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Best SIM card for Vietnam: Comparison guide

Knowing how to use a Vietnam SIM card will help you during your trip. Learn about the options offered by Holafly, Viettel, MobiFone and Vinaphone.

Julio Osuna

November 6, 2023

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When talking about Vietnam, we can tell this is a place worth visiting in Asia. The country’s history, alongside its architecture, is what attracts people most, and while being there, people have to find a way to communicate. That’s why we will talk today about SIM card for Vietnam. The solution to avoid the high cost of international roaming or renting a pocket wifi and still stay connected to the internet.

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What is the Best SIM Card for Tourists Visiting Vietnam?

When choosing a Vietnam SIM card, tourists should consider the amount of data, connection speed, coverage, price, and accessibility. The best prepaid SIM card for Vietnam combines all these factors into a single offer. Holafly is an online store that offers virtual SIM cards for Vietnam that meet all of these criteria.

We know that any Vietnam prepaid SIM card uses local networks to work, no matter if you buy them in international online stores or if you do it when you arrive in the country. Three Vietnamese mobile carrier have their own networks in Vietnam: Vinaphone, Viettel, and MobiFone.

With this, it is clear that the two ways we have to access local networks are

  • In a physical store: This is the most classic method, and we can acquire data packages through local stores or counters selling SIM cards for tourists.
  • With online stores: We can quickly tell that they have been taking over the market for quite some time, and Holafly is proof of it, as they offer international tourist SIM card.

Holafly embedded SIM for Vietnam with unlimited data

Something we just mentioned before is the eSIM cards for Vietnam or virtual SIM cards. When talking about them, we have to keep in mind they work in the same way as the physical SIM card many people have used before, but it is entirely digital. For this reason, they are ideal products for travelers thanks to the flexibility included and the quality of service maintained.

eSIM with unlimited data in Vietnam
Digital SIM card with unlimited data in Vietnam. Source: Holafly.

Now, these International eSIMs work on last-gen devices and give people most of the features they need when traveling. That’s why we say it is an excellent alternative for tourists to use instead of something completely different. 

  • Instant activation via QR code, no need to install a physical SIM card. 
  • Unlimited mobile data package for any of the plans for Vietnam.
  • Hotspot: enjoy 500 MB per day to share with others.
  • You will be connected to 4G LTE networks with MobiFone and Vinaphone support, some of the best mobile network providers.
  • You can extend days of use for your service by recharging your eSIM with top-ups.
  • It is cheaper than roaming service and more accessible to buy than local Vietnam SIM card packages.
  • There aren’t significant changes regarding how the cellphone works compared to any local prepaid data package.
  • People have to be connected to an internet connection to activate SIM cards.
  • Holafly services come with 24/7 customer support in more than five languages and multiple communication channels. 

There’s something we haven’t mentioned here. Compared to standard tourist SIM cards, eSIMs won’t give people a new phone number, so if you need to make a phone call, try having a second choice available. 

You may be interested to know about the best SIM card for Uganda

How much does a Holafly eSIM card for Vietnam cost?

One of the most important things when choosing is how much mobile data you need and how much you expect to pay. Holafly has unlimited data packages for Vietnam that you can customize with any number of days between 1 and 90, each with different durations. Note that if you travel to multiple Asian countries, you can choose a data package with regional coverage.

Days of UseMobile DataPrice (USD)
1 dayUnlimited data$6
5 daysUnlimited data$21
10 daysUnlimited data$37
15 daysUnlimited data$51
20 daysUnlimited data$62
30 daysUnlimited data$75
60 daysUnlimited data$107
90 daysUnlimited data$139
Table Nª 1. Price comparison of the different virtual SIM plans of Holafly for Vietnam.

Holafly eSIM card for Asia cost

Days of UseMobile DataPrice (USD)
5 daysUnlimited data$27
7 daysUnlimited data$34
10 daysUnlimited data$37
15 daysUnlimited data$47
20 daysUnlimited data$54
30 daysUnlimited data$79
Table Nª2. Price comparison of the different virtual SIM plans of Holafly for Asia.

To finish the section, this online store offers multiple methods to purchase their services like debit and credit card payment, Gpay, Apple Pay, Paypal, and more. You can also view prices in various international currencies.

Vietnamese SIM cards from local phone companies

Once in the country, we can buy the offers for tourists that Vietnam’s mobile providers offer. You will find stores and kiosks selling SIM cards nationwide and at major airports. In either case, you will be asked for personal information, register your SIM card according to the local scheme, and confirm that your device is unlocked and compatible with the local networks.

MobiFone Vietnam SIM card 

MobiFone is one of the largest telecommunication companies located in Vietnam. For people, this is one of the safest options to use there. But what can people expect from using a SIM card in Vietnam from MobiFone? 

