5 BEST eSims for South East Asia (2024)

Cazzy Magennis
Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
Last Updated:
February 28, 2024
Looking for an eSIM for South East Asia? Look no further! We've got the 5 best on offer & tried and tested so you can find the best one for you...
best esims for south east asia

If you haven't come across eSims yet then you’ve come to the right place! 

eSims are exploding at the moment as more and more companies offer a new practical way of accessing the internet on your smartphone when travelling.

Brad and I started using eSims for international travel back in 2021 and it was a game changer for our travels. Gone are the days of having to walk around stores trying to get a local sim, handing your passport over, and sometimes having a few language barriers.

Not to mention, there’s now less chance of me losing my actual sim card (yes, this has happened almost quite a few times!).

Below we are going to take you through the BEST eSims for South East Asia.

A region where data is typically quite cheap, and these eSim choices reflect the best value deals for the convenience of travelling around SouthEast Asia.

But, first things first….

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What is an eSim? 

An eSIM is a form of SIM card that is embedded directly into the device. 

So to put it simply, it’s a digital version of your standard SIM Card.

You can activate and use an eSIM by purchasing and installing an eSIM plan onto your phone, and then using this to connect to mobile networks all over the globe.

As it’s totally virtual and digital it means you don't need to insert a physical card into your phone, so you don't have to faff around with SIM card removal, and overall it makes the process quicker.

Unlike using portable WiFi, or a mobile WiFi hotspot, you don’t have to use any external devices to access the internet.

5 BEST eSims for South East Asia 

1. Jetpac Travel - Best eSIM for Asia Travel

Jetpac Esim

Kicking off this list of eSIM data plans is Jetpac.

They won an award for 2023 Travel Product of the Year with Asia Telecom Awards, so they can’t be a bad choice of Asia eSIM!

Jetpac offer a variety of different plans including a country specific plan, regional and global plan.

The plans also include a decent amount of data so you’re safe in the knowledge that you’ve got enough internet to keep you going throughout your trip. 

Jetpack offers a couple of Southeast Asia specific plans, the backpacker and the explorer, which offer 5gb and 20gb respectively.

They cover the top 5 Southeast Asian destinations - Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

They also have a Global Globetrotter plan which operates in the 50 most popular destinations around the world.

Jetpac are unique in that they offer complimentary airport lounge access if your flight is delayed, through their ‘Smart Delay’ program.

If the airline announces a delay that meets the qualifying delay threshold, or if your flight is cancelled you’ll be sent a LoungeKey voucher which gives you access to a network of over 1000 airport lounges around the globe.

Check out our full review here.
Jetpac Esim packages Southeast Asia

Advantages of Jetpack Travel for South East Asia: 

  • Smart Delay program offering airport lounge access
  • Flexible plan that can be topped up at any time
  • Global SIM option

Disadvantages of Jetpack Travel for South East Asia: 

  • Southeast Asia packages only cover 5 countries in the region

2. Maya Mobile - Best overall travel eSIM

Maya Mobile E-sim Asia+

Maya Mobile provides a great value service, and has to be one of the best priced eSIMS on the market.

There’s a lot of different options when it comes to Southeast Asian eSIMs, as they have a variety of different Asia packages.

You can choose from 5,10,15 and 30 day plans. Within each there’s a large choice of different data packages from as little as 3gb, all the way up to unlimited data.

Of course these gradually increase in price, but as people who work online full time, we found the unlimited package to suit us perfectly, and it didn’t cost us an arm and a leg.

Their Asia eSIMs cover 12 asian countries (and a few more too!): Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, and are inclusive of 5G (where available).

This is great as you could get a 30 day plan with unlimited data, and not miss out as you move between countries.

These longer plans also have auto-renew features so it simply rolls over if you’re travelling for longer periods, and you don’t need to worry about suddenly going offline.

Another great benefit of Maya Mobile is that you can hotspot the data, which not all eSIM providers allow.

