Here is a brief review of Vietnam sim cards for all travelers to Vietnam, especially first-time ones.
- Best mobile network operator in Vietnam: Viettel, followed by Vinaphone
- Recommended travel sim: Data-only
- Best Vietnam SIM for travelers: prepaid with a data plan
- Best Vietnam travel SIM card form: eSIM
- Best place to buy a travel sim for Vietnam: online, or at the airport.
- Best time to buy a travel sim card for Vietnam: before you go
Wifi is everywhere in your hotel, restaurant, or café. But traveling is not just about staying at a hotel, restaurant, or café, it’s to hang out to discover new places in a new country. So, we are sure that on your travel to Vietnam, you also want to be connected on the roads to order a taxi through an app, find nearby restaurants and their reviews on whether they are worth your money, use the Google Maps for directions, checking email or social media apps, and simply Facetiming with your friends and family to show them where you are, etc.
Buying a local travel SIM card is your best solution. And now, it comes to which is the best SIM card that you should buy for your trip to Vietnam, where and when to buy it.
Now, discover all the things about a SIM card for Vietnam with Gigago.
1. Should I get a new Sim Card when traveling to Vietnam?
>>Yes, you are highly recommended.
As a rule, having a local SIM card is the most affordable option for data, calls, and text while traveling abroad. The price for using a local SIM Card will be much cheaper than the internal roaming charge.
There is even a way to save your money with a local SIM card in case you do not want to make any calls or texts, that is to buy a Data-only SIM Card.
2. How much data do I need for my Vietnam travel?
After finding that a SIM card should be bought for travel to Vietnam, the next concern that most travelers have on their mind is how much data they will need on their Vietnam prepaid SIM, if they need a Vietnam sim card unlimited data, or not.
>> On average, smartphone users need more than 3GB per month.
However, when you are on vacation, you, for sure, will need more data to post images and videos on social media, chat/email, call your friends, etc.
The chart below will give you an idea of how much data will be consumed for different services and apps, serving as a basis for you to determine how much data you will need for your trip to Vietnam.
|Service/App||Usage||Average data size|
|Web browsing||1 hour||60MB|
|Emails||100 text emails sent/received||2.5 MB|
|Sports Mobile TV||1 hour||300 MB|
|Youtube||40 mins||110 MB|
|15 mins with no video streaming||5 MB|
|15 mins with video streaming||450 MB|
|Facetime||10 mins||70 GB|
|Skype calls (standard quality)||1 hour||270GB|
|Spotify||1 music track||5 MB|
|Google Maps||10 mins||6 MB|
|Netflix||1 hour||1 GB|
|Game playing||1 hour||~ 140 MB|
- 1GB = 1000MB
- These are estimates only – your data usage volume can vary by device, type and quality of content.
>>Conclusion: How much data you need for your trip to Vietnam will depend on your demand and also your trip duration. It should be 3 or 5GB if you just need the data for web browsing, email checking, face-timing with your family and friends, and using google Maps. But in case all the things above are needed, a much more data volume should be obtained.
3. Which Vietnam SIM Card type should a traveler buy?
>>Quick answer: A prepaid travel (data) SIM/eSIM is good for your trip!
Why? Let’s look into details with us.
Vietnam SIM cards are now available in the following types:
- In terms of purpose, we have:
- Voice, text and data SIM (also known as regular SIM, Mobile SIM, or call SIM), and
- Data-only sim.
- In terms of payment time, we have:
- Post-paid SIM, and
- Prepaid SIM.
- In terms of form, we have:
- Physical SIM, and
How are they different, do you want to explore withem th us?
