Going to Cambodia soon? You will have a great time for sure. Cambodia has fantastic beaches and seafood on the south coast. Moreover, there are plenty of temples to satisfy your need for cultural activities. Getting to Cambodia may be a bit pricy depending on where you are flying from, but Cambodia itself is relatively cheap.
Roaming with your provider, however, can be expensive if you are not careful. That is why many travelers explore the options of purchasing a local SIM card. Until a while ago, travelers were unable to buy SIM cards in Cambodia, but that changed a few years ago. Let's explore the SIM card buying options we have in Cambodia, shall we?
Telecom Providers in Cambodia
Cambodia has three major telecom communication carriers: Smart Axiata, Metfone, and Cellcard. There are a few other providers, such as qb and Yes Seatel, but they have such a small subscriber base, which often means that they do not provide (reasonable) nationwide coverage, which is why they will not be covered in this article.
Smart and Metfone are the largest providers in terms of subscribers, while Cellcard is the small one.
If you want to buy a SIM card in Cambodia, I would recommend getting one from Cellcard for most travelers. If you are planning on going to remote areas, Metfone will be your best bet, as they have the best coverage in Cambodia.
But if you are planning on staying near the popular tourist hotspots, then it does not really matter what provider you choose, as they all have excellent service in the big cities and doable service outside of them.
Just be aware that when you are buying your SIM card, you will need to have your passport with you. This will be straightforward when you purchase the card at the airport. If you decide on buying it in town, be sure not to forget your passport (which you should have with you at all times).
Let's check out the offering Cellcard, Metfone, and Smart.
Most travelers will be fine with a Cellcard SIM Card. You can purchase one for about $0.50 and get 3.5 GB of data for about $5 that will last you a month. If you are flying into Phnom Pehn Airport, you will find a Cellcard booth when you leave the baggage claim area. There, the Cellcard employee can help you set up your new SIM card, which should take less than 10 minutes.
If you are flying to a different airport, you may still find Cellcard booths, but I cannot attest to that. Either way, you will see many Cellcard stores and signs once you go to town, even the small ones.
Back when I was in Cambodia, I typically got 3G/HSPA+ speeds, which is considerably slower than the 4G/LTE speeds I was used to (some of you may be enjoying 5G speeds already). I have, however, read that Cellcard has been rolling out its 4G network nationwide and even been called the fastest provider in Cambodia 3 years in a row. I will be in Cambodia in 2021, and I cannot wait to try them out again.
Cellcard also started to offer the Tourist SIM Pack, which are packages made for tourists. You will get 5 GB of data a day and $50 credit for on-net calls and SMS for $6, which will last you for 7 days.
Those who want more data or are staying in Cambodia for more than a week can take advantage of the following data bundles:
- $2 Data Bundle: 4 GB of data that is valid for 7 days. To activate, dial #6767#200#
- $5 Data Bundle: 8 GB of data that is valid for 7 days. To activate, dial #6767#500#
- $10 Data Bundle: 18 GB of data that is valid for 7 days. To activate, dial #6767#1000#
You can find more internet bundles here, but you would need to be able to read Cambodian or use Google Translate.
Metfone will be your best bet if you are planning on going to remote areas, as they provide the best network coverage in Cambodia. You can get a Metfone SIM card for less than $2. Below is the Metfone plan breakdown:
- You will get coverage with 4G/LTE.
- To get started, you will need to stop by an official Metfone Store in Phnom Penh or Siam Reap. Or you can find a store at the airport. They will register you properly and set up your SIM package at the store to make sure your phone works correctly.
- The 1.5 GB soft-cap plan costs $1.50, and you will get a week’s worth of coverage.
- The 3 GB soft-cap plan or 4 GB hard-cap plan both cost $5 and give you one month of coverage.
- With a soft-cap plan, your plan will be throttled once the data cap is reached, but you will not incur a surcharge.
Finally, we have Smart Axiata (just Smart), which is also a good provider when sticking to the bigger cities. You can get a Smart SIM card for about $1. Below is the Smart plan breakdown:
- You will get coverage with 4G/LTE.
- You can also get data-only plans that are called “SurfLikeCrazy” Plans.
- You can find the official store in Phnom Penh, Siam Reap, and major airports. Make sure you take your phone to a store or booth and have your package set up by a Smart employee.
- The SIM Price is $1 for the SIM card fee.
- The Traveler SIM Card gives you 2 GB of data and $1 credit for $5 and offers a week of coverage. You can only purchase this plan at international airports.
- The 1 GB of Data Plan costs $1 and gives you one day of coverage.
- The 4 GB Hard-Cap Plan costs $5 for one month of coverage. If you go over the cap limit, you will be charged an extra $0.01 per 500 KB that you go over the cap limit.
Other Connectivity Options When Traveling in Cambodia
The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Cambodia
To get the most out of your money, I would recommend getting a local SIM card from Cellcard.
Local Prepaid SIM Card in Other Asian Countries
Visiting other countries in Asia? Check out my SIM card buying guides for individual Asian countries:
Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
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