Planning a trip to Vietnam and looking for the best way to stay connected in Vietnam? The cheapest way is a local prepaid sim card for tourists but the easiest way is an e-sim card for Vietnam. What is best? Find it out in my complete guide for finding the best prepaid sim card for your trip to Vietnam.
Here is everything you need to know about where to buy a sim card, up to date prices as per January 2024, the best 4G/5G network in Vietnam, the best e-sim cards for Vietnam, my recommendation and even information about international sim cards for Vietnam.
The first thing I do when arriving to a new country is looking for the best way to get internet on my phone. In most cases, especially for longer trips I buy a local prepaid sim card on arrival, for shorter trips I prefer an e-sim card.
Local prepaid sim cards in Vietnam are cheap and you get a lot of data, but these days the convenience of getting an e-sim card on the internet makes me buy one before my trip and I already enjoy data on my phone as soon as the plane lands.
Traveltomtom is also aiming to travel to every country in the world and that is how you can already find more than 200 sim card guides on Traveltomtom: Shanghai, China, Singapore, Jakarta, Bali, Indonesia, Bangkok, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Italy, USA, New York, Sydney, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Canada, Dubai, Turkey, Europe, Asia and many more.
Therefore when planning you next trip abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your destination. Bookmark me!
Traveltomtom recommends a Viettel sim card for Vietnam. Viettel has very affordable prepaid sim cards for tourists and they have by far the best 4G/5G mobile data network coverage and fastest data speed in Vietnam.
If you are visiting Vietnam for just a couple days it is easier and faster to just get an e-sim card for Vietnam online. Prices already start from just $4 USD and for $19.90 USD you already get 30 GB data, see below for more info. Traveltomtom recommends ordering e-sim cards for Vietnam via either SimOptions, Airalo or Nomad.
Fact is that the local prepaid sim cards you buy in Vietnam are cheaper than e-sim cards, but you can only buy them on arrival in Vietnam in a phone store or at the airport of Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi.
Another great way of staying connected when traveling abroad is a global sim card with data. Although slightly more expensive these international sim cards can be used in multiple countries, so perfect if you are traveling all over Southeast Asia.
Check out my article about the best global sim cards with data for traveling abroad in 2024 and pick the one that suits your trip or have a look at my recommendations for the best prepaid and e-sim cards for Asia in 2024.
Best e-sim cards for Vietnam
Rather get an e-sim card for your trip to Vietnam? Understandable! If your phone is e-sim compatible this is the easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Vietnam in 2024. No more visiting a store or swapping sim cards.
You order an e-sim card for Vietnam on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a Vietnam e-sim card installed on your phone.
Upon arrival in Vietnam it automatically connects you to an available network and you enjoy data on your phone pretty much when the plane lands.
Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Vietnam.
For more info about using e-sim cards and all your answers to FAQ's about e-sim cards check out my complete guide with everything you need to know before buying an e-sim card for Vietnam.
Airalo is a trusted e-sim provider and Traveltomtom has used Airalo in more than 50 countries around the world.
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
- 2 GB data for 15 days = $7 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $9.5 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $13 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $21 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $32 USD
Click here to order an e-sim card for Vietnam from Airalo.
The above data-only e-sim cards for Vietnam are from from Xin Chao and they operate on the 4G/LTE networks of Viettel and Mobifone. Phone calls and texting services are NOT supported. The Airalo e-sim cards for Vietnam are data-only.
Simoptions has different Vietnam e-sim card deals for tourists they are a product of SimOptions themselves:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $7.90 USD
- 6 GB data for 10 days = $17.90 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $39.90 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $64.90 USD
The above Vietnam e-sims from SimOptions are fairly expensive. But the e-sim card they offer from Vinaphone is the best-buy e-sim card deal for Vietnam, see below.
- 30 GB data for 10 days = $19.90 USD
Click here for more info or to order an e-sim card for Vietnam via SimOptions.
