You can call and use the Internet in Vietnam just as well as at home.
Updated – April 2021. Vietnam as a rapidly developing and modernizing country and offers a wide network of mobile call coverage. You can call practically anywhere and anytime. The only exceptions are very remote places (e.g. in the north), for example in the mountain areas, where you may have a problem with the signal and mobile internet. Vietnam also offers several proven and large mobile operators with a wide range of services. The biggest mobile operator in Vietnam is Viettel.
It is the same with internet connection, practically any hotel or guesthouse or restaurant offers Wifi internet connection. Of course, mobile operators also offer decent 3G or 4G mobile internet, which you can use very well when traveling (Google maps, e-mail, surfing). The most interesting for tourists will be a prepaid tourist sim card for calling and with mobile data for different times in different packages. Here is also my selection of the best suitable mobile travel apps that may come in handy on your phone. Read carefully this article about how to call in Vietnam.
How do I make calls whilst in Vietnam?
The best option for tourists and travellers is to buy a Vietnamese prepaid tourist sim card. Buy a sim card, registrate and you can call and you can use mobile internet. Mobile operators offer a variety of tourist packages in different price categories. These prepaid sim cards make calling in Vietnam very cheap. Tourist Prepaid SIM cards contain data for mobile internet (1GB – 10 GB, valid for 5 days and up to 1 month). Of course you can also use the internet and call with Skype or Viber.
Mobile numbers in Vietnam have the following codes: 09y xxx-xxxx, 01yy xxx-xxxx
(09y and 01yy – are telephone prefix of Vietnamese operators).
What is Vietnam country code?
The Vietnam country code is 84. This code will allow you to call Vietnam from another country. Vietnam telephone code 84 is dialed after the IDD. Vietnam international dialing 84 is followed by an area code.
What are the most widely mobile operators in Vietnam?
Mobile operators in Vietnam – Viettel, Vinaphone, Mobifone, Vietnamobile. The biggest operator in Vietnam is Viettle and has various interesting offers. Viettle has also a wide coverage in Vietnam. You can buy prepaid sim cards almost anywhere where you see these logos:
Viettel prepaid tourist SIM card:
The Viettel SIM card should be your first choice if you are goingto remote areas in northern Vietnam.
Prices for call and mobile data access are roughly the same as the others.
• price is about 50,000 – 500,000 VND, depending on how big a data package you choose (from 1 GB – 10 GB)
• cheapest option, and it has a wide range of coverage in Vietnam
• price of a 1 minute local call is from 1, 000 dong, SMS for 250 dong
• price of a 1 minute for call to a foreign country is about 3, 000 dong, SMS for 2, 500 dong
• bundle is charged with 30, 000 dong and is valid for one month
• to check your call balance type *101#
• default PIN code is 1111
• Viettel sends a lot of advertising SMS messages
• (prices and information may change over time, there are also various special offers)
Where to buy SIM card in Vietnam + Registration?
You can buy SIM cards almost everywhere – at the airports, in the official stores, in the big cities, in the small towns, in Hanoi almost everywhere… To buy a prepaid SIM card, you have to officially show your ID or passport and need to be registered first, before the SIM card can be activated. But in practice, this was not really much enforced before November 2016. Then the government shut down 12 million falsely registered SIM cards (more information). The rules are now more strictly enforced, that you bring your passport and register to activate your SIM card in an operator’s store.
Official registration can be done in the major stores of the operators.
Small independent street shops can’t activate them for you and they still sell a SIM on somebody else’s identity to you. With these vendors make sure that they activate it for you or show where and how to do it. Official registration can done in the major stores of the operators or the seller will direct you to a registration point, where you’ll need to show your passport. Don’t leave the store without instructions, how to activate or with a SIM which is already activated. You can check whether your SIM has been registered by texting ‘TTTB’ to 1414 on all major operators. If registered, the response will include the name, birthdate, and ID number (Vietnam ID or foreign passport) of the registered individual.
icon-angle-double-right RECOMMENDED from 2017 – buy and register your Sim card at the major store of mobile operator.
A traveller visiting the country for only a few days may do fine without registration. You only risk that your SIM will be shut off anytime without prior warning. This has been reported after 4 days already. To avoid losing your credit and allowances in this case, you’ll need to go to a registration point in an official store and re-register your SIM on your name by showing your passport as required by law. If you want to call in Vietnam withou any problems – go the official store.