  • 4G network coverage.
  • Proper customer service through different platforms in English and local languages.
  • Easy to recharge through different top-up options.
  • You can buy a new Vietnamese SIM card without activating a package

We can tell this might be a good option for people living in Vietnam by how they sell SIM cards, but for travelers, Holafly can give them a far better experience due to everything they have to offer to people.

MobiFone SIM card Vietnam price

MobiFone SIM card for Vietnam price
MobiFone SIM card price. Source: MobiFone.

You can buy various packages to activate on MobiFone SIM cards; we inform you that none offers unlimited data like Holafly. We will focus on the short-term top-ups that tourists can purchase.

  • HD70 at 70.000 VND/month (approximately 3 USD/month) with a 6GB package
  • HD90 at 90.000 VND/month (approximately 4 USD/month) with an 8GB package
  • HD120 at 120.000 VND/month (approximately 5 USD/month) with a 10GB package
  • HD300 at 300.000 VND/month (approximately 13 USD/month) with a 33GB package
  • HD400 at 400.000 VND/month (approximately 17 USD/month) with a 44GB package
  • HD500 at 500.000 VND/month (approximately 20 USD/month) with a 55GB package

As you can see, most packages are inexpensive even though they do not include unlimited data; plus, you will have to activate a month of usage even if your stay is shorter. You must also add the Vietnam SIM card cost of approximately $2.

Viettel Vietnam SIM cards for Tourists

Let’s talk about the second alternative on our list. Vietnamese SIM card from Viettel, the biggest telecommunications company in the country. It is pretty much one of the best options available for locals to use. Let’s see what their SIM card gives.

  • Viettel offers 4G and 5G internet speed.
  • You can get a Vietnamese phone number. 
  • Offers coverage in different countries with their roaming service.
  • Cheaper than other companies in Vietnam

Despite being known as the largest mobile operator in the country, it has similar offers to other local companies. Also, the accessibility for tourist customers is not so good; much of the information is only in the local language, unlike Holafly’s multilingual online store.

Viettel SIM card for Vietnam prices

Viettel SIM card for Vietnam price
Viettel SIM card price. Source: Viettel.

Viettel’s offerings can be considered one of the best Vietnam SIM cards because of the many top-up options you can choose from. After purchasing a SIM card (approximately $2), registering it, and inserting it into your phone, you can activate any data package with enough credit. Some of the most interesting data packages for visitors include

  • ST10K at 10.000 VND/day (approximately 0.5 USD/day) with a 2GB package
  • ST15K at 15.000 VND/3 days (approximately 1 USD/3 days) with an 3GB package
  • ST30K at 30.000 VND/7 days (approximately 2 USD/7 days) with a 7GB package
  • ST70K at 70.000 VND/month (approximately 3.5 USD/month) with a 15GB package
  • ST120K at 120.000 VND/month (approximately 5 USD/month) with a 60GB package
  • ST150K at 1500.000 VND/month (approximately 7 USD/month) with a 90GB package

Activation can be done via SMS after you have entered enough credit. Since you have to follow the instructions in the local language, we recommend you to ask for help in any of the mobile carrier’s store near you or where you have purchased the SIM card.

Vinaphone prepaid SIM card for Vietnam

Finally, we find Vinaphone, the third operator with its own network in Vietnam; like the previous ones, they offer prepaid SIM cards that we can buy without data plans. You can activate the package later if you see fit or when buying the SIM to request one of those available. In any case, when you install the chip in your phone, you will have benefits such as:

  • You will be connected to high-speed 4G networks.
  • Some of the top-ups include phone calls to local numbers. 
  • You can activate services via SMS 
  • Include a mobile App for customer service

Holafly’s virtual SIM cards for Vietnam are supported by the 4G LTE high-speed data networks of Vinaphone and MobiFone, two of the most stable in the territory.

Vinaphone SIM card for Vietnam price

Vinaphone prepaid SIM card for Vietnam
Vinaphone prepaid SIM cards. Source: Vinaphone.

The scheme with Vinaphone is similar to the one used by the other local mobile carriers. First, you must buy a SIM card, go through the chip registration process, and confirm that you have an unlocked phone compatible with their networks. After this, you can activate one of the data plans. They also have many options, but we will point out some ideal for travelers.

  • VD50 at 50.000 VND/week (approximately 0.5 USD/week) with a 2GB/day package
  • VD100 at 100.000 VND/week (approximately 1 USD/week) with a 3GB/day package
  • VD90 at 90.000 VND/month (approximately 2 USD/month ) with a 1GB/day package
  • VD120M at 120.000 VND/month (approximately 3.5 USD/month) with a 1GB/day package and free use of Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok.
  • VD120N at 120.000 VND/month (approximately 5 USD/month) with a 1.5GB/day package
  • VD150 at 1500.000 VND/month (approximately 7 USD/month) with a 2GB/day package.

It should be noted that after you consume the daily coupon, you will have to wait for the next day to continue browsing because your connection stops. An alternative to having unlimited connections in your cell phone is Holafly’s eSIM for Vietnam. No matter how much data you use, you won’t lose internet access.