👉Voice, text, and data SIM vs Data-only SIM
|Voice, text, and data SIM||Data-only SIM|
|What is it?||A Voice, text and data SIM (or Mobile SIM) allows users to make standard phone calls, send SMS, and connect to the internet via mobile data.||A data-only SIM provides mobile data only (i.e allows users to connect to the internet only). A data-only SIM does not allow users to make standard voice calls and SMS, but it still works for internet-based messaging (like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger) and internet calling (Skype and Viber).|
|Who is it good for?||Travelers who need to contact their friends in Vietnam via calls and SMS and connect to internet during the trip||Travelers who only need data for internet connection during the trip|
👉Prepaid vs Postpaid SIM Vietnam
|Prepaid Vietnam SIM||Post-paid Vietnam SIM|
|What is it?||A prepaid SIM is one that you pay for before you use your phone’s services (including calling, texting and internet connection). The prepaid SIM users will be able to avoid a bill shock.||A postpaid connection is one that you pay after you use your phone’s services, usually on a monthly basis.|
|Registration conditions||Your personal paper (including passport)||
+ Your personal paper and an exact address in Vietnam which will be verified by the mobile network operator
+ A service contract
+ Easy to manage usage fee, not overused
+ Many promotional packages
+ Able to know your charge for 1 month
+ Cheaper calling charge
|Disadvantages||Higher calling charge||Must pay the monthly subscription charge no matter you use your SIM or not|
|Who is it good for?||The Vietnamese residence who have low demand for calls, and international travelers||The Vietnam residents who have high demands for calls.|
👉Physical SIM vs eSIM Vietnam
|Physical Vietnam SIM Card||eSIM Vietnam|
|What is it?||A physical SIM card is a piece of plastic with a SIM on it. It is activated when you insert it to your phone||
eSIM stands for embedded SIM, is a SIM that’s already built into the phone. It is activated via an eSIM profile (a QR code that you scanned to your phone)
>> See full details about Vietnam eSIM
|Where to buy||At a physical store in Vietnam||Online, delivery via email|
|When to buy||When you are in Vietnam||Before your departure or when you are in Vietnam|
|Who is it good for?||All travelers who have a phone unlocked for internatio3nal mobile carriers.||All travelers who have eSIM-compatible handsets which are unlocked for international mobile carriers, especially those who want to keep their local phone number for urgent calls.|
>> So, obviously, as a local, we recommend that:
- In case you are traveling to Vietnam for leisure or short-term business trip and don’t need to make calls, or send SMS from a Vietnamese phone number, a prepaid data SIM for Vietnam is good. And in this case, if you have an unlocked eSIM-compatible device, a data eSIM is highly recommended.
👉Check the best Vietnam data eSIMs here.
- In case you need to make phone calls from a Vietnamese number, buying a mobile SIM is good. If you have a normal demand for it; or have a high demand but have no exact address in Vietnam, a prepaid package will work. But in case you want to make hundreds or thousands of calls in a month, and you have a registered address in Vietnam, a postpaid plan is a good idea.
4. Best SIM card to get in Vietnam & prices
You pay your money and you must ensure that the thing you get is worth it. Especially, when you travel to a foreign country, we are sure that you wish everything will be the best. And, sim is among such things.
A Sim to buy must be the SIM that keeps you connected wherever in Vietnam, right? So, you must choose one of the best mobile operators in Vietnam.
>>Let us show you!
Vietnam mobile market is now occupied by 4 major operators, consisting of:
- MobiFone, and
The chart summarized by OpenSignal and the mobile coverage map below will partially show you which one is the best.
>>Quick summary for you:
- 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.
- Vietnamobile should not be on your list for Vietnam SIM as its coverage, especially in rural areas, is not good.
Let’s review who they are and what plans they have on offer.
Viettel is the biggest service provider of prepaid SIM cards in Vietnam, and offers various packages to foreign travelers.
Viettel is now offering both mobile SIM cards and data-only SIM cards which are in form of both physical sim and eSIM. Let’s have a look at some of its most interesting packages, other costs that you might be charged when using the Viettel Vietnam SIM Cards, as well as their important notes.
