In the modern world, it’s become expected that you can stay connected regardless of where on this great big planet you happen to be. I mean, what’s the point of being somewhere fab if you can’t upload your stunning pics instantly and let all those back home see just what an awesome time you are having? Even if you’re not. Cos you know not everything on The Gram is accurate right? Of course there are many more noble reasons for staying online. Like getting directions, ordering a ride or using google to fact check to settle an argument. The advent of the smart phone has made it so easy, but unless you have global roaming or are prepared to rely on free WiFi, you’ll need a local SIM card when you head overseas. For our recent trip to Cambodia, it went without saying that we would source a Cambodian SIM card while in town. There are 4 Cambodia SIM card providers and I compared them all before deciding on Metfone Cambodia. Read on to help you choose the best SIM card in Cambodia for you …
Why Buy A Cambodian SIM Card?
I’m no stranger to buying a local SIM card when I travel. I’ve purchased travel SIM cards in the USA, Vietnam, New Zealand, the Philippines and Indonesia. Roaming charges can be astronomical and horror stories of folks returning home to $1k+ phone bills are not uncommon. I changed mobile phone providers just before my recent trip to Cambodia and I thought I would have another quick look to see if roaming was a viable option. It wasn’t. I’m on Amaysim’s AUD$30 a month pre-paid plan which gives me 10GB of data. Amaysim has different rates for data while roaming in each country and in Cambodia it would have cost me AUD$0.50 per MB. It doesn’t sound like much when you say it like that, but that’s a whopping AUD$500 per GB. AUD$500!!! I know a lot of Aussies on Vodafone plans use the AUD$5 a day global roaming when travelling to one of the 80 countries included. Cambodia is on the list, but there is a catch. The AUD$5 doesn’t actually give you any additional data, call or texts, it just allows you to use your current plan while travelling. If you go over the amount of data allowed for in your plan in Cambodia it will cost you AUD$10 a GB for the extra you use. It’s even more expensive for those on Vodafone pre-paid, where a 7 day roaming add on is AUD$35 and only comes with 250MB data with calls/text or 500MG of data alone. I tend to use more data while away then I do at home as I’m constantly looking up directions, researching things to do and of course checking in on Facebook. My typical usage while travelling is 1 – 2GB per week. Had I decided to use my roaming, I would have been up for just under a grand in roaming charges. Free WiFi is of course an option and most hotels in Cambodia offer this to in-house guests. You can also sometimes snag it in restaurants, bars and attractions here and there. If you only need to be online sporadically, you could get by using free WiFi in Cambodia, but why would you want to? It’s so much more convenient to have the power of the internet in the palm of your hand 24/7 and when a SIM card in Cambodia will set you back as little as USD$2 you would be crazy not to take advantage.
Choosing A Cambodian SIM Card
There are 4 main providers of Cambodian SIM cards; Metfone, Smart, Cellcard and qb. Each offer various travel sim card packages starting at just $2, but for ease of comparison I focused on plans around the $5 mark. Some providers will also charge you a dollar or two for the Cambodian SIM card itself if you don’t already have one. I ruled out qb as they don’t offer 4G/LTE. Smart have a good offer if you are interested in talk and text as both are unlimited. There is only 2GB of data included, but you do get unlimited data to use on certain social media. Cellcard Cambodia offer a generous 8GB of data over 30 days on their XG6 plan which is great for those in Cambodia longer. Add $3000 value of calls and texts and it’s a pretty sweet deal for USD$6. The deciding factor for us in choosing Metfone Cambodia over Cellcard Cambodia was convenience. Both were the same price, both offered enough data (but Metfone’s is unlimited), both offer some calls and texts (not that we needed them) and both had sufficient time for our 7 day trip. Ultimately it came down to the fact that Metfone Cambodia was right across the road from our hotel The Park Hyatt Siem Reap and that’s tough to beat. Oh and did I mention that Metfone Cambodia has over a 50% share of the market? Over 7 million subscribers can’t be all wrong.
Metfone Cambodia Offices
We bought our Metfone Cambodia SIM card from the showroom at SIE02-Svaydongkom in Siem Reap, but you won’t have to go far to find a Metfone Cambodia office. With over 87 showrooms and 200+ agents across the country, there is never one far away. Travellers flying into either Phnom Penh or Siem Reap airports will be glad to know they can pick up a Metfone Cambodia SIM card at the terminal. For those that need data to order a ride through Grab Cambodia it’s especially convenient.
Our Metfone Cambodia SIM Card Experience
Our first stop in Cambodia was in Siem Reap. We flew from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap on Cambodia Angkor Air and touched down around 9.30am. We thought about buying our Metfone Cambodia SIM card at the airport, but we didn’t want to keep our driver waiting and figured it could wait until we got into town. Shortly after settling in, we made a beeline for the nearest Metfone Cambodia office. The store was quiet when we arrived and there was only one other person in front of us. We decided to peruse the information on display while we were waiting. Metfone Cambodia offer a tonne of plans and quite frankly it was rather overwhelming trying to figure out which would suit us best from the sign on the wall. Especially since most of it was in Khmer. So we just asked which would work best. We were offered a USD$6 Cambodian SIM card with unlimited data. Sold! We had originally planned to just buy one card and tether, but for that price we splurged and got one each. We were required to show our passports as Cambodia has strict requirements for purchasing SIM cards to combat crime. Folks that purchase a Cambodian SIM card without ID risk getting their service deactivated and retailers risk arrest for non-compliance. Once we handed over the money, the helpful staff set up our phones and tested them. The Hubs’ worked perfectly first go. Mine was problematic and they couldn’t get my phone service working. I wasn’t too fussed as the data was functioning and I figured we could use The Hubs’ phone for the odd call we would need to make. We used our Metfone Cambodia SIM cards throughout Siem Reap and Phnom Penh and the only outage we had was on the return journey from our Siem Reap Angkor Wat temple tour and it was only briefly.
The Final Word On Metfone Cambodia SIM Cards
I’m all about travelling in luxury for less. I advocate there is a time to save and a time to splurge. I find roaming fees to be a ridiculous waste of money. Those dollars could be better put towards a stunning 5 star hotel like the Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh. Cambodia is the sixth country where I have purchased a local SIM card on my travels and I couldn’t be happier with how easy it has been and how much money I have saved over the years. Trust me on this one. Get yourself to Metfone Cambodia and pick up a Cambodian SIM card as soon as possible after touching down, your wallet will thank you for it. If you are in the process of planning your trip to Cambodia make sure you check Agoda. I find they have the best prices on hotels in Asia and I use them almost exclusively to book my accommodation.
Do you purchase local SIMs when you travel? Have you ever had any issues? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Until Next Time …
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Disclosure Statement: This post is not sponsored. I paid for my Metfone Cambodia SIM card in full. The information in this article is based on my own personal experiences and has not been influenced in any way by the brand(s) featured. This post may contain affiliate links which if clicked may earn me a small commission on purchases at no extra cost to you.