Buying a SIM card at Phnom Penh Airport (2024): Travelers Guide

This article is for travelers coming from abroad who might have trouble getting local SIM cards at Phnom Penh International Airport. Many visitors don’t know where or how to get a SIM card at the airport.

how to buy sim card at phnom penh airport

To help you buy a SIM card at Phnom Penh Airport with ease, this guide offers common airport SIM options, registration process, and tips on picking the right provider based on your data needs and budget. By following our guidelines, you can easily grab a SIM card when you land to stay connected throughout your trip to Cambodia.

I. Can I Buy a SIM Card at Phnom Penh Airport (PNH)?

Yes, purchasing a SIM card right at Phnom Penh Airport (PNH) is a popular connectivity option for travelers arriving in Cambodia.

There are some reasons why it can be a good choice:

  • Instant Connection: Get online as soon as you land, perfect for navigating, sharing arrival updates, or booking transportation.
  • Convenience: Skip the search for a phone shop later and get your SIM card installed right away.

However, there are some disadvantages of getting a SIM card at Phnom Penh Airport (PNH) :

  • Higher Cost: Airport kiosks often charge a premium for the convenience they offer.
  • Fewer Choices: You might find a smaller selection of mobile providers and data plans compared to other options.

II. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Phnom Penh Airport?

phnom penh airport map
Phnom Penh airport map

You can get a SIM card at Phnom Penh Airport with two common ways:

  • buy it online and pick it up at the PNH airport (available by provider),
  • buy it upon arrival at PNH airport.

1. Buying Online Before Departure and Pick Up at the Airport

This option is convenient which ensures your SIM card is ready upon arrival, saving time searching for a provider at the airport.

To collect your pre-ordered SIM card, go to the pickup location near arrivals. Look for signs or kiosks with the provider’s logo. Present your order confirmation or ID for the activated SIM card.

What to prepare:

  • Your order confirmation or ID
  • Unlocked device

Pre-ordering a Cambodia SIM card costs ~ $5 to $15, based on data and validity. It’s convenient but may be pricier than airport kiosks.

2. Buying a SIM Card Upon Arrival

buy cambodia sim card when arriving the airport

When you get to Phnom Penh International Airport, you can grab a SIM card from the kiosks and stands of major Cambodia mobile network operators (Metfone, Cellcard, and Smart) in the arrivals zone. Their kiosks are usually located right in the arrival hall, often between the customs area and the exit. Look for their brightly colored branding.

What to prepare:

  • Your passport or ID
  • Unlocked device
  • Cash (USD or local currency)

Buying a SIM card at the airport is easy but not quick (especially if the airport is crowded), but you can get set it up right away upon arrival. Just keep in mind prices might be a bit higher than buying from a provider’s store outside the airport.

Here’s a closer look at each provider:

Buy a Metfone SIM card at Phnom Penh Airport

Metfone boasts a strong presence at the airport, making it easy to get connected.

  • Location: located in the arrival hall, often near baggage claim.
  • Opening hours: their kiosk generally operates with extended hours, often aligning with flight schedules.
Metfone map store at Phnom Penh airport
Metfone map store at Phnom Penh airport (Source:

Buy a Cellcard SIM card at Phnom Penh Airport

Cellcard is another popular choice among travelers for its good coverage and data packages.

  • Location: situated in a prominent spot within the arrival hall.
  • Opening hours: their kiosk open throughout peak arrival times to assist travelers.
Cellcard map store at Phnom Penh
Cellcard map store at Phnom Penh (Source:

Buy a Smart SIM card at Phnom Penh Airport

Smart is known for its competitive pricing and data plans, making it a budget-friendly option.

  • Location: Their kiosk is often conveniently placed in the arrival hall, allowing for easy access upon arrival.
  • Opening hours: Smart typically aligns their kiosk hours with flight arrivals to cater to incoming passengers.
Smart map store at Phnom Penh Airport
Smart map store at Phnom Penh Airport (Source:

Important note: If travelers have difficulty finding SIM card vendors, they can purchase SIM cards at stores near locations such as the Arrival Hall or the Baggage Claim Area.

Our recommendation: If you do not know which provider to choose, we recommend Metfone which is famous operator in Cambodia. With suitable price for each plan SIM card, Metfone is quite popular among travelers visiting Cambodia.

III. Do SIM Card Shops at PNH Airport Open After Midnight?

Yes, all three major Cambodian mobile providers (Metfone, Cellcard, and Smart) have kiosks at Phnom Penh Airport. While they generally align their operating hours with flight schedules to serve arriving passengers, it’s important to note that exact opening hours can vary.

Therefore, arriving on a very late flight could mean running the risk of the SIM card kiosks being closed.

Pro Tip: Due to the risk of SIM card kiosks can be closed on the time you arrive at PNH airport, a better option is to buy eSIM online and have it activated right upon arrival. But, to use eSIM, your phone must be unlocked and eSIM-compatible. Refer the list of of eSIM compatible phones, tablets, and laptops to see if your phone is included.