As you can see SimOptions sells an e-sim card for Vietnam with 30 GB data for just $19.90 USD. Seems like the best deal ever. But there is a catch!
The Vinaphone 4G/LTE network is not bad, but the 4G/LTE network from Viettel is much better. If you stick to the standard tourist destinations or cities in Vietnam, Vinaphone is a great e-sim card for tourists. If you go off the beaten path then stick to a Viettel e-sim card for Vietnam.
A third recommended e-sim provider is Nomad. However, they sell e-sim cards for Vietnam that operate on the Mobifone network, the weakest 4G/LTE network in Vietnam and therefore not Traveltomtom's first recommendation.
Here are the Nomad e-sim card plans for Vietnam:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $4 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $9 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $13 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $22 USD
- 15 GB data for 30 days = $28 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $34 USD
- 30 GB data for 30 days = $80 USD
- 40 GB data for 30 days = $110 USD
- 50 GB data for 30 days = $125 USD
Click here to order an e-sim card for Vietnam from Nomad.
As you can see there are lots of different e-sim cards for Vietnam available on the internet. For more detailed information and a complete comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Vietnam in 2024 click on the link to read my guide.
You can also still buy a physical prepaid sim card for Vietnam on the internet. This physical prepaid sim card will be delivered to your home address before your trip.
For example $29.90 USD will give you 12 GB data for 30 days. Click here to order a prepaid Vietnam sim card directly online via SimOptions or get more info and see more sim card deals.
Must visit when traveling to Vietnam
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 one of my dream trips, 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 that are not traveling on a budget. Click on the following link to read my guide with everything you need to know before traveling to Vietnam.
Why buying a Vietnam for sim card
Asia is much more modern than you may think and there is WiFi EVERYWHERE in Vietnam! So why buying a sim card for Vietnam, right? Well, there are multiple reasons, but the most important one is to stay connected while traveling in Vietnam as it simply makes life easier and traveling more fun. Imagine your smartphone without a data connection!
Without internet on your phone you will lose connection as soon as you walk out of the hotel or your hostel. Meaning getting an Uber/Grab on the streets becomes challenging, as well as getting direction or finding nearby places and friends. Staying connected makes traveling to Vietnam so much more convenient. Think about translation apps, banking issues, emergencies, etc.
Buying a sim card in Vietnam or getting an e-sim card avoids high roaming charges. International roaming fees are still outrageous these days and overseas data roaming plans limit your data speed. Vietnam prepaid sim cards or e-sim cards are cheap. Welcome to Asia, some things are very cheap and so are local prepaid sim cards and e-sim cards for Vietnam.
Mobile internet providers Vietnam
Let’s first see which mobile internet providers sell prepaid sim cards for tourists. There are 3 main mobile internet operators in Vietnam:
On top of that you have a couple small operators that offer sim cards like Vietnamobile, but their network is very much limited to the big cities only. Not worth it for tourists!
More about the best 4G/5G network in Vietnam later. However, it is something very important, because there is a huge difference between the mobile data networks of the mobile internet operators in Vietnam.
When buying a prepaid sim card in Vietnam make sure to bring your passport. A copy of your passport will be taken and your new prepaid sim card for Vietnam will be registered on your name and passport. You will get a physical prepaid sim card with a Vietnamese phone number starting with +84.
If you prefer not to be registered with your passport then look into e-sims for Vietnam. When ordering an e-sim card there is no need for an ID verification, you just need your e-mail address. Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Vietnam via either SimOptions, Airalo or Nomad.
Also love to recommend you a great boutique hotel in Ho Chi Minh City: The Myst Dong Khoi. Totally worth spending a couple bucks extra and still affordable for those traveling to Vietnam on a budget.
Where to buy a sim card in Vietnam
All I can say is get it done as soon as you land. If you want to buy a local prepaid sim card in Vietnam then the easiest way to get connected is at the airport on arrival in Vietnam. On the international airports in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City there are endless opportunities for buying a Vietnam prepaid sim card.
