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Communication in Vietnam – Wifi, 3G, post, and phone – has vastly improved over the last 10 years, and continues to develop as the country rushes into modernity.
Even with a working phone, traveling in a new country can be a stressful experience. Our guides would be happy to do the work of getting you a SIM card and making sure you have access to phone and internet.
So you have decided to go to Vietnam and now you want to make sure you can make calls once you get there.
Before you start thinking about buying a SIM card, check with your cell-phone service provider to see if they offer an international plan. Some providers and plans offer free international data for a few weeks, while others have international-use deals.
The price of these deals varies greatly and is dependent on the user’s needs.
If you plan to be making a lot of phone calls or need to use large amounts of data, getting a local SIM card may be the cheaper option. Check first with your service provider to see if your current contract offers international services.
As with bank cards, be sure to alert your service provider if you are leaving the country. Before you go, make sure you are aware of any costs of using your mobile phone abroad, and any limitations you might face.
Once you arrive at the airport in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City you can purchase SIM cards straight from a vending machine.
If you are unsure about the size of the card you will need, or distrustful of the vending-machine system, simply walk around the airport until you see any store that sells mobile phones or mobile phone accessories. Expect the English speaking staff at these stores to be very helpful.
Should you not make it out of the airport with the SIM card you desire, fear not, as you can purchase one at any convenience store or phone store around the city.
Viettel is Vietnam’s largest phone service provider and you can find a Viettel SIM card for around $10. This generally means paying $3 for the card and $7 towards a balance. A moderate phone user can expect this amount to last for around a week.
If you plan to be using lots of data or streaming videos, it is a good idea to double the amount on the card. Once you pay for the SIM card you can simply return to any stall advertising Viettel products to ‘top it up’.
MobiFone and VinaFone are Viettel’s two main competitors. The staff here at Asia Highlights has had the best personal experience with Viettel, especially for data coverage, but all three companies will provide the same basic services. If you book a tour to Vietnam with Asia Highlights our guides will assist you with the phone-card process.
It is getting easier and easier to get online in Vietnam. Most hotels offer their customers useable Wifi networks, though some may come at an additional cost, so be sure to check before booking.
Around the city, larger coffee shops and cafés will have WIFI you can connect to if you pay for a drink.
If you are using internet in a café or public place, avoid doing banking or checking personal information.
Buu Diens or post offices are located liberally around every major city in Vietnam. Traveling to a more rural area? No problem, you will find them there too. The postal service is both well-developed and reliable.
You can send anything from a postcard to a package within the country for less than you would expect. Mailing items abroad, especially larger ones, can be more expensive. For overseas mail you might turn to a private company such as FedEx, DHL, or UPS.
Asia Highlights welcomes the chance to help you design your perfect trip to Vietnam. Our knowledgeable staff will assist you in selecting destinations, accommodations and activities that best suit your requirements.
Check out the following links to learn more about our tours and get a head start on planning your hassle-free vacation today!