They both can be used simultaneously in a dual-SIM phone
  • They’re both technically “SIMs”

Form

A SIM card is a chip that is physically installed or removed inside your phone with your carrier’s plan

An eSIM (embedded sim) is built-in to your phone and downloads your carrier’s plan.

Where to buy

Online

Picked up at a physical store

Pros

  • SIM is removable: Has your phone battery died? No problem, you can swap a SIM card into another unlocked phone with a working battery.
  • SIM can be easily accessed if you are in its country: Many travelers can easily find a prepaid SIM plan at a local market or convenience store when they’re abroad.
  • SIM works on all phones.
  • eSIMs are convenient: You can buy the Vietnam tourist eSIM outside Vietnam, download them ANYWHERE you have a network connection, and have it activated right after you land in Vietnam.
  • eSIMs are market competitive: They are priced the same as any traditional SIM card.
  • eSIM can’t be physically damaged or lost: Since it’s embedded inside phones, you run a lower chance of damaging cards and weakening your signal quality at the least convenient times.
  • SIMs are limited while eSIMs are not: Phones with dual-SIM technology allow you to switch lines whenever you like. Some phones go beyond the dual-SIM functionality and allow you to download and store as many eSIM options as you like. This is a major benefit of not being restricted by physical cards.
  • eSIM is small: Since an eSIM is small, it can be fit within new wearable technology such as Apple watches or devices, which may become smaller in size over time.

Cons

  • SIMs can be physically damaged or lost: In case you remove the nano SIM from your phone and place it somewhere, you can have it damaged or lost.
  • Required registration: SIM buyers need to show passports to register for the SIM.
  • Cannot be bought outside Vietnam: a Nano tourist SIM can only be bought when you are in Vietnam.
  • eSIM does not work in older phones: Since it’s relatively new, eSIM is not compatible with older phone models, and you may have to pay for an expensive new phone if you want to use it.

>> Check Vietnam eSIM compatible devices

3. Popular Vietnam prepaid sim card data packages

The mobile operators in Vietnam often provide the following data packages:

  • 1GB
  • 2GB
  • 3GB
  • 4GB
  • 12GB, and
  • 15GB

Let’s see what you can do with those packages:

Data packageWhat we can do
1GB✔16.6 hours of browsing websites, or
✔92.5 hours of listening to music (24kbps)
✔1 hour of watching Netflix (standard definition)
✔0.6 hours of watching Youtube videos (1080p)
✔11 hours of browsing social media (scrolling)
✔5.5 hours of Facetime
2GB✔33 hours of browsing websites, or
✔185 hours of listening to music (24kbps)
✔2 hours of watching Netflix (standard definition)
✔1.3 hours of watching Youtube videos (1080p)
✔22 hours of browsing social media (scrolling)
✔11 hours of Facetime
3GB✔50 hours of browsing websites, or
✔277 hours of listening to music (24kbps)
✔3 hours of watching Netflix (standard definition)
✔1.9 hours of watching Youtube videos (1080p)
✔33 hours of browsing social media (scrolling)
✔16.6 hours of Facetime
4GB✔67 hours of browsing websites, or
✔370 hours of listening to music (24kbps)
✔3 hours of watching Netflix (standard definition)
✔2.5 hours of watching Youtube videos (1080p)
✔44 hours of browsing social media (scrolling)
✔22 hours of Facetime
12GB✔200 hours of browsing websites, or
✔1,111 hours of listening to music (24kbps)
✔12 hours of watching Netflix (standard definition)
✔4.4 hours of watching Youtube videos (1080p)
✔133 hours of browsing social media (scrolling)
✔67 hours of Facetime
15GB✔250 hours of browsing websites, or
✔1,389 hours of listening to music (24kbps)
✔15 hours of watching Netflix (standard definition)
✔9.6 hours of watching Youtube videos (1080p)
✔167 hours of browsing social media (scrolling)
✔83 hours of Facetime
Popular Vietnam sim card data plan

>> How much data does a tourist need when traveling in Vietnam?

For most trips, 3GB or 5GB of data will be enough to cover common internet usage. However, if you are planning on using the internet more or if you are traveling for a month, you might want to consider the 12GB data package.

>>In order to save your data, take use of Free Wifi as much as possible.

4. Best Vietnam SIM Cards for tourists & Cost

There are 3 main SIM Card providers in Vietnam, which are Viettel, Vinaphone and Mobifone. There’s also a fourth provider called Vietnamobile, its coverage outside of major cities is not really good, so we don’t recommend it here.

