Cambodia – known for its (massive) temples, cultural heritage & it is one of the countries that never had a McDonald's.
Yes, that somewhat terrifying clown could never set foot in this country.
Unlike other countries in the region, Cambodia did not enjoy an early growth in tourism arrivals.
But in recent years, more travelers have flocked to the country, except for the pandemic years, of course.
Why is that? It is because Cambodia has a lot to offer.
Of course, you cannot leave Cambodia without visiting Angkor Wat – a beautiful and insanely huge temple.
But besides the numerous temples the country has to offer, visit Kaoh Tonsay and Otres Beach for the beach-life experience you cannot experience elsewhere in the country.
And do not forget about Ream National Park – you can even get a boat tour there.
Being bored in Cambodia? No way! No reason to be.
What you should not do, in many cases, is roam internationally in Cambodia.
International roaming can be expensive, which is why using local and travel eSIMs is recommended to save money.
And if you get a travel eSIM, you do not have to deal with the SIM card registration bureaucracy and skip the queues in Cambodia.
How much will a local or travel eSIM for Cambodia cost you?
You can get an eSIM for Cambodia for as little as 4.50 USD, with 1 GB of data for 7 days, up to 47 USD, with 8 GB data for 30 days, from Metfone, Smart Cambodia, Cellcard, Airalo (Connect Cambodia), Holafly & Nomad.
Those are some generous data allowances, right?
In this guide, I will go over the eSIM options offered by the Cambodian mobile operators (Metfone, Smart Cambodia & Cellcard), Airalo, Holafly & Nomad. Let's do this.
Original publication: 24th of August 2022. Last updated: 27th of January 2023.
Table of Contents
eSIMs offered by the Cambodian Mobile Operators
To get the best service available, in terms of reception and speeds, you want to go with the local mobile operators directly instead of with a travel eSIM.
That is because you will have a higher priority on the network in case of network congestion.
However, that does not mean travel eSIMs will always be slow.
In fact, some mobile operators throttle (prepaid) on select plans or all plans for “optimization” reasons (read: we cannot be bothered to invest in our network).
Anyway, which Cambodian mobile operators offer eSIMs to prepaid customers?
Currently, Metfone, Smart Cambodia & Cellcard offer eSIMs to prepaid customers.
You also have other options for getting an eSIM for your trip to Cambodia: travel eSIMs from Airalo (with Connect Cambodia), Holafly & Nomad.
Not only can you set up these eSIMs before arriving in Cambodia and activate them upon landing, but you can also avoid Cambodia's SIM card registration scheme, which is mandatory for anyone using Cambodian SIM cards and eSIMs.
While mobile data is already affordable in Cambodia, getting a travel eSIM will not break the bank – not at all.
Plus, I have plenty of experience with Airalo, Holafly & Nomad, and I can assure you they work well – and other Phone Travel Wiz readers also had pleasant experiences with them.
So let's see what these travel eSIM providers have to offer in Cambodia, right?
Airalo eSIMs for Cambodia (Connect Cambodia)
If I could only get a travel eSIM during my trip because I do not have the time or opportunity to buy a local SIM card or eSIM, then I would always get an eSIM from Airalo.
Airalo has eSIMs for around 190 countries, offers eSIMs at the lowest prices (on average compared to the competition) & has good service.
Airalo usually partners with the local mobile operator with the best coverage, the fastest speeds, or both.
And if it needs to partner up with multiple mobile operators, it does so, allowing you to have the best reception at all times.
Anyway, you can get a Connect Cambodia eSIM for as low as 4.50 USD, with 1 GB of data, up to 13.50 USD, with 5 GB of data.
Those prices and data allowances are not too bad, right?
Especially knowing that the Connect Cambodia eSIM uses the Smart Cambodia network – the best network in Cambodia with the fastest speeds.
So you do not have to worry about speeds with the Connect Cambodia eSIM, even in remote areas.
The following three Cambodian Connect Cambodia eSIM options are available:
- Cambodia/Connect Cambodia 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 4.50 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Cambodia/Connect Cambodia 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 9 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Cambodia/Connect Cambodia 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 13.50 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
The Airalo links will automatically get you the available Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers – a code is unnecessary.
- Check out my Airalo eSIM reviews
Overall, the Connect Cambodia eSIM gives you fantastic value for your money.
Airalo Connect Cambodia eSIM Pros
Are there any other reasons why you should get the Connect Cambodia eSIM for your trip? For sure:
- You can activate your Connect Cambodia eSIM as soon as you land in Cambodia
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to Cambodia's fastest mobile operator – Smart Cambodia
- Connect Cambodia eSIMs are affordable (especially compared to roaming) and have generous data allowances
- You do not have to worry about SIM card registration with the Connect Cambodia eSIM, saving you time
- Out of data? You can simply top up online on the Airalo website and not worry about language barriers when dealing with local agents
There are many other small pros, but these are the major ones.
It would be disingenuous not to mention some cons, so here we go.
Airalo Connect Cambodia eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get the Connect Cambodia eSIM?
