If you intend to travel to Myanmar particularly visit great destinations like Yangon, Bagan, Inle Lake, and Mandalay, you will probably wonder: “Which sim card is best in Burma? What’s the current cost of a SIM card? Where’s the best place to buy the SIM card – local shops or go to the carrier’s outlets? And are micro-SIM cards available?…”. These kinds of questions are common as staying connected or uploading a photo to social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram,…is indispensable during your wonderful trips.
To get a better insight, please consider several useful information.
First of all, remember that your phones are all unlocked. To purchase a SIM card, foreigners need to have photocopies of their passport photo page and Myanmar visa page, as well as one passport photo.
Secondly, pick up a local Myanmar SIM card and purchase a data package. Data packages in Myanmar are super cheap and it is great to have Google maps and other apps while you’re out exploring. You will be amazed that Google maps can give you directions on dirt roads to some of the best Bagan temples, top Café shops or Tea houses in Yangon, Bagan, Inle Lake, and Mandalay… Visitors can purchase Myanmar SIM cards at the Yangon International Airport, some hotels and shopping malls in Yangon, cell phone shops in Bagan and Inle Lake,…
From the perspective of the public, Ooredoo, Telenor, and MPT are 3 companies considered as the best providers.
In 2015 they started to sell a Tourist SIM. In 2016 it was upgraded: For a sales price of 15,000 kyats, visitors get 5 GB data and 50 local mins to all nets for 14 days. It’s available in only a few tourist-oriented locations: it was launched in Yangon International Airport in November 2016 and is now available at their counters in Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw airports too. Telenor Sim Cards are sold for 1,500 kyats starter price without credit.
It is 1500 kyats ($1-1.50 USD) for a SIM card and 11,500 kyats for 2.5 GB of data (about $8-9 USD) with Ooredoo. You can buy a SIM for just 1500 kyats for a phone/data service with Ooredoo from any phone shop and many grocery stores across the country, and you probably can do this without showing any ID. You can buy top-up scratch cards for Ooredoo for 1000 kyats in many places and the cost of call and data use is deducted from your credit balance according to the tie of the day at the rates indicated on the website. However, the Ooredoo network is still developing and you may find that the only places you can get a decent signal are in the major cities and in the center of Bagan/Nyaung U, for example.
The former government monopoly Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT) has the most extensive country-wide coverage, but (as of early 2015) obtaining and using a SIM from MPT was much more expensive than getting one from one of the newer telcos operating in Myanmar.
For tourists in Myanmar tours, they sell a special SIM only at the MPT Shop in Yangon International Airport in both terminals. You pay 10,000 Ks. for the starter and get 1 GB data and 5,000 Ks. credit valid for 10 days. Data over the package is billed at their default rate of 6 Ks. per MB. Compared to their regular SIM cards, this is not a good deal.