Cambodia SIM Card 2024: Complete Guide for Tourists

Cambodia SIM Card 2024: Complete Guide for Tourists

Cambodia, a neighboring country of Vietnam on the Indochina Peninsula, was on my travel bucket list. Before my trip, I wondered about the necessity and process of getting a local SIM card. After some research, I found the essential information. If you're planning to travel to Cambodia, getting a SIM card is crucial for staying connected and avoiding high roaming charges. In this article, I’ll share my experience on how to get a SIM card in Cambodia. Follow along for useful tips!

avatar
Written by Hung DAO (Local Expert) Updated on 19-06-2024
4 Comments

1. Why is a SIM card needed in Cambodia?

First of all, it is essential to understand that Cambodia is a developing country with less advanced telecommunications infrastructure than other nations. Therefore, finding free Wi-Fi or reliable internet cafes to connect to the Internet can be difficult. Additionally, international calls are often expensive and unreliable.

In major cities such as Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville, as well as tourist destinations, most hotels, cafes, and guesthouses offer Wi-Fi access.

The National Museum, a must-see place to visit
The National Museum, a must-visit-place

However, the quality of the connection may vary depending on the number of users, sometimes slow or intermittent. Even on islands like Koh Rong, it is relatively easy to find Wi-Fi hotspots, but access speed remains limited and unstable due to the distance from the mainland.

Connectivity in Cambodia
Connectivity in Cambodia

This is where the SIM card comes in. By purchasing a local SIM card, I was able to easily access the Internet using local mobile data networks. Additionally, I was able to make local and international calls at cheaper rates than with a foreign SIM card.

It's also worth noting that Cambodian SIM cards are often affordable, providing a budget-friendly option for budget-conscious travelers while still staying connected.

cambodian sim cards

Finally, purchasing a local SIM card allows you to benefit from better customer service if there is a problem with your Internet connection or phone line. Local operators are generally more responsive and efficient in resolving problems than foreign operators.

>>> Get to know: Tourist map of Cambodia: Top Tips to Explore like a Pro! 

If you plan to travel to the country for an extended period, you should know that Metfone is renowned for offering the most reliable coverage across Cambodia. However, it is important to note that its speed is sometimes lower than that of its competitors.

If in doubt, you can check out a detailed comparison of the most popular phone carriers below. 

Metfone - the largest telephone operator in the country  

Metfone, a subsidiary of the Vietnamese military network Viettel, stands out for its robust coverage across most of Cambodia, having become the largest telecommunications network in the country, with more than 50% market share in coverage, revenue, and subscribers.

Metfone SIM card in Cambodia
Connection Without Borders: Metfone SIM card in Cambodia

4G speeds, while slightly slower than the competition, are offset by extensive coverage, making Metfone attractive to travelers. This well-established operator offers excellent, extensive network coverage and competitive rates.

However, it offers few prepaid plan options, focusing more on long-term use, mainly for phone calls. I didn't find any specific package offers for tourists on the Metfone website. 

🧳 Join our comprehensive Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos tours to experience the highlights of each country! 🏯🛕🏞️

Cellcard - the fastest mobile network in Cambodia

Since the introduction of its 4G network in 2015, Cellcard has continued to strengthen its position and quickly became the fastest 4G network in Cambodia. Their cell towers now cover more than 80% of the country, offering attractive deals for residents and travelers alike. They have recently won awards for their speed and seem destined to become the leading force among Cambodia's mobile networks.

>>> Learn more about: Cambodia Visitor Guide: Essential Information Before Your Trip

Cellcard SIM card in Cambodia
Cellcard SIM card in Cambodia

In addition to its fast network, Cellcard offers competitive rates and attractive offers. Another advantage of choosing Cellcard is the quality of its customer service, with a team available to answer your questions and quickly resolve your problems. 

Smart - The best economic operator in Cambodia

Smart is not only a popular mobile operator, but it is also recognized as the leading budget operator in Cambodia. Since 2021, Smart has expanded its 4G network coverage in various provinces in Cambodia by adding more than 300 new base stations. These additional locations have significantly improved Smart's 4G LTE network coverage, as well as the overall user experience.

