It is not a secret that Vietnam can be a chaos for buying things as Vietnamese are die-hard sales people. Let’s see if that also counts for a sim card for tourists in Vietnam. I recommend you buying a Vietnam sim card on arrival as it is the easiest way to stay connected. Data is not expensive and it will make traveling in Vietnam much easier.

Over the last 5 years I visited Vietnam multiple times with visiting Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park as part the annual Travel Trade Show ITE HCMC. But also driving down a motorcycle from North to South was a dream. Vietnam is an amazing country for backpackers, but also has some great hidden gems and amazing luxury hotels for people on a holiday.

Bargaining in Vietnam

I wrote many guides for buying tourist sim cards and I know what to expect and what to look for. But this is a different piece of cake, prepare yourself for an intense journey if you travel to Vietnam. Haggling is part of the culture and when you go to a market or even a shop never buy something for the original price unless it is printed on it and even then.

Traveling to Vietnam is always a good idea, but be prepared to fight for your right or get ripped off. But whatever you do, do it with respect.

I thought I had seen it all after writing guides for buying a sim card in Thailand or tourist sim cards in Indonesia. Unlike most places around the world prices for sim cards in Asia are not fixed. Thailand just has too many packages available, Indonesia simply is a mess, but what to say about Vietnam? Oh god!

Welcome to the jungle! Finding the best sim card in Vietnam almost felt like mission impossible! Good thing: data sim cards in Vietnam are cheap!

Traveling to Vietnam? Check out everything you need to know about a Vietnam tourist visa in 2020. I wrote a detailed blog about it.

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Mobile Internet Providers Vietnam

Let’s first see which providers are available on the market. There are 3 main mobile internet providers in Vietnam: 

  • MobiFone
  • Viettel
  • Vinaphone.

On top of that you have a couple small operators that offer sim cards like Vietnamobile, but their network is very limited to the big cities. Not worth it for a tourist! More about the 4G and 5G network in Vietnam later.

I would love to recommend a great boutique hotel in Ho Chi Minh City: The Myst Dong Khoi. Totally worth spending a couple bucks extra.

Buy a sim card for traveling in Vietnam online

Through website of Simoptions you can order prepaid sim cards for Vietnam and get them shipped to your home address. These international sim cards are already activated and the only thing you have to do is put them in your phone. This option is more expensive, but easy, fast and simple! Have a look at all the prepaid sim cards for Vietnam offered by Simoptions.

Where to buy a sim card in Vietnam in 2020

All I can say is get this done as soon as you land. On the airport in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City there are endless opportunities for buying a Vietnam sim card and in the city there are mobile phone stores everywhere. Finding a Vietnam data sim is really easy, finding the best one is a challenge!

Buying a sim card in Ho Chi Minh City

Finding a prepaid sim card in Ho Chi Minh City is as easy as buying bananas. You will see the 4G signs everywhere! Buying a Vietnam sim card in an official mobile internet provider shop is already a mess, then you can imagine what it is like in any kind of tour agency/information shop.

vietnam data sim 2

My advice: don’t even be bothered! Buy your Vietnam sim card at the airport when you arrive.

Normally I don't advice travelers to buy a sim card at the airport as those are always more expensive, but saving $2 is not worth the hassle in this case!

Buying a sim card at Saigon Airport Ho Chi Minh City

There are many opportunities for getting your Vietnam sim card upon arrival There is already a kiosk before you even go through customs. After customs there are about 6 different shops all selling the same packages for different prices and as soon as you step outside there are again about 5 different kiosks where you can buy a Vietnam sim card for tourists.

vietnam tourist sim card 2

As soon as you walk down the stairs after customs in Ho Chi Minh Airport you will walk up to seemingly endless tourist information shops which are all selling Vietnam sim card packages for tourists. On your left you have the Vinaphone, Viettel and Mobifone shops all next to each other.

Buying a sim card at Hanoi Airport Noi Bai

At the International Arrival Hall 2 all the mobile phone operators have a kiosk. They are located on both sides at the end, it is impossible to miss them. They only close for a couple hours at night, operating hours from 6 am till 2 am. Rule of thumb is that for around $10 you will get 10 GB data on sim cards sold at Hanoi Airport. That said in the city you will get 100% more data for the same price.

mobifone sim card vietnam

Above: tourists buying a Vietnam sim card at one of the many mobile phone kiosks at Noi Bai Airport Hanoi.

