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Prepaid SIM card for Asia: Where to Buy in 2024?

Keep connected 24/7, so in this article we’ll tell you everything about the Asia SIM card, a great option to stay connected without roaming.

January 1, 2024

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If one of your plans is to go on a tour through Asia without losing a single minute of the internet, you are in the right place! A SIM card for Asia can help you with this. Visiting Asia is one of the biggest dreams of so many people, because, in this vast continent, there are some of the most exciting and advanced countries of the world, without mentioning its incredible cultures, that can be very different than those that in the West.

Something unique that makes it even more special. Of course, you want to remain connected 24/7. In this article, we’ll tell you everything about the Asia SIM card, a great option to stay connected without spending so much money on international roaming.

We will also allow you to learn about the new technology and evolution of the physical SIM, the eSIM, or embedded SIM card for Asia. With this, you have all the benefits of a traditional chip but with more ease of purchase and installation. Both options are cheaper than roaming. If you want to stay some days in South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, or any other country in the continent to depend on roaming to have internet and your operator has no coverage, it would be terrible!

eSIM for Asia

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Where can I buy a SIM card for Asia?

You don’t have to worry about a complicated purchase. Getting a SIM card for Asia is the best way to avoid high prices like roaming or renting a pocket wifi. Also, the number of stores where we can find them and that we as tourists can use them has greatly increased in the last few years. You have many alternatives, each with its own advantages, and it is just a matter of deciding which one suits your needs. 

SIM Asia

Basically, as visitors in Asia, we have three ways in which we can buy a prepaid SIM card for our trip. This may vary a little bit depending on the countries you visit. Although the ways will be the same, only the providers may be different. During this article, we will give more information on each of the alternatives for you to take into account the following:

  • Buy an international SIM card through an online store before you start your trip to Asia.
  • Buy a local SIM card once you are in Asia with some of the phone companies in the country where you arrive, like China Mobile, SK Telecom, or NTT Japan.
  • Finally, use the new eSIM technology; you can buy before or during your trip through online stores like Holafly.

Following this, if you plan to go to the south of Asia, you may be interested in acquiring an eSIM card for India or a great Indonesian eSIM option. These alternatives let you avoid paying high international roaming charges

Buy before you travel

On many occasions, the most recommended option is to use online stores to buy your prepaid SIM card for Asia before your trip. This has the convenience of making the purchase and installation from your home while still having good service during your adventure. Also, buying a local SIM card every time you move from one country can be a chore if you plan to visit various destinations. In online stores, it is common to find multi-country options. You will have coverage with a single SIM card for Asia. 

They have many advantages, but it is crucial always to confirm which service provider the online store you choose uses. International SIM cards, even when purchased outside of Asia, will always use a local phone network to operate. For this reason, your browsing speed and coverage depend entirely on that carrier. Lastly, verify that the store will ship to your country. If you did not have a SIM card before your trip, you could not connect to the internet. 

A solution for these shipping and availability situations is to use Holafly’s eSIM Asia. This online store offers immediate delivery thanks to the virtual nature of the eSIM cards and also has coverage from the best carriers in the continent. We will discuss Holafly eSIMs in more detail in another section.

Pros of buying a data plan for abroad before traveling

To learn more about the benefits of buying a SIM card or virtual SIM card before being abroad, you can read these points in favor:

  • Internet in Asia as soon as you arrive

You can have an internet connection to stay connected in Asia as soon as you get off the plane. Because you will have the SIM card before your trip, you will be able to install it at home and not waste time looking for a physical store once you arrive on the continent.

  • You will be able to shop more easily at stores in your language.

Asia is a vast continent, and several languages are spoken throughout the territory, so you will have to communicate every time you move from country to country to buy a SIM card. Online stores usually have websites and customer service in several languages, which is ideal for all types of travelers.

  • A cheaper solution than others.

There is no doubt that prepaid SIM cards and eSIM are less expensive than using international roaming or renting a pocket wifi. In addition, having a multi-country alternative allows us to make a single purchase to stay connected throughout the trip.

Buy your tourist SIM card in Asia

Like everything, buying when you land has its advantages. For example, you will have a wide variety of brands to choose from and a wide variety of prices. However, as we told you before, be very careful which brand you choose since it may not work properly or may only have coverage in the country where you purchased it. Remember to request as much information as possible when making the purchase, so you will not be surprised and you will acquire just what you need.

China Mobile

This is one of the leading phone companies in the Chinese territory and has some prepaid SIM cards for tourists with coverage in Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. You can find low-data packages with 1.5GB of usage and high-data packages with 4GB of usage. You will be connected to a 4G/3G network, subject to the availability of coverage in the destination country. The duration of these packages is 7, 8, or 10 days; however, in case of re-activation, it must be done in the same territory where it was purchased in the first place. An eSIM for China from this carrier is only available for locals.