Smart SIM Card
Connected Intelligence: Smart SIM Card

Prepaid SIM cards offer excellent coverage and affordable rates. They also offer unlimited data plans for those who need constant connectivity. 

3. Which mobile plan is best for Cambodia?

Metfone

You can purchase a Metfone SIM card for $1 or $2, depending on the premium level associated with the phone number, in Metfone stores. It is also possible to get a Metfone eSIM for the same price as a standard SIM card. Metfone now offers Data Osja Plus plans ranging from $1 for 8 GB valid for 7 days to $10 for 100 GB valid for 30 days.

Please note that Cambodia mobile operators require your identification (passport) for eSIM and physical SIM cards.

Once you have a Metfone SIM card, you can top up your balance via the official Metfone website at the following address: pay. metfone. Then, you can select from the different packages below:

The different packages of Metfone
Choose Your Connectivity: Metfone Plans in Table

Cellcard

Cellcard offers a variety of offers specially designed for tourists, including the following packs:

  • Free SIM: 100 MB, 10 minutes of call, 10 SMS, valid for 3 days.
  • $3 pack: 15 GB + 15 GB (for the first subscription only), 100 minutes, 100 SMS, valid for 7 days.
  • $5 pack: 25 GB + 25 GB (for first subscription only), 2,500 minutes and SMS, valid for 30 days.
  • $10 pack: 50 GB + 50 GB (for first subscription only), 5,000 minutes, and SMS, valid for 30 days.

🛶 Travel with our Cambodia7-Day Itinerary for an unforgettable adventure! 🌍🕌

Cellcard store in Phnom Penh
Cellcard store in Phnom Penh

Smart 

Smart also offers two types of SIM cards specially designed for travelers, called "Traveler SIM":

  • Free: Includes 10 minutes of calls on the same network, 10 messages, and 100 MB of data, valid for 3 days, using 2G/3G exclusively.
  • $5 plan: Includes 30 GB of data, 300 minutes of on-net calls, 300 on-net SMS, and 30 minutes of off-net and international calls, valid for 15 days. This SIM card can be obtained at Smart Booths in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap International Airports. For more details, visit the Smart Traveller SIM page.

Smart SIM card
Smart SIM card

4. Which SIM card is best suited?

Telephone operators in Cambodia offer two types of SIM cards: the eSIM (Virtual SIM) and the prepaid physical SIM card.

In my experience, the physical prepaid SIM card is the most suitable, popular, and commonly chosen in Cambodia. Metfone, Cellcard, and Smart also sell SIM cards for tourists, but I opted for one just for locals, which worked well during my stay.

Normally, physical SIM card comes in three popular formats: standard, micro, and nano. To fit the size of your phone's SIM card slot, simply cut it out and insert it.

🚀 Plan your perfect getaway with our detailed Vietnam and Cambodia tours. 🏞️🛕

Choose the best SIM card
Choose the Best SIM Card

If you prefer to use an eSIM rather than a physical SIM card, this will allow you to use your cell phone without having to change SIM cards. Metfone, Smart & Cellcard offer eSIMs to prepaid customers. Note that Cambodian mobile operators require your identification (passport) for eSIMs. 

Alternative solutions like AiraloHolafly, Nomad offer regional eSIMs that include coverage in both Cambodia and Vietnam.

Provider Prices Data Packages Phone Number 5G NR Discount Codes
Airalo $4.50 USD – $32 USD 1 GB for 7 days – 20 GB for 30 days No No AIRALOMAY10 (10%), NEWMAY15 (15%)
Alosim $4.50 USD – $32 USD 1 GB for 7 days – 20 GB for 30 days Yes (CA/US number) No PTW (5%)
Holafly $19 USD – $54 USD Unlimited for 5 days – 20 days No No PHONETRAVELWIZ (5%)
Nomad $6 USD – $36 USD 1 GB for 7 days – 20 GB for 45 days No No ADU123 (3 USD)

Activating an eSIM for travel typically involves the following steps:

  • Purchase an eSIM plan from a provider with international coverage.
  • You will receive a QR code or other activation details from the provider.
  • On your eSIM-compatible device, go to the settings related to mobile networks or cellular plans.
  • Select the option to add a new cellular plan or scan the QR code provided by the eSIM provider.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the activation.
  • Make sure your device's network settings are configured correctly for the destination country.

airalo

It's important to note that not all devices are compatible with eSIMs, so be sure to check your device's compatibility before choosing an eSIM.