In case you missed the opportunities at the airport there are mobile phone stores everywhere in the big cities. Finding a Vietnam data sim is really easy, finding the best one is a challenge. Prices vary a lot and if you feel like bargaining then do it.
Keep in mind that you can only buy physical prepaid sim cards in Vietnam, e-sims for tourists are not available. You can only buy an e-sim card for Vietnam on the internet.
Traveltomtom recommends buying a sim card for Vietnam at the international airport in either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. At these sim card stores you can pay by international credit card and there is no need to get cash first. The sim card shops at the airports are open 24 hours and these people speak good English and know exactly what they are doing.
Buying a sim card at the airport goes fast. Make sure your sim card with data 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 and sim card signs everywhere. Buying a Vietnam sim card in an official mobile internet provider shop is already confusing, then you can imagine what it is like in any kind of tour agency/information shop.
My advice: don’t even be bothered! Get yourself an e-sim card for Vietnam or 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, trust me. In the city they will try to overcharge you anyway and you can even haggle for the price of a prepaid sim card for tourists.
Buying a sim card at Saigon Airport Ho Chi Minh City
There are many opportunities for getting your Vietnam sim card upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh City Airport. There is already a kiosk before you even go through customs. After customs there are about 6 different sim card stores as well and all of them sell pretty much the same sim card plans for tourists, but for different prices. After you picked up your bags and you step into the arrival hall there are again about 5 different sim card stores.
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.
It is literally impossible to miss the sim card stores at Ho Chi Minh City Airport. Most of them are open 24 hours and you can pay by international credit card.
Buying a sim card at Hanoi Airport Noi Bai
At the International Arrival Hall 2 all the mobile phone operators have a store. 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 about 20 GB data on prepaid sim cards for tourists sold at Hanoi Airport. That said, in the city you will get double data for the same price.
Above: tourists buying a Vietnam sim card at one of the many mobile phone shops at Noi Bai Airport Hanoi.
As mentioned before you can also order your sim card for Vietnam online. If you want a physical sim card then check out the international sim cards for Vietnam. These travel sim cards with global coverage will be shipped to your home address. It is plug and play and you are online as soon as the plane lands.
For a more detailed guide check out Traveltomtom's comparison of the best e-sim card for traveling to Vietnam in 2024.
Find cheap bus, train and flight tickets in Vietnam
Another recommendation but now for transportation in Vietnam is the search engine of 12Go Asia. They get you the best bus, boat, train, taxis, shuttles and even domestic flights in one overview. Try it out below yourself.
Powered by 12Go system
Directly book your tickets, choose your seat and receive them on your phone within just a couple clicks. Find travel duration, prices, available seats, travel schedule and everything you need to know in one overview.
Cheap domestic flights in Vietnam
Prices prepaid Vietnam sim cards in 2024
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 your wallet. Trust me the price is not the most important thing when choosing a sim card for your trip to Vietnam!
So what is important? Keep on reading...
As per January 2024: $1 USD = 24.275 VND and 100,000 VND = $4.12 USD.
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 = $1.2 USD
- 7 GB data
- valid for 7 days
- Hotspot: YES
Viettel Data & Call - VND 120,000 = $5 USD
- 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 January 2024 you can also find on the Viettel website.
Viettel does NOT offer e-sim cards for tourists, only physical prepaid sim cards are available.
I also found many other offers, see the picture above. It is up to you which data packages suits you the most. All the above data packages for Viettel are valid for 30 days and you can use a hotspot.
Keep in mind that wherever you go in Vietnam Viettel has by far the best mobile data network, more about that later.
Mobifone prepaid sim card
Mobifone tourist sim card - VND 200,000 = $8.2 USD
- Unlimited 4G data
- No calling, no texting
- 14 days valid
- Hotspot: YES
Mobifone tourist sim card - VND 220,000 = $9 USD
- Unlimited 4G data
- 100 minutes calling, no texting
- 30 days valid
- Hotspot: YES
Note: with the above Mobifone prepaid sim cards it was not specified if 4G was unlimited on high speed internet. Traveltomtom is in general not a fan of sim cards with unlimited internet as in the small letters there are always restrictions. On the Mobifone website you can find more information about their prepaid sim cards and top ups.