Cheap domestic flights in Vietnam

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Prices Vietnam tourist sim cards in 2021

Prices for Vietnam sim cards at the airports and in the city differ from shop to shop! But in all honesty we are talking about a couple dollar more or less, nothing that is going to hurt you. Below I will state the up to date prices for Vietnam sim card with data, but trust me it is NOT the price that is important when choosing a mobiel internet provider in Vietnam!

So what is important? Keep on reading...

Viettel prepaid sim card

As I said before there are endless opportunities, packages and prices available. I filtered out the best Viettel prepaid sim card for you below.

Viettel Only Data - VND 200,000 = $9

  • Unlimited 4G data
  • 30 days valid
  • Hotspot: YES

Viettel Data & Call - VND 250,000 = $12

  • 2GB daily 4G internet
  • 60 minutes calling
  • 30 days valid
  • Hotspot: YES

The above two Viettal prepaid sim cards are the ones that I recommend, but I also found many other offers, see below. It is up to you which data packages suits you the most. All the below data packages for Viettel are valid for 30 days and you can use a hotspot.

viettel tourist  sim card vietnam

I tried looking up some more information about the Viettel prepaid sim cards on their website, but could not find anything valuable. 

Mobifone prepaid sim card

Mobifone tourist sim card - VND 200,000 = $9

  • Unlimited 4G internet
  • No calling, no texting
  • 14 days valid
  • Hotspot: YES

Mobifone tourist sim card - VND 220,000 = $10

  • Unlimited 4G data
  • 100 minutes calling, no texting
  • 30 days valid
  • Hotspot: YES

mobifone sim card vietnam airport ho chi minh

Note: with the above Mobifone sim cards it was not specified if 4G was unlimited up to certain amount or not. On the Mobifone website you can find some more information about their prepaid sim cards and top ups.

Vinaphone prepaid sim card

Vinaphone Data & Call - VND 220,000 = $10

  • 2GB daily 4G internet
  • 100 minutes calling
  • 30 days valid
  • Hotspot: YES

vietnam tourist sim card

Well as you can see on the picture above they offer a wide array of prepaid sim card packages in Vietnam. Regardless if you buy yours at the airport or in the city, it is hard to choose when it comes down at the price. I told you already though that the price is NOT important, well what is important? THE NETWORK COVERAGE!

On the pictures below you will see some more Vietnam prepaid sim card deals I was offered.

vietnam tourist sim card 3

sim vietnam

As you can see again different packages, different prices.

Cheap bus and train tickets in Vietnam

Skip the hassle of bargaining and fighting with street vendors for your bus tickets. Find all the transportation options for traveling in Vietnam online at 12Go Asia. This search engine for boats, busses, private vans, flights and trains let you book your tickets online. Fixed prices, easy, reliable and convenient! Try it out below. They give you time tables, prices, trip duration and more.

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Even domestic flights can be found, and from my experience even cheaper than other flight search websites.

Network coverage mobile internet providers Vietnam in 2021

So now here comes the most valuable information for buying a Vietnam sim card: the mobile internet network coverage! From the below data collected by nperf.com you can easy conclude that one mobile internet provider stick out and offers the best network.

Network coverage Mobifone Vietnam

mobifone vietnam network coverage 2021

Network coverage Vinaphone Vietnam

vinaphone vietnam network coverage 2021

Network coverage Viettel Vietnam

viettel vietnam network coverage 2021

Looking at the above network coverage maps in Vietnam, we can clearly see that Viettel has the best network by far. As I have been traveling extensively around Vietnam over the past year I can confirm that in most places off the beaten path there is only a Viettel phone signal available. That said in all the major tourist destinations in Vietnam you will find a signal of all operators.

But trust me for long bus rides you want a Viettel sim card. Also Viettel is the first and so far only mobile internet provider that offers 5G in Vietnam. Their 5G network was launched on December 1st 2020 and is currently only available in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

RELATED: 20 things to know when you travel to Vietnam.