SK Telecom

One of South Korea’s largest phone companies has a wide range of products that tourists can purchase. Their prepaid SIM card for tourists comes in 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 30 days ticket-to-use options. Each comes with unlimited local data at a maximum speed of 10 Mbps. They also include unlimited calls to local numbers from the five-day option onwards. Finally, you can pre-order them on their website and pick them up at any international airport. If you do not pre-order, you can buy it in a physical store in the city, but you will have to do the SIM registration process once there.

NTT Japan

Finally, we have the first telephone company in Japan that, of course, has a tourist SIM card for visitors to the country. In terms of options, we can find packages of eight, twenty, and thirty days of use with 3GB, 6GB, and 9GB of high-speed navigation, respectively. You must remember that your phone must be able to work under band 1 LTE. Otherwise, you will not be able to use this SIM card. It is good to know that in Japan, NTT is the main operator, but there are nine other MVNOs in which you can also find options for foreigners. These prepaid SIM cards can be reserved thirty days in advance and picked up at one of the available international airports.

How much does a SIM card cost to travel to Asia?

To be more accurate, we need to know what destinations and what kind of services you will use to answer how much you can pay for a SIM card for tourists in Asia. However, considering the options from China Mobile, SK Telecom, and NTT Japan, there is a varied price range. You can expect to pay between $5 for low data packages and days of use and up to $60 for data packages within a month of use. It all depends on the type of user you are and which countries on the continent you will be visiting, but you are sure to find an option for you!

Holafly eSIM for Asia: a great alternative.

International travel eSIM for Asia. Source: Holafly.

The time has come to introduce you to what has become the best option for many tourists: the embedded SIM card or eSIM. These are a digital evolution of the traditional SIM card with the ease of not needing a physical installation in your phone. Being completely virtual, online stores like Holafly allow you to buy and install your eSIM for Asia in just minutes anywhere in the world. It has all the benefits of an international SIM card with the added advantage that you don’t have to wait for a package to be shipped.

In addition to being more versatile, eSIMs have very competitive rates compared to other alternatives, so you save time and money. Holafly also has multi-country options, such as Asia, and single-destination options in over 170 countries worldwide. Just visit their website to find all the destinations and plans available. This online store offers an Internet connection and seamless communication.

Advantages and disadvantages of Virtual SIM cards


  • Internet in minutes, wherever you are

This is probably the only option allowing you to purchase your virtual SIM card before or during your trip without hassle. You need internet access and go to Holafly’s online store to purchase your eSIM. Find portals in more than five languages to make the process easier.

  • Solutions adapted to travelers

You will find that there is always an ideal plan for your days of stay so you won’t have to overpay for a service you won’t use. Not only are there regional solutions, but you will also find eSIM for Thailand and many other destinations on the continent!

  • You can repurchase the packages quickly.

One of the biggest advantages of Holafly’s eSIM for Asia is that in case you run out of service, you can purchase a top-up to extend it for the period you need. This will be activated directly on your eSIM without you having to go through the process of installing it again on your phone.


  • You must have a compatible phone.

Not all phones are currently compatible with eSIM technology, so before buying one, you have to check if you can use it. To help you in this task, we share a list of compatible devices.

How much does the eSIM for Asia cost?

The eSIM card for Asia that Holafly offers very competitive rates. These are the following:

Days of useMobile dataPrice (USD)
5Unlimited data$27
7Unlimited data$34
10Unlimited data$37
15Unlimited data$47
20Unlimited data$54
30Unlimited data$79
Prices eSIM for Asia

The Holafly eSIM card uses the main network of each destination, and it includes 11 destinations: South Korea, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Laos.

Frequent questions about the SIM card for Asia

To conclude, we solve some of the frequent questions that most travelers have when they acquire a SIM card for Asia. If you have more doubts, leave a question in the comments!

Is my smartphone SIM card compatible?

You must verify that your cellphone is compatible with the two SIMs. This can be done quickly through the Holafly chat, and they will help you find out.

What do I do if my SIM card doesn’t work in Asia?

If your digital SIM card doesn’t work or you are inconvenienced, you can always ask for help through the Holafly customer service. They will answer no matter the place or time. If your virtual SIM card is not from Holafly, we recommend contacting the supplier.

What does the packet include?

All the shipments include the SIM card, a metallic piece to eject the SIM you currently use, and a card with instructions in case you have to configure your mobile’s APN.

How can I keep my WhatsApp number?

It is easy! To keep your WhatsApp number, you don’t need to configure anything.

SIM card for another destination

Don’t forget to visit our other articles about SIM cards for other countries to travel to: