Asia,  During the World Tour,  Laos,  TDM,  Tips

Prepaid 3G/4G SIM card in Laos: How much does it cost? Where to buy it? Recharge & Speedtest

Prepaid SIM cards are sold everywhere in Laos, but in small towns like Luang Prabang, they are often out of stock.
It is therefore better to buy a SIM card as soon as you arrive at the airport.

Which company to choose?

The best company is Unitel.
It’s also the most expensive, but it’s better to pay twice as much and have the connection rather than desperately looking for a signal with other companies.
At Luang Prabang Airport, Unitel’s booth is located outside, next to the toilets – not next to the luggage like other companies.

How much does it cost?

You have to choose a package, it costs between 5$ and 20$, SIM card included. These packages are exclusively for the Internet connection, or include a few minutes of telecommunication.
So just show the offer you want and the salesperson will take care of configuring your phone.
Here are the offers available during my stay in Luang Prabang in January 2018. Click on the pictures to zoom.
(at the airport of Luang Prabang, I was obliged to pay either in dollars or in Thai bahts, if I wanted to pay in Laotian kip, the exchange rate applied by the saleswoman isn’t top).

What is the connection speed?

Despite the advertisement, I only have 3G and not 4G in Luang Prabang with Unitel. However, the speeds are correct, I was able to make video calls on Whatsapp, certainly, the image is a bit pixelized but the sound is very correct. I put here the speedtests :

Thanks to this connection, I was able to work outside by sharing 3G with my computer.

How do I top up credit?

Top-ups (when you already have a Unitel SIM card) are easier to find, in small markets or exchange offices.
To do this, you must indicate the amount of top-up you want. For example, I bought a 10,000 kip refill.
I have to scratch the number (click on the picture to zoom)

Then I have to enter the following number:


then press Call, as if it were a phone number

Then you have to choose the package you want. For example, here I want the “HOI YIM” package to have 2Gb for 5 days.

then I have to send an SMS containing“LT11” to the number 209.

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