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Vietnam SIM card for tourists: All the key things to know

31/01/2024 20.328

Navigating Vietnam becomes smoother when you are well-acquainted with the intricacies of a Vietnam SIM card for tourists. Learn the types, how to get one, and other important tips.

Vietnam SIM card for tourists

A Vietnam SIM card for tourists opens up a world of connectivity and convenience during Vietnam travel. To optimize the experience, it is essential to navigate the nuances of local communication effectively. From understanding dialing codes to managing data usage and seizing the benefits of available packages, this guide offers tips to make the most of a Vietnam SIM card for tourists.

1. The advantages of having a Vietnam SIM card for tourists

1.1. Staying connected

Upon arriving in Vietnam, acquiring a local SIM card enables tourists to enjoy reliable and affordable communication services. This ensures that they can easily contact local services, navigate through unfamiliar locations, and stay in touch with fellow tourists or friends.

In addition to basic calls and text messages, a Vietnam SIM card provides tourists with access to mobile data. This is particularly advantageous for navigating the country using mapping applications, researching local attractions, and sharing their travel experiences on social media platforms.

1.2. Cost-effective communication

Another significant advantage of having a Vietnam SIM card for tourists is the cost-effective communication it offers. Local SIM cards typically provide more affordable rates for calls, text messages, etc. compared to international roaming options.

By using a Vietnam SIM card, tourists can avoid the often high charges associated with international roaming plans offered by their home country's mobile providers. This cost-saving aspect allows visitors to allocate their travel budget more efficiently, enabling them to explore and enjoy various activities without the concern of excessive communication expenses.

Vietnam SIM card for tourists

1.3. Convenience in navigation and transportation

With access to mobile data, travelers can effortlessly utilize navigation apps to find directions, locate points of interest, and plan their routes. This proves invaluable when exploring unfamiliar cities, navigating intricate streets, or seeking out specific destinations.

Moreover, the convenience extends to transportation services. Tourists can readily access ride-sharing apps, such as Grab, to secure reliable and cost-effective transportation options. Having a local SIM card ensures seamless communication with drivers, enabling tourists to confirm pick-up locations, receive real-time updates, and pay for services electronically.

The integration of mobile data into navigation and transportation not only simplifies the travel experience but also empowers tourists to make informed decisions on the go. This level of convenience enhances the overall efficiency of exploring Vietnam, allowing visitors to focus more on enjoying the journey and less on navigating.

>>> Discover: Save 19 essential travel to Vietnam tips for first-time travelers

2. Details about Vietnam SIM card for tourists

2.1. Types of SIM cards

2.1.1. Vietnam physical SIM cards

For tourists visiting Vietnam, there are primarily two types of SIM cards available, and one of them is the traditional physical SIM card. These physical SIM cards can be purchased from local telecom providers or authorized resellers. They come in various plans, offering a combination of data, call time, and text messages based on the traveler's needs and duration of stay.

Vietnam SIM card for tourists

Upon acquiring a physical SIM card, tourists need to insert it into their unlocked mobile devices. These SIM cards are available in different sizes, ensuring compatibility with various smartphone models. The activation process typically involves providing identification details, such as a copy of the passport, in accordance with local regulations.

The advantages of a physical Vietnam SIM card for tourists includes widespread availability, ease of use, and compatibility with a wide range of devices. Tourists can choose from different telecom operators, such as Viettel, Vinaphone, or Mobifone, based on network coverage and preferences. This option is suitable for those who prefer the traditional approach to mobile connectivity during their stay in Vietnam.

2.1.2. Vietnam eSIM cards

In addition to physical SIM cards, tourists in Vietnam can opt for eSIM cards, which offer a modern and digital alternative to traditional SIM cards. An eSIM, or embedded SIM, is embedded directly into a compatible device, eliminating the need for a physical card. 

Vietnam has embraced eSIM technology, and tourists can find eSIM options from local telecom providers. Instead of inserting a physical card, users can activate an eSIM remotely by scanning a QR code or through the mobile operator's app. This streamlined process provides convenience and flexibility, especially for tourists with eSIM-compatible devices.

eSIM cards offer the same features as physical SIM cards, including data, talk time, and text messages. They are particularly advantageous for those who want to avoid dealing with physical cards, need dual SIM capabilities, or have devices without a traditional SIM card slot.

Vietnam SIM card for tourists

2.2. The top Vietnam SIM card providers

2.2.1. Viettel

Viettel stands out as one of Vietnam's leading telecom providers, renowned for its expansive network coverage and reliability. As a top choice for tourists, Viettel offers a variety of prepaid SIM card plans tailored to different needs. Whether visitors require ample data for navigation, extensive talk time, or text messages, Viettel's diverse offerings ensure that travelers can stay connected seamlessly throughout their journey. With its established reputation, Viettel is a reliable option for those seeking consistent and widespread mobile coverage during their stay in Vietnam.

