Guides & Tips

Connect with Ease: The Top 3 SIM Cards for Travelers in Vietnam

Mai Anh
3 min. to read

Picture yourself immersed in Vietnam’s breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural tapestry, only to find your phone struggling to pick up a signal. It’s a scenario no traveler wants to encounter. That’s why, in Sun Getaways Travel‘s blog, we’re diving into the world of Vietnam SIM cards to ensure your travel experience is as seamless as possible.

Table of contents

1. Exploring the Pros and Cons of SIM Services in Vietnam

2. Choosing Between Physical SIM and eSIM: Which One Fits Your Needs?

3. Top 3 Vietnam SIM Cards for Tourists and Cost

4. Where to Purchase a SIM in Vietnam

1. Exploring the Pros and Cons of SIM Services in Vietnam

SIM services offer users access to phone numbers for making calls, sending text messages, accessing the internet, and other services on mobile networks. There are several advantages of utilizing SIM services in Vietnam:

  • Users have the flexibility to select a SIM card based on their specific needs and preferences.
  • Through the international roaming service provided by carriers, users can utilize their SIM cards for overseas usage.

However, there are also drawbacks associated with using SIM services in Vietnam:

  • Users are required to provide personal information during the purchase of a SIM card and undertake administrative procedures related to SIM card registration.
  • There is a risk of losing or having the SIM card stolen, which can lead to security, personal, and financial concerns.

You will be supported when using the SIM service

You need to have a SIM card to be able to book public transportation:

>>> Grab and Xanh SM: Locations Across Vietnam

2. Choosing Between Physical SIM and eSIM: Which One Fits Your Needs?

Both SIM cards serve to link travelers’ phones to mobile network providers in Vietnam, ensuring connectivity throughout the country. They serve as identifiers for your phone and the type of plan being utilized, and both can be utilized concurrently in a dual-SIM phone.

Vietnam SIM forms

ItemVietnam tourist SIM – PhysicalVietnam tourist SIM – eSIM
FormA SIM card is a chip that is physically installed or removed inside your phone with your carrier’s planAn eSIM (embedded sim) is built-in to your phone and downloads your carrier’s plan.
Where to buyOnlinePicked up at a physical store
ProsThe SIM card is removable: If your phone’s battery runs out, you can simply transfer the SIM card to another unlocked phone with a functioning battery.
The SIM card is readily available within its country: Numerous travelers can conveniently obtain a prepaid SIM plan at local markets or convenience stores while traveling abroad.
The SIM card is compatible with all phones.

eSIMs offer convenience: Vietnam tourist eSIMs can be purchased outside of Vietnam, downloaded from anywhere with a network connection, and activated immediately upon arrival in Vietnam.
eSIMs are immune to physical damage or loss.
Unlike traditional SIM cards, which are limited in number, eSIMs provide flexibility: Phones equipped with dual-SIM technology enable you to switch between lines at your convenience. Furthermore, certain phones extend beyond dual-SIM functionality by allowing you to download and store multiple eSIM options, offering a significant advantage over physical cards in terms of versatility.
ConsSIMs 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.

It’s also helpful to know the type of electrical outlet commonly used in Vietnam for easier phone charging

>>> Electric Outlet in Vietnam: A Guide for Travelers

3. Top 3 Vietnam SIM Cards for Tourists and Cost

3.1. Viettel

Viettel, a leading mobile network provider in Vietnam, provides dependable services tailored to tourists. Here’s an overview of Viettel SIM cards:

  • Extensive network coverage nationwide.
  • Usage validity of up to 60 days from the date of SIM activation.
  • Diverse data plans catering to different needs, ranging from short-term options for tourists to extended-stay plans.
  • International calls are to 25 countries only.
  • A Viettel Tourist SIM does not include SMS texting.
  • Costs vary depending on data allowances and duration, with rates starting from 100,000 VND for 5-day unlimited internet package with high-speed access.
DataPriceActivation CodeOveruseNotesGuide
1GBVND 5,000 ~ US $0.22ST5KMunlimited@ 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.
1GBVND 5,000 ~ US $0.22ST5Kunlimited @ 128 kbps+ Valid until 24:00 of the registration date,
+ Auto renew
2GBVND 10,000 ~ US $0.45ST10Kunlimited @ 128 kbps+ Valid until 24:00 of the registration date,
+ Auto renew
3GBVND 15,000 ~ US $0.7ST10Kunlimited @ 128 kbps+ Valid until 24:00 of the registration date,
+ Auto renew
3GBVND 70,000 ~ US $3.2MIMAX70unlimited @ 3 Mpbs+Valid until the final date of the month.
4GBVND 30,000 ~ US $1.4ST30Kunlimited @ 256 kbps+ Valid until 24:00 of the 7th date,
+ Auto renew
For Viettel regular 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
For Viettel tourist SIM cards

3.2. Vinaphone

Vinaphone, the second-largest mobile operator in Vietnam, commands a 30% share of the market. It provides excellent coverage and high-speed connectivity across the entire country. Here’s an overview of Vinaphone SIM cards:

  • Great coverage in Vietnam (3G/4G/LTE)
  • Great regional coverage in rural areas
  • Reasonably priced
  • 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.
DataPriceActivation CodeOveruseNotesImportant
1GBVND 5,000 ~ US $0.22DATA D5VND 75/MBValid 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.
2GBVND 10,000 ~ US $0.45DATA D2VND 75/MBValid until 24:00 of the registration date
3GBVND 15,000 ~ US $0.7DATA D3VND 75/MBValid until 24:00 of the 3rd date
4.8GBVND 30,000 ~ US $1.4DATA  BIG70VND 75/MBValid Until 24:00 of the 7th date
For Vinaphone regular SIM cards
DataValidityPrice
Unlimited7 daysVND 200,000 ~ US $9
Unlimited15 daysVND 250,000 ~ US $11
Unlimited30 daysVND 300,000 ~ US $13
For Vinaphone tourist SIM cards

3.3. Mobifone

Mobifone, holding approximately 20% of the market share in the country, is presently undergoing privatization. While its data speeds and coverage are generally satisfactory in urban centers and along the coastline, there may be inconsistencies in mountainous regions.

DataPriceActivation CodeOveruseNotesImportant
1GBVND 5,000 ~ US $0.22D5VND 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.
8.8GBVND 30,000 ~ US $1.4HD120VND 75/MB+ Valid for 30 days
For MobiFone regular 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 daysUS $10
For MobiFone tourist SIM cards

4. Where to Purchase a SIM in Vietnam

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

  • Buy Vietnam SIM online: Upon placing an online order before your departure, the eSIM will be installed on your phone. Using a QR Code sent to your email. Upon your arrival in Vietnam, the eSIM is promptly activated.
  • Buy SIM card at physical store in Vietnam: in kiosks selling SIM cards at the Airport or mobile operators’ offices.

Official stores of 3 biggest mobile operators

On our blog at Sun Getaways Travel, you’ll find everything you need to know about Vietnam SIM cards, including why they’re essential, how to use them, and recommendations for the top three mobile operators. Plus, we provide helpful tips for usage. If you’re interested in exploring our Vietnam package tours, feel free to reach out to Sun Getaways Travel!

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