Travel Tips: How to buy SIM CARD in Vietnam?

Nga Do
Vietnam is easily one of your favourite travel destinations. With arguably the best street food on the planet, mile upon mile of unspoiled beaches, the crazy energy of the major cities and laid-back beauty of the countryside and — especially away from the tourist hotspots — friendly and welcoming people, it’s not hard to see why.

A SIM Card is an indispensable item for travelers to Vietnam. Of course, visitors are able to use SIM Cards from their nations, too. But instead of suffering the much higher international call rate, why don’t we purchase a Vietnamese SIM Card?

When traveling to Vietnam, staying connected is inexpensive — as little as five bucks will keep the data flowing on your smartphone throughout your stay. 3G speeds are good, and coverage is widespread.


At the airports:

The earliest point in time one can obtain a Vietnamese SIM card is right after you step off the plane.

In Vietnam, at all the international airports like Ho Chi Minh - Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN), Hanoi - Noi Bai International Airport (HAN), Da Nang International Airport (DAD), Nha Trang - Cam Ranh International Airport (CXR), etc., there will be various booths of operators selling SIM cards. Outside the baggage pick-up carousels are where you can purchase and sign-up for a Vietnamese SIM Cards.In the streets:

SIM cards are sold by street vendors on almost every corner and topped-up (refilled) by buying scratch cards of pre-fixed value. You then add value to your account balance by punching in a code that is revealed after you scratch the card.

The “easiest to find” place in the city to buy a SIM, top up, or purchasing anything electronics related are the bright yellow “thegioididong” stores that are all around Vietnam.

Note: Since November 2016, the Vietnamese government started enforcing registration rules for local SIM cards. As a result, travelers are now advised to only purchase SIM cards from official carrier stores, where they will need to show their passport to register the card. If your Vietnamese SIM Card is not registered, it will be suddenly deactivated any time.

Official carrier stores are now existing all over the country. So there is no need to worry that you could not get a valid SIM Card.


There are four cell network providers in Vietnam: Viettel, Vinaphone, Mobifone and most recently Vietnammobile. Among those, Viettel and Vinafone are much more preferable as they have the largest network coverage and most customers.

Here are two top practical tips from locals for foreigners taking a Vietnam tour:

- Vinaphone is recommended for most travelers.

- Consider Viettel if you plan an Indochina tour itinerary. With Viettel network, you can use the same SIM card in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Also, it’s much more affordable than buying local SIM Card in each country.

- Otherwise, Vietnamobile is a new-born carrier yet with the best rates of the lot. However, its network coverage is just strong around the major towns and cities, but may struggle in the country areas.

Before your Vietnam itinerary starts, visitors can go to carriers’ homepage to refer to locations of their official stores across the country and available packages:






The registration procedure is truly easy and straightforward. Take a walk to an official carrier store which can be Viettel, Mobifone, Vinaphone or Vietnammobile and ask the salesperson for a SIM Card.  It often takes around ten minutes. The salesperson will show you the various prices on a piece of paper, just choose one, hand over a passport and some cash, and he/ she will deal with the rest.


First, make sure your phone is unlocked to any network before you build a plan for your holiday in Vietnam. In some countries, it costs a little fee to unlock it. It should cost VND 50,000 – 60,000 (around USD 2 - 3) for a Vietnamese pre-paid SIM.

Currently, three main carriers (Viettel, Vinaphone and Mobifone) have had provided with the tourist SIM Cards and special promotion for tourists as well.

Don't let any problem arise that hinders your exploration journey in Vietnam, always stay in contact with tour operators so that you always have the best support in Vietnam. We are always available to assist you at all times throughout your journey.

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