>> Viettel Vietnam mobile SIM Cards packages
|Package||Data volume||Validity||Price||Activation text (to 191)||Other costs|
|MIMAX70||3GB||1 month||VND 70,000 (USD 3.02)||Mimax70||
+ The SIM Card itself costs VND 50,000 – 60,000
+ Domestic calls cost VND 690 ~ 1,790/min
+ International calls cost VND 3,600 ~ 100,000 VND/min
|MIMAX90||5GB||1 month||VND 90,000 (USD 3.88)||Mimax90|
|MIMAX125||8GB||1 month||VND 125,000 (USD 5.39||MIMAX125|
|MIMAX200||12GB||1 month||VND 200,000 (USD 8.62)||MIMAX200|
|ST5KM||1GB||Until 24:00 of the registration date||VND 5,000||ST5KM|
|ST10K||2GB||Until 24:00 of the registration date||VND 10,000||ST10K|
|ST15K||3GB||3 days||VND 15,000||ST15K|
>>Physical Viettel Vietnam tourist sim card packages:
|Package||Price||What is contained||Validity||Notes|
– Waiting time for activation: 365 days
– Overuse: throttled to normal speed
– Calling costs:
– Texting costs:
>>Viettel Vietnam tourist eSIM cards:
|1GB||7 days||US $5||GetNomad|
|2GB||7 days||US $10|
|3GB||7 days||US $13|
|5GB||7 days||US $15|
Note: These eSIM are for data only, and it is not used for calls or SMS.
Like Viettel, Vinaphone is also offering both mobile SIM and data SIMs (available in both forms of Physical travel sim and travel eSIM).
Let’s take a look at its popular packages for travelers today.
>> Vinaphone Vietnam mobile SIM Cards packages
|Package||Data volume||Validity||Price||Activation text (to 888)||Other costs|
|BIG70||4.8GB||1 month||VND 70,000||DK BIG70||
|BIG90||7GB||1 month||VND 90,000||DK BIG90|
|BIG120||12GB||1 month||VND 120,000||DK BIG120|
|BIG200||22GB||1 month||VND 200,000||DK BIG200|
|BIG300||36GB||1 month||VND 300,000||DK BIG300|
|DK30||7GB||7 days||VND 30,000||DK DT30|
|D3||3GB||3 days||VND 15,000||DATA|
>>Physical Vinaphone Vietnam tourist sim card packages:
|Package||Price||What is contained||Validity||Notes|
>> Vinaphone Vietnam tourist esim packages:
|7GB||8 days||US $10||Gigago|
|10GB||16 days||US $12|
|15GB||30 days||US $15|
|120GB (4GB/day)||30 days||US $19|
|1GB||7 days||US $4.5||Airalo|
You can check our GIGAGO Vietnam eSIM Plans right here.
Mobifone is another major telecommunication company in Vietnam that is widely used among foreign residents and travelers. Its coverage in major cities is good, but it may be restricted in urban and remote areas.
At the moment, Mobifone offers plenty of interesting packages for travelers, including:
>> MobiFone Vietnam mobile SIM Cards packages
|Package||Data volume||Validity||Price||Activation text (to 998)||Other costs|
|HD70||3.8GB||1 month||VND 70,000 (~US $3.02)||DK HD70||
|HD90||5.5GB||1 month||VND 90,000 (~US $3.88)||DK HD90|
|HD120||8.8GB||1 month||VND 120,000 (~US $5.7)||DK HD120|
|HD200||16.5GB||1 month||VND 200,000 (~ US $8.62)||DK HD200|
|HD300||33GB||1 month||VND 300,000 (US $12.93)||DK HD300|
>>Physical MobiFone Vietnam tourist sim card packages:
|Package||Price||What is contained||Validity|
Vietnamobile is the smallest of the 4 major mobile network carriers in Vietnam, it occupies for around 10% of the mobile market share in the country.
Their 4G/LTE coverage is much more restricted than the 3 others.
