Best Asia SIM Cards: Everything You Need To Know

Visiting Asia soon? Make sure you know what to expect when it comes to purchasing an Asia SIM card.

Fortunately, Asia is one of the best places where you can buy a SIM card easily. You should be able to find a cheap SIM card pretty much anywhere in Asia. In fact, most data packages are affordable, which makes the whole thing easier!

In this guide, We’ll explain where to buy a SIM card in Asia in person and online. We’ll also discuss prepaid SIM cards and eSIMs if your mobile supports them.

Before you read this guide, you may wonder if you actually need a SIM card in Asia. If you don’t mind not having internet, you’ll likely find Wifi in restaurants, shopping malls, and hotels.

That said, if you need data to get around, call a cab, or translate into a foreign language – you may want to get a SIM card for your travels in Asia

Tourist with phone

Best SIM Cards In Asia

Asia is enormous, and you’ll find various mobile providers depending on the countries you’re visiting. 

We recommend using a SIM card from a local provider, depending on your destination, or Airalo,an eSIM provider. (I’ll get back to Airalo later on, so keep reading to learn more!)

How To Buy A SIM Card In Asia

You can either buy an Asia prepaid SIM card in person in some international airports, in mobile provider stores, in a convenience store, or online.

Usually, you can expect higher costs and low data offers at the airport, so we don’t recommend buying a SIM card at the airport. That said, you won’t necessarily find SIM card shops in every airport, so it’s essential to keep this in mind. 

For this reason, I’d recommend buying a SIM card directly from the mobile provider store. Note that you may need your passport to buy one. Each country has its own rules; you might even need to provide an address.

Although, this means you won’t get data right upon your arrival. So, if you’d rather be connected at all times, you could use an eSIM or purchase an Asia prepaid SIM card online.

Tourist couple with phone

How To Buy An Asia Prepaid SIM Card Online

If you wish to have your SIM card ready for arrival, you could purchase it online or on websites like Amazon.

You’ll find different plans on Amazon. For example, the Prepaid Asia Pacific SIM card offers unlimited data in 17 countries for 14 days. 

But, there are many other options worth considering, so have a look and make sure the countries you’re planning on visiting are listed. 

Another option is to purchase a prepaid Asian SIM card on Simify. This works if you live in the United States or Australia. They currently offer several different packages that cover Asia and specific countries within Asia:

  • South East Asia: 6 GB, valid for 12 days for $25 – works in 13 countries
  • Asia: 6 GB, valid for 15 days for $40 – works in 18 countries
  • South East Asia: 10 GB, valid for 30 days for $29 – works in 13 countries
  • Japan: 6 GB, valid for 15 days for $29
  • China & Hong Kong: 5 GB, valid for 15 days for $30
  • China & Hong Kong: 6 GB, valid for 30 days for $35
  • Thailand: 15 GB, valid for 30 days for $21
  • South Korea: 6 GB, valid for 12 days for $25

Get 10% off your first order with our discount code: ABB10

Finally, the last option is to buy an eSIM plan for Asia.

How To Buy An Asian ESIM Plan

eSIM is a new concept allowing you to have a virtual SIM card inside your phone. If your mobile phone supports eSIM cards – it’s definitely one of the best options to get data in Asia.

Curious? Learn more about eSIMs for travelers on eSIM Roamers.

Airalo Asialink

Airalo offers many eSIM cards worldwide, and they have regional plans for Asia. I’ve now been using Airalo in Asia for several months, and I love its convenience. Read our complete Airalo eSIM review to learn more. 

Here’s an overview of the options available for Asia:

  • 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $5
  • 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $13
  • 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $20
  • 10 GB, valid for 30 days for $37
  • 50 GB, valid for 90 days for $100
  • 100 GB, valid for 180 days for $185

The options mentioned above are part of Asialink and offer coverage in 14 countries.

Alternatively, if you’re traveling in other countries that are not mentioned on the list, you can try Discover Global, which offers coverage in 87 countries.

Here’s an overview of the options available on Discover Global:

  • 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $9
  • 3 GB, valid for 15 days for $24
  • 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $35
  • 10 GB, valid for 60 days for $59
  • 20 GB, valid for 180 days for $89

Now, one important thing to note about Airalo is that you’ll need to keep an eye out for the provider in each country. Suppose you ever have trouble connecting to the Internet during your trip. In that case, it might be because you’re connecting automatically to networks and need to select a network manually instead.

When you purchase the eSIM, you’ll get access to the list of networks supported in each country.

Now, one important thing to note about Airalo is that you’ll need to keep an eye out for the provider in each country. Suppose you ever have trouble connecting to the internet during your trip. In that case, it might be because you’re connecting automatically to networks, and you need to select a network manually instead.

When you purchase the eSIM, you’ll get access to the list of networks supported in each country.

Holafly Asia

Alternatively, you could look at your options on Holafly. You can read our Holafly review to learn more about this eSIM store.

I’ve also tried Holafl during my travels in Asia, and it worked fine. It’s important to note that Holafly is more expensive.

Their Asia eSIM work in 12 countries, and they offer the following plan:

  • 8 GB data for 30 days for $47

Nomad Asia

Another option worth considering is Nomad. They offer APAC, an eSIM plan for Asia. Here’s an overview:

  • 1GB, valid for 7 days for $6
  • 3GB, valid for 30 days for $15
  • 5GB, valid for 30 days for $17

BNESIM Asia

Finally, you could sign up for BNESIM Asia. They have a regional eSIM plan for Asia that includes coverage in 28 countries.

BNESIM offers monthly plan subscriptions and one-time plans:

  • 1 GB, valid for 30 days, $8.93
  • 5 GB, valid for 30 days, $37.74
  • Unlimited data (8GB high speed), valid for 30 days, $68.75
  • 10 GB, valid for 30 days, $72.28

You can also get €4 off with my promo code: MELISSA4OFF.

Tourist group with phone

Final Thoughts On SIM Cards In Asia

As you can see, it’s pretty easy to get a prepaid SIM card in Asia or even an eSIM for Asia. You’ll be able to stay connected wherever you go in Asia without changing your SIM card. 

I believe the eSIM is the most convenient way to get data in Asia if you wish to have data on your arrival. This way, you won’t need to go to a store to buy a SIM card.

Obviously, you need to make sure your mobile phone supports eSIM first. 

Traveling to Asia soon? Read one of the following blog posts:

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