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Buying a SIM Card in Vietnam

December 25, 2023

Are you planning a trip to Vietnam and wondering how to stay connected while traveling? One of the first things you should consider is buying a local SIM card. With a Vietnamese SIM card, you can easily make calls, send texts, and access the internet at affordable rates. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of buying a SIM card in Vietnam, including where to buy, what to look out for, and the price range. So, let’s get started!

Buying a SIM Card in Vietnam

Buying a SIM Card in Vietnam

Why a Vietnamese SIM Card?

A Vietnamese SIM card is essential for any traveler visiting the country. It offers several benefits, such as:

  • Cost-effective: Buying a local SIM card is much cheaper than using international roaming services.
  • Convenience: With a local SIM card, you can easily make calls, send texts, and access the internet without any hassle.
  • Local number: Having a local number makes it easier for you to communicate with locals and make reservations for tours or transportation.
  • High-speed internet: Vietnam has a well-developed network infrastructure, providing travelers with high-speed internet access.

Now that you know why a Vietnamese SIM card is a must-have for your trip, let’s dive into the details of buying one.

Where to Buy a Vietnam Travel SIM Card?

You can purchase a SIM card from various locations in Vietnam, including airports, convenience stores, and mobile phone shops. Here are some options to consider:

1. Airport Counters: Upon arrival at major international airports like Hanoi’s Noi Bai or Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat, you can find dedicated counters of local network operators where you can purchase tourist SIM cards.

2. Mobile Network Operator Stores: A variety of network operator stores are available across Vietnam, particularly in big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Hoi An. You can visit these stores to buy a tourist SIM card.

3. Mobile Vendors: In popular tourist areas, you might come across mobile vendors on the streets or near tourist attractions. They usually sell tourist SIM cards for convenient mobile connectivity.

4. Online Booking: Some network operators offer the option to purchase tourist SIM cards online. You can visit their official websites or use popular e-commerce platforms in Vietnam to make your purchase.

5. Authorized Retailers: Numerous authorized retailers and convenience stores across Vietnam offer tourist SIM cards. Examples include Circle K, VinMart, FPT stores, and many more.

When buying a tourist SIM card, ensure it provides the features and services you need, such as data packages, international calling options, and network coverage. Prices and packages may vary among different service providers, so compare options before making a decision.

6. Mobile Phone Shops: You can also buy a SIM card from mobile phone shops, which are abundant in Vietnam. These shops offer a wide range of SIM cards from different providers, giving you more options to choose from.

Tips to Look Out for When Buying a SIM Card in Vietnam

Before purchasing a SIM card, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Check your phone’s compatibility: Make sure your phone is unlocked and compatible with the local network frequencies in Vietnam.
  • Choose a reputable provider: There are several providers in Vietnam, such as Viettel, Vinaphone, and Mobifone. Do some research and choose a reliable provider with good coverage in the areas you plan to visit.
  • Register your SIM card: In Vietnam, it is mandatory to register your SIM card with your passport information. Make sure to do this when purchasing a SIM card.
  • Keep your SIM card active: Most SIM cards in Vietnam have a validity period of 30 days. To keep your SIM card active, make sure to top up before the expiration date.
  • Consider data plans: If you plan to use a lot of data, consider purchasing a data plan instead of paying per MB. This will save you money in the long run.

How Much is a SIM Card in Vietnam?

The price of a SIM card in Vietnam varies depending on the provider and the type of SIM card. Here is an estimated price range for a standard SIM card from the major providers:

Provider Price (in VND)
Viettel 50,000 – 100,000
Vinaphone 50,000 – 100,000
Mobifone 50,000 – 100,000

You can also purchase a data-only SIM card, which is cheaper and suitable for those who only need internet access. The price for a data-only SIM card ranges from 50,000 VND to 300,000 VND, depending on the data allowance.

What is the Best Phone Provider in Vietnam?

The three major providers in Vietnam are Viettel, Vinaphone, and Mobifone. All three offer good coverage and competitive rates. However, Viettel is considered the best provider in terms of coverage and network speed. It also has the most extensive network in rural areas, making it a popular choice among travelers.

Forms of Vietnam Tourist SIM

When purchasing a SIM card in Vietnam, you will come across different forms of SIM cards. Here are the most common types:

  • Standard SIM: This is the traditional SIM card that requires you to cut it down to fit into your phone’s SIM slot.
  • Micro SIM: This type of SIM card is smaller than the standard SIM and is used in older phones.
  • Nano SIM: The smallest form of SIM card, used in newer smartphones.

Most providers in Vietnam offer all three types of SIM cards, so make sure to choose the one that fits your phone.

How to Top Up Credit

To top up credit on your SIM card, you can either buy top-up cards or use mobile banking services. Top-up cards are available at convenience stores, mobile phone shops, and even street vendors. You can also use mobile banking services through apps like MoMo, ZaloPay, or ViettelPay. These apps allow you to top up credit using your international credit or debit card.

How to Use Vietnam SIM Card?

Using a SIM card in Vietnam is straightforward. Once you have purchased and registered your SIM card, insert it into your phone and turn it on. Your phone should automatically connect to the local network. If not, go to your phone’s settings and manually select the network. You can then make calls, send texts, and access the internet as you would with your regular SIM card.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to show my passport when buying a SIM card in Vietnam?

Yes, it is mandatory to register your SIM card with your passport information when purchasing one in Vietnam.

Can I use my international SIM card in Vietnam?

Yes, you can use your international SIM card in Vietnam, but it may be more expensive than buying a local SIM card.

Can I keep my Vietnamese SIM card for future trips?

Yes, you can keep your SIM card for future trips to Vietnam. Just make sure to top up before the expiration date to keep it active.

Is it possible to get a refund for my unused credit on the SIM card?

Unfortunately, most providers in Vietnam do not offer refunds for unused credit. Make sure to use up your credit before leaving the country.


Buying a SIM card in Vietnam is a simple and cost-effective way to stay connected while traveling. With this guide, you now know where to buy, what to look out for, and the price range of SIM cards in Vietnam. Remember to choose a reputable provider, register your SIM card, and top up regularly to enjoy uninterrupted service. We hope this blog post has been helpful in preparing you for your trip to Vietnam. Happy travels!