Sim card and 4G LTE mobile internet in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh
What is the official and least risky process of purchasing a new sim card with a data bundle in Vietnam? Learn more in the following short guide.
Certainly, everyone wants to be online anytime and anywhere in the digital world of nowadays, even during backpacking around SE Asia. In Vietnam, various operators are providing cheap services on a relatively reliable 4G LTE network. Data bundles cost here a few bucks. However, it's always good to know what to focus on and what to avoid.
Tourists arriving at the international airports in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi can purchase a sim card right in the airport arrivals hall at the official distributor's stand. In Ho Chi Minh, you can find the Viettel mobile operator's counter right in the arrivals hall. At airports, of course, it is necessary to count with a premium surcharge to the standard price.
Specifically, in Ho Chi Minh, I would avoid buying sim cards in the central Backpacker zone located around Pham Ngu Lao street in District 1. As is the case of tourist areas in other Asian big cities, even here you can get scammed by a herd of scammers and cunning dealers. On Pham Ngu Lao, you won't have any trouble to come across tempting sim card deals in one of the many travel agencies, tourist centers (trying to look official) or in the souvenir stands.
Keep in mind, however, according to the Vietnamese law it is necessary to register every newly purchased sim card at the moment of activation. The resellers will sell you an already pre-activated sim card under a foreign name, which may or may not work for a long time. According to the feedback from tourists, it is so common that purchased credit on the sim card does not have the declared validity or even, sim card has been blocked by the operator a few days later. And again here, expect a higher tourist margin to the standard price.
The official procedure for tourists, therefore, recommends to buy and register sim card directly at the branch of any operator and avoid any inconveniences.
From my own experience, I can strongly recommend the services of Vietnam's largest Viettel operator. Network coverage is perfect, and you will never have the problem of getting a top-up coupon in any kiosk.
In Ho Chi Minh, look for an official Viettel store near Pham Ngu Lao at 20 Durong 3/2 (map) or 1.5 km further down the same street at 298 Durong 3/2 (map, conveniently take bus no. 02 from Pham Ngu Lao (5,000 VND) - use Google Maps for timetables). In the store at 298 Durong, we got our new sim card with an LTE package absolutely without any problems. Very professional staff spoke good English, and everything was processed within 10 minutes.
Take a passport with you, of which a branch employee makes a copy during the registration process. After successful registration, you can top up your credit and choose any data package as per your needs. A Viettel employee did everything.
Price of services
Activation of the new sim card, 50,000 VND
1 GB, LTE, 40,000 VND, 30 days
3 GB, LTE, 70,000 VND, 30 days
5 GB, LTE, 90,000 VND, 30 days
8 GB, LTE, 125,000 VND, 30 days
30 GB, LTE, 300,000 VND, 30 days
(Consider 10,000 VND = 0,43 USD)
For more up-to-date information, please visit the Viettel official website (https://viettel.vn/4g)
To check the status of the data limit, send KTTK to 191
LTE mobile internet is cheap in Vietnam, therefore buying a sim card with a data package is definitely worth it!
Viettel store, Ho Chi Minh, 298 Durong 3/2