Vietnamese SIM card when travel Vietnam
When traveling Vietnam you may still want to carry your cell phones with you. Some are businessmen/women and there are phone calls that can become a disaster if missed. Some want to contact to beloveds back home. And some just simply need a way of communication to contact with the local suppliers. No matter the reason of having the phone with you, one may need to know about the charge of phone calls when in Vietnam. There is an easier and very much cheaper option: buy a Vietnamese SIM card.
Cellphones are now everywhere in Vietnam
Vietnamese SIM card: what’s the benefit?
Unless you are working for a big enterprise and all your phone called are cover, or you have a contract with the operator that gives roaming discount. Using roaming service may cause an unexpectedly huge bill that you cannot imagine. You may end up paying about 4 US dollars per minute for both calling and receiving calls. SMS will be applied the same. So always check with your operator carefully about roaming service that they will apply. And if it is no problem to fix urgent issues emails may work just fine. And it is free!
For those who want to keep in touch with family back home then there is a cheaper way to do it. As a matter of fact it is next to free. Nowadays, it is so easy to make a call using Facebook apps, BBM, WhatsApp, Viber, iMessage…You just need an internet access which is available everywhere in Vietnam. And most of the time hotels, restaurants, boats, and cafes…provide Wi-Fi for free.
In case you want to make it easier to contact local suppliers like tour guides, drivers…or confirming with the hotels you are about to check in next city, a local Vietnamese SIM card will work perfectly. It is easy to buy one, dirty cheap and one step to install to your phone. Nearly every phone shop, convenient store or even candy shop sells pre-actived GMS SIM card. The available ones are Viettel, Mobifone, and Vinaphone. And no need to get confused as they are all the same.
Just ask you tour guide to help you to buy one and remember to show him or the shop what kind of phone you have. They will cut the SIM card fitting your phone. And it is already activated without the need to have your details. How magic! A Vietnamese SIM card costs about 80.000đ (less than 4 US$) and is valid for a month. Every 4 US$ you recharge you’ll get about 100 minutes domestic call or 500 SMS and extra validity of 1 more month.
The best thing is, you can even make a phone call outside of Vietnam, like back to home country for significantly less than roaming. Direct dial from Vietnam to EU country or to the USA cost around 3.000 VND- that is 30 times cheaper than using roaming service.
Once you install the Vietnamese SIM card into the phone you can just simply make phone call and SMS right away. You can even dial 900 for help (wait for English instruction voice). Wonder how much balance left in your account? Press *101# and all info of your account will show on your phone screen. Another pre actived utility is the 3G access. You can even use the Vietnamese SIM card to access internet for message apps like Viber, iMessage or WhatsApp. But as I said internet is well available everywhere you won’t be needing this 3G very much to save your account.
It is easy to get one, and very cheap to throw away when done
Once you have your Vietnamese number you should give it to your guides, drivers and anyone you think should know your number. It will be convenient and easy to keep in touch. And when you finish your trip in Vietnam and there’s still some money left? Well you better dumb it as it is not gonna work anywhere outside Vietnam. Or you can just simply keep it as a souvenir.
Making a phone call within the country you just simply dial the cell phone/desk phone number without having to add the country code. If you are expecting someone from home to call then remember to provide them the Vietnam country code and the phone number. +84 and the number you just buy.
Have fun wandering around!
By Pham Tuyen