Buying a SIM card at Vientiane Airport (Wattay) 2024: Travelers Guide

Learn more about buying a SIM card at Vientiane Airport (Wattay – VTE), so you can choose the best mobile package for your trip to Laos.

laos-sim-card-at-vientiane-airport

Buying a Lao SIM card at Wattay Airport is a quick solution when you have not prepared a way to connect to the internet during your trip. Vientiane International Airport, also known as Wattway International Airport (VTE), is located about 3 km west of the city center. To be able to stay connected during your visit, you can purchase a Laos SIM card as soon as you arrive. Let’s review this guide to find your own SIM card at Wattay Airport.

I. How to Get a SIM Card at Vientiane Wattay Airport (VTE)?

travelers-in-the-vientiane-airport-to-buy-sim-card

Yes, this way is how you can buy a SIM card as soon as you arrive. International tourists often choose to buy this traditional SIM card. However, this will be quite time-consuming and has a more complicated registration procedure. So if you are not in a hurry and need a Lao SIM card urgently, you can search for shops or kiosks in the lobby and entrances at the airport.

In short, if you are a tourist, you should consider buying a SIM card at the airport. If you need quick internet access and are willing to pay a little extra for convenience, buying a Laos SIM card at the airport is not a bad way. 

II. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Wattay Airport?

Buying a SIM card at the counters of Lao network operators is a traditional way and is chosen by many people. However, the queues at these kiosks can be very long, especially during peak tourist season.

You can find Lao network operator counters in the lobby or immigration entrances including: 

Unitel store

  • Location: After passing through immigration, there is a Unitel shop located before baggage claim in the arrivals hall. 
  • Opening Hours: The shop is open daily from 7 AM to 9 PM to coincide with flight schedules. 
  • Plans: With $3.5 you will get 2 GB/day for 7 days or you can purchase $10.21 and get 3 GB/day for 30 days.
unitel-kiosk-at-wattay-airport

Lao Telecom store

  • Location: After immigration, you can turn left and walk towards the exit doors. The Lao Telecom shop is located just before exiting the airport terminal building.
  • Opening Hours: The shop is open daily from 7 AM to 9 PM to coincide with flight schedules. 
  • Plans: With $1.20 you will get 10 GB used for 6 days.

You can keep a few things in mind in case you want to buy a SIM card at the airport upon arrival:

  • You should bring your passport or visa because the seller can double-check your information.
  • Please prepare some cash for the SIM card payment.
  • Make sure your phone is unlocked before your trip.

The difference in price of Lao SIM cards is usually insignificant when you buy online or at the airport. However, buying a SIM card as soon as you arrive at the airport also has pros and cons: 

ProsCons
Can easily purchase a SIM card as soon as you arrive.At risk, you can’t buy a SIM card if your flight lands at night
Get help from store staff to choose a plan and activate your SIM card.Most airport shops and kiosks don’t accept credit cards

III. Do SIM card shops at VTE airport open after midnight?

No, while Wattay Airport (VTE) operates around the clock, the SIM card kiosks inside the airport generally shut down between 11 PM and midnight. This means that if your flight lands during the late hours, you might find the SIM card shops closed.

To avoid any inconvenience, it’s recommended to explore other options like ordering a SIM card online in advance or using an eSIM if your phone supports it. This way, you can ensure a smooth and connected experience upon arrival in Laos.

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

Good to know: 10.000 LAK ~ $0.5 in March 2024

The price of a SIM card at Wattay Airport depends on your chosen carrier and package. You can expect to pay from $5 to $10 for a SIM card here. Below are some popular SIM card price packages at Wattay Airport:

Mobile OperatorPrice ($)DataValidation
Lao Telecom$530 GB30 days
Unitel$72GB30 days
TPlus$103GB30 days

There are various plans for tourists bought at Vientiane (Wattay) Airport: 

1. Lao Telecom

PackagesDataValidationPrice ($)
Tourist SIM4,7 GB6 days$0.5
Tourist SIM5 GB10 days$1
Tourist SIM30 GB30 days$5

2. Unitel

PackagesDataValidationPrice ($)
Tourist SIM3 GB7 days$0.5
Tourist SIM15 GB15 days$2
Tourist SIM35 GB30 days$4.75

3. TPlus

PackagesDataValidationPrice ($)
Tourist SIM5 GB7 days$1.5
Tourist SIM10 GB15 days$2.5
Tourist SIM30 GB30 days$5

The best tourist Vientiane Airport SIM card option for you will depend on your individual needs and budget. If you need a lot of data, then the Unitel plan is a good option. If you are on a budget, then the Lao Telecom Tourist SIM is a good choice.

Note: Information about SIM card packages may change over time and with operators. Please check the detailed information before purchasing a SIM card at Vientiane airport.

The costs for a SIM card at Wattay Airport may change from time to time. You need to check on the official websites of the carriers and compare packages to help choose the most suitable package.

V. What to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Vientiane Wattay Airport – Registration Process

lao-telecom-store-at-vientiane-airport

Before heading to the airport, there are a few things you should prepare to ensure a smooth SIM card purchase process:

  • Passport or visa: Make sure to bring your passport as it is required for registration purposes when purchasing a SIM card in Laos.
  • Cash: Most SIM card vendors at Wattay Airport accept cash payments, so it’s advisable to have some local currency (Laos KIP) or US dollars on hand.
  • Unlocked phone: Ensure that your phone is unlocked and compatible with the networks in Laos.

Registration Process:

  • Choose a mobile operator: There are three main mobile operators in Laos: Lao Telecom, Unitel, and TPlus. 
  • Purchase a SIM card: The staff at the shop can help you choose a plan and purchase a SIM card.
  • Provide your documents: You will need to show your passport or visa to the staff.
  • Complete the registration form.
  • Activate your SIM card: If you don’t know, the staff will help you to activate your SIM card.

VI. Laos eSIM for Vientiane – an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card at Vientiane Wattay Airport

If your trip to Laos is only about 5 to 15 days, you don’t want to bother about installing a new Lao SIM card, using a Lao eSIM would be a great solution.

With eSIM, you will:

  • No need to remove your primary SIM.
  • Can be purchased online anywhere, at the Wattay Airport, or even in your country before your flight without having to queue.
  • No need to register for KYC (personal information).
  • Even if you need a Laos phone number, an eSIM works.

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 many Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Laos, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

You can check details at Gigago’s website about network plans for tourists. In short, using eSIM Laos will make your trip more convenient with seamless connection and greater safety.

laos-esim-of-gigago-for-travelers-at-vientiane-airport

VII. FAQs

1. Can I get help with my SIM after leaving Wattay Airport?

Yes, the network stores in town can assist with top-ups, replacing SIMs, checking balances,…

2. Can I buy a SIM card at Vientiane Airport if my landing is at night?

Yes. At least one store is usually open until around midnight to accommodate passengers from late-arriving international flights. So you can buy a SIM if you land at night.

3. What payment methods do they accept?

Most stalls accept cash (LAK or USD) but may not take credit cards late at night. Have small LAK banknotes ready. Some stalls accept cards during the day.

VIII. Conclusion

Buying your SIM card at Wattay Airport is a simple process that will keep you connected throughout your trip to Laos. From reputable operators like Lao Telecom, Unitel, or TPlus, you can find a SIM card that meets your needs. You can also save time and money by purchasing an eSIM before you arrive by purchasing from trusted sources such as laosesim.com. Wishing you a happy and safe trip!