Best Laos SIM Cards for Tourists: 2024 Detailed Guide

A Laos SIM card is a convenient choice when you want to travel here. Let’s learn about detailed information about Laos SIM cards and guide instructions for using them.


Nowadays, staying connected is very necessary for your tourist in Laos or any other country.

A Laos SIM card is the most suitable choice for you to other options such as relying on free Wifi or roaming with your local carrier. If you haven’t got any information about SIM Cards for tourists in Laos, then the article will give you a detailed guide, including its costs, selling places, top network operators, and recommended plans for travelers. 

I. Where to Buy a Tourist SIM Card for Laos?

You can find some places to get your Laos SIM and eSIM. They can be purchased from many locations, including: 

  • Airport: SIM cards can be purchased as soon as you arrive in Vientiane or other international airports in Laos. You can discover more on how to buy a SIM card at Wattay Airport. 
  • Local Shops: Small SIM dealers and repair shops are abundant in towns selling all providers’ SIMs. You can check Google Maps for the nearest credible stores.
  • 7-Eleven: Popular convenience stores throughout Laos sell prepaid starter kits from Untiel, Lao Telecom, Tplus, and ETL. Their activation is quick and easy. 
  • Online: Operators’s websites like and Lao offer SIM activation. However, delivery is not convenient for foreigners. 
Laos SIM card kiosks at the airport

Tip: Always keep SIM packaging as a reference for data rollovers or support needing account info later. Shops can assist with settings too. 

II. What Are The Best SIM Cards for Tourists?

There are various mobile operators in Laos providing SIM card packages for tourists, three of the best are Untiel, Lao Telecom, and TPlus. The section is some packages of those operators:


1. Best Laos Unitel SIM Card Plans and Price

Offers eSIM packages on Unitel website for both tourists and residents. Plans include data-only and full service options with monthly renewals, starting from around $5 for 500MB valid for 7 days, or 1GB bundles are $10-15. 

Now Unitel has promotional packages like: 

  • 80GB for 30 days: $4.74
  • 60GB for 30 days: $3.83
  • 5GB for 30 days: $0.49
  • 30GB for 30 days: $1.92

When you use these packages, you might pay call fee of $0.01/minute for 30 days.


2. Best Laos Lao Telecom SIM Card Plans and Price

  • 50GB for 15 days: $25
  • 10GB for 6 days: $0.48

Lao Telecom launched eSIM support in 2022, plans include data-only options as well as voice/ text bundles. However, coverage abroad is limited for now. 

Recommendation: In general, most short trips SIMs in Laos start from around 1-2 GB. But getting 5-8 GB would provide reasonable peace of mind for your trips. Consider buying more data if you would like to stay longer. 

3. Best Laos TPlus SIM Card Plans and Price

TPlus has plans range from 1GB for 3 days to monthly packages, with rates often cheaper than local SIMs. But coverage is limited to 4G networks which span major cities but not rural areas. 

  • 40GB for 30 days: $2.4
  • 5GB for 3 days: $0.5
  • 15GB for 7 days: $0.8

Note: Data packages and prices are updated in February 2024 and may change from time to time. 

III. Do I Need to Buy a SIM Card for Laos Travel?


Yes. SIM Card is among the most popular ways to stay connected in Laos. During the trip, you may need to find directions, translate signs and menus, make booking tickets or check transportation schedules, and contact your family and friends.

It can be said that using a SIM card will be the most suitable option for travelers in Laos. This allows you to get comfortable calling and data rates without worrying about limited coverage and unexpected roaming fees on your bill. Moreover, buying a prepaid SIM is also very easy for a visitor when you are in Laos. 

IV. What to Prepare to Buy Prepaid SIM cards in Laos?

When purchasing a prepaid SIM card in Laos, ensure a effective process by preparing the following:

  • Passport: Required for registration. The provider will take a copy or photo for registration under your name and passport number.
  • Unlocked Phone: Make sure your phone is unlocked to accept SIM cards from different carriers. Check with your home carrier if unsure.
  • Local Currency: Bring Lao Kip to pay for the SIM card and any initial top-up or data package. While some places may accept credit cards, cash is safer.

V. What Types of Laos SIM Cards Are Available For Tourists?

Based on the form, there are 02 main types of Laos SIM cards for tourists. 

  • Laos prepaid physical travel SIM card
  • Prepaid Laos travel eSIM

Almost all SIM cards for tourists in Laos offer prepaid packages, which are in the form of both physical SIM and eSIM. This section is the comparison of two options. 

1. Prepaid physical SIM card in Laos

A prepaid physical SIM card in Laos is a traditional SIM card that you can purchase from local network operators or authorized resellers. You also find it often available at airports or official stores throughout Laos. Depending on the function, there are types of prepaid physical SIM cards for tourists in LaosL data-only SIM and voice and data SIM.