Mobifone does NOT offer e-sim cards for tourists, only physical prepaid sim cards are available.
Vinaphone prepaid sim card
Vinaphone Data & Call - VND 220,000 = $9 USD
- 2GB daily 4G data
- 100 minutes calling
- 30 days valid
- Hotspot: YES
Vinaphone does NOT offer e-sim cards for tourists, only physical prepaid sim cards are available. But remember you can buy a Vinaphone with 30 GB data for $19.90 USD via SimOptions.
As you can see on the pictures above they offer a wide array of prepaid sim card packages in Vietnam. Regardless if you buy your prepaid sim card at the airport or in the city, when it comes down at the price it is hard to choose because they are all very affordable.
I told you already though that the price is not the most important, so what is important? THE 4G/5G mobile data network coverage.
On the pictures below you will see some more Vietnam prepaid sim card deals I was offered.
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 lets you book your tickets online. Fixed prices, easy, reliable and convenient!
Powered by 12Go system
Try it out above. They give you time tables, prices, trip duration and more. Even domestic flights can be found, and from my experience even cheaper than other flight search websites.
Best 4G/5G network in Vietnam in 2024
So here comes the most valuable information for buying a sim card for Vietnam: the mobile internet network coverage! Let's have a look at the 4G/5G coverage maps in Vietnam and determine which sim card is the best for traveling in Vietnam.
Is there 5G in Vietnam? Yes, there is, but as per January 2024 there is only 5G in the big cities in Vietnam.
Mobifone 4G/5G network coverage map
Vinaphone 4G/5G network coverage map
Viettel 4G/5G network coverage map
Although the above mobile data network coverage maps are updated for 2024 they are not 100% accurate. However, they are a great reference to compare the 4G/5G networks of the mobile internet providers in Vietnam in 2024.
Looking at the above comparison of the network coverage maps of all the mobile internet operators in Vietnam, we can clearly see that Viettel has by far the best 4G/5G network in Vietnam in 2024.
As I have been traveling extensively around Vietnam over the past years I can confirm that in most places off the beaten path there is only a Viettel phone signal available. That said in the major tourist destinations and cities in Vietnam you will mostly find a good signal of the other operators too.
But trust me for long bus rides and motorbike rides and traveling off the beaten path in Vietnam you want a Viettel sim card.
Best sim card for Vietnam in 2024
My conclusion is probably already clear for you. Buying a sim card for Vietnam is very easy but finding the best sim card deal is a challenge. Every phone store sells you different tourist sim cards for different prices. Prices for prepaid sim cards in Vietnam are cheap though.
When we compare the local prepaid sim card deals with e-sim cards we can conclude that the local prepaid sim cards are cheaper. However, you can only buy them on arrival in Vietnam.
Airalo has a great e-sim card for Vietnam with 20 GB data for $32 USD that operates on the Viettel network and SimOptions offers a Vinaphone e-sim card with 30 GB data for $19.90 USD. You can buy these e-sims on the internet within a couple clicks and as soon as the plane lands in Vietnam you are online.
But as said if you want the cheapest prepaid sim card for tourists then wait till you get to Vietnam and buy a physical prepaid sim card from Viettel. It is an easy conclusion that Viettel is the best sim card for traveling in Vietnam in 2024 because of their extensive 4G/5G mobile data network and cheap sim cards for tourists.
Why I recommend a Viettel sim card for traveling in Vietnam:
- Viettel has the best 4G/5G network in Vietnam
- A Viettel sim card will cost you on average about $3 USD
- For around $1 USD (30,000 VND) you can already get 7 GB data for 1 week
- For around $5 USD you get 60 GB for 1 month
Buying a Viettel prepaid sim card at the International Airport of Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi is very simple as there are stores everywhere. However, be prepared to pay a little extra. Sim cards at airports are more expensive. However, still very affordable in Vietnam.
