Updated May 14, 2019

Where to Get the Best Phone Sim in Vietnam

Find the best phone sims in Vietnam with lots of data.

For modern phone usage today, data is essential. Especially if you’re traveling abroad, many people in Vietnam use Facebook and WhatsApp to communicate over traditional texting. Luckily Vietnam has excellent coverage for both 3g and 4g networks.

Even when everything is in Vietnamese getting a new sim is easy if you follow this guide.

Firstly Viettel is the market leader for phone companies in Vietnam with 40% of the market share and the best coverage, even in remote parts of the country. Looking for Viettel signs and going with them is your best bet.

Where to go what to bring

If your first stop in the country is Hanoi there are plenty of Viettel stores in the old quarter and near Hoan Kiem lake. As it is such a popular area for tourists make sure you’re getting the deal you want and not a more expensive ‘tourist package.’

Alternatively, if you’re in Ho Chi Minh City, a reliable store is at 20 Đường 3 Tháng 2, Phường 12, District 10. Just copy the address or search ‘Viettel store into Google Maps to find your nearest store. However, if you can’t do that because you don’t have internet yet, try buying a coffee in one of the local cafes; free public wifi is very common around town. If you’re just after data, you may not even need a sim.

Head on down to the nearest store and remember to bring your passport – it’s a necessary step when you get a sim for the first time. We’ve listed some of the best packages to choose from below. Because of the language barrier we recommend writing what you want down on a piece of paper along with the price, so there’s no confusion. Just make it clear what package you want, and they’ll be able to install it for you.

Buying a sim card in Vietnam

How it works

When you get the Sim card installed the next step is to put credit on your account. It’s important to know how much the package you want costs because you actually buy it from the mobile app after you’ve put credit it on. Don’t worry, wherever you got the sim installed will handle it if you tell them what you want. Otherwise you can get a local friend to show you round the Vietnamese app.

Recommended Packages

Remember all the packages last 30 days. At the end of 30 days any unused data, texts, calls will get wiped, which is pretty standard for contracts around the world. After that, your contract will attempt to auto-renew, with any credit you have on your account. If there’s credit available you can just keep on going with your service.

If you let it lapse you can just head to any Viettel store and some select FamilyMart stores to top up and get more packages.

If you use a lot of data and want to get the best deal our recommendations from Viettel are:

Name Cost Data
MinMax9090,000 VND5GB
MinMax 200 200,000 VND15GB
MinMax 300300,000 VND30GB

All these packages have a throttle on the data if you run out. Which means when you use up your data allowance you can still use the web, at no extra charge, it’ll just be a lot slower.

Afterward, you’ve got your data package sorted at the store you can add additional calls/text credits if you need it. Having just a small amount of pay as you go credit is useful for when you use other apps like Grab or Vietnammm.com. 70,000 – 120,000 VND should be plenty for brief calls and texts.

Using a sim card in Vietnam

Alternatives

While Viettel is probably the most accessible and widely available option, there are alternatives.

Vinaphone is the second biggest phone company in Vietnam, and they offer similar packages which are widely available in stores. Their ‘BIG120’ and ‘BIG200’ offer 12GB or 22GB respectively. The difference here is that these are hard capped – once you run out of data, it’ll start eating into your credit until you run out.

If you don’t use that much data or you know that you’ll have access to wifi, then Mobifone is another option that has the ‘M70’ which is 4GB of data for just 70k a month.

Girl laughing whilst using phone

Important things to remember

  • Remember wifi is available EVERYWHERE. Even if you can’t get your phone contract up and running immediately you can rely on there being a connection at a local cafe or McDonalds. Especially if you’re just here for a few days.
  • Beware,  Viettel especially will send you lots of promotional texts, it’s a nationwide thing, and there’s not much that can be done.
  • Avoid Airports, still cheap but unreliable, and once in town, you can get a deal for much cheaper.
  • Whoever you decide to go with, make sure to download there app. Then you can log in while connected to mobile data to see your account details.
  • 4G/LTE is widespread in Vietnam but make sure you’ve got the correct 4G   sim. After that, you can choose your package from the app.
  • Popular stores in backpacker areas might also try to sell a tourist sim, they have worse rates. Specifically, ask for the package you want.
  • Some Family Marts will let you top up credit, which saves you a trip to the phone store.
  • Make sure to check everything is working before you leave the store, if it’s not, don’t be afraid to go back and ask what the problem is.

By Tyler Wood

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