Last September 2018 it was already my 4th trip to Vietnam and I finally got the chance to write about buying a sim card in Vietnam. This time I had the chance to visit Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park as part the annual Travel Trade Show ITE HCMC 2018. It is not a secret that Vietnam can be a chaos for buying things as prices differ quite a lot and Vietnamese are die-hard sellers. Let’s see if that also counts for a sim card for tourists in Vietnam.

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. Even then…

Luckily for buying tourist sim cards in Vietnam prices are stated on the packages. This definitely made things easier.

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!

Traveling to Vietnam? Check out everything you need to know about a Vietnam tourist visa in 2018. I wrote a detailed blog about it.

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 other ones that offer sim cards like Vietnamobile. But if you are traveling through Vietnam I would recommend you to consider buying a Vietnam data sim of one of the main mobile internet providers.

mobifone sim card vietnam

A local for example advised me not to buy a sim card from Vietnamobile for example. They have seemingly good deals, but the network would not be the best at all once you leave Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.

More about the 4G coverage for Vietnam sim cards 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. Read my full review in the link.

Where to buy a sim card in Vietnam

All I can say is get this done as soon as you land. On the airport there are endless opportunities to buy sim cards and in the city there are even more shops that sell them. Finding a Vietnam data sim is really easy, finding the best one is a challenge.

Buying a sim card in Ho Chi Minh City

Of course I also tried to look for you in the city center. Finding a place in Ho Chi Minh City that sells prepaid sim cards 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 never advice travelers to buy a sim card at the airport as the data packages are are always more expensive then in the city. With Belgium being an exception, where buying a sim card at Brussels Airport is better value for money than in Brussels itself.

Buying a sim card at Saigon Airport Ho Chi Minh City

There are many opportunities for getting your Vietnamese 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 sim cards for tourists.

I told you it was mission impossible to find the best prepaid cim card in Vietnam.

Prices Vietnam tourist sim cards in 2018

As I just mentioned there are way too many shops and normally I check them all and list the best data packages available. I admit this time I went to many different ones, but definitely not all. They are more or less the same anyway.

Arrival terminal before customs

You can’t miss the kiosk next to the money exchange and close to the visa on arrival.

vietnam tourist sim card 2

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.

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

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

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

vietnam tourist sim card

As you can see there are already 5 different Vietnam sim cards for tourists available before you even officially get into the country.

After customs Airport Ho Chi Minh City 

As soon as you walk down the stairs you will walk up to seemingly endless tourist information shops all selling Vietnam sim card packages for tourists. On your left you have the Vinaphone, Viettel and Mobifone shops all next to each other. Or at least that is what they claim to be! :)

viettel sim card vietnam

Viettel sim card Saigon Airport 

The following sheet tells you all the available packages as of September 2018.

viettel tourist  sim card vietnam

All the above data packages for Viettel are valid for 30 days and you can use a hotspot.

Mobifone sim card Ho Chi Minh City Airport

The following sheet shows you the available Mobifone sim cards in the shop after customs.

vietnam tourist sim card 3

As you can see the prices and packages here are already different than the first kiosk before customs. In fact they are actually more expensive!

To make sure I had seen a couple more packages I also went to some kind of unofficial tourist information shop. With some clear signs of what they were selling.

Vinaphone - VND 160.000 = $7

  • Unlimited 3G internet
  • 4GB daily 4G internet
  • 30 days valid

Viettel - VND 180,000 = $8

  • Unlimited 3G internet
  • 3,5GB daily 4G internet
  • 30 days valid

sim vietnam

As you can see again different packages, different prices. Although this was the most affordable so far I already bought my Vietnam sim card at this point.

Network coverage mobile internet providers Vietnam

Let’s have a look at the 4G network coverage for all the mobile internet providers.

4G Network coverage Mobifone sim card

4g network mobifone

4G Network coverage Vinaphone sim card

4g network vinaphone

4G Network coverage Viettel sim card

4g network viettel

Based on the 4G network coverage maps it is pretty easy to say what is the best data sim card in Vietnam.

Best Vietnam sim card for tourists

My conclusion is probably already clear for you. Buying a sim card for tourists in Vietnam is simply a mess. Every shops sells you something different for a different price. When we compare the prices and volumes of the packages they are kind a like the same.

The best prepaid sim card in Vietnam is that data packages that suits you the most. Do you want calling time included then make sure you are not buying a data only package. But for the rest you can’t really go wrong!

Which provider?

Viettel is the best prepaid sim card for tourists in Vietnam!

When I come next time I would straight away buy a sim card in the arrival hall of the airport. Simple, fast and convenient and prices are more or less the same. I think spending a dollar less is not worth the hassle.

Which Vietnam sim card did I end up buying

Completely in line with the Vietnamese chaos I bought a Mobifone sim card in the Viettel shop. Can you imagine walking into a Vodafone shop in the UK and buying a O2 sim card? Impossible right? Not in Vietnam!

To be really honest I was just fed up with finding the best prepaid sim card in Vietnam for tourists. I did my research and had the feeling that I saw a million different packages with a million different prices. I basically ended up with a friendly guy in the Viettel shop and he was helping me so patiently and without asking me single time: ‘you buy sim card now?’, that I told him I would buy a prepaid sim card for traveling in Vietnam with him.

When I explained him I only wanted data and stayed around for about 9 days he suddenly came with this Mobifone sim package.

vietnam tourist sim card 4

Mobifone

VND 200,000 = $8,5

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

I decided to trust him and buy this Vietnam sim card. Was I satisfied with it? More or less. The speed was alright and 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!

prepaid sim card vietnam

After a 17 hour trip and searching 30 minutes to find the best Vietnam sim card I looked terrible. LOL

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 ok. Next time though I would always buy a Viettel sim card! You have now seen the 4G coverage maps… no need to say anything else, right?

Thinking about a trip to Mekong Delta? Read here all you need to know about this amazing natural wonder. Or if you are up for adventure travel tours in Vietnam then have a look at the Quang Binh Province where caving is a must do.

Portable WiFi device for traveling in Asia

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

I hope you have an awesome trip to Vietnam and this article was helpful. Let me know if you have any more questions, please leave me a comment and I am happy to help.

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about traveltomtom

This is me

My name is Tom and my biggest passion is obviously traveling. In 2008 I decided to go on a trip around the world and in 1 year I traveled through 24 countries from North America to South America, New Zealand, Australia and finally South East Asia.

I got back to the Netherlands and saved as much money as I could and in December 2012 I quitted my job again and ever since I am traveling the world. I have now been to almost 100 countries and this website and my social media accounts help me to travel the world. Traveling makes me a better person with ever day I am on the road. Don’t waste time live now, go out and explore the world! May you want to help a little please use my affiliate links. Thank you very much!

With this blog I love to give back and help you make the most out of your trip. I hope these tips will help. May you have specific questions please get in touch with me.

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