Maya Mobile Asia+ Plans and Pricing

Advantages of Maya Mobile for Southeast Asia: 

  • Used in 12 countries (including Australia and New Zealand!)
  • Can be used for hotspots
  • Great value eSIM
  • 5G network across Asia
  • Unlimited data packages available

Disadvantages of Maya Mobile for Southeast Asia: 

  • Some apps don’t work quickly on Maya
  • No global SIM option

3. Eskimo - Get 1GB free by clicking this link

Eskimo Esim

Eskimo is a great choice for a straightforward Asia eSIM. They offer simple global data plans which work in over 80 countries, including the following in Southeast Asia - Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.

The global nature of the eSIM makes it super easy and convenient if you’re travelling for a long period and likely to be country hopping.

All of their sims are valid for 2 years which is an amazing feature, as you don’t need to worry about your internet expiring, and you don’t need to keep chopping and changing between SIMs every month or so.

Like Maya Mobile you are able to hotspot data from Eskimo to an unlimited number of devices, which is certainly essential for digital nomads like us!

Something that sets Eskimo out from the rest, is the data transfer feature.

This means you can share, transfer or split data with anyone, anywhere, so if someone you meet on the road needs to steal a bit of data, you can simply give them some of yours.

Check out our full review here.
Eskimo Esim Southeast Asia Packages

Advantages of Eskimo for Southeast Asia: 

  • Global option which works in 80 countries
  • Valid for 2 years
  • Hotspot available
  • Data transfer
  • Exclusive discount to try it out for FREE
  • Done through an app
  • Variety of data plans at a range of good prices

Disadvantage of Eskimo for Southeast Asia:

  • No options for country or region specific eSIMs

4. Holafly - Best unlimited data eSIM

Holafly Esim for Southeast Asia

Holafly offers a fantastic unlimited eSIM data plan, available from 5 up to 30 days.

Whilst in other countries Holafly offer longer plans, they don’t offer an eSIM for longer than 30 days in Asia.

There are 11 countries covered in the Holafly Asia SIM - South Korea, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Laos.

Unfortunately there isn’t a hotspot option with Holafly. This won’t matter if you aren’t using multiple devices, however if you work on the road and use a laptop it might be a problem.

Holafly Esim Asia plans

Advantages of Holafly for Southeast Asia: 

  • Unlimited data in Asia
  • 24/7 customer support

Disadvantages of Holafly for Southeast Asia: 

  • No plan for longer than 30 days
  • No hotspot feature
  • Not 5G compatible
  • No local number

5. Airalo - Best eSIM for choice

Airalo Esim for Southeast Asia

Rounding up this list of the best eSIM for Asia is Airalo.

They’re a well established company in the eSIM game. They’ve been around since 2019 and have garnered over 5 million users since then.

They’ve also become well-known for their great customer services, offering prompt and helpful responses.

Their Asia plans are available in 14 countries - Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

There are also local eSIMs for singular countries, as well as global options.

One of the best things about Airlo is their super user friendly app which allows you to switch between SIMs easily. You can also easily look through all your different eSIM options here, so you can be sure you’ve made the best choice.

Using the Airlo app means you can join their rewards system where you can collect credits to top up your eSIMs and collect points each time you purchase new plans.

Airalo Esim Plans for Asia

Advantages of Airalo for Southeast Asia

  • Plans of up to 180 days
  • Available in 14 countries
  • User friendly app
  • Great customer support
  • Local, regional and global eSIM options

Disadvantages of Airalo for Southeast Asia

  • Data only, limited call plans
  • No unlimited options (max is 100gb)

What are the benefits of using an eSim for South East Asia? (Over a physical sim!) 

benefits of using an eSim

1. Flexibility

Using an eSim means you can readily switch between different plans depending on your needs.

And you can easily make the switch by just virtually changing carriers on your phone.

When you’re travelling Southeast Asia it’s likely you’ll travel around numerous different countries, and the great thing about eSims is they work in multiple different countries.

2. Convenient And Quick

As I said before, it’s likely you’ll visit numerous different countries during your Southeast Asia trip, and it can be a pain having to sort out a new SIM card whenever you arrive in a new country.

There’s enough going on at the arrivals terminal without having to think about a SIM card too!

eSIMS are already embedded onto your phone so you can get online as soon as the plane lands.