5. Where can you buy a SIM card in Cambodia?

Mobile phone stores: You can find stores of Cellcard, Smart, and Metfone operators in most major cities and shopping malls such as AEON Mall, Ratana Plaza, MiDTown Mall, or Big Tree Mall. When you visit one of these stores, make sure you have your passport on hand and be prepared to pay a small fee for the SIM card.

Mobile Phone Stores for SIM Cards
Mobile Phone Stores for SIM Cards

On arrival at the Cambodia airport: If you prefer to avoid the hassle of searching for a cell phone store, you can purchase a SIM card at the airport. Both international airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have mobile phone stands where you can purchase a SIM card and airtime credits. The advantage of purchasing a SIM card at the airport is that you can start using your cell phone as soon as you arrive in Cambodia.

Cambodia Airport
Buy your SIM Card at Cambodia Airport

Online: If you prefer to purchase a SIM card before traveling to Cambodia, you have the option of purchasing one online. Several websites offer Cambodian SIM cards, including SimOptions and SimCorner. When you buy a SIM card online, it will be mailed to you before you leave. This means you won't have to search for a cell phone store when you arrive in Cambodia.

>>> Ready for a Cambodia trip? Let's discover Cambodia in 14 Days: Nature and Heritage

6. What should you know before buying a SIM card?

It is essential to check the network coverage of the operator in the region you plan to travel to. Some remote areas may have limited network coverage, which may affect the quality of your internet connection and phone calls. You can view carriers' network coverage maps or ask locals or other travelers for recommendations.

Once you have used up your credit or your plan has expired, you will need to top up your SIM card to continue using it. Operators offer different recharge options, including online, in stores, or by purchasing prepaid recharge cards.

cambodia sim card
Purchasing a SIM card in Cambodia is relatively simple

Be sure to check how long your credit is valid, as some carriers may deactivate your SIM card if you don't top up within a certain time frame.

Purchasing a SIM card in Cambodia is relatively simple. You can go to the operators' stores or the numerous points of sale located throughout the country. You will need to present your passport and complete a registration form. Once you have purchased the SIM card, you must activate it following the instructions provided by the operator.

Cambodian SIM

7. Tips for Saving Data on a Cambodia SIM Card

To maximize your prepaid data on a Cambodia SIM card:

  1. Use Free WiFi: Connect to WiFi in cafes and hotels to save on data.
  2. Enable Data Saver: Activate data saver in your phone settings to reduce bandwidth use.
  3. Download Maps Offline: Use Google Maps offline to navigate without data.
  4. Limit Streaming: Reduce streaming of videos and music; download content instead.
  5. Disable Background Syncing: Turn off background app syncing and sync only on WiFi.
  6. Monitor Usage: Frequently check your data balance with *101#.

By following these tips, you can avoid overages and stay connected affordably.

sim in cambodia
By following these tips, you can avoid overages and stay connected affordably.

Our last words

After two weeks of exploring Cambodia, I confirm that purchasing a SIM card in Cambodia is not only necessary but also an excellent option to stay connected throughout your stay.

I hope the information shared above was helpful and will enable you to choose the best SIM card for your needs, ensuring you have a reliable connection during your trip to Cambodia

Cambodia tours

>>> Related articles:

Quiz: What do you know about Cambodia?

CLICK TO PLAY

Quiz: What do you know about Cambodia?

