Off to Laos next week. I was wondering if anyone knew of a cheap way of making mobile phone calls to the UK whilst I am there as I want to keep in touch with the boyfriend (he doesn't have computer/skype facilities so internet cafes aren't really an alternative).
I have a UK mobile phone contract and it costs ALOT to use it in Asia (I stupidly used my phone in Vietnam this year and ran up a bill bigger than my airfare out to Asia!!)
I have tried searching the internet etc but only seem to be finding info re: pre-paid cards which allow cheap calls TO Laos, rather than phoning out of the country.
Does anyone have any advice about calling cards/know how much local sims cost and what I will get for my money etc?
Thanks in advance for any helpful answers.
Is it really important for you to use a mobile when making calls? If not, internet shops with attached phone service are probably your best bet (not sure about the prices, but they are a lot less expensive then your UK phone). You may also use a Skype account to ring any number in the UK, check their Pricelist.
In Indonesia, prices for occasionally calling europe were close-to-acceptable with local sim-cards. I do not know the rates in Laos, maybe someone else can chip in.
#2 hokasch has been a member since 24/12/2008. Posts: 45
Due to time differences/boyfriend's work pattern etc, I probably will need to rely on using a mobile whilst I am over there so buying a phone and sim sounds like the perfect answer. I assume they are easy enough to buy/find?!
They should be easily available, the bigger the city, the better...
You can bring your own phone and just plug in the lao sim card. Check out the conditions of the different providers when there, [a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293949-i9320-k3085229-Sim_card_and_charges-Laos.html"]here[/a] are some more tips.
#5 hokasch has been a member since 24/12/2008. Posts: 45
Ooh thanks for that link - the tip about dialling codes is particularly useful!
Unfortunately I have a locked iphone but by the sounds of it it shouldn't be too hard or expensive to pick up a cheap phone at the same time as the sim card.
Oh and I fly into Vientiene so figure I will be safe on "the bigger the city..." part!
On the opposite side of the street from the morning market, and a block or two further down, you'll see big billboard signs above phone stores and a side street filled with phone stores. This is the street leading to the main office of the National Phone Company and the stores seem to have sprung up along the way.
The mostly Chinese and Vietnamese kids working in those places are wizards. They should have you talking on your own phone in half an hour. I like the cheap simple Nokia's that seem to have flooded the market. No camera, no bells and whistles, simple to use, wish I could use it here in the states.
There are many other places but I pointed you towards the biggest best I know of. Others are back of morning market itself, across the street at dalat kua din, or other places.
Just realised the mess with "mobile standards"... So, basically, if you're from Europe, you can bring your phone to Asia. If you're from the Americas - well, it depends.
#10 hokasch has been a member since 24/12/2008. Posts: 45
Sure, up in Ou Tai it's the only thing that does work. Not so handy in the rest of the country, still good enough reason to go to Ou Tai.
Map Ou Tai
Probably good in Ou Neua and Phou Neua too but I never went there to see what kind of coverage. All your small Chinese money works up there too, Fen and Jiao and what not. Those fen coins float on water you know.
"I just bought a local phone, cheap. Around ten cents a minute. Phone and sim card set me back 500 baht."
I'm with Somsai here. This is the way to go. Cheap, easy. I bought a cheap phone in Thailand - didn't pay squat for it. Use one to call... painfully easy and very cheap. Calls back to the States cost almost nothing. Laos sounds the same (funny but when in Savankhet I am still using Thai phone service).
#14 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Before you leave the uk you can install near your computer an adapter called Rylwy, and you will be able to remote access your landline and cellphone for free.
#15 alkis has been a member since 8/10/2009. Posts: 2
Basically you can get a sim card from any of the vendors.
There have been guests asking us this repeated questions so our own hotel sells these cards for the guests where you can top them up yourselves at any grocery stores.
Here are the following cards that you can get:
1. Tigo (costs about $1.20USD for the card and comes with $1.20 worth of call value)
How to Call
Dial 177 + country code + and telephone number
For eg: Autralia: 177 61 XXXXXXXXX
Using 177 will cost you 2000 kip or about ($0.25) a minute.
Tigo comes with free SMS service to Thai and Vietnamese networks.
For a list of country codes refer here:
Dial 188 + country code + and telephone number
For eg: Autralia: 188 61 XXXXXXXXX
Using 177 will cost you 1999 kip or about ($0.25) a minute.
For a list of country codes refer here:
3. Lao Telecom
Dial 00 + country code + and telephone number
For eg: Autralia: 00 61 XXXXXXXXX
Using 00 will cost you 2000 kip or about ($0.25) a minute.
Hope this helps anyone who will be going to Laos in the future