Using prepaid data plans when you travel saves a lot of time, and is ideal if you work online!

3. More Affordable

Physical SIM cards aren’t always the most cost effective way, and you’ll find you can get scammed at the airports, thinking you’ve got a good deal but actually there’s very little data for you to use.

You usually have to buy a data package alongside the actual SIM card, or if you opt for a roaming package with your current SIM these too can be really expensive!

eSIMS usually work out cheaper, especially if you’re travelling frequently and longer term.

4. No Physical SIM Cards

The last thing you want to be doing in the airport is fumbling around with tiny SIM cards, and having an eSIM removes this hassle.

And there may have been one or two times where I’ve misplaced my actual SIM card which is never good!

So all the more reason to go for an eSIM.

5. Keep Your Number

There are lots of smartphones now which have a dual SIM card tray, but it can still be a bit of a hassle having to swap the cards out.

It’s always useful to keep hold of your number as it’s the contact number family, and friends have for you, and if you work abroad it’s likely a number you might need for business purposes.

What are the disadvantages of eSims for SouthEast Asia?

disadvantages of eSims

1. Hard to switch devices once the eSIM is embedded 

If your phone was to stop working and you needed to switch your SIMs, this is hard with an eSIM as it is totally embedded in your device.

You’ll need to download the eSIM from the cloud which takes longer to complete than simply switching a physical SIM.

2. eSIMs are only available on certain phones

There are only certain models of smartphones which are compatible with eSIMs. We have a full list of these below.

What mobile phones are compatible with eSims?

Phones Compatible with eSIM

Apple

  • iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS, XS Max, XR
  • iPhone SE (2020, 2022)
  • Apple watch series 3, 4, 5 and 6
  • Apple watch SE

All iPads with 4G connectivity that have come out since 2018 support eSIM:

  • iPad Pro 11″ (model A2068, from 2020)
  • iPad Pro 12.9″ (model A2069, from 2020)
  • iPad Air (model A2123, from 2019)
  • iPad (model A2198, from 2019)
  • iPad Mini (model A2124, from 2019)

Samsung

  • Galaxy S22, S22+ 5G, S22 Ultra 5G
  • Galaxy S21, S21+ 5G, S21 Ultra 5G
  • Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra
  • Galaxy Note 20, 20+, 20 Ultra
  • Galaxy Fold, Fold 2, Fold 3
  • Galaxy Z Flip, Flip 3
  • Samsung Watch (through Samsung wearable application)

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G or 5G is not compatible with eSIM.

Google

  • Google Pixel 2 (only phones bought with Google Fi service), 2 XL
  • Google Pixel 3 (not including phones bought in Australia, Taiwan or Japan. Phones bought with US or Canadian carriers other than Spring and Google Fi don't work with eSIM), 3a (not including phones bought in Japan or with Verizon service), 3a XL, 3 XL
  • Google Pixel 
  • Google Pixel 4, 4a, 4 XL 
  • Google Pixel 5, 51
  • Google Pixel 6, 6 plus

Other ESIM Compatible Devices

  • Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro, Huawei Mate 40 Pro (The Huawei P40+ is not compatible with an eSIM)
  • Oppo Find X5, X5 Pro, X3 Pro
  • Oppo Reno 5A, Reno 6 Pro 5G
  • Sony Xperia 10 IV, 10 III Lite
  • Honor Magic 4 Pro
  • Fairphone 4
  • Motorola Razr 2019
  • Nuu Mobile X5
  • Gemini PDA
  • Rakuten Mini
  • Microsoft Surface Duo

Basically, if you’ve got a new phone, then an eSIM will work (probably even multiple eSIMS), but if your phone isn’t on the above list, or is older than the list, then the chances are it will not be compatible with an eSIM.

We hope you've found this eSIM guide useful! If you need eSIMs for other countries and regions, then check out our other guides.

Disclaimer: Fully research your destination prior to travel, or any products prior to purchase. We can accept no responsibility for anything you experience as a result of the information found on this website. Some posts may contain affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for some purchases, at no additional expense to you. Read more here
Some images courtesy of Deposit Photos.
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