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Vietnam Travel Tips: Where to Buy a SIM Card in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon)

where-to-buy-sim-card-in-ho-chi-minh

A local SIM card in your journey to the bustling city - Ho Chi Minh City, is a must preparation as it would make your trip more convenient with easy access to local networks as well as quick calls or messages in urgent situations. We hope that this guide will help you by suggesting places to buy as well as some essential tips.

Why You Should Buy a SIM Card in Ho Chi Minh City

The usefulness of a SIM card is obvious when you may need to call for help in an emergency, search for locations using GPS or book your taxis. Moreover, when you travel alone, you may feel some sense of isolation, staying connected to your beloved family members and friends back home to share your moments and let them know you are safe will help you overcome loneliness on a trip.

Since international mobile service can be expensive and free wifi connection may not always be available, obtaining a local SIM card should be taken into consideration. Fortunately, Vietnam is considered to have cheap mobile data costs. A local SIM card could save your budget and make your trip more convenient.

Overview of Vietnam SIM Card

where to buy sim card in ho chi minh 1

In November 2016, the Vietnamese government enforced new rules for local SIM cards registration. Consequently, you should only purchase a SIM card from trustworthy stores where you need to show your passport for registration.

There are 3 main network brands with good service and wide coverage in Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam: Viettel, Vinaphone, and Mobifone. While Viettel has the largest network coverage, even in the rural area, Vinaphone and Mobifone offer better prices and promotions.

A little notice for you when buying a SIM card is to check if your phone can be used abroad, unlock your phone and show your ID or passport information to register a new SIM card.

Where to Buy a SIM Card in Ho Chi Minh City

Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN)

where to buy sim card in ho chi minh tan son nhat airport

After arriving at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, you could easily notice the telecommunication booths at the arrival exit gate. Buying there is the quickest way to obtain a SIM card as you will not need to walk around the city to find the place. Another advantage of purchasing a SIM card there is the English-speaking staff. They could eliminate the language barrier and provide you helpful instruction to the registration process which only takes 5 minutes.

Remember to ask necessary information about the prices, mobile plan as well as 3G or 4G data package if needed. Unless you need to make local calls, buying only a mobile data plan with a 3G or 4G network is enough.

Official Mobile Network Stores (Viettel, Vinaphone, Mobifone)

It is advisory to buy the SIM card at official carrier stores to avoid the unexpected shut down of an unregistered or illegally pre-activated card. Tourist SIM available in a short period (from 15 to 60 days) is offered at a reasonable price which would be suitable for travelers with a short stay.

The average price of tourist SIM is VND 100,000 - VND 200,000. However, the call minutes, number of regular SMS messages, and data plans are different across carriers. If you need more than the package offers, you can buy the top-up cards for VND 50,000, VND 100,000, or VND 200,000. Visit our previous guide SIM Cards and Mobile Data 3G/4G Plan in Vietnam for more detailed SIM prices and data packages.

These are some stores in Ho Chi Minh City center of 3 main mobile networks: Viettel, Vinaphone, and Mobifone where you can buy and register your SIM.

1. Viettel

where to buy sim card in ho chi minh viettel store

166C-D-E Tran Hung Dao, District 1
174 Tran Quang Khai, District 1

Opening hours: 8 AM - 8 PM

2. Vinaphone

where to buy sim card in ho chi minh vinaphone store

12/1 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, District 1
80B Nguyen Du Street, District 1
5 Nguyen Van Binh Street, District 1

Opening hours: 8 AM - 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM - 5 PM

3. Mobifone

where to buy sim card in ho chi minh mobiphone store

80 Nguyen Du, District 1 (next to the Saigon Central Post Office)
B1 Floor, Block 11A1, Vincom A Building - 171 Dong Khoi, District 1
72 Le Thanh Ton, District 1

Opening hours: 7:30 AM - 6 PM (Mon-Fri), 8:30 AM - 4 PM (Sat and Sun)

Mobile shops/vendors

Besides the official service center, the SIM card is also easy to find in mobile shops that are located everywhere around the city. However, most of these vendors cannot register for you. That means a SIM card bought from them is the pre-activated card with an attractive promotion that is you can deactivate it at any time. We would not recommend purchasing a SIM card from them unless you need it immediately and for short usages. But you can buy the scratch cards to top-up credit from these mobile shops because they don't need any registration or activation.

To have fun trips in Ho Chi Minh City, check out our authentic motorbike tours with professional local guides!


Summary of Vietnam Travel Tips: Where to Buy a SIM Card in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon)

The convenience of telecommunication services in providing access to people and the internet has greatly made travel easier especially when travel to a different country, a different culture. That is why on your trip to Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City, in particular, having an additional SIM card in your mobile phone is highly recommended.

Check out other Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City Travel Tips:

Where to Buy a SIM Card in Hanoi

First time in Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnamese Currency

Tipping in Vietnam

Getting around Ho Chi Minh City

 

 
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Comments

Guest - Maisy on Wednesday, 29 January 2020 16:05

what sim do you recommend for motorbiking in the mountains in northern vietnam?

what sim do you recommend for motorbiking in the mountains in northern vietnam?
Guest - Grace on Saturday, 17 November 2018 20:05

Hi! May I know the operating hours of Viettel at the airport? Will I be able to buy a sim card in midnight (1am)?

