This is our experience about Getting the Best SIM Card in Vietnam. We are not the sort of people who choose to disconnect from our social media platforms when we travel because we are travel writers, and staying connected with both our readers and clients is imperative. From what we saw of our time in Vietnam, regardless of whether a person was on vacation or working, they also definitely wanted to stay connected to the rest of the world also. The local people of Vietnam love to be also connected, and everyone has a cell phone, and are on them constantly.
I will put some gorgeous photos of Vietnam throughout this article, to show you why you will want the Best SIM Card in Vietnam to share with everyone.
Editor Note: Updated regularly
- 1 FYI
- 2 So here is the new Sim Card reality in Vietnam
- 3 So here is the good news about Sim Cards in Vietnam
- 4 Better News – You can easily Buy your Sim card at the Airport
- 5 Handy Tips
- 6 We consider that Viettel is the Best SIM Card in Vietnam
- 7 Viettel’s Tourist Plans
- 8 Viettel Sim Cards work in Laos and Cambodia also.
- 9 Coverage and Data Speeds
- 10 You Can Tether it
We are not working with the company we are going to recommend, or working for them, or have any affiliation with them at all; but when we were super happy with their product, we decided to share this with you. Told you we were nice.
So here is the new Sim Card reality in Vietnam
In November 2016, the Ministry of Information and Communications began enforcing registration rules for local SIM cards. They canceled over 12 million cards that had been illegally registered. In Vietnam, a SIM card must be properly registered at the time of activation with the owner’s correct information, including their name, date of birth and ID number. Many were not, as in 12 million+, which had been purchased from non-approved sources.
For travelers, that means one thing and one thing only, BUY FROM AN APPROVED PROVIDER, like the one we are going to suggest.
So here is the good news about Sim Cards in Vietnam
Mobile Data is cheap in Vietnam. As in you may choose to move here, it is so cheap.
***Read more about visiting a first timers guide to Hoi An, more about the amazing yellow city of Hoi An, how to get the best tailoring in Hoi An
Better News – You can easily Buy your Sim card at the Airport
After you step off the plane, pass through the checkpoints, and pick up your baggage, you will see many booths or kiosks all selling the best sim card in Vietnam. Frankly, it was overwhelming when we landed in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
We looked around until we saw the magical term 4g. We went over, asked the price, and asked for unlimited data. We don’t need to make phone calls, and if we did, we would use Snapchat or Skype. We paid 200,000 VND each for 1 month of unlimited data. That is $11.49AUD or $8.79USD. How good was that and it never gave us any issues.
If you do want phone access, there are combined phone and data packages, also at very good prices.
For our needs, we had to have data and a lot of data at that. Check our Social Media accounts to see how we were able to stay connected throughout our trip.
We had to provide our passport to purchase the sim card as per government regulations. We did not have to sign a contract, nor ring any number to activate the package or have it verified..
The girl at the kiosk had our old sim card out and the new one in very very quickly.
We stood there to make sure we were both online, and it was instantaneous.
*** Read more about visiting Saigon or Hoi Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and the do’s and don’t when you visit Vietnam. A food tour of Saigon is always a good idea with a local. Also, you have to do the what to see and do in Ho Chi Minh City.
***Make sure your phone is unlocked***
***Also, make sure that you have a paper clip, safety pin, or even a toothpick when you need to remove the Vietnamese Sim, and to put yours back in …. think like MacGyver
We consider that Viettel is the Best SIM Card in Vietnam
Vinaphone works but not necessarily all over Vietnam. As we were traveling from Ho Chi Minh and up to Hanoi, we needed/wanted one card that would cover us for the entire trip. We chose Viettel, which is the largest network with the most customers in Vietnam. That has to say something, and it is also owned by the government so we would not have our card cancelled.
Until Hanoi, we hadn’t even received an annoying message from Viettel. When we got to Hanoi, we each got one. I can cope with that; besides it was in Vietnamese, so I have no idea what it said.
*** Read more about exploring Hanoi the capital city of Vietnam.
Viettel’s Tourist Plans
“Tourist plans are prepaid plans designed for foreigners, who come to Vietnam for travelling or working in a short time. There are two Tourist plans for your own demand: (1) Tourist Voice plan offers Voice, SMS, and Data; (2) Tourist Data plan offers Data only for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, USB 3G with many attractive offers and easy to use.” There is NO CONTRACT required, and it is valid for tourists’ length of stay. Read more details on their website.
Viettel Sim Cards work in Laos and Cambodia also.