Here is a quick summary of those 3 SIM card providers in Vietnam:

ItemViettelVinaphoneMobifone
CoverageBestGreatGood
SpeedFastFastFast
PriceVery cheapVery cheapVery cheap

The quick summary above shows that

  • Viettel and Vinaphone are about the same in terms of coverage and speeds, but Viettel takes the edge in terms of rural areas. These two providers are what we’d suggest you stick with.
  • Mobifone has patchy coverage in rural areas.
Mobile Coverage of 3 biggest Mobile Operators in Vietnam - Vietnam SIM Card - Vietanm-visa
Mobile Coverage of 3 biggest Mobile Operators in Vietnam

Now, let’s make a zoom-in.

4.1 Viettel Vietnam tourist sim

Viettel is the mobile market leader in Vietnam with about 40% of all customers on its network. It’s owned and operated by the Ministry of Defense.

Viettel’s new logo
Viettel’s old logo

It has the best coverage in remote areas, even on 3G. Here are some of its fast facts:

  • Best coverage in Vietnam (3G/4G/LTE)
  • Best regional coverage in rural areas
  • Reasonably priced

Viettel offers both regular packages and data plans for tourists to Vietnam. In case you use a regular Viettel SIM Card, you will need to pay the SIM cost (which is around VND 50,000 – 60,000 ~ US $2.5 – 2.8), and then register for a data plan (whose costs are detailed below). If you buy a tourist sim card, you only need to pay for the data plan, but it cannot be topped up.

Here are the popular Viettel prepaid sim card data packages for tourists to Vietnam:

>> For Viettel regular SIM cards

Data

Price

Activation Code

Overuse

Notes

Important

1GB

VND 5,000 ~ US $0.22

ST5KM

unlimited @ 128 kbps

+ Valid until 24:00 of the registration date,

+ not auto-renew

+ For activation, text the code to 191.

+ To stop auto-renewal, text HUY CODE to 191 and confirm with Y.

+To check data balance, text KTTK to 191.

1GB

VND 5,000 ~ US $0.22

ST5K

unlimited @ 128 kbps

+ Valid until 24:00 of the registration date

+ Auto renew

2GB

VND 10,000 ~ US $0.45

ST10K

unlimited @ 128 kbps

+ Valid until 24:00 of the registration date

+ Auto renew

3GB

VND 15,000 ~ US $0.7

ST10K

unlimited @ 128 kbps

+ Valid until 24:00 of the registration date

+ Auto renew

3GB

VND 70,000 ~ US $3.2

MIMAX70

unlimited @ 3 Mpbs

+Valid until the final date of the month.

4GB

VND 30,000 ~ US $1.4

ST30K

unlimited @ 256 kbps

+ Valid for until 24:00 of the 7th date

+ Auto renew

>> For Viettel tourist SIM cards:

DataDomestic callsInternational callsValidityPrice
1 GB20 mins10 mins5 daysVND 100,000 ~ US $4,5
2 GB40 mins20 mins10 daysVND 200,000 ~ US $9
3 GB60 mins30 mins15 daysVND 300,000 ~ US $13
5 GB100 mins50 mins25 daysVND 500,000 ~ US $22

Please note:

  • The Vietnam tourist sim cards are mostly sold at Vietnam international airports and large Viettel stores.
  • International calls are to 25 countries only.
  • Data overage charge is VND 9.76 per 50 KB.
  • A Viettel Tourist SIM does not include SMS texting.

4.2 Vinaphone Vietnam tourist sim

Vinaphone is the second operator in Vietnam, occupying 30% of the market share. It gives good coverage and speed throughout the country. 4G/LTE has been started on Phu Quoc Island in 2016 and is now rolled out nationwide.

 Vinaphone - the second mobile network operator in Vietnam - Vietnam sim card for tourists
Vinaphone – the second mobile network operator in Vietnam

Here are some fast facts about Vinaphone Vietnam tourist sim cards:

  • Great coverage in Vietnam (3G/4G/LTE)
  • Great regional coverage in rural areas
  • Reasonably priced

Like Viettel, Vinaphone also offers both regular packages and data plans for tourists to Vietnam. In case you use a regular Vinaphone SIM Card, you will need to pay the SIM cost (which is around VND 50,000 – 60,000 ~ US $2.5 – 2.8), and then register for a data plan (whose costs are detailed below). If you buy a tourist sim card, you only need to pay for the data plan, but it cannot be topped up.