What do you know about Cambodia?
1/4.The flag of Cambodia is the only flag in the world on which appears:
2/4.What is the capital of Cambodia?
3/4.Where is Cambodia located?
4/4.Where is the Angkor temple complex?
Congratulations
CLOSE
Congratulations2
CLOSE
Congratulations3
CLOSE
Comments (4)
Leave your comment
C
Carson19 Jun 2024
Hi my girlfriend and I have 14 days to explore the highlights of Vietnam, Cambodia, and laos. We're flying into Hanoi and plan to visit cambodia and Laos afterward. We booked the trip spontaneously and haven't done much research yet. We understand that we won't be able to see everything in each country, but we want to experience the must-see parts.Can you recommend the key highlights and must-visit destinations for these three countries in two weeks?Thanks!
(0)Reply
View all comments(1)
KT
Kampá Tour19 Jun 2024

Hi Carson,

For your 14-day trip to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, here’s a suggested itinerary:

  1. Hanoi, Vietnam (2 days): Explore the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, and the Temple of Literature.
  2. Halong Bay, Vietnam (1 day): Take an overnight cruise to experience the stunning scenery.
  3. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2 days): Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, War Remnants Museum, and Ben Thanh Market.
  4. Siem Reap, Cambodia (3 days): Discover Angkor Wat and other nearby temples.
  5. Phnom Penh, Cambodia (1 day): Explore the Killing Fields and Royal Palace.
  6. Luang Prabang, Laos (3 days): Visit Kuang Si Waterfalls, Pak Ou Caves, and enjoy the night market.

For a detailed itinerary, check out our 2-week Cambodia Vietnam Laos tour. If you have more questions, feel free to ask!

Thanks!

(0)Reply
M
Martin19 Jun 2024
I am an American man in his thirties who will have five days to spend in Cambodia in early 2025. Besides the Killing Fields and Angkor Wat, I am at a loss for what else to see. I enjoy cycle touring (the most), history, Buddhist culture, motorbiking and trekking. In Thailand, I enjoyed Kanchanaburi, Korat and Hua Hin, and didn't care for Bangkok and Pattaya. Edit: I will be traveling alone.
(0)Reply
View all comments(1)
KT
Kampá Tour19 Jun 2024

Hi Martin!

Thank you for reaching out. Given your interests and the limited time you have in Cambodia, here’s a suggested itinerary:

  1. Phnom Penh: Visit the Killing Fields and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. In the evening, explore the Riverside and enjoy the local cuisine.

  2. Siem Reap: Spend a few days in Siem Reap to explore Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples. Rent a bicycle to tour the Angkor complex and visit temples like Angkor Thom, Bayon, and Ta Prohm.

  3. Additional Activities: If time permits, visit Tonle Sap Lake or the Angkor National Museum.

Traveling between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap takes a few hours each way. Flying is the quickest option, but buses are available if you prefer.

We offer a detailed 5-day tour in Cambodia that can be modified to fit your interests perfectly. If you have any more questions or need further assistance, please let us know.