- The Cambodian mobile operators, including Smart Cambodia itself, have much more generous data allowances
- While you get access to Smart Cambodia's network, the fastest in Cambodia, your speeds will not be as fast as going with Smart Cambodia itself because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- There is no 5G NR access with the Connect Cambodia eSIM (yet)
- You cannot call or text with the Connect Cambodia eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
Airalo Connect Cambodia eSIM Overall Thoughts
Honestly, the Connect Cambodia eSIM is fantastic.
The plans offered with Connect Cambodia eSIMs are generous and affordable.
You get fast speeds and access to Cambodia's fastest network, Smart Cambodia, without standing in queues or dealing with SIM card registration bureaucracy.
And everything, purchasing and topping up, can be done online on the Airalo website or Airalo app (downloading the app is recommended).
Unfortunately, you cannot call or text with the Connect Cambodia eSIM, as it is a data-only eSIM.
But if you do wish to make actual calls, so not through apps like Whatsapp, consider a Metfone, Smart Cambodia, & Cellcard eSIM or a Cambodian SIM card (but you will have to deal with the SIM card registration laws).
Nomad eSIMs for Cambodia
Another travel eSIM provider I recommend is Nomad.
In fact, I have been in close contact with Nomad as soon as I partnered up with them.
For example, upon my recommendation, it started offering the Nordics regional eSIM – an eSIM that can be used in Denmark, Finland, Sweden & Norway.
Yes, I really try to get the best offers and deals for you 🥰.
Another thing I have been pushing Nomad for, and Airalo and Holafly (to be discussed next) for that matter, is lowering its prices or increasing its data allowances.
In June, Nomad started offering a 2 GB eSIM variant upon my request for various Asian countries (because Phone Travel Wiz readers asked for such an eSIM) at competitive prices.
In August, Nomad dropped its prices again for its China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand & Vietnam eSIMs (which are even cheaper than Airalo – that is remarkable on its own!).
So yes, Nomad is looking out for you 👁👁.
Anyway, in Cambodia, it uses the Truphone network, which uses a combination of local networks (Metfone, Smart Cambodia & Cellcard), allowing your eSIM to switch to the network with the best reception automatically.
This way, you will always be connected!
You have the following three options with Nomad for Cambodia:
- Cambodia 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 20 USD/19 EUR/17 GBP/27.50 CAD
- Cambodia 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 48 USD/45.50 EUR/40 GBP/65.50 CAD
- Cambodia 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 54 USD/51 EUR/45 GBP /73.50 CAD
Use code ADU123 for the best deals available when getting Nomad eSIMs (on the site or their apps) and get 3 USD/2.85 EUR/2.45 GBP/4.10 CAD off (even on top of current promotions)!
- Check out my Nomad reviews
Of course, going with Nomad has some pros and cons, so let's go over them.
Nomad Cambodia eSIM Pros
So, why should you get a Nomad eSIM? Because:
- You can activate your Nomad Cambodia eSIM as soon as you land in Cambodia
- You do not have to worry about SIM card registration, saving you time
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access on all Cambodian networks, allowing you to have the best reception at all times
- You can avoid expensive international roaming fees
- Out of data? You can simply top up online on the Nomad website and not worry about language barriers when dealing with local agents
But it is not all good news with Nomad though – there are some disadvantages.
Nomad Cambodia eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get the Nomad Cambodia eSIM?
- The Cambodian mobile operators have much more generous data allowances and cheaper plans
- While you get access to six networks, your speeds will not be as fast as going with the Cambodian mobile operators themselves because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- There is no 5G NR access with the Nomad Cambodia eSIM
- You cannot call or text with the Nomad Cambodia eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
Nomad Cambodia eSIM Overall Thoughts
Overall, the Nomad Cambodia eSIM is a great premium eSIM.
You will always have the best reception because the Nomad Cambodia eSIM automatically switches to the best network at your location.
However, just like the other travel eSIMs mentioned in this guide, you do not get a (local) phone number with the Nomad eSIM.
Moreover, you can only get up to 5 GB of data.
Luckily, you can top up your Nomad Cambodia eSIM with more data if you want.
Holafly eSIMs for Cambodia
The last travel eSIM provider I recommend is Holafly.
My relationship with Holafly is quite funny.
I knew they existed when they offered travel SIM cards for the Spanish market only.
Then they pivoted to the global market, still offering travel SIM cards.
Eventually, they started offering travel eSIMs for the Spanish market only again before going global.
There are many travel eSIM providers nowadays – new ones pop up every week like mushrooms, so I did not bat an eye.
Until they did something revolutionary.
In 2022, Holafly started offering unlimited data plans for its eSIMs.
And these unlimited data eSIMs can be used in various Asian countries, almost all European Union member states (except for Liechtenstein) & a few other countries, like Canada and the United States.
Unfortunately, unlimited data eSIMs are not available in Cambodia… yet.
I say yet because Holafly's goal is to offer unlimited data plans for every country it covers: 100+ countries.
And I can tell you that I get positive emails multiple times a week from Phone Travel Wiz readers that have used the unlimited data plans in East- and Southeast Asia, Europe & North America; they love these eSIMs.
