Planning on visiting Vietnam soon? Good choice! There are plenty of activities in Vietnam and many things to see as well. Although flights to Vietnam may be expensive (but it does not have to be), the cost of living in Vietnam is inexpensive, unlike roaming with your provider that can be expensive if you do not watch out. This is why some travelers tend to explore local SIM cards when traveling abroad. In this article, we will explore the SIM card options for your adventure in Vietnam. Let’s get into it.
Telecom Providers in Vietnam
Vietnam has four telecom providers: Viettel, Vinaphone, Vietnamobile, and Mobifone. Viettel is the largest operator in terms of subscribers and network coverage. Vinaphone follows Viettel in terms of coverage but is on the third place based on subscriber numbers, closely following MobiFone.
Many travelers, especially those not staying in the major cities, have reported awful experiences with MobiFone, which is why I will not cover them in this article. This, however, does not mean they are bad (otherwise, they would not be the second-largest operator based on subscribers). It is just that those who want to buy a local SIM card tend to travel around the country instead of only the big cities, so MobiFone would not be relevant for them.
If you want to buy a SIM card and a data plan when in Vietnam, I would recommend getting one from Viettel or Vinaphone for most travelers. Both providers have significant coverage and offer high speeds for low prices.
Do note that you will need to content to a photo taken of you when you apply for your Vietnamese SIM card because of registration rules as of 2016.
Let’s check out the offering of Viettel, Vinaphone, and Vietnamobile.
Viettel is the biggest telecom operator in Vietnam with the most subscribers and the largest market share based on revenue. You can get a Viettel SIM card for 50000 Dong ($2.50) from an official Viettel store. I recommend going to a Viettel store in either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City so that the store clerks can properly register your SIM card and set it up for you.
Below is the plan breakdown of Viettel:
- 4G/LTE coverage.
- DMAX Plan 1.5 GB costs 120,000 Dong ($5.30) with 30 days of coverage.
- DMAX 200 for 3 GB costs 200,000 Dong ($8.80) with 30 days of coverage.
- If you want to cancel your plan, text “HUY” then “Y” to 191. Otherwise, the program will auto-renew.
You can get 5 GB of data for 100,000 Dong ($5) that is valid for a month. Do note, however, that like MobiFone, the connectivity with Vinaphone is not that great when visiting remote places. You will get better connections with Vietnam. On the other hand, Vinaphone is cheap – it is a trade-off decision you will have to make.
Below is the plan breakdown of Vinaphone:
- The daily rate is about $0.50 per day.
- Nationwide 4G LTE.
- Costs 50,000 Dong ($2.50), or $2.50, for the SIM card fee.
- You can purchase 2 GB of data at 79,000 Dong ($4.50) with 30 days of coverage.
- You can purchase 6 GB of data at 199,999 Dong ($8.80) with 30 days of coverage.
- To cancel your plan, text “HUY” to 888, or the program will auto-renew.
Unlike Viettel, MobiFone, and Vinaphone, Vietnamobile is not state-owned. Vietnamobile is also smaller than the other three providers in terms of subscribers and revenue. However, this does not mean that they cannot offer good plans for travelers. Below I the plan breakdown of Vietnamobile:
- 4G/LTE coverage
- You can purchase top-ups in stores or online.
- To add data to your package, text “DK Package Code” to 345.
- If you want to cancel your data package, send “HUY Package Code” to 345.
- 5,000 Dong ($0.22 USD) for 4 GB for 1 Day.
- 90,000 Dong ($3.90 USD) for 4 GB per Day, up to 120 GB for one month.
- 10,000 Dong ($0.43 USD) for 1 GB for one month.
- 25,000 Dong ($1.08 USD) for 2 GB for one month.
- 40,000 Dong ($1.73 USD) for 4 GB for one month.
- 70,000 Dong ($3.03 USD) for 8 GB for one month.
- 90,000 Dong ($3.90 USD) for 12 GB for one month.
- 125,000 Dong ($5.41 USD) for 20 GB for one month.
- 200,000 Dong ($8.66 USD) for 40 GB for one month.
Other Connectivity Options When Traveling in Vietnam
The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Vietnam
To get the most out of your money, I would recommend getting a local SIM card of either Viettel or Vinaphone.
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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