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Best Vietnam sim card for tourists in 2021

My conclusion is probably already clear for you. Buying a sim card for tourists in Vietnam is very easy, finding the best deal nearly impossible. Every shops sells you something different for a different price, but when we compare the prices and volumes of the packages they are kind a like the same. And above all it is CHEAP!

Viettel is the best prepaid sim card in Vietnam and that is because they have the best network and the fastest internet by far.

For $13 you get 60 minutes calling time and 2 GB data per day for 30 days. A great deal to keep you connected on your Vietnam trip.

I also recommend you to buy a Viettel sim card in the arrival hall of the airport. You might pay 2-3 dollar more, but it is simple, fast and convenient! If all of this sounds like too much hassle to you then I can recommend you to buy a Vietnam sim card online and get it shipped to your home address.

My experience buying a Vietnam sim card

Just to prove a point last time I traveled to Vietnam I bought a Mobifone sim card to see if it was really that much of a difference. I mostly stayed around Ho Chi Minh, the Mekong Delta and Quang Binh Province.

May be it was also because I ended up at a friendly guy in one of the many mobile phone shops who was helping me so patiently and without asking me a single time: ‘you buy sim card now?’. For updating this article in January 2021 I roamed around many different phone shops for information and was basically done with all the sales people hassling me... buy now? You want? LOL

When I explained him I only wanted data and stayed around for about 9 days my guy said: try this Mobifone sim package.

VND 200,000 = $8,5

  • 6GB data - 4G speed
  • Unlimited data - 3G speed
  • No calling, no texting
  • Valid 30 days

prepaid sim card vietnam

I decided to put Mobifone to the test as it has the weakest network in Vietnam. So was I satisfied with it? More or less.

The internet speed was alright. I never really had problems watching Instagram stories or streaming videos on Facebook. When I entered buildings though the signal got pretty weak and in my hotel room (I stayed at Grand Hotel Saigon) I had just 1 bar 4G sometimes. Let’s say it could have been better!

In the rural areas of Quang Binh there was often no signal and sometimes I had 3G. But for the most of my trip to Vietnam the Mobifone sim card worked lets say ok. Next time though I would buy a Viettel prepaid sim card again! Especially as I want to try their 5G.

Buying a Vietnam sim card online

Save yourself the hassle of buying a Vietnam sim card on arrival and get one online. These are the best sim cards for Vietnam which you can buy online and get shipped to your home address before your trip to Vietnam. Put the sim card in your phone and get online as soon as you land. Simple and easy but more expensive.

Not all the offered Vietnam sim cards on the Simoptions website are worth it, here are the best ones:

1. AIS SIM2FLY - $19.90

  • 6 GB data
  • NO calls, NO text
  • Valid 10 days

2. True Move TRAVEL SIM ASIA - $19.90

  • 6 GB data
  • NO calls, NO text
  • Valid 10 days

3. Three PAYG AIO15 - $29.90

  • 10 GB data
  • NO calls, NO text
  • Valid 30 days

4. Three PAYG AIO20 - $39.90

  • 12 GB data
  • NO calls, NO calls
  • Valid 30 days

All the above Vietnam sim cards can be ordered online through the Simoptions website, I recommend the last one: Three PAYG AIO20, click on the link for more detailed info.

On Amazon you can also find s sim card with unlimited data for 17 countries in Asia Pacific:

5. GMYLE Asia Pacific SIM CARD

  • price $56.98
  • Unlimited data
  • Valid in major Asia Pacific countries
  • valid 30 days

Portable WiFi device for Vietnam

Interested in unlimited data in more than 100 countries around the world? A TEP Wireless portable wifi device is the perfect solution if you travel with a family and kids as you can connect up to 5 devices at the same time.

Tep Wireless

Let me know if you have any questions about traveling to Vietnam, Im happy to help you. Please leave me a comment below.

Also if this Vietnam blog was helpful for you would you like to help me a little in return? Please share the link of this article somewhere on the internet, that would mean a lot to me. Every tweet on Twitter, pin on Pinterest or post in a Facebook Group or on your own page helps me a lot. A small thing for you to do, which can make a big difference for me.

Enjoy your trip to Vietnam!

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