For now, you have only one Holafly Cambodia eSIM (which uses the Smart Cambodia network – the mobile operator with the fastest speeds, by the way):
- Cambodia 8 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 47 USD/49 EUR/37 GBP/69 AUD/64 CAD
Not much choice, as you can see.
As I recently started my collaboration with Holafly, you can get 5% off each purchase whenever you use code PHONETRAVELWIZ – awesome, right?
- Check out my Holafly reviews
Of course, there are some pros and cons with going with Holafly, so let's go over them.
Holafly Cambodia eSIM Pros
So, why should you get the Holafly Cambodia eSIM? Well, because of the following:
- Holafly Cambodia eSIMs are affordable compared to roaming
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to Smart Cambodia's network – the fastest in Cambodia
- You can activate your Holafly Cambodia eSIM as soon as you land in Cambodia
- The Holafly Cambodia eSIM offers the most data
But it is not all good news with Holafly though – there are some disadvantages.
Holafly Cambodia eSIM eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get a Holafly Cambodia eSIM?
- You cannot call or text with the Holafly Cambodia eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
- Cambodian mobile operators, including Smart Cambodia, have much more generous data allowances
- While you get full (4G/LTE) access to Smart Cambodia's network, your speeds may not be as fast as going with Smart Cambodia directly because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- You cannot top up your Holafly Cambodia eSIM – you would have to buy another eSIM if you need more data
- There is no 5G NR access with the Holafly Cambodia eSIM (yet)
Holafly Cambodia eSIM Overall Thoughts
While you have only one option for the Holafly Cambodia eSIM, it is the most generous eSIM (in terms of data) in this guide.
And the price for the Holafly Cambodia eSIM is low compared to expensive Pay As You Go roaming rates for Cambodia.
But it still is not cheap.
Best eSIMs for in Asia (not just Cambodia)
Unfortunately, you cannot use your Airalo Connect Cambodia, Holafly Cambodia, or Nomad Cambodia eSIMs in any country than Cambodia.
However, the three eSIM providers have eSIMs covering several East Asian and Southeast Asian countries.
I highly recommend these Asia/APAC eSIMs if you plan to visit multiple East- and Southeast Asian countries to save money!
Airalo recently heavily improved its Asia eSIM, which used to offer a meager 4 GB of high-speed data before allowing for unlimited data at snail speeds, following the popular Eurolink eSIM for 39 European countries.
The Eurolink eSIM is the most popular eSIM for Phone Travel readers, and I have no doubt that the Asialink eSIM will be popular too.
Just like in Europe, many readers tend to visit multiple Asian countries, so they would rather have a travel eSIM covering multiple countries than just one (like Cambodia).
The Asialink eSIM can be used in the following 14 countries:
- Hong Kong
- Singapore 1
- South Korea
1 currently, newly bought Asialink eSIMs cannot be used in Singapore. Airalo is working on re-including Singapore in its Asialink offering
Below is an overview of how much each Asialink eSIM costs:
- Asia/Asialink 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 5 USD
- Asia/Asialink 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 13 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 20 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 37 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 50 GB eSIM for 90 days, costing 100 USD
- Asia/Asialink 100 GB eSIM for 180 days, costing 185 USD
Holafly & Nomad eSIMs for Asia
Because of Airalo's previous Asia eSIM, I used to recommend Nomad's APAC eSIMs instead (to be used in 8 countries).
This eSIM can be used in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore & Thailand (1 GB/7 days/15 USD – 20 GB/30 days/69 USD).
As you can see, this eSIM cannot be used in Cambodia, so it would be useless here but useful in the aforementioned countries.
The Holafly Asia eSIM has only one variant: 8 GB for 30 days, costing 47 USD/49 EUR/34 GBP.
This eSIM can be used in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand & Vietnam.
Basically, the same countries as the Airalo Asialink eSIM with just fewer options (1 variant (8 GB) vs. 6 variants (1 GB/3 GB/5 GB/10 GB/50 GB/100 GB)) and much more expensive.
So yeah, the Asialink eSIM is superior, I would say.
Remember, the Airalo links above will automatically offer you the best deals.
Overview of the Best eSIMs for Cambodia (Airalo vs. Holafly vs. Nomad)
In this guide, I went over various eSIMs for Cambodia: Airalo (Connect Cambodia), Holafly & Nomad.
Below is an overview of my recommendation order:
- Airalo's Cambodia Connect Cambodia eSIM (best value for money)
- Airalo's Asia Asialink eSIM (best value for money when also visiting other East- and Southeast Asian countries)
- Nomad Cambodia eSIM (excellent performance)
- Holafly Cambodia eSIM (most generous data plan)
- Holafly Asia eSIM (to be used in 13 countries)
Remember to use code PHONETRAVELWIZ for Holafly eSIMs and code ADU123 for Nomad eSIMs – a code is not necessary for Airalo eSIM purchases.
Buying a SIM Card in Cambodia
Want to just use a SIM card but not your current one because roaming will be criminally expensive?
Consider getting a Cambodian SIM card instead – local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected abroad.
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