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Southeast Asia eSIM: Holafly vs Airalo with Alternatives

Southeast Asia eSIM – When planning your trip to Southeast Asia, securing a reliable internet connection is an essential step. This guide will help you choose the best eSIM for your travels by comparing the top providers and their plans, with a focus on Holafly and Airalo.

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We’ll look at the price, coverage, and data allowances, along with some alternatives to ensure you have all the information you need.

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What Really is an eSIM?

An eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that eliminates the need for a physical SIM. It allows you to switch between carriers and data plans with ease, making it a preferred choice for international travelers. With an eSIM, you can maintain your primary phone number while using a secondary data plan, eliminating the need to swap out SIM cards.

Benefits of Using an eSIM

  1. There’s no need to buy a local SIM card when you land in Southeast Asia.
  2. Switch between providers and plans with ease.
  3. Avoid roaming fees and international charges.
  4. Keep your primary phone number while using a secondary data plan.

Comparing Holafly vs Airalo for Southeast Asia eSIM

The Most Popular eSIMs in Southeast Asia Holafly and Airalo are among the most popular eSIM providers for travelers to Southeast Asia. Both offer various data plans, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Holafly Southeast Asia eSIM

See Holafly plans for their International Asia eSIM below:

  • 6 GB for 15 days for $44 USD
  • 10 GB for 30 days for $54 USD
  • Coverage: Nationwide, including major cities and tourist destinations
  • Network: Utilizes the Vodacom network

Review our full Holafly Guide here.

Southeast Asia eSIM: Holafly vs Airalo with Alternatives

Airalo Southeast Asia eSIM

Airalo offers some of the best pricing options for Southeast Asia eSIM with multiple data options.

  • 1 GB for 7 days for $5 USD
  • 3 GB for 30 days for $13 USD
  • 5 GB for 30 days for $20 USD
  • 50 GB for 90 Days for $100 USD
  • 100 GB for 180 Days for $185 USD
  • Coverage: Nationwide, including major cities and tourist destinations
  • Network: Utilizes the MTN network

Read our detailed review of Airalo here.

Southeast Asia eSIM: Holafly vs Airalo with Alternatives

Comparing these two providers, Holafly offers the advantage of unlimited data, making it an excellent option for heavy data users. On the other hand, Airalo provides more budget-friendly plans suitable for light to moderate data users.

Alternatives to Holafly and Airalo

Although Holafly and Airalo are popular choices, several other eSIM providers are worth considering:

  1. Nomad Southeast Asia eSIM: Offers 1 GB for 7 days for $8 USD, 3 GB for 15 days for $13 USD, 5 GB for 30 Days for $17 USD, 20 GB for 30 days for $38 USD, and 10 GB for 30 days for $25 USD
  2. Ubigi Southeast Asia eSIM: Provides 500 MB for 1 day for $3 USD, 1 GB for 30 days for $12 USD, 5 GB for Unlimited No of Days for $29 USD
  3. MTX Connect eSIM Southeast Asia: Data plans start at $15 USD for 3 GB of data valid for 30 days.
  4. Bnesim gives you 500MB/day of data for 3 days for only $5.99
  5. Prepaid SIM Cards in Southeast Asia are also available in case your device doesn’t support eSIM compatibility.

Activating Your eSIM

Once you’ve purchased an eSIM, you’ll receive a QR code via email. Scan this code with your phone’s camera to activate the eSim and access your data plan. Remember, you’re only purchasing data, not voice or text services, so you’ll need to use apps like WhatsApp or Telegram for communication.

eSIM Compatibility and Requirements

Before purchasing an eSim, ensure that your device supports eSIM functionality. This feature is generally available on newer devices.

For Apple users, iPhone XR and later models support eSIM functionality. For Samsung users, Galaxy S20 and later models are eSIM compatible. Google Pixel 3 and later models also support eSim. Lastly, ensure that your device is unlocked to use eSim services from different providers.

Additional Tips for Using eSIM in Southeast Asia

To maximize your eSIM experience in Southeast Asia, consider the following tips:

  1. Conserve Data: Turn off automatic updates and background app refresh to save data.
  2. Offline Maps: Use offline maps or download maps of the areas you plan to visit.
  3. Wi-Fi Connectivity: Connect to Wi-Fi at accommodations, cafes, or public areas whenever possible to conserve data.
  4. Monitor Usage: Regularly check your data usage to avoid running out of data during your trip.
  5. Battery Life: Keep a portable battery pack handy to ensure your phone stays charged while using data-intensive apps.


  1. Can I use my eSIM in different countries?
    • Yes, you can use your eSIM in different countries as long as the data plan you purchased supports roaming or you buy a global eSIM plan. However, make sure to check with your eSim provider for the specific countries covered in your plan.
  2. Can I have multiple eSIMS on my phone?
    • Yes, you can have multiple eSIMs on your phone. However, the number of eSIMs you can use simultaneously depends on your phone model. For instance, the latest iPhones allow you to use one physical SIM and one eSim at the same time.
  3. Can I top up my eSIM if I run out of data?
    • The ability to top up your eSIM depends on the eSIM provider. Some providers allow for top-ups while others require you to purchase a new plan once your current one runs out. Check with your provider for specific details.
  4. Can I share my eSIM data through a hotspot?
    • Yes, you can share your eSIM data through a hotspot, just as you would with a regular SIM card. This allows you to share your internet connection with other devices.
  5. What happens to my eSIM if I lose my phone?
    • If you lose your phone, your eSIM remains with it. However, since an eSIM is just a digital profile, you can contact your provider and have them transfer your eSim data plan to another device.

Final Thoughts on Southeast Asia eSIM – Comparing Holafly vs Airalo

Our final verdict, Airalo wins over Holafly when it comes to better Southeast Asia eSIM with its more affordable pricing and more data options. If you want a smaller connection like 500 MB, you can go for Ubigi, however, Airalo is the better option compared to all of them.

👉🏽 Choose Airalo eSIM

👉🏽 Choose Holafly eSIM