Planning a trip to Vietnam then definitely get yourself a local sim card on arrival! There is no better way to stay connected while traveling and save on high roaming costs. This is your guide for buying a sim card in Vietnam with everything you need to know. Where to buy one, up to date prices, why, which provider has the best network and my recommendations.

This article is up dated with the latest info on Vietnam sim cards per September 2021.

Over the last 7 years I visited Vietnam more than 10 times and the first thing I do when arriving is buying a sim card. On my way to visit every country in the world I research sim cards for tourists everywhere I go and wrote already more than 70 guides for buying local sim cards: Hong KongThailand, Indonesia, Italy, USA, etc.

Also have a look at my recommendations for the best sim card for Asia, although I recommend you getting a local sim card in Vietnam.

My recommendation

Let's keep it short and simple there is only one Vietnam sim card that I recommend you buying and that is Viettel! Why?

  • Viettel has the best 4G/5G network in Vietnam
  • A Viettel sim card will cost you on average about $2 - 45,000 VND
  • For $1.30 - 30,000 VND you can already get 7 GB data for 1 week
  • For $5.20 you get 60 GB for 1 month

Enjoy your trip to Vietnam!

Why buying a Vietnam sim card

Asia is much more modern than you may think and there is WiFi EVERYWHERE! So why is it worth it buying a sim card. Well there are multiple reasons, but the most important one is to stay connected while traveling. You don't want to go offline as soon as you leave your hotel. Using a taxi app, finding a nearby restaurant, getting direction on Google Maps all becomes a lot more difficult with a local sim card.

And please don't use international roaming, because a Vietnam sim card is cheap and data bundles are AMAZING VALUE FOR MONEY! This is Asia, some things are dirt cheap and so are local sim cards and data bundles.

Also please don't fall for one of those international sim cards! I researched all of them and most of them I would almost call a SCAM. Some are worth considering, but only for short trips. Have a look at my article with the best international sim cards.

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Visiting Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is highly recommend when traveling to Vietnam, a great off the beaten path tourist destination. No need to tell you that driving down a motorcycle from North to South was a dream, but that was already more than 10 years ago. Vietnam is an amazing country for backpackers, but also has some great hidden gems and amazing luxury hotels for people on a short holiday.

Mobile Internet Providers Vietnam

Let’s first see which providers are available on the market. There are 4 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 limited to the big cities only. Not worth it for tourists! More about the 4G and 5G network in Vietnam later.

Also 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

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!

I recommend you to buy a sim card for Vietnam at the airport in either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. At these shops you can pay buy credit card and there is no need to get cash first. Also these people know exactly what they are doing and they can give you the best advice and it goes fast. Make sure your sim card is working before you walk away.

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 mobile 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 30,000 = $1.3

  • 7 GB data
  • valid for 7 days
  • Hotspot: YES

Viettel Data & Call - VND 120,000 = $5.2

  • 2GB daily 4G internet
  • 60 minutes calling
  • 30 days valid
  • Hotspot: YES
  • To register dial: *098*172#

The above two Viettal prepaid sim cards are the ones that I recommend for your trip to Vietnam. These are the up to date prepaid packages as per September 2021 you can also find on the Viettel website.

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

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

No more 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.

Powered by 12Go Asia system

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 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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What is the best Vietnam sim card 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 in 2021!

Viettel has the best network and the fastest internet by far. For $5 you get 60 GB data for 30 days divided into 2GB data per day. A great deal to keep you connected on your Vietnam trip.

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 before your trip.

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

Looking for a sim card for that covers all countries in Asia? Click on the link and I show you my Asia sim card comparison.

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 September 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 100,000 = $4.2

  • 12GB 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 will buy a Viettel prepaid sim card again! Especially as I want to try their 5G network in Vietnam.

I wrote many guides for buying tourist sim cards and I know what to expect and what to look for. Vietnam 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, but even then! ;)

Vietnam is always a good idea, I love the country, but also 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 very cheap as you have read above.

Let me know if you have any questions about traveling to Vietnam, Im happy to help you or check out my blog with everything you need to know when traveling to Vietnam.

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 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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