Where to buy prepaid SIM cards inside Vietnam International Airports

When we visit the country, it is expected that the first place we meet is Vietnam’s International Airports. So we will find ourselves buying a SIM card in these places very often. There will be different sales kiosks or official stores from local operators. The good thing is that both will share similar prices. 

Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Vietnam
Tan Son Nhat International Airport. Source: Unsplash.

One of the most used pickup locations is inside Tan Son Nhat International Airport, located in Ho Chi Minh City. Depending on the MVNO or local operator you choose, you will find SIM counters in locations such as:

  • Arrival Hall – International Terminal,  SASCO Travel Shop
  • The terminal exit after baggage claim has several kiosks
Noi Bai International-Airport in Vietnam
Noi Bai International Airport. Source:

Another of the most used airports by tourists is the Hanoi Airport, officially known as Noi Bai International Airport. Also, within its facilities, you can look for offers from the best local operators in several SIM counters such as those located in:

  • International Arrival Hall A2, turn left, and you will see a counter behind the escalator.
  • Arrival Hall A2, turn right and find various counter
  • Arrival Hall A1, turn left and find various counter

SIM Card Registration in Vietnam

SIM card registration in Vietnam is mandatory for both locals and foreigners. This requirement was implemented in 2016 to curb using unregistered SIM cards for illegal activities. For tourists, the requirements are pretty general, such as

  • A passport or other valid identification document
  • Purchase a SIM card
  • Have the Registration Form (provided by the mobile network provider)

The process may take approximately 15 minutes after you purchase the SIM card. Depending on the operator, you may have to pay a registration fee, which is no more than $4. There is a limit of five SIM cards you can register per passport. If you have questions about what else to pack to travel to Vietnam, we also have recommendations for you!

Recommendations on the best SIM card for Vietnam

Holafly eSIM home
Holafly virtual SIM card website. Source: Holafly.

We have come to another vital part, and that is that after knowing different providers and ways to buy a SIM card, how can we guarantee to choose the best one? Well, there are some recommendations that you can follow so that you won’t be taken by surprise when you run out of data or have connection problems.

  • Buy virtual or physical SIM cards online before you get to Vietnam. This is basically so that you can calmly evaluate the options and not waste time once you are at the airport or city.
  • There are many data packages, but it is best to take unlimited browsing options. This way, you can use your phone for everything you need without worrying about running out of your package.
  • You have to confirm that your phone is unlocked to use local networks before you get a SIM card in Vietnam. 
  • With remote providers like Holafly, you can install your eSIM before you arrive, but you must turn on or activate data only when you are in Vietnam.
  • Find out which SIM cards work best in your device; these options can be traditional SIM cards or eSIMs.

Following this general knowledge, you can buy your traditional SIM card for Vietnam without any problems but do not forget to try the Holafly eSIM cards for Vietnam. If you have these options at hand, you will discover that it is by far the best way to stay connected on your travels!

Is it better to choose a physical SIM or an eSIM for travel?

Whether it’s better to choose a physical SIM or an eSIM for travel depends on your individual needs and preferences. However, the opinion of many users is that eSIMs make it much easier to connect when moving between countries, even if you are not a frequent traveler. To help you understand why, here is a table comparing SIM cards vs eSIM features.

FeaturePhysical SIMeSIM
ConvenienceWidely available and accessible to purchase at local stores or kiosksIt can be bought and installed digitally from anywhere
FlexibilityIt can be easily swapped between different devicesIt can store multiple profiles and switch between them without physical swapping
SecurityCan be physically lost or stolenEmbedded in the device and cannot be removed
CompatibilityCompatible with a broader range of devicesSupported by a growing number of devices, but not all
ActivationRequires physical insertion into the deviceIt can be activated remotely through software
Table Nª3. Comparison between physical SIM cards and eSIMs.

Frequent questions about the best SIM card for Vietnam

How can I get a SIM card for Vietnam?

Nowadays, there are two options for people to get a SIM card. It could be through an online store or in a physical store. Whenever possible, it is best to purchase your service before you arrive in the country so that you can be connected as soon as you get off the plane.

What if I have a problem with my SIM card?

It will depend on whom people bought the SIM card. In this case, the Holafly virtual SIM card comes with 24/7 customer support for any problem. If you use another provider, the best thing to do is to check the channels they offer for problem resolution and choose the most convenient one to communicate with.

Which are the main operators in Vietnam?

The three leading operators in Vietnam are Viettel, MobiFone, and Vinaphone. They have their own communications networks and currently offer 4G LTE connection speeds. These carriers support Holafly’s virtual SIM cards for Vietnam.

Why should I buy a SIM card for Vietnam? 

Compared to other alternatives for travelers, such as international roaming or renting a pocket WiFi SIM cards are still a more economical and convenient solution. With roaming, the costs can be excessive, and with a mobile hotspot, you will always have the obstacle of keeping an extra device with you to have an internet connection.