Those visiting Vietnam for the first time are advised to purchase a SIM card upon arrival to ensure you can get connected everywhere as free Wifi may not be available in some public places and remote areas.
Where to buy
The easiest place to buy a SIM card in Vietnam is at the airport. You can find dozens of stalls selling SIM cards as soon as you leave the baggage claim area in any of Vietnam’s international airports.
You also can buy from your hotel/travel agency. Old Quarter Travel offer 60GB/30 days (2GB per day) for $8.7 ~ 200.000dong.
Many foreign tourists said buying the SIM card at Vietnamese airports is the easiest way as the staff there can speak English and can guide you to activate your SIM card.
“We bought one at the airport and it was very easy,” said Jane Cooper, a tourist from Australia. “They changed the SIMs for us, taped our old sims inside our cases and texted us the new numbers. So convenient when we had not thought to bring a pin to take the old ones out.”
In addition, tourists can visit official retail stores of mobile network operators to purchase a SIM card. You can visit their official websites to find store addresses.
Which carriers to choose from
There are now four main network operators in Vietnam offering prepaid SIM cards: Viettel, Vinaphone, Mobifone, and Vietnamobile.
Many experienced foreigners prefer Viettel as the best mobile network carrier as it has the largest 4G network in Vietnam with 42,000 broadcast stations.
If you’re staying in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, you can find a Viettel store located at the northwestern corner of Hoan Kiem Lake.
If you’re in Ho Chi Minh City there is a Viettel store located just south of Bui Vien Street, about a 15-minute walk from the Ben Thanh Market
“We bought Vietel and didn’t find one place without service, even up on the top of mountains, in cable cars, on rivers,” said Cooper. “I wish Australia had service like Vietnam.”
A Vietnamese SIM card and prepaid data package usually costs between VND150,000-VND350,000 ($6.50-$15) depending on how long you’re going to stay in Vietnam and how much mobile data you want.
Viettel offers the following SIM card packages for foreign tourists: 1GB for $4.5, 2GB for $9, 3GB for 15$ and 5GB for $22.