Kapono Cheruene

Travelled to 5 countries / regions

Written 24 briefs
I'm Laotian living in Vientiane



Asia > Laos > Vientiane > Useful Info
Updated on Jul 05, 2019 Useful Info

How to get a SIM card in Vientiane, Laos

  • Getting a SIM card is very easy for tourists. I highly recommend getting one because it makes getting around so much easier
  • In Laos, if you're getting a standard prepaid SIM card, you don't even need to show your passport. Passport is only required if you plan to live in Laos for more than 6 months and want to get a cheaper longer term SIM card
  • Who to get it from:
  • My advice is to stick to either Unitel (https://www.unitel.com.la) or Lao Telecom (https://www.laotel.com)
  • These are the two largest telecom providers in Laos and from speed, coverage, and reliability perspective they will be better than other providers
  • They both have 4G coverage countrywide and probably will be the first ones to introduce 5G
  • They also have stores everywhere so getting from them is the easiest
  • The other two providers (Beeline and ETL) work well in Vientiane area, but outside of the capital city their speed is slow and coverage is spottier

  • Where you can get a SIM card in Vientiane:
  • Wattay International Airport: after you exit the baggage claim and immigration area, turn left and walk all the way towards the end. You will see Lao Telecom's store there (the store is red colored). I believe this shop closes at 8pm though. The prices at the airport is not bad compared to in the city
  • Convenience stores and corner shops in the city: these stores won't have as many selections as dedicated telecom shops, but they do sell SIM cards. Depending on the store owner, they might be able to help you set up the new card as well, but many of them won't do that for you
  • Telecom company stores in the city: All telecom have retail shops in Vientiane. You can either use Google Maps, company website, or ask your hotel. I recommend getting your SIM card at these stores because they usually have the biggest selection of plans available, and they will help you set up your card
  • Unitel - store locator page ,and their logo looks like this:User submitted photo of Vientiane
  • Lao Telecom - store location in Google Maps, their logo looks like this: User submitted photo of Vientiane
  • Beeline - store locations in Google Maps, their logo looks like this: User submitted photo of Vientiane

  • SIM card prices: below are what the telecoms are currently offering. Prices change very frequently and some offers are only available in person, so please use these prices purely as a guide. They should be very close, and when you purchase in person they will give you the actual prices (or check telecom companies' websites listed above to see their current prices)
  • Unitel SIM card prices:
  • 5.12GB/30days: 50,000 LAK ($5.8 USD)
  • 8GB/30days: 55,000 LAK ($6.3 USD)
  • 30GB/30days: 200,000 LAK ($23 USD)
  • 70GB/30days: 300,000 LAK ($34.5 USD)
  • 5G/3days: 10,000 LAK ($1.2 USD)
  • 2G/7days: 10,000 LAK ($1.2 USD)
  • Lao Telecom SIM card prices:
  • 3GB/10min/3days: 25,000 LAK ($2.9 USD)
  • 7GB/20min/7days: 50,000 LAK ($5.8 USD)
  • 15GB/30min/15days: 100,000 LAK ($11.5 USD)
  • Beeline SIM card prices: I'm not sure
  • ETL SIM card prices:
  • 1.5GB/7days: 10,000 LAK ($1.2 USD)
  • 5.5GB/30days: 50,000 LAK ($5.8 USD)
  • 12GB/30days: 100,000 LAK ($12 USD)
  • 30GB/30days: 200,000 LAK ($23 USD)

  • Other tips:
  • Make sure your phone is not locked to your telecom company at home. I know a few years ago in North America most phone were locked. From what I understand more phones there are unlocked by default now, but you should always double check to make sure. If your phone is locked you won't be able to use any SIM card in Laos
  • You don't need your passport to buy a SIM card, but I still recommend you bring it with you anyway, just in case
  • Payment is usually by cash, so make sure you have enough LAK available on you. I don't recall if telecom stores accept USD, but if you don't have any LAK you can certainly try to pay with USD
  • If you're planning to travel to other countries in Southeast Asia after Laos, tell the store which countries you're going to. Telecom companies offer Southeast Asia packages so that you don't have to change SIM card again after leaving Laos