The Airalo e-sim cards of Xin Chao also operate on the Viettel network, so when asking me I would personally advice you to order an e-sim card for Vietnam. You arrange everything online within just a couple minutes and for $32 USD you get 20 GB data for 30 days.
For more info about e-sims check out my article about the best e-sim cards for traveling to Vietnam in 2024.
Order a prepaid sim card for Vietnam online
If your phone is not e-sim compatible but you would still like to buy a sim card for Vietnam on the internet then check out the following physical international prepaid sim cards.
Buying a sim card in Vietnam sounds like a lot of stress, right? So ordering an international sim card for traveling in Vietnam on the internet sounds much easier. These pre-activated physical prepaid sim cards will be delivered to your home address before your trip to Vietnam.
You put them in your phone in the plane and as soon as you land you are online. Plug and Play!
Three Data Pack 10 GB - $24.90
- 10 GB data
- Valid in 56 countries
- NO calls, NO sms
- Valid 30 days
Orange Holiday World 10 GB - $49.90
- 10 GB data
- Valid in 124 countries
- NO calls, NO sms
- Valid 14 days
My experiences buying a sim card in Vietnam
Nowadays whenever I travel to Vietnam I always use an e-sim card. I mostly order an e-sim card for Vietnam through Airalo, but recently I just visited Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and I used the Vinaphone e-sim card with 30 GB for $19.90 USD from SimOptions. It was a great timing to review this e-sim card. I had no issues whatsoever and fast data speed.
But I will be honest next time I will order an e-sim card again of Viettel.
Just to prove a point and for my experiences I also once 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, but I also traveled to the Quang Binh Province.
I ended up at a friendly guy at the Ho Chi Minh Airport at one of the many mobile phone shops asking constantly: ‘you buy sim card now?’. 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 would travel in Vietnam for about 9 days this friendly guy said: try this Mobifone sim package, specially for you.
VND 100,000 = $4.3 USD
- 12GB data - 4G speed
- Unlimited data - 3G speed
- No calling, no texting
- Valid 30 days
I decided to put Mobifone to the test as it has the weakest 4G/5G network in Vietnam. So was I satisfied with it? Not really!
The internet speed was alright. I never really had problems watching Instagram stories or streaming videos on Facebook or TikTok. But when I entered buildings the signal got pretty weak sometimes and in my hotel room (I stayed at Grand Hotel Saigon) I had just 1 bar 4G signal most of the time, which was pretty annoying.
In the rural areas of Quang Binh there was often NO signal at all and sometimes I only had a 3G signal. For the rest of my trip to Vietnam the Mobifone sim card worked lets say ok. However, next time though I will buy a Viettel prepaid sim card again for traveling in Vietnam.
Especially when visiting again in 2024 I want to try the Viettel 5G network in Vietnam.
Traveling through Southeast Asia and looking for a prepaid sim card or e-sim card that covers all countries in Asia? Click on the link and I show you my Asia sim card comparison for 2024 including physical prepaid sim cards and e-sim cards.
I wrote many guides for buying tourist sim cards and e-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 you should haggle.
Traveling to Vietnam is always a good idea though, 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.
As a big fan of traveling in Southeast AsiaI also wrote guides for buying a sim card in Thailand or tourist sim cards in Indonesia. If you are looking to buy a local prepaid sim card in Southeast Asia then you will find out that prices are often 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 for tourists in Vietnam almost felt like mission impossible! Good thing: data sim cards in Vietnam are very cheap. So I wouldn't be bothered so much. Just make sure you get yourself a sim card or e-sim card from Viettel.
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. Thanks so much in advance.
Curious what it looks like trying to visit every country in the world? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow along. As of January 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go.
Enjoy your trip to Vietnam!
Some links in this article about the best ways to stay connected when traveling to Vietnam are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I earn a small commission. This is at absolutely no extra cost to you!