Stay connected in Vietnam: A complete guide to WiFi and SIM cards for travellers

One of the questions travelers often ask when preparing to visit Vietnam is: "Is WIFI connection in Vietnam easy to access? How much does it cost?"
This article aims to be as complete and useful an answer as possible to this very legitimate question.

Stay connected when traveling to Vietnam ! Photo : Internet

A brief history of the Internet in Vietnam

The Internet arrived in Vietnam in the early 1990s, but its initial development was slow. In 1997, the country had just 62,000 Internet subscribers. Today, this number exceeds 70 million, representing almost 75% of the population. This rapid growth is the result of substantial government investment in Internet infrastructure and the growing adoption of smartphones by the population. It was only at the end of the 2000s that Internet access began to become widespread, thanks to lower prices and improved infrastructure. The privatization of the telecommunications sector also played a role in making Internet access more affordable and widespread.
Did you know?  Vietnam currently ranks 59th in the world in terms of Internet connection, with an average download speed of 49.34 Mbps (mobile) and 108.22 Mbps (fixed). By way of comparison, in France, the average Internet speed is 86.41 Mbps mobile and 230.90 Mbps fixed (Source: Speedtest Global Index, regularly updated. Compare with your country of residence!)

The current state of Wifi connectivity and Internet access in Vietnam

In Vietnam, it's much easier to connect to WIFI than, say, in France. In major cities and tourist areas, Wifi access is quite satisfactory. Guests at hotels, restaurants, cafés and shopping malls generally benefit from a free Wifi connection. You'll have free access to all shops, cafés, restaurants, hotels and guesthouses. The code is usually prominently displayed - if not, ask for it. It's important to note that while connection speeds may vary from place to place, they are generally adequate for surfing the Internet, checking e-mail and using social networks.

eSIM Card Vietnam Photo : Internet

Stay connected when traveling in Vietnam

With a European mobile package

In most cases, European telephone packages do not include mobile internet in Vietnam. Connecting to the mobile internet with your subscription entails an additional cost that is far from negligible. It's also essential to deactivate the "DATA MOBILE" option on your phone to avoid a very high bill at the end of the month. It's worth noting that if you have the international option, using 4G with your package will incur high charges.
So it's best to connect via local WIFI.

Buy a SIM card before you leave

If you'd rather avoid searching for a SIM card when you arrive, you can buy one before you leave. To use the Internet, simply insert it into your phone when you arrive (provided your smartphone is unlocked for all operators - check with your usual provider). Although this option is more expensive than buying a SIM card on the spot, it offers both convenience and peace of mind.

WIFI access in Vietnam

Internet offers for tourists from the main operators
Vietnam has three major cell phone operators: Viettel, Vinaphone and Mobifone. All three brands offer prepaid SIM cards with customized data packages for travelers.
  • Viettel: with over 70 million subscribers and a presence in more than 20 countries, this brand provides access to the country's largest and most secure network. Viettel packages can be viewed and purchased online at:
  • Vinaphone: Offers a "VinaPhone Tourist SIM" for 199,000 VND. Tourist SIM cards are also available at the airport. Visit their website (in Vietnamese only).
  • Mobifone: Various validity options are available for flexible data packages. Its SIM cards are easy to find in stores and kiosks.

The different phone operators in Vietnam Photo : Internet

How to use a local SIM card in Vietnam

When you arrive at the airport, remember to get a local SIM card. If you need to, you can top it up in a store. When you arrive in Hanoi, for example, you'll find the stands of the three operators at the back of hall 2 in the international arrivals area. You won't want to miss them. And believe me, you won't miss them either...
If you go into the well-known yellow and black store called The Gioi Di Dong, the staff will be happy to help you (sometimes even in English), or you can go to a network provider's retail store. Wherever you go, you'll be asked for your passport to register a new SIM card in Vietnam. It is strongly recommended that you unlock your cell phone before entering the country.
Did you know? You'll recognize stores selling SIM cards by their 4G signs, or in convenience stores (Circle K, 7 Eleven, etc.). You'll also find them in every post office in the country.
Good to know: you can only have three active SIM cards in your name in Vietnam.

SIM card vs. eSIM: advantages and disadvantages

SIM cards and eSIMs are both popular choices for Internet access in Vietnam.

SIM card

  • Less expensive than eSIM
  • Easy to find and buy
  • No need for an eSIM-compatible phone.
  • Can be shared with other devices.
  • Compatible with most phones.
  • Can be lost or damaged.
  • To use a new SIM card, your phone must be unlocked.
  • If your smartphone has only one SIM card slot, you'll need to remove the French SIM card (and make sure you don't lose it!), so you won't be reachable on your French phone number in an emergency.
  • The installation process is inconvenient: inserting the microchip requires the little tool that opens the SIM card slot, and you may need an adapter if the SIM card you buy doesn't fit into your phone's slot.
  • Language barrier: If you don't speak Vietnamese, it can be complicated to communicate with telecom operators or to understand the different packages.


SIM vs eSIM ! Photo : Internet


eSIM card

  • More convenient and secure
  • Can be activated remotely
  • Works on eSIM-compatible phones
  • More convenient and secure
  • Can be stored on multiple devices
  • No risk of losing or damaging the card
  • eSIM is more expensive than a SIM card
  • Less accessible
  • Does not work on all phones
  • Less choice of plans than SIM cards
  • Activating an eSIM can be more complex than inserting a physical SIM card.
We've just mentioned eSIM as an option for connecting to the internet in Vietnam. But what is an eSIM card?

What is an eSIM card?

An eSIM (embedded SIM card) is an electronic version of the traditional SIM card. Unlike the physical SIM card you insert into your phone, an eSIM is permanently attached to your device's motherboard. In other words, it cannot be removed.
How does an eSIM work?
An eSIM works in the same way as an ordinary SIM card. It stores your mobile subscription information, including your phone number, subscriber ID and package. The difference is that these details can be remotely programmed onto your smartphone's eSIM chip. Most recent models (released after 2019) generally have the capacity to support eSIM.
These include :
  • ♦ iPhone11 and higher
  • ♦ iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and iPhone SE
  • ♦ iPad 7th generation and higher
  • ♦ Galaxy S20 and higher
  • ♦ Google Pixel 3 and higher
  • ...and many more.
And finally, there are two types of eSIM card: data eSIM, and voice, SMS and data eSIM.

SIM Cards are still used in Vietnam Photo : Internet

How do I use an eSIM card for my trip to Vietnam?

To use an eSIM Vietnam, please set up the eSIM profile on your device before departure, then activate it when you arrive in Vietnam to take advantage of the Internet connection. Above all, please bear in mind that :
Your device must be connected to the Internet when installing the eSIM.
It is also necessary to deactivate your primary SIM data when using your eSIM data (you probably don't want to pay roaming charges).
Your eSIM is valid from the moment you activate it, so don't activate it before you travel to Vietnam.

Mr Linh's adventure eSIM offer

We've partnered with GIGAGO and Vietnam-Visa to offer you extremely attractive eSIM packages. No need to worry about your Internet connection during your stay in Vietnam! Even before you arrive in the Land of Two Deltas, we'll make it easy for you to access the local network.
If you are interested in this service, please let us know!

By following these tips, you'll be able to enjoy Internet in Vietnam at a reasonable price and without worrying about running out of data.

Useful links :
Viettel Telecom

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