Vietnam SIM Cards and Mobile Internet for Travelers

Vietnam SIM cards are essential for travelers who want to stay connected and make the most of their trip. With reliable and affordable mobile internet, you can easily research destinations, book tours, stay in touch with family and friends, and navigate Vietnam’s vibrant streets.
This comprehensive provides everything you need to know about mobile internet and SIM cards in Vietnam, helping you make better decisions on choosing connectivity options to stay connected throughout your journey.
Vietnam sim cards guide for travelers

I. Mobile Internet in Vietnam

Mobile internet in Vietnam is widely available, fast, and affordable, thereby making it easy to stay connected on your trip.
Below we gather some basics about mobile internet in Vietnam, including network coverage, speed, cost,..

1. Network Coverage – Excellent

You can get a strong signal of mobile internet almost everywhere in the country, including major cities, rural regions, and popular tourist destinations.
The 4G/5G network is expanding rapidly, so you can expect fast speeds, especially in urban areas.

2. Speed and Reliability – Smooth

Vietnam’s mobile internet is reliable and fast enough for downloading files, streaming videos, downloading files, using online maps, and connecting with loved ones through social media without interruption, particularly in major cities.
Mobile Internet Experience Award in Vietnam 2024

Mobile Internet Experience Award in Vietnam 2024

3. Cost – Affordable

A major advantage of mobile internet services in Vietnam is their affordability. Compared to many other countries, mobile data plans are incredibly reasonable, making staying connected financially accessible for all travelers. You’ll find plenty of options to fit your budget, whether you need a little data or a lot.

II. Vietnam SIM Cards for Travelers – Types & How to Choose

To stay connected in Vietnam, using a local SIM Card is the most convenient and cost-effective solution for travelers.
But, Vietnam SIM cards do also have different types and thereby the process of choosing which one fits your needs requires experience.
Find out below!

1. Types of SIM Cards

First, you need to know that the tourist SIMs in Vietnam are prepaid. Post-paid is only for residents.
Prepaid SIM cards for tourists to Vietnam are divided into two main types: data-only SIM cards (or Vietnam SIM 4G) and SIM cards with data and voice calls, SMS
  • Data-Only SIM Cards: These SIM cards are specifically designed for internet access and do not include calling or texting features. They are ideal if your primary need is mobile data and you will primarily be using Wi-Fi for calls and messages.
  • SIM cards with data and voice calls, SMS: This SIM card has both data for using the Internet and minutes/SMS to make/receive calls and SMS while traveling in Vietnam.

Different types of SIM cards

2. Which option to choose?

The best type of SIM card for you depends on your individual needs and travel style.
For most travelers, it is recommended to use the prepaid data-only SIM card that suits your needs. Consider the length of your trip, your usual data usage habits, and the price of available packages.

III. When and Where to Buy a Vietnam SIM Card

You can buy a Vietnam SIM card either before arrival, upon arrival, or after arrival when you settle up in your accommodation.

1. Before arrival – online

Some mobile operators or SIM card providers offer the option of purchasing SIM cards online before you arrive in Vietnam. This can be a convenient way to have your SIM card ready upon arrival.
Buy Vietnam sim cards at the airport

Buy Vietnam sim cards at the airport

2. Upon Arrival

You can buy Vietnam SIM Cards in several places, such as airports, hotels, mobile operators, and convenience stores.
Here are the details:
Airport: Major international airports in Vietnam, such as Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi) and Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City) have dedicated SIM card booths or counters which you can find at the arrival halls, after completing the Custom procedure.
Hotels: Many hotels offer SIM cards for sale at their reception desks. This option is convenient if you’re already settled in your accommodation.
Mobile Operator Stores: You can visit the official stores of major mobile operators like Viettel, Vinaphone, and MobiFone in major cities and tourist areas. They are easy to find. Just use Google Maps, type the name of the mobile operator you want to find, and follow the directions.
Convenience Stores: Throughout Vietnam, you can find SIM cards at convenience stores such as Circle K and Vinmart+ alongside other products. They offer a convenient and easily accessible option.

Important Note:

Availability: SIM cards are readily available and easily accessible in major cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Da Nang, and Can Tho.
Registration: Generally, you don’t need to register your SIM card as a tourist. However, checking with the specific mobile operator for their registration requirements is a good idea.

IV. Best Vietnam Mobile Network Operators

Vietnam has 03 major mobile network operators, namely Viettel, Vinaphone, and MobiFone.
Choosing the right mobile network operator is crucial for a smooth online experience, especially while traveling.

1. Vinaphone

Known for its strong network coverage, reliable service, and competitive data plans that suit various needs and budgets.
Example Data Package:
  • Data allowance: 4GB
  • Validity: 30 days
  • Price: Around 100,000 VND (approximately $4)

2. Viettel

The largest telecommunication company, renowned for its extensive network coverage, high-speed internet, and diverse range of data plans.
The network reaches even the most remote areas, ensuring connectivity across the country. Viettel also offers a broad selection of prepaid data packages to cater to different usage patterns and budgets.
Example Data Package:
  • Data allowance: 8GB
  • Validity: 30 days
  • Price: Around 150,000 VND (approximately $6)
Mobifone:
Known for its reliable network coverage in major cities and tourist areas, ensuring a smooth online experience.
Example Data Package:
  • Data allowance: 6GB
  • Validity: 30 days
  • Price: Around 120,000 VND (approximately $5)
In addition to these major mobile networks (MNOs), there are also mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in Vietnam, which are iTel (MVNO of Vinaphone) and Winrel (also MVNO of Vinaphone).
They are wireless communication services that operate on the network infrastructure of existing mobile operators. They typically offer more affordable data plans, often attracting price-conscious consumers.
Here are a few popular MVNOs in Vietnam:
  • iTel (Vinaphone): This MVNO offers competitive data plans leveraging Vinaphone’s network infrastructure.
  • Wintel (Vinaphone): Similar to iTel, Wintel is another MVNO powered by Vinaphone, offering attractive data packages.
Recommendation:
For tourists, Vinaphone is often recommended as a reliable option due to its strong network coverage and competitive data plans. However, if budget is a primary concern, considering Vinaphone’s MVNOs like iTel or Wintel can be beneficial as they often offer more affordable rates.

VI. Vietnam eSIM for Travelers

If you have an unlocked and eSIM-supported phone and want to have quick and effortless mobile internet access in Vietnam, consider a Vietnam eSIM.

Is Vietnam eSIM Reliable?

Yes! eSIMs are becoming increasingly popular in Vietnam, with major mobile operators supporting this technology. This means you can easily activate a local data plan on your phone without needing a physical SIM card.

Where to Buy a Vietnam eSIM?

For a hassle-free experience, purchasing eSIMs from specialized eSIM providers is highly recommended. These providers offer quick activation, convenient digital delivery, and a wide selection of data packages.
Recommended Provider:
  • Gigago: Gigago is a reputable eSIM provider offering a wide range of data packages for Vietnam. You can purchase and activate an eSIM directly on their website, providing a hassle-free experience.
Example eSIM Data Packages (Gigago):
  • 7GB, used in 7 days, for $8.9
  • 5GB/day, used in 15 days, for USD 13.9
  • 15GB, used in 30 days, for $14.9

Gigago Tourist eSIM Vietnam

VII. Conclusion

Staying connected to the internet while traveling through Vietnam is essential for navigating, exploring, and staying in touch. Whether you opt for a traditional SIM card or an eSIM, this guide has equipped you with the necessary information to choose the best option for your needs and make the most of your time in this fascinating country.