When I visited Laos back in December 2013, I had initially landed in Luangprabang. I traveled with my Samsung Galaxy S4 which utilizes the micro sized sim and I wanted to be able to use my phone while in Laos. So when I arrived I was on the look out for this sim. I had quite a bit of trouble finding this it. Many places sold the standard sim and most had no ability to cut them to make them smaller. I eventually found a vendor who very reluctantly helped me.
I'm even unsure of whether I should recommend him or mention where I found him. He really only begrudgingly helped - not sure what his problem was that day. In any case, I did purchase the micro sim from him as there weren't many other options to choose from. But the setup was not all automatic. He did make some settings changes for me. During the initial setup they let you choose, English, Thai or Lao. Topping up, which I did, was easy enough. I ended up going with Unitel for no reason except that it was widely available and recommended by several locals. Funny thing with Unitel is that you would automatically receive daily
texts of the cost of gasoline and gold prices. If only they included
weather stats and forecast...
I wanted to be able to use data with mine so I made sure that was turned on. The data speed was that of 3G mostly so don't expect to do too much. Overall, the use of a local sim was affordable. The sim itself was inexpensive and the top ups were widely available around town and usually sold in 10,000-50,000 kip increments.
Note however I was primarily in the city areas of Vientiane and Luangprabang. So I don't know how the cell connection would have been out in the country side. When I was in the countryside of LP I didn't use my phone to test it as I completely forgot. I was too busy taking pictures. And LTE was not available at any time during my trip.
Wifi at the hotels are not that great either in Luangprabang or Vientiane. Slow and shotty at best, at least in my experience.
Last note: Admittedly, this will sound like a plug for the Samsung Galaxy S4 but I took all my pictures using this phone on this trip. They turned out great (except for night time photos). Many of the photos have been featured here on Laoconnection.com.