2. Prepaid Tourist Lao eSIM

While physical SIM cards can be interested in all smartphone devices, eSIM is used only in some smartphones that are eSIM compatible. The following is the pros and cons of Lao physical SIM cards and eSIM for tourists: 

Prepaid Laos SIM cardPrepaid eSIM for Laos
Pros– Widely available and easy to purchase 
– Can be used with a wide range of devices
– Offer flexibility in terms of top-up amounts and usage
– Can provide local phone numbers
– No need for a physical SIM card, making it convenient and hassle-free
– Can be activated remotely, eliminating the need for in-person SIM card purchases.
– Work well with eSIM-compatible devices
– Offer flexibility to switch between different eSIM profiles
Cons– Require a physical SIM card slot in your device
– May need to switch SIM cards if you have a dual SIM device
– Limited options for eSIM-compatible devices
– Limited availability and network operator support for prepaid eSIMs
– Not all devices support eSIM functionality
– Activation and setup processes may vary across network operators
– You can hard finding places to buy prepaid eSIM

Therefore, prepaid SIM cards offer tourist in Laos greater budget control, flexibility, and peace of mind through their pay-as-you-go nature without long-term commitments. This makes them the recommended choice over postpaid plans.

eSIM tips: Before getting started with the eSIM purchase, you need to make sure that your phone is carrier-unlocked and eSIM-compatible. Please check the eSIM-compatible device list. 

VI. Laos eSIM – Alternative to Physical SIM Cards to Get Internet in Laos

When visiting Laos, you have many ways to get the Internet and stay connected such as pocket WiFi, free WiFi, roaming, and prepaid physical SIM card. However, Laos eSIM has great advantages over those options: 

  • Price: Laos eSIMs may offer competitive pricing options. They don’t require daily roaming charges or shipping fees. 
  • Availability: You can purchase and activate eSIMs online before your trip. No extra device needed and location dependence. 
  • Convenience: No need to physically swap or insert a SIM card. No risk of SIM loss or damage. 
  • Coverage: Choose the network with the best coverage in Laos, unlike WiFi which only has limited coverage. 
  • Privacy: Embedded eSIMs offer added security and cannot be lost or stolen. That is more secure than using free WiFi. 

Considering these factors, a prepaid Laos eSIM for tourists is the best alternative to physical SIM card to get the Internet. This way is more convenient, widely available, economical, and safe than any other option. 

Remember, the availability and compatibility of eSIMs can vary depending on your device and the service providers in Laos. Of all the eSIM providers in the market, Gigago is the most outstanding with its attractive packages. Gigago’s eSIM also includes a phone number. Gigago has both a data-only and voice-data plan for tourists in Laos, which is not only convenient but also cost-saving. 

Laos eSIM of Gigago

Gigago offers suitable plans for diverse requirements of tourists, which ensures stable and reliable Internet connection throughout the trip to Laos. It is highly recommended for those who are seeking a cost-effective connection.

For Laos, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 15 GB for 10 days with $6.90 . What is great about Gigago’s Laos eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $6.90$12.90 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Laos, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

VII. How long does a tourist SIM card last in Laos?

The duration of a tourist SIM card in Laos can vary depending on the mobile provider and the specific plan you choose. Generally, tourist SIM cards in Laos are designed to be valid for short-term use, typically ranging from a few days to a month. Here are some common durations you might encounter:

  • 7-Day Plans: Ideal for short visits, these plans often include a set amount of data and sometimes calling minutes.
  • 15-Day Plans: Suitable for a two-week stay, offering more data and possibly additional features like international calling.
  • 30-Day Plans: Best for longer stays, providing ample data and other benefits that last for a month.

For example, some Laos’ mobile operator:

  • Unitel: Offers various tourist plans, usually valid for 7, 15, or 30 days.
  • Lao Telecom: Provides similar options with durations tailored to the length of the tourist’s stay.
  • Beeline: Also offers a range of tourist plans with different validity periods.

VIII. How to Use Laos Prepaid SIM Cards and eSIM

After choosing the best plan for your trip to Laos, it’s time to get to know how to use your Laos SIM card.

1. Using prepaid Laos tourist SIM Cards

First, you need to buy a physical SIM card. Then you follow these steps to insert and use your SIM card: 

  • Open the SIM tray of your phone then insert the SIM card.
  • Power on your device, and follow the instruction steps included in your welcome message for activation.
  • Set up your Internet setting by inputting the APN provided by the network operator (if needed).
  • Check your balance and plan by dialing specific USSD codes of the operator.
  • After being activated, your SIM card is ready to use.

2. Setting up and activating Laos eSIM 

To use an eSIM in Laos, you should follow these steps:

  • Check your device to ensure that it is eSIM compatible.
  • Purchase an eSIM, choose your plan from a provider, then you will receive a QR code or activation details
  • Go to your device’s eSIM setting, and scan the QR code or activation details provided.
  • Follow the instructions shown on your device to confirm eSIM activation and activate your eSIM profile.
  • Check your device settings to ensure your eSIM is active. Now your eSIM is ready to use.


1. Can I use my Laos SIM card in other Southeast Asian countries?

A Laos SIM is restricted for use only within Laos. To use a mobile network in other Southeast Asian nations, you’ll need to purchase a local prepaid SIM upon arrival in each country for the best and most affordable connectivity. You can consider an eSIM with roaming instead.

2. Do I need to unlock my phone to use a local SIM?

Yes, your phone needs to be network unlocked to accept a local SIM card. Most modern phones can easily be unlocked.

3. Can I keep my SIM card after travel?

Technically yes but prepaid credits expire in 30 days if not used or topped up. It’s usually not worth keeping for future trips.

X. Conclusion

With the right mobile plan and preparations, you can easily share your experience of Lao’s culture, scenic landscapes, and friendly people back home. With three largest mobile network operators in Laos are Unitel, Lao Telecom, and TPlus, they provide mobile plans for foreign travelers. Remember to consider your needs and preferences to choose the best Laos SIM card for your trip to Laos.