Here are the popular Vinaphone prepaid sim card data packages for tourists to Vietnam:

>> For Vinaphone regular SIM cards

Data

Price

Activation Code

Overuse

Notes

Important

1GB

VND 5,000 ~ US $0.22

DATA D5

VND 75/MB

+ Valid until 24:00 of the registration date

+ For activation, text the code to 1543.

+ To stop auto-renewal, text HUY {D5/D2/D3/BIG70} to 888.

+To check data balance, text DATA to 888.

2GB

VND 10,000 ~ US $0.45

DATA D2

VND 75/MB

+ Valid until 24:00 of the registration date

3GB

VND 15,000 ~ US $0.7

DATA D3

VND 75/MB

+ Valid until 24:00 of the 3rd date

4.8GB

VND 30,000 ~ US $1.4

DATA  BIG70

VND 75/MB

+ Valid Until 24:00 of the 7th date

>> For Vinaphone tourist SIM cards:

DataValidityPrice
Unlimited7 daysVND 200,000 ~ US $9
Unlimited15 daysVND 250,000 ~ US $11
Unlimited30 daysVND 300,000 ~ US $13

*” Vinaphone’s Vietnam sim card unlimited data” means max. 1 GB per day in high speed, before throttled to 3G speeds.

All these physical SIM cards for tourists mentioned above will be bought at Vietnam airport and big Vinaphone stores. If you buy it online, you will need time to get it shipped to your address in Vietnam.

>> In case you want to avoid travel to any store or don’t want to wait for the physical SIM card to be shipped to your physical address, you can buy the Vinaphone prepaid eSIM data plan online.

At the moment, Vinaphone has been cooperating with Itel to provide Vietnam tourist eSIM online to travelers all over the world. With this type of Vietnam sim, travelers can make order online, get the eSIM online for download and installation on their phones, and get the data plan activated upon their landing in the country.

Here are the excellent 2 data packages:

4.3 Mobifone Vietnam tourist sim

Mobifone holds around 20% market share of the country and is currently in the process of becoming privatized. Its data speeds and coverage may be good in the centers and around the coast, but can be patchy in the mountains.

MobiFone's logo - Vietnam travel sim cảds - Vietnam-visa
MobiFone’s logo

Here are some fast facts about Vietnam tourist sims provided by Mobifone:

  • Good coverage in Vietnam (3G)
  • Reasonably priced
  • 4G/LTE network needs some work
  • Patchy regional coverage

Mobifone also offers regular SIM Card and tourist sim Card as follows:

>> For MobiFone regular SIM cards

Data

Price

Activation Code

Overuse

Notes

Important

1GB

VND 5,000 ~ US $0.22

D5

VND 75/MB

+ Valid until 24:00 of the registration date

+ For activation, text the code to 9084.

+ To stop auto-renewal, text HUY {CODE} to 999.

+To check data balance, text KT DATA to 999.

8.8GB

VND 30,000 ~ US $1.4

HD120

VND 75/MB

+ Valid for 30 days

>> For MobiFone tourist SIM cards:

DataValidityPrice
6GB* + 60′ Local Calls & 100‘ Local SMS + 30′ international calls to certain countries30 daysVND 250,000 ~ US $11
10GB30 daysVND 200,000 ~ US $9
10GB + 15’ Free Calls to Korea30 days US $10

5. Where to buy a Vietnam travel sim card

You may have 02 ways to buy a Vietnam travel sim card, which are:

  • Buy Vietnam sim card online, and
  • Buy sim card at physical store in Vietnam

Let’s make a brief comparison:

Item

Buy Vietnam sim card online

Buy Vietnam sim card at physical store

Where to buy

Online no matter where you are

In Vietnam

What you get

✔ an eSIM QR Code and users’ instructions online, or

✔ a physical sim card picked up at Vietnam airport upon your arrival or delivered to your physical address in Vietnam

✔a physical sim card picked up at the store.

What to prepare

✔Debit/Credit card to make payment

✔A physical address in Vietnam in case you want to get it delivered to you

✔Money to pay for the visa fee

✔Your passport to register the SIM Card

✔A cell phone unlocked for international use before you leave your home country

Now, let’s discover one by one.