For more information about the Vietnam mobile operators and SIM cards, visit this link:
icon-angle-double-right Mobile operators in Vietnam and data packages
I had a Viettel SIM card with 3GB data package for 3G internet for 1 month and I paid 250,000 dong. It was enough for a whole month. I made some local calls, and almost every day I used Google Maps, and email and occasional surfing the internet. In some remote mountainous areas there may not be a signal, but I only had a problem once on the route between Lai Chau and Son La city. In some areas you may have a problem with roaming. For more information, you need to contact your mobile operator.
Way2go – tourist prepaid SIM card by Mobiphone:
A relatively newer offer is also a tourist prepaid SIM card Way2go from Consortio – a subsidiary of Mobiphone. This card is intended mainly for tourists, for a stay of up to 30 days and also offers English support, international calls of 30 minutes included in the package price (but only to selected countries), 6 GB package on the Internet in the base (with other packages), tourist hotline, various travel tips and advice, 60 minutes to call in Vietnam and 100 SMS in Vietnam.
The SIM Card is available for sale at the airports in Hanoi, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City in Mobiphone stores and at selected hotels in Vietnam, and the basic variant costs 250,000 VND (may change over time). More information about the card offer here at www.way2go.vn. Personally, I have no experience with the card and I do not know its coverage and functionality (I would be a little afraid of Mobiphonr, but maybe unnecessarily, but I would rather choose a card from Viettel).
How do I call from Vietnam to foreign countries?
One option is to use a Vietnam prepaid sim card, it’s cheap, about 10 US cents per minute (it can change). The second and better option is to use internet access in a hotel or restaurant and use Skype or Viber for smartphones. These mobile apps and software work fine in Vietnam.
Internet in Vietnam:
- getting and using the internet in Vietnam will not give you any big problems
- almost all guesthouses (Nha Nghi), better restaurants and hotels have Wifi
- if you can, avoid a payment transactions in wifi coffees (keyloggers should be installed)
- speed is not high sometimes, but it is enough for everyday using of internet
- the fastest Wifi network I registred in northern Vietnam was around 4MB/download (approx 3Mb)
- it is sufficient for calling with Skype or Viber
- in remote areas, villages in restaurants or bistros there often is no internet connection
Facebook and Twitter in Vietnam:
Facebook in Vietnam is currently a very popular social network. It can be said that the Vietnamese love Facebook. There are about 70 millions active users of Facebook in 2019. The Vietnamese government is trying to block Facebook, and you may have a problem with Twitter. However, it‘s a bit of a clumsy effort and pointless exercise for the government as there is a really simple way to unblock Facebook.
How to acces blocked Facebook in Vietnam?
As mentioned Its a bit of a joke, but its just changing the DNS server address. DNS server IP address will change to 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 and restarts the internet. That’s all. But probably you should not have any problem with Facebook.
More detailed procedure for those who do not know where to do this is here:
icon-angle-double-right How to acces blocked Facebook in Vietnam?
Frequently asked questions about calling in Vietnam:
How do you call the police in Vietnam?
- If you have some troubles in Vietnam and you want to call police, you can use and dial number 113.
How do you call the emergency rescue in Vietnam?
- Emegency rescue – an important thing for tourist. You can use and dial number 112.
How do you call an ambulance in Vietnam?
- Ambulance – another important thing for tourist. You can use and dial number 115
Can I use my cell phone in Vietnam?
- Yes, you can use your cell phone/mobile phone in Vietnam without any problem. Before you come to Vietnam, ensure you have global roaming activated with your mobile carrier.
What is the best option for tourists how to call in Vietnam?
- The best way how tourists can call in Vietnam is to buy prepaid tourist SIM card. There are various tourists packages and prices are low. These cards have also mobile data, about 1-10 GB and you can use these cards for about 5-30 days.
Where to buy prepaid tourist SIM cards in Vietnam?
- You can buy these tourist cards in the official stores in the city center, at the airport or another various small shops. The best way is to buy this card at the official store of mobile operator.
Which tourist card has a wide range of coverage in Vietnam?
- The most widest range of coverage has Viettel – the biggest company in Vietnam. This is the best option if you will be traveling also in the various remote areas of Vietnam.