Kind regards,

Kampá Tour

(0)Reply
Your question or comment
<div class=fs18>Mrs Duong Thi LAN</div>Travel Consultant
Mrs Duong Thi LAN
Travel Consultant
Have questions about your trips ?
Feel free to ask us !
Related articles
Cambodian Cuisine: Top 15 Unmissable Dishes!!!
Cambodian Cuisine: Top 15 Unmissable Dishes!!!
Discovering the gastronomy of a country is an unforgettable experience to immerse yourself in its culture and culinary tradition. Cambodian cuisine is no exception and offers a variety of flavors and dishes that will delight every palate. If you plan to travel to Cambodia, be sure to try Khmer cuisine, which is a fusion of flavors and culinary techniques from Khmer, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai and French traditions. Let's discover together the culinary world of Cambodia and the best Cambodian dishes not to be missed!
Cambodian New Year 2024: Everything you need to know!
Cambodian New Year 2024: Everything you need to know!
Cambodian New Year, also known as Chol Chnam Thmey in Khmer, is the most important holiday in the Cambodian calendar. This annual event takes place in April and the festivities last for three days, from April 14 to 16. It is a celebration that is both convivial and spiritual and has great cultural importance for the country. In this article, you will learn about the origin of this holiday, as well as the traditions and celebrations associated with the Cambodian New Year 2024.
What to Do in Phnom Penh, Cambodia? Top 10 Activities Not to Be Missed!!
What to Do in Phnom Penh, Cambodia? Top 10 Activities Not to Be Missed!!
If you're looking for an exotic destination for your next vacation, why not opt ​​for the enchanting capital of Cambodia? Here, you can soak up an ambiance that is both mysterious and sacred as you visit the historic monuments, while enjoying a vibrant and lively atmosphere in the local markets, restaurants and bars in the evening. If you are wondering what to do in the capital of Cambodia to fully enjoy your stay, we invite you to follow our detailed guide which will help you plan your activities and discover the riches of the city.
Discovery of Kratie Cambodia: Place of the Mekong River Dolphins
Discovery of Kratie Cambodia: Place of the Mekong River Dolphins
Discover Kratie, Cambodia: Home of Mekong River Dolphins. Tranquil town, historical sites, and enchanting landscapes make it a must-visit destination.
How to Say “Hello” in Cambodian Like a Local: Your Guide to Khmer Greetings
How to Say “Hello” in Cambodian Like a Local: Your Guide to Khmer Greetings
When traveling to a new country, it is always polite to learn how to say hello in the local language. Cambodia is no exception to this rule, and saying hello in Cambodian is a great way to break the ice with the locals. There are different ways to say hello in Cambodia, depending on how formal the situation is. Find out below how to say “Hello” in Cambodian like a local!
Tourist map of Cambodia: Top Tips to Explore like a Pro!
Tourist map of Cambodia: Top Tips to Explore like a Pro!
If you're planning your trip to Cambodia and wondering which destinations to include in your itinerary, our detailed tourist map will guide you through the historical sites, natural wonders, and unique cultural experiences that make this country an enchanted destination. By following our tourist map of Cambodia, you'll uncover the hidden secrets of this fascinating land and engross yourself in a rich and diverse culture.
Visit Tonlé Sap Lake 2024: Discover the Most Beautiful Floating Villages
Visit Tonlé Sap Lake 2024: Discover the Most Beautiful Floating Villages
You may be planning a trip to Siem Reap and wondering, "What to do besides visit the temples?" Well, one of the little-known gems that many travelers fail to discover, as they are naturally fascinated by the magic of Angkor Wat, is Tonle Sap Lake and its floating villages. During the golden age of Angkor, the Tonle Sap lake and river, which separates from the Mekong in modern Cambodia, were to the Khmer Empire what the Nile was to the Egyptians. To learn more about things to see and do in Tonlé Sap, check out our article below.
Hunting Souvenirs in Cambodia: 11 Treasures You Cant Miss
Hunting Souvenirs in Cambodia: 11 Treasures You Can't Miss
Cambodia is a country rich in culture and craftsmanship. If you're planning a trip to this beautiful country, you'll definitely want to bring back some of that cultural richness with you. Whether for yourself or for friends, Cambodian souvenirs always bring joy. If you're wondering what to bring back from Cambodia on your next trip, here are some gift ideas that might interest you.
Related Tours
10 Days Discover Angkors Temples to Coastal Retreats
10 Days Discover Angkor's Temples to Coastal Retreats
Enjoy a 10-day adventure across Cambodia, immersing yourself in its diverse tapestry of culture and history. Explore the architectural marvels of the Angkorian temples, delve into the rich past of the capital, Phnom Penh, and behold the vastness of the Tonle Sap Lake, the crown jewel of Southeast Asia. Cap off your journey with a retreat to the breathtaking shores of Sihanoukville, where pristine beaches and idyllic islands await.
12-Day Cambodia Delight: From Temples to Beach Bliss
12-Day Cambodia Delight: From Temples to Beach Bliss
Enjoy a 12-day trip to Laos, the land of elephants, where serenity and a zen ambiance define this peaceful Buddhist country. Over 12 days, explore all the highlights of this tranquil nation, immersing yourself in its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and unique, off-the-beaten-path experiences.
5-Day Classic Cambodia: Siem Reap to Phnom Penh Journey
5-Day Classic Cambodia: Siem Reap to Phnom Penh Journey
Experience Cambodia's allure in a captivating 5-day journey. Begin in Siem Reap with an Angkor Temple exploration, then transfer to Phnom Penh for a captivating city tour before departing.
Discover Cambodia in 14 Days: Nature and Heritage
Discover Cambodia in 14 Days: Nature and Heritage
The 14-day journey through Cambodia offers a remarkable opportunity to uncover the essence of the Cambodian people and their poignant history. Embark on scenic boat excursions to explore the breathtaking authenticity of nature, alongside experiencing the unparalleled hospitality and warmth of the locals.
From Angkors Heritage to Andaman Beach Escape in 18 Days
From Angkor's Heritage to Andaman Beach Escape in 18 Days
Discover the cultural wonders of Cambodia and Thailand with our 18-day adventure through the heart of Southeast Asia. From the enchanting temples of Angkor Wat to the bustling streets of Bangkok, and from the lush landscapes of Chiang Rai to the pristine beaches of Krabi, this tour offers an unforgettable experience. Explore all the highlights with our expertly crafted itinerary, promising an immersive journey through these two captivating countries.
Panorama of Cambodia in 7 days
Panorama of Cambodia in 7 days
The 7-day route through Cambodia is designed to provide you with an overview of our beloved neighbor: Cambodia. You will discover the country's authenticity by visiting its mystical temples of Angkor and Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia.
Tour suggestions
10 Days Discover Angkors Temples to Coastal Retreats