2.2.2. VinaPhone

VinaPhone, a prominent player in Vietnam's telecommunications landscape, is known for its comprehensive mobile services. VinaPhone's SIM card options cater to a range of preferences, offering various data packages to accommodate the diverse needs of travelers. This provider is a favorable choice for tourists due to its competitive prepaid plans as well. With a commitment to delivering strong connectivity, VinaPhone also ensures that tourists can confidently rely on their mobile services while exploring the country.

Vietnam SIM card for tourists

2.2.3. MobiFone

MobiFone has solidified its position as a reputable telecom operator in Vietnam, offering a spectrum of telecommunications services. Recognized for its reliable network and extensive coverage, MobiFone provides tourists with prepaid SIM card plans designed for flexibility. Whether visitors prioritize data for navigation or require sufficient talk time, MobiFone's offerings cater to different budgets and usage patterns. Choosing MobiFone ensures that tourists benefit from a reliable and versatile mobile connection during their travels.

2.2.4. Vietnamobile

Vietnamobile, while a relatively newer player, has carved a niche by offering budget-friendly telecom solutions. Ideal for cost-conscious travelers, Vietnamobile provides accessible prepaid SIM card plans without compromising on essential services. With a focus on affordability, this provider ensures that tourists can stay connected without exceeding their budget constraints. Vietnamobile's range of options makes it a practical choice for those seeking economical yet reliable mobile connectivity during their visit to Vietnam.

Vietnam SIM card for tourists

>>> Read more: Vietnam's visa: Crucial information that you should keep in mind

3. Guide to buy and use Vietnam SIM card for tourists

3.1. Where to buy Vietnam SIM cards?

3.1.1. On site

  • At the airports: You can conveniently purchase a Vietnam SIM card for tourists on-site, and Vietnam airports serve as prime locations for this. Many major airports across Vietnam, such as Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi), Ho Chi Minh City Airport (Ho Chi Minh City), Da Nang International Airport (Da Nang City), etc., have dedicated counters or kiosks operated by local telecom providers. Upon arrival, travelers can easily locate these service points within the airport terminals. 
  • At the mobile stores: Beyond airports, tourists can explore various mobile stores located in cities and tourist-centric areas throughout Vietnam. These stores, operated by major telecom providers or authorized resellers, offer a wide range of Vietnam SIM cards for tourists. The advantage of purchasing at these stores lies in the ability to compare plans, ask for assistance, and choose the most suitable package based on individual preferences. 

3.1.2. Online

For the modern traveler seeking convenience and a digital approach, purchasing a Vietnam eSIM can be done online. Several local telecom providers offer eSIMs through their official websites or dedicated mobile apps.

The process typically involves selecting a suitable eSIM plan, providing necessary identification details, and scanning a QR code or following the instructions provided by the mobile operator's app. 

This online option allows tourists to secure their eSIM before arriving in Vietnam, ensuring immediate connectivity upon landing. It is a convenient solution for those with eSIM-compatible devices, offering flexibility and efficiency in obtaining a SIM card without the need for physical presence at a store.

Vietnam SIM card for tourists

3.2. How much is a Vietnam SIM card?

When purchasing a SIM card in Vietnam, it is important to decide whether you prefer a prepaid or postpaid option and choose between a standard SIM for regular use or a data-specific SIM.

  • Prepaid or postpaid: Prepaid SIM cards usually come with a lower initial cost, like 50,000 VND, but additional top-ups may be needed for using services. Postpaid SIM cards have a higher initial cost, around 60,000 VND, with payment settled after utilizing the services.
  • Regular or data-specific: Regular SIM cards are typically designed for both regular calls and text messages. Data-specific SIM cards come in various prices depending on the chosen provider, data allowance, and duration. For example, a Viettel data-specific Vietnam SIM card costs between 70,000 VND and 1,620,000 VND. 

*The prices mentioned are for reference only and are the most accurate at the time this article is published.

3.3. How to activate Vietnam SIM cards?

Activating a Vietnam SIM card is a straightforward process, and the steps may vary slightly depending on the telecom provider. Here is a general guide on how to activate a Vietnam SIM card for tourists:

  • Insert the SIM card: If you purchased a physical SIM card, insert it into your unlocked mobile device. For eSIMs, follow the activation instructions provided by the mobile operator.
  • Power on your device: Turn on your mobile device and wait for it to detect the SIM card.
  • Receive activation messages: In many cases, upon inserting the SIM card, you will receive activation messages from the telecom provider. These messages may contain information about your new number, balance, and available services.
  • Verify identification: Some providers may require additional verification. This could involve sending a text message with your passport details or visiting a designated location.
  • Top up: For prepaid SIM cards, you may need to top up your balance to use services. This can be done through various methods, such as purchasing top-up cards or using mobile banking.
  • Configure settings: Depending on your device and the provider, you may need to configure specific settings, such as APN settings for mobile data.
  • Restart your device: In some cases, restarting your device after completing the activation process ensures that all settings take effect.
Vietnam SIM card for tourists

By following these general steps, you should be able to activate your Vietnam SIM card and start using mobile services promptly. If you encounter any issues, referring to the provided instructions or contacting the telecom provider's customer support can be helpful.