Hi! May I know the operating hours of Viettel at the airport? Will I be able to buy a sim card in midnight (1am)?
Guest - An on Thursday, 24 October 2019 07:31

Should buy online
He will ship when you arrive hotel.

Should buy online He will ship when you arrive hotel.
Guest - Julie on Monday, 19 November 2018 18:53

Hi Grace, it doesn't open at 1 am. Hours are 8 AM - 8 PM.

Hi Grace, it doesn't open at 1 am. Hours are 8 AM - 8 PM.
Guest - Visitor on Wednesday, 17 October 2018 15:58

Never buy from the store at the right side after you exiting the one in front of the 1st Citibank ATM... they will give false you false information. They said that I have 4Gig and 25min call everyday but that's not true. Also their simcard "Vietnam Mobile" sucks, barely have signal even if you are staying in District 1 center.

Never buy from the store at the right side after you exiting the one in front of the 1st Citibank ATM... they will give false you false information. They said that I have 4Gig and 25min call everyday but that's not true. Also their simcard "Vietnam Mobile" sucks, barely have signal even if you are staying in District 1 center.
Guest - Another guy on Thursday, 24 January 2019 21:00

I can confirm that this stand sells fake sim cards that only work for a few hours. They get away with it simply on how the airport is designed making it impossible or terribly inconvenient to return and confront them once you've discovered they just sold you a bum card.

I can confirm that this stand sells fake sim cards that only work for a few hours. They get away with it simply on how the airport is designed making it impossible or terribly inconvenient to return and confront them once you've discovered they just sold you a bum card.
Guest - juan on Saturday, 13 October 2018 04:31

HI. I would like to get a three months card with lot's of date for whatssapp and texts.
Which one you recommend. Do you think if bringing the card back to Canada I can still use it for texts and whatssapp

HI. I would like to get a three months card with lot's of date for whatssapp and texts. Which one you recommend. Do you think if bringing the card back to Canada I can still use it for texts and whatssapp
i Tour Vietnam on Saturday, 13 October 2018 15:30

Hi Juan, bringing the local SIM card back to Canada won't work because the network coverage is out of area. You can still use Whatsapp overseas with your phone as long as you have WiFi, you don't necessarily need to have a SIM with mobile data for it to work. Hope this helps.

Zoey, i Tour Vietnam team

Hi Juan, bringing the local SIM card back to Canada won't work because the network coverage is out of area. You can still use Whatsapp overseas with your phone as long as you have WiFi, you don't necessarily need to have a SIM with mobile data for it to work. Hope this helps. Zoey, i Tour Vietnam team
Guest - Shameem Angullia on Friday, 14 September 2018 16:42

Hi there,may i know which telco that ve best 4g connection?i will be arriving hcm on 21st sept 2018 for 5 days.thanks.

Hi there,may i know which telco that ve best 4g connection?i will be arriving hcm on 21st sept 2018 for 5 days.thanks.
Guest - Javier on Thursday, 13 September 2018 19:59

buenas tardes,
A hora estan abiertos los mostradores de viettel en el aeropuerto? Llego el domingo a las 7am
When are the counters of viettel open at the airport? I arrive on Sunday at 7am
Muchas gracias.
Thanks very much

buenas tardes, A hora estan abiertos los mostradores de viettel en el aeropuerto? Llego el domingo a las 7am When are the counters of viettel open at the airport? I arrive on Sunday at 7am Muchas gracias. Thanks very much
i Tour Vietnam on Thursday, 13 September 2018 21:11

Hello, the counters are operated individually so their hours vary. The standard working time is 8 AM - 5 PM. If you don't see an open counter inside of the airport, try checking the counters outside of the arrival hall. They are on the right side.

Hello, the counters are operated individually so their hours vary. The standard working time is 8 AM - 5 PM. If you don't see an open counter inside of the airport, try checking the counters outside of the arrival hall. They are on the right side.
Guest - Eric on Wednesday, 29 August 2018 09:39

Do not buy at Viettel counter. The counter is located left of the arrival hall after u exit the security scan! Just bought a sim card for vnd200,000 to found the sim card to be recycled and out of any credit. Head out to the pickup area and buy it at vnd100,000 at the counter left of the Pho noodle place. Hope everyone finds this helpful.

Do not buy at Viettel counter. The counter is located left of the arrival hall after u exit the security scan! Just bought a sim card for vnd200,000 to found the sim card to be recycled and out of any credit. Head out to the pickup area and buy it at vnd100,000 at the counter left of the Pho noodle place. Hope everyone finds this helpful.
Guest - Shasha on Wednesday, 12 September 2018 13:57

Thanks for the useful info! really appreciate it

Thanks for the useful info! really appreciate it
Guest - Luis Tyler on Saturday, 23 December 2017 13:17

I will visit Ho Chi Minh in January 2018. Thanks a lot for sharing this helpful information!

I will visit Ho Chi Minh in January 2018. Thanks a lot for sharing this helpful information!
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