IV. How Much Does a SIM Card at Phnom Penh Airport Cost?

Cambodia has three major mobile network providers: Metfone, Cellcard, and Smart. Below is more detailed information about the plans each provider offers that travelers can consider:

It’s true that SIM cards sold at the airport often come with a “tourist premium.” You’ll generally find that the same SIM card with a comparable data package will be cheaper if you buy it at a mobile operator’s store in the city or purchase it online. While airport prices can fluctuate, expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $12 more than you would elsewhere.

These SIM cards include initial credit and prices are affected by data capacity, call duration, and package validity. Below is a short comparison between some options:

Metfone$5 for 40 GB$540 GB7 daysNot specified
$7 for 40 GB$740 GB14 daysNot specified
$12 for 100 GB$12100 GB30 daysNot specified
Smart$6 for 21 GB (7-day deal)$621 GB7 daysNot specified
$3 for 25 GB (standard rate)$325 GB7 daysNot specified
$5 for 35 GB (standard rate)$535 GB15 daysNot specified
$10 for 60 GB (standard rate)$1060 GB30 daysNot specified
Cellcard$6 (standard tourist SIM card pack)$65 GB/day7 days$50 in calls
Data bundle ($2-$10) available for >7 daysVariesVariesVariesNot specified

Note: The prices can be slightly varied at different times. So check it carefully before buying!

Metfone data plan
Metfone data plan

Data Osja Plus from Metfone is ideal for those with high internet needs. This plan offers extensive data, calls, and SMS benefits. With Data Osja Plus, you can enjoy entertainment and stay connected with family and friends more easily. This plan ensures you have everything you need for a seamless travel experience.

V. Registration Process When Buying a SIM Card at Phnom Penh Airport – What to Prepare

Getting a local SIM card abroad can be a bit complicated. A simpler option is buying an international SIM card online before you travel or getting an eSIM. This way, you’ll have data as soon as you land, without needing your passport or dealing with unfamiliar steps.

To get a tourist SIM card at Phnom Penh International Airport, prepare:

  • Passport/Visa: Have a copy of your passport ready. You might need more info like a local address or work permit, depending on the network.
  • Unlocked Phone
  • Cash: Retailers at the airport accept cash only, so keep some US dollars or Riel handy.
  • Data Plans:
    • Know the data package you want in terms of data, calls, and validity.
    • Choose a plan that fits your needs and budget.

Prepare these to ease the SIM card registration process at the airport and stay connected during your Cambodia visit.

VI. Cambodia eSIM for Phnom Penh – an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card at Phnom Penh Airport

gigago esim cambodia
Gigago eSIM Cambodia

You can conveniently purchase an eSIM for Cambodia online, either before your arrival or even when you’re at Phnom Penh Airport, with providers like Metfone and Smart offering this service. 

Here’s why eSIMs are a great choice over airport SIM cards:

  • No need to change SIM cards: eSIMs are digital, so there’s no physical card to swap out.
  • Skip the airport kiosk line: No need to wait to buy a SIM card when you land.
  • Get connected instantly: Activate your eSIM on arrival and start using it right away.

Here are your options for getting an eSIM in Phnom Penh:

  • Buy directly from network carriers
  • Buy from eSIM retailers like Gigago – one of the most reliable eSIM providers in this network market.

For Cambodia, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1 GB/day for 5 days with $4.50 . What is great about Gigago’s Cambodia eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $4.50$36.00 . 

Thus, it does not matter how many Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Cambodia, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

VII. Can I Buy Tourist SIM Cards Outside Phnom Penh Airport?

Yes, you can easily buy a tourist SIM card outside Phnom Penh airport. Here are a few places to find them:

  • Downtown Phnom Penh: Mobile phone shops, convenience stores, Central Market (Psar Thmei), Russian Market (Psar Toul Tom Poung)
  • Near the Airport: Shops and stalls along National Road 4, vendors at the taxi and tuk-tuk stands outside the airport
  • Major Hotels
  • Mobile Network Operator Offices (Metfone, Cellcard, Smart)

Note: Prices and plan options may vary, so shop around to find the best deal for your needs.

VIII. FAQs about SIM card at Phnom Penh Airport

Can I buy a SIM card with 4G/5G data at Phnom Penh airport?

Yes, the major Cambodian telecom providers offer 4G and even 5G-enabled SIM cards at the airport.

Do I need to show my passport to buy a SIM card at Phnom Penh airport?

Yes, you will need to provide a copy of your passport or ID when purchasing a SIM card at the airport.

How do I activate my SIM card purchased at Phnom Penh airport?

The vendors will typically assist you in activating the SIM card and getting it set up on your device.

Can I get a refund if I don’t use up all the credit on my Phnom Penh airport SIM card?

Refunds are generally not available, so it’s best to purchase a package that matches your expected usage.

IX. Conclusion

SIM cards at Phnom Penh airport are a convenient choice for travelers in Cambodia. Telecom providers offer various SIM card packages with 4G/5G data, voice, and SMS services. 

Though prices might be higher than buying in the city, the airport’s convenience makes it a popular option. Remember that a powerful eSIM can make your trip unforgettable!