Viettel removed roaming charges in Laos and Cambodia in early 2017, so you can use the one sim card in all three countries.
Coverage and Data Speeds
Our speed was good and better than some of the hotels where we stayed. It was, in fairness, mostly 3G, but we had no issues uploading videos to Instastory and Facebook. 4G/LTE was launched in early 2017 on 1800 MHz in the main cities and will be rolled out across the country, so chances are by the time you read this, it will be even faster.
You Can Tether it
You can use this data sim card as a mobile hotspot. We had one hotel, and admittedly only one evening where the speed sucked. So I used the phone as the router. Happy Paula
There you have it. We loved the reliability and were blown away by the price. Well done Viettel, the Best SIM Card in Vietnam.
While we mainly used in cities, we spoke to a number of people who had used it in some more remote places, and they also testified that they were happy with it.
Featured image taken in Hanoi.
We are flying into DaNang and heading straight for HoiAn. Can we get a sim in HoiAn or DaNang? Would one be a better place to get it than the other? Thanks.
I think either/or. The Vietnamese are very tech savvy. Just ask a local, and they will tell you exactly what to get, where to get it, and help you get the best price.
Hi do they sell 3 days unlimited data for use in just HCM city?
after 3 days i will be back to HCM in a week. am i able to top up and reuse the same sim card?
The card covers the whole country, tho we got one for a month. Economically that was worth it rather than a 3 day card.
Hiya paula.. we are visiting vietnam soon and are going on the halong bay trip. Would I be able to go Facebook live on the boat if I buy one of the sim cards you mention.
Hi Ste, first off I would recommend NOT visiting Halong Bay … despite being beautiful, it has now become over commercialised. Theme park. I would go for Bai Tu Long Bay. But in answer to your question, yes you will be able to use FB live. I did a number of insta stories etc when we were there last year. Have fun. Vietnam is amazing
Hi wanted to know if I can get the card in mumbai delivered at my Res address as I have elders who are travelling and it will be difficult for them to search for booths and find one there.also can u give service providers if not then where I can take the SIM card in mumbai itself.we are there in combodia for 4 days and Vietnam 7 days.i need calling card and data if possible
This is for a Vietnamese SIM card, not an Indian sim card. Sorry.
Paula, how many days did you use this sim card in Vietnam? Were you able to make international calls?
We only used it for data and we were in Vietnam 3 weeks, tho the card lasted a month, and we would have just needed to recharge it. Re. international phone calls, we use Skype.
What Vietell dont tell you is that when the data runs out on their 4g “unlimited” plans the 3g speed is so slow it is not practical. Calling them “unlimited” plans is false advertising.
Hiya. Just wondering if this sim will be usable in Thailand, also? Or will we need to get a separate sim? Looking forward to visiting vietnam!
this might help, http://www.three.co.uk/Support/Roaming_and_international/Mobile_Roaming?content_aid=1214306363251
Hi, Paula, I’m moving to Vietnam so I’m looking for a long-term relationship with unlimited data and phone calls/texting if there is such a thing. Any suggestions will be appreciated. I arrived in HCMC a couple of days ago very early 5:30 am only a few kiosks were open vinaphone 4G with 100 minutes calls. Made very few calls and more texting and now I have to pay more so looking for a long-term relationship phone service.
Talk to a local. We did a motorcycle food tour in HCMC, and those guys know everything about best cards for long term. There is an article on your site if you want to contact them. They will look after you.
You could get full information about it if buy online on some web sites such as Viet5g.com. SIM already registered with long term package so each month need to be topup to extend registration cycle
Could you give some details about that food tour ? I’d like to try this 🙂
Thanks for the SIM tip, i’ll get one this weekend at HCMC airport !
Here is the website that we used to book both tours.https://www.christinas.vn/saigon/evening-food-tour/ and here is our article on this amazing activity https://contentedtraveller.com/saigon-street-food-tour-ho-chi-minh-city-motorbike/
Not very handy information. It’s very easy to scammed at the airport. I looked for a kiosk offering unlimited 4g. I said is this definitely unlimited 4g? And they replied yes sir.
Well, I ordered the sim card and it worked just fine… for the first 1gb. After that the card reverted to 2g for the rest of the print, which was written in Vietnamese in the small print on the SIM I was given. Very easy to get scammed in Vietnam, even by official providers in the main airport.
How very odd. We had no issue whatsoever. Sorry you had issues. Wonder if it was same kiosk/newsagency.