3.4. How to choose mobile packages for Vietnam SIM cards?

Choosing mobile packages for Vietnam SIM cards involves considering your usage patterns and preferences. Here are tips on how to make the right selection:

  • Identify your needs: Assess your usage requirements, considering factors such as data usage, talk time, and messaging. Are you primarily using data for navigation and internet access, or do you need a balance of data, calls, and texts?
  • Compare packages: Telecom providers in Vietnam offer a variety of packages with different combinations of data, talk time, and text messages. Compare the available packages from providers like Viettel, VinaPhone, MobiFone, and Vietnamobile to find one that aligns with your needs.
  • Consider data allowance: If data usage is a priority, focus on packages that offer sufficient data allowance. Evaluate the duration of your stay and choose a plan with an appropriate data cap.
  • Check validity period: Packages often have specific validity periods. Consider the duration of your stay and choose a package with a validity period that suits your travel timeline.
  • Explore add-ons: Some providers offer additional add-ons or top-up options. Explore these to tailor your plan further based on unexpected needs that may arise during your trip.
  • Consider network coverage: Take into account the network coverage of the provider, especially if you plan to travel to remote areas. Choose a provider with reliable coverage in the regions you intend to explore.
Vietnam SIM card for tourists

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when selecting a mobile package for your Vietnam SIM card, ensuring it aligns with your usage needs and provides the best value for your stay.

Here are a few standard mobile packages you can consider:

  • Viettel: ST5K, ST5KM, ST10K, 1N, FB7, STK15K, YT30, ST30K, VNMI
  • VNPT: VD90, YOLO70, 3VD90, 3YOLO70, 6VD90, 6YOLO70
  • Mobifone: VE5, GCD, 3CD, D15, MBF30, D30, GCW SPY10, TIK10
  • Vietnamobile: D10, D15, D30, DK N3, DK N7, DK N15, DK M25T

Certain mobile packages are designed specifically for foreign tourists, popular among which include:

  • Viettel: SIM Tour
  • Mobifone: Happy Tourist 

If you prefer eSim, refer to the options below:

GIGA7

GIGA10

GIGA15

GIGA120

GIGA180

GIGA365

$10

$12

$15

$19

$59

$89

7 GB

10 GB

15 GB

120 GB (4 GB/day)

4 GB/day in the first 3 months; 2 GB/day for the remaining months 

4 GB/day in the first 3 months; 2 GB/day for the remaining months 

 

>>> More on: Travel checklist: The ultimate guide to packing for your next adventure

4. Tips for efficient usage with a Vietnam SIM card for tourists

Navigating Vietnam with a local SIM card enhances your travel experience. To make the most of it, consider these tips for efficient usage during your stay.

  • Familiarize yourself with local dialing codes: Learn local dialing codes to make calls efficiently. Vietnam's country code is +84, and understanding local area codes ensures accurate dialing.
  • Monitor and manage data usage wisely: Keep track of your data usage to avoid unexpected charges. Set data limits on your device and use Wi-Fi whenever available to optimize usage.
  • Explore and choose suitable data packages: Select data packages that align with your needs. Whether you prioritize data for navigation or require a balance of data, calls, and texts, choose a plan that suits your usage.
  • Use messaging apps for cost-effective international communication: Leverage messaging apps for international communication. Apps like WhatsApp or Telegram use data, reducing the need for costly international texts.
  • Verify network coverage, especially in remote areas: Before venturing into remote areas, verify network coverage. Different providers may have varying coverage, so ensure your chosen network offers reliable service where you plan to travel.
  • Stay informed about ongoing promotions and discounts: Keep an eye on ongoing promotions and discounts offered by telecom providers. Utilizing these promotions can provide added value to your mobile experience.
  • Consider using a dual SIM phone: If possible, use a dual SIM phone to easily switch between your home SIM and the local Vietnam SIM card. This flexibility is convenient for managing personal and travel-related communications.
  • Save local emergency contacts for quick access: In case of emergencies, save local emergency contacts on your phone. This ensures quick access to essential services when needed.
Vietnam SIM card for tourists

>>> Don’t miss: Vietnam passport renewal fee: The latest updates that you need to know

Obtaining a Vietnam SIM card for tourists is not just a matter of convenience; it is a gateway to a more enriched and connected travel experience. Whether you opt for a traditional physical SIM card or embrace the digital convenience of an eSIM, the advantages extend beyond mere communication. From staying connected and navigating unfamiliar terrains to managing costs effectively and enjoying promotional offers, a local SIM card empowers you to make the most of your journey in Vietnam. 

Vietnam SIM card for tourists

With a Vietnam SIM card for tourists in hand, you can comfortably visit all the top destinations in the country, such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Ha Long, etc. Make sure you stay at Vinpearl hotels and resorts for luxurious rooms and modern amenities, such as swimming pools, spas, gyms, restaurants, and bars. Also, do not miss out on VinWonders, where diverse entertainment awaits. Go on thrilling rides, indulge in lively shows, and more!

>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Phu Quoc, Vinpearl Nha Trang, Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An, Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long after securing your Vietnam SIM card for tourists!

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