July 16, 2017 at 6:36 pm NZST #2953
I’m heading to Vietnam and Cambodia in mid August.
Sadly, neither country is on VF’s $5 roaming (which is odd given some of the places that are!) so I am faced with finding an alternative option (200Mb of data from VF is $50…!)
Obviously I can (and will) use wifi where I can do so, but what is the most cost effective solution for using my phone for calls etc? Since it’s work, I’d like to be able to access voice mail and so on as well if I can.
The phone is a Samsung Galaxy S8+ if that is important.July 17, 2017 at 11:43 am NZST #2957
Do you have a 2nd phone? Even an old one?
You can buy a Sim at the airport in Vietnam after you collect bags etc and step outside, the guy inserted it for us on the spot and got it working, I think lasted us a week. Then the place we were staying at (can’t remember) just sent the bell boy? out down the road to get top ups for us! We gave them the money – it was so easy. Can’t remember what it cost but not much. Googling a bit seems Mobifone is the go to carrier.
Haven’t been to Cambodia for a while but all I remember is being surprised at such a poor country but everyone had cell phones rather than landlines so am confident they’ll have something. I must have used something there.
Alternatively can work pick up the bill given it’s work related??July 17, 2017 at 10:03 pm NZST #2972
A local SIM is probably your best option. There are a number of ‘Travel SIMs” on the market, but they are generally pretty poor value. You’ll probably need a local SIM in each country, which could be a pain – but probably worth it.
How long are you away for?
Pays to bare in mind that if someone calls your phone while you are roaming, and you don’t answer – you’ll likley pay a charge for them to hit your voicemail, as it’s effectively routed the call to the country you’re in and back. Voicemail may not even work at all (unless your phone is off), as not all carriers have a ‘return path’ to your own network to route back to voicemail.
Pays to also note that Cambodia is on vodafone’s ‘Rest of world’ rates, so while $50 buys you 200mb in Vietnam, it will only buy you a tiny 10mb in Cambodia!
If you trip is short – a travel SIM might be a good middle ground option – easier than a local SIM and cheaper than roaming.July 18, 2017 at 10:37 am NZST #3082
Yes, I think you are right. I have no idea how the antediluvian world of roaming charges arises or is calculated. The EU have just informed all the operators in the EU that they are no longer allowed to charge roaming within the EU, so clearly doing without such charges is possible!
VF’s charges for areas outside the $5/day are eyewatering. Viettel would sell me about 5Gb for the same cost as 200mb.
I’m away for 27 days in total, about 14 in Vietnam and 11 in Cambodia with 2 days flying.July 18, 2017 at 10:39 am NZST #3083
It would almost be cheaper to use a satellite phone..! :-0January 12, 2018 at 1:34 pm NZST #3896
Kiwimac how did you go with Cambodia mobile? Did you just pick up a local sim or find anything else?January 12, 2018 at 4:09 pm NZST #3898
I just used my phone and paid the $300+ bill on my return to be honest.January 13, 2018 at 7:54 am NZST #3900
Had a quick look on Tripadvisor again. Looks like cellcard and metphone receive good reviews. Aiming for a week there later in the year.January 13, 2018 at 6:02 pm NZST #3903
My problem was that I needed clients to be able to call me and so putting in a foreign card with a different number complicated that.
I do wish NZ networks sold the dual SIM versions of popular handsets.January 15, 2018 at 3:04 pm NZST #3914
Local prepay SIM cards in Vietnam and Cambodia offer cheap calling and data, but it’s not so tidy if you need to receive business calls and SMS messages.January 15, 2018 at 4:49 pm NZST #3915
Agreed. VF just need to get their s**t together and include the SE Asian region more fully in their $5/day roaming.January 15, 2018 at 5:08 pm NZST #3917
KiwiTravellerParticipantAgreed. VF just need to get their s**t together and include the SE Asian region more fully in their $5/day roaming.
Yes, would be much easier if they cut deals in more countries, but I think it’s fair to say in general Vodafone’s roaming is better than what 2degrees or Spark offer.January 15, 2018 at 5:55 pm NZST #3918
Oh, miles better – it’s one of the best things about them. I just find it odd the countries that you cannot roam in on the program, like Vietnam, versus some of the places you can – like India!January 15, 2018 at 7:43 pm NZST #3920
I just bought local SIM in each of vietnam and cambodia at airport. Both had good cheap options with loads of data.January 16, 2018 at 3:29 am NZST #3925
I have an old iPhone 4 which is still good for calls, viber, surfing the net so use it as a travel phone keeping my regular numbers free. When I took it to the Cooks they said they didn’t have a sim for that model though so fingers crossed it works in Cambodia.
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