We don’t suggest you use this operator, especially if you have a trip to the countryside or mountainous areas of Vietnam.
But in case you want more information about this operator’s packages, let’s have a look.
>> Vietnamobile Vietnam mobile SIM Cards packages
|Package||Data volume||Validity||Price||Activation text (to 345)||Other costs|
|4GM30||4GB||30 days||VND 30,000||DK 4GM30||
|4GM48||8GB||30 days||VND 48,000||DK 4GM48|
|4GM84||16GB||30 days||VND 84,000||DK 4GM84|
|4GM108||24GB||30 days||VND 108,000||DK 4GM108|
|4GM150||40GB||30 days||VND 150,000||DK 4GM150|
|4GM240||80GB||30 days||VND 240,000||DK 4GM240|
>>Physical Vietnamobile Vietnam tourist sim card packages:
|Package||Price||What is contained||Validity||Registration & fee|
|Tourist 100||VND 125,000||
|Tourist 200||VND 225,000||
>> Vietnamobile Vietnam tourist esim packages:
|Unlimited data||5 days||US $19||Holafly|
|Unlimited data||10 days||US $34|
|Unlimited data||15 days||US $47|
|Unlimited data||20 days||US $54|
|Unlimited data||30 days||US $64|
|Unlimited data||60 days||US $84|
|Unlimited data||90 days||US $99|
5. Where to buy Vietnam sim card
It’s great that you can buy an eSIM online before you go. Otherwise, Vietnam airport is the best place to buy your tourist sim for Vietnam. And in case you are in Vietnam already, buy an eSIM online or directly visit the official stores of the mobile operators in Vietnam to get your data SIM.
Let’s have a look at details of these ways to get a Vietnam travel sim:
5.1 Buy Vietnam SIM Card online
Don’t buy a physical eSIM online as you are still required to present yourself at a physical store to pick it up. In case you want to order a Vietnam sim online, order the eSIM.
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.
There are several providers of eSIM for Vietnam, including:
>> Check their brief reviews here.
5.2 Buy Vietnam SIM at airport
The easiest and most convenient place to buy a physical 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.
5.3 Buy Vietnam SIM at official stores of mobile operators
If you have already left the airport without a SIM card, or if you are in Vietnam already, 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.
- For Viettel offices for SIM cards in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, or other provinces/cities: check https://vietteltelecom.vn/cua-hang
- For Vinaphone offices for SIM cards in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, or other provinces/cities offices, check https://vinaphone.com.vn/ho-tro/diem-giao-dich
- For MobiFone offices for SIM cards in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, or other provinces/cities, check https://www.mobifone.vn/ho-tro-khach-hang/vi-tri-cua-hang
👉Good to know: We do not suggest you visit any unofficial SIM Card stores as you may be charged much higher and you will not be guided clearly.
👉You might be interested in:
6. How to get a SIM Card in Vietnam
The process to get a SIM Card in Vietnam will depend on which SIM you are shopping for:
>> If it’s an eSIM:
- Visit the eSIM provider’s website/App
- Choose your eSIM Plan and make payment
- Get the QR code from the provider and install it on your phone.
>>If it’s a physical SIM card:
- Visit the Vietnam SIM kiosk/store
- Choose the SIM make payment
- Show your passport for registration for the SIM
- Insert the SIM Card to your phone, and register for the data package that you want.
7. Vietnam travel sim FAQs
Can a tourist get SIM card in Vietnam?
Which SIM Card is best for international travelers in Vietnam?
How can I get a SIM Card in Vietnam?
In case you are in the country, you can buy the eSIM Vietnam online or buy a physical SIM card at the retail stores of the mobile network operators in Vietnam.
Does a prepaid SIM card come with a phone number?
Can I buy a SIM card at the airport in Vietnam?
How to register SIM card in Vietnam?
>>In case you get a physical SIM, you will need to show your passport to the mobile operator’s staff who will help you to make the registration.