Not tech savvy hete. How do I go about unlocking my phone . How do I even know if my phone is locked ?
just contact your provider and tell them to unlock it. I am not tech savvy 🙂
Totally agree, this is a great detailed article for SIM Cards in Vietnam. It is really greatly connected to WiFi all over, but a sim is handy anyways!
Totally agree, love being connected.
Hi Paula. Do you mean turn left outside of the arrivals terminal where the baggage carousels are, or inside the terminal.
go left as you exit the immigration area, before you leave the terminal. Have a great time
Thank you for all of this helpful info! I am traveling to Vietnam in two weeks and was wondering….if I purchase a data only sim card, do I keep my phone in airplane mode?
No, turn your airplane mode off, once you get your new sim card. You will LOVE Vietnam.
I am leaving for HCMC in 8 hours, will arrive morning of Jan 15. I read about two places here, and am confused. You stated Viettel is the better carrier? That one is outside the airport at a newstand? You also mentioned a small vinaphone booth inside the airport. Which is best for all data, unlimited, preferably 4G? I’ll be in HCMC, Can Tho, Hoi An, Hanoi and then a few villages outside Hanoi, but will be with a friend who has Viettel. Thanks!
My apologies for late response, we have been in transit between Bali and Japan. Viettel is the better one. Head outside the departure gates, not outside the airport. Go hard left, walk about 100metres to what is a news agency. Go for unlimited data, and yes it worked beautifully in all of these places.
Viettel is the best signal coverage. about quality (data speed,.. ), Mobifone and Viettel is the same. You can check signal coverage in some websites that sell SIM card such as viet5g.com
Thanks for the helpful article. Just came through Hanoi airport and yes there are 3 sim card stores to the left as you walk out of the arrivals.
you will have such a great time. Pleased to be able to help.
Hi Paula, Thanks for your article. It has helped a lot. We are landing in Ho Chi Minh in March. Your above replies to questions gives the same directions to find the sim card vendor in Hanoi as well as at HCMC airport. Could please clarify for which city.
we got ours in HCMC, but I have no doubt that the same type of kiosks are available in Hanoi.
Hello I’ve been going to Viettel official shops and none of them are willing to sell me a package of unlimited data. How were you guys able to get it? Also did the speed remain fast for the entire length of your stay?
And nobody here can confirm that you could use the same sim for data in Laos and Cambodia :/
I’m in HCMC and would appreciate some more specific instructions on how to get that as my expectations are high up there already after reading your post! 🙂
Hi, as you walk of the exit gates from the airport, before you actually go outside, turn left, walk about 100 metres, walk into the shop that looks like a news agency, ask them for the unlimited data card, and that is it. Yes, the speed was excellent the entire trip. Yes, you can use it in both Cambodia and Laos. The young girl in the newsagency shop conformed it.
I was just in Vietnam/Cambodia and currently in Lao and can say that my Viettel SIM was NOT able to register in any network of Cambodia/Lao.
Any update on currently available plans and pricing? We arrive in Hanoi on the 26th.
There website is very difficult to read, but looking at some recent people who have visited, it is about the same as what we paid. Just go to kiosk at airport, with an unlocked phone, and you will be right.
Thank you Paula. We are looking forward to the trip.
Original SIM (hardware only) price is about 100.000 VND. Then you should register data package, promotion package, .. the package price is various. Normally, 3GB/month package is about 70.000 VND.
Great info & advice, as others have similarly pointed out. Obviously appreciated by many. Thanks a bunch 🙂
Hi Paula, I’ve had a look online but haven’t been able to come across the same deal you got with Viettel for unlimited data over a month at 200,000 VND. From what I’ve come across, Viettel only offers 20gb to use in a month at that price. Do you happen to know if they made changes to the pricing since you were there? Thanks for your help.
I am having trouble translating their website. I will need to get back to you on this.I have a friend arriving there tomorrow, so will check with her.
thanks for the valuable infos
Hi! We are visiting HCMC for a weekend and require a SIM card. However, I do not really understand exactly how much i need to pay for a data only SIM card when i visit the Viettel website… I know it sounds bimbo… So much am i expected to pay for the most basic data only SIM card?
Read the post again, all prices are listed there. $8.79US unlimited data for a month. https://contentedtraveller.com/getting-best-sim-card-vietnam/
Great and very interesting post.
Thanks, it was a very good SIM card
Really useful travel tips to get the local sim card in Vietnam. It helps to make the communication very easy.
We were really happy with the Sim Card. It worked really well.
Those are great prices for unlimited data. It’s nice to hear that it’s not just in the main cities and that Laos and Cambodia don’t have roaming charges now.
It was the most reliable service. We were very happy with it.