5.1 Buy Vietnam sim online

An eSIM is highly recommended if you want to get a Vietnam sim online and have eSIM compatible devices, as it requires you neither waiting time for delivery nor presence at any counter to get it. It also can be ordered no matter where are you, helping you better prepare for your trip.

The eSIM will be installed on your phone via a QR Code sent to your email immediately after you make the order online before your departure, and is activated immediately when you land in Vietnam.

>>You may consider our Vietnam eSIM data packages:

>>In case you need a physical sim, we do not suggest you make the online order, just visit any store at Vietnam airport or in Vietnam country to get it.

5.2 Buy sim card in Vietnam

There are literally thousands of places to purchase a tourist SIM card in Vietnam. Many counters at the airports, travel agencies, local stores, and even some hotels offer them.

But it is best to purchase a Vietnamese SIM card either at the airport or at one of the official stores of the mobile network providers.

5.2.1 Buying a Vietnam SIM Card at the Airport

The easiest and most convenient place to buy a SIM card in Vietnam is at the airport, upon your arrival in the country. You’ll find dozens of kiosks selling SIM cards as soon as you exit the baggage claim area in any of Vietnam’s international airports.

Buy Vietnam Sim Cards at Hanoi Airport  - Vietnam-visa
Buy Vietnam Sim Cards at Hanoi Airport
Buying Vietnam sim card at Ho Chi Minh airport - Vietnam-visa
Buying Vietnam sim card at Ho Chi Minh airport

There are 2 advantages to buying your Vietnam SIM card at the airport:

  • They register and activate SIM cards for tourists hundreds of times per day so they are quick and efficient and getting it set up properly for you.
  • You can immediately use Grab (or one of the other ride-hailing services available in Vietnam) to get yourself a ride from the airport which will save you money and hassle.

The price of a SIM card and data plan is fixed by each mobile carrier, so the prices offered should all be roughly the same. Feel free to check at a couple of different sales kiosks to make sure you’re getting a fair price.

A Vietnamese SIM card and prepaid data package should cost you between  VND 150,000-350,000 (US $6.50-$15) depending on how long you’re going to be staying in Vietnam and how much mobile data you want.

Also, most of the kiosks in the airport are happy to take a credit card payment for your new Vietnamese SIM card, so you don’t even need to worry about going to the ATM first.

5.2.2 Buying Vietnamese SIM cards at mobile operators’ offices

If you have already left the airport without a SIM card, then you should head directly to one of the branch offices of the mobile operators. Luckily, those companies have offices that are conveniently located in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Just find an office with their logo and go in.

Official stores of 3 biggest mobile operators in Vietnam - Vietnam travel sim - Vietnam-visa
Official stores of 3 biggest mobile operators in Vietnam

Remember to bring your passport with you as they will need it to register your new SIM card.

❌ We DON’T suggest buying your SIM card from a travel agency, street vendor or local shop as you may have to pay a higher price and may have problems with registration.

5. How to use Vietnam sim card?

  • In case you get an eSIM, you will get the guide for installation and use.
  • In case you get a physical SIM card in Vietnam, ask the salesperson to insert it to your phone and complete all the steps to choose a 4G plan. If a Nano-SIM card is needed, they will adjust the size accordingly. No activation code is needed. Your SIM card takes effect immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

We think the best SIM card in Vietnam is Viettel. They are the Vietnamese mobile carrier with the largest network and best coverage. In case you cannot find a Viettel store, Vinaphone is recommended.

You can buy a Vietnam SIM online which is in form of an eSIM.

Otherwise, you can buy at a physical store. There are dozens of small shops around Vietnam that sell SIM cards, but the best place to get one is either in the airport when you first land in the country or at the mobile carrier’s store.

The Vietnam sim card cost may vary depending on the sim form, and data and validity.

  • For eSIM, it costs you US $9 to 15;
  • For physical SIM card: The SIM card itself costs about 50,000 VND (~$2.50). You’ll generally purchase your Vietnam SIM card as part of a mobile data package that will give you anywhere from 5GB – 30GB of data and cost between 150,000 – 300,000 VND ($6.50-$15).

Yes. There are numerous kiosks selling SIM cards at the Hanoi Airport.

Of course! There are dozens of counters selling SIM cards for all of Vietnam’s mobile providers at the Saigon airport. (Viettel and Vinaphone are preferred.)

Why apply with us?

Contact us!

Fri Mar 05 2021, 10:18:06 (GMT+7)