10 Days Discover Angkor's Temples to Coastal Retreats

Enjoy a 10-day adventure across Cambodia, immersing yourself in its diverse tapestry of culture and history. Explore the architectural marvels of the Angkorian temples, delve into the rich past of the capital, Phnom Penh, and behold the vastness of the Tonle Sap Lake, the crown jewel of Southeast Asia. Cap off your journey with a retreat to the breathtaking shores of Sihanoukville, where pristine beaches and idyllic islands await.

11/06/2024 5,588 views
12-Day Cambodia Delight: From Temples to Beach Bliss

12-Day Cambodia Delight: From Temples to Beach Bliss

Enjoy a 12-day trip to Laos, the land of elephants, where serenity and a zen ambiance define this peaceful Buddhist country. Over 12 days, explore all the highlights of this tranquil nation, immersing yourself in its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and unique, off-the-beaten-path experiences.

23/05/2024 5,149 views
5-Day Classic Cambodia: Siem Reap to Phnom Penh Journey

5-Day Classic Cambodia: Siem Reap to Phnom Penh Journey

Experience Cambodia's allure in a captivating 5-day journey. Begin in Siem Reap with an Angkor Temple exploration, then transfer to Phnom Penh for a captivating city tour before departing.

28/02/2024 5,220 views
Discover Cambodia in 14 Days: Nature and Heritage

Discover Cambodia in 14 Days: Nature and Heritage

The 14-day journey through Cambodia offers a remarkable opportunity to uncover the essence of the Cambodian people and their poignant history. Embark on scenic boat excursions to explore the breathtaking authenticity of nature, alongside experiencing the unparalleled hospitality and warmth of the locals.

10/06/2024 5,598 views
From Angkors Heritage to Andaman Beach Escape in 18 Days

From Angkor's Heritage to Andaman Beach Escape in 18 Days

Discover the cultural wonders of Cambodia and Thailand with our 18-day adventure through the heart of Southeast Asia. From the enchanting temples of Angkor Wat to the bustling streets of Bangkok, and from the lush landscapes of Chiang Rai to the pristine beaches of Krabi, this tour offers an unforgettable experience. Explore all the highlights with our expertly crafted itinerary, promising an immersive journey through these two captivating countries.

17/05/2024 5,038 views
Panorama of Cambodia in 7 days

Panorama of Cambodia in 7 days

The 7-day route through Cambodia is designed to provide you with an overview of our beloved neighbor: Cambodia. You will discover the country's authenticity by visiting its mystical temples of Angkor and Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia.

17/06/2024 5,584 views