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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Best Way To Get Internet When Visiting Hong Kong

So, you're going to Hong Kong. You own a smartphone, and is bringing your laptop with you just because you want to stay connected to the Internet. If this is your first time to Hong Kong, then you'll be in for a surprise. Unlike the cafes and restaurants in Malaysia, the cafes and restaurants in Hong Kong doesn't encourage their customer to sit there for too long while using their WiFi. So, they don't provide free WiFi.

You'll be able to access WiFi from PCCW hotspot, available in most area especially in McD's or Starbucks. The downside of this is, it only last 24hours and you won't be sitting in a Starbucks or McD's too often right? The prize you pay for their drinks is not exactly cheap also. When you're back in your hotel room, fat chance that you'll be able to find a PCCW hotspot and the Internet from the hotel is damn expensive.

When I went to Hong Kong back in March, I happened to be reviewing the Nokia E7 which I now use. Before, I fly to Hong Kong, I've researched the prepaid SIM card available there. After, much searching, I found the one that most suitable for me. It's '3' International Roaming Rechargeable SIM Card (they called it rechargeable instead of prepaid).

Why is this prepaid or rechargeable SIM card the best for me?

First, it doesn't cost much to buy. HK$98 – With extra $52 voice stored-value and totally $55 worth FREE. The $55 FREE is actually Free 20mins voice call, 10 SMSes and 10 MMS. Which means, most of the stored-value can be used for wireless data alone.

It gives me wireless data access with HKD$2/MB with Daily Max Cap HK$28. This basically means you get unlimited data for HK$28 per day. I used my Nokia E7 as a modem for my laptop when I was back in my hotel room to write a blog post, stream YouTube, Facebooking and Tweeting without any hindrance and the value in the prepaid card still available. The 3G connection is very fast too, beats any local provider here in Malaysia.

Using my Nokia E7 as a modem.

There are a few new rechargeable SIM package added too. There's 3G Rechargeable SIM Card for iPad and HSDPA Broadband Access Rechargeable SIM card, this one if if you have a wireless broadband modem or your phone able to support this. If you are using iPhone then you might need to learn how to cut the SIM card into MicroSIM card.

You can get any of these rechargeable SIM cards from OK Circle or 7-11 outlets, which is literally everywhere in Hong Kong. But you might have to search a few outlets for '3' International Roaming Rechargeable SIM Card because stock is quite limited for each outlet. Oh, please don't mistaken the 3G Super Value Monthly Fee Rechargeable SIM Card when you buying, why I purposely chose the former instead, is because once activated HKD$60 will be deducted from the stored value for voice call plan on the latter. Just remember International Roaming, and you'll be save on buying the right SIM card.

The stored value should be able to last you for two days on data, voice, and SMSes due the FREE HKD$55 bonus on voice, SMSes and MMSes. If you stay longer than 2 days, just buy the top up voucher from any authorised '3' agent. The easiest is buy it from convenient stores like OK Circle and 7-11. It's EVERYWHERE!

Hope this little tips of mine will help those of you that like to stay connected when visiting Hong Kong without costing a bomb from data roaming or using the Internet from hotel.


8 comments :

ken said...

nice.. will keep in mind when i do travel to HK one day.. :)

Simon Seow said...

ken: all the best, be sure to read my other HK posts on food and places to go

Agnes said...

I'm heading to Hong Kong next week and when I googled up the internet to look for some guidance on affordable internet charges there, I came across your blog post.

Thanks for writing this and sharing the info, I've found this very helpful :)

Cheers!

Simon Seow said...

You're welcome Agnes. Hope the info is still usable.

Clay.Calling said...

Thanks for the wonderful information. You have mentioned very useful and profitable message about international roaming SIM card for those who travel globally. The best thing about international roaming is that it lowers your expenses on making calls in foreign destinations

winnie said...

Thanks for the information! I'm heading to Hong Kong at end of this month. Can I check with you -

How long can the stored value last on average? Considering that I have whatsapp and not so much on SMS.

Do I top up HK$98 whenever recharge is required?

And what happens on the next day when the $28 cap for data is up?

Still not very sure about the whole thing.

I will be there for 5D4N, and would require internet access to whatsapp and email. :(

Appreciate if you could guide a lil bit more on this :)

Thanks so much!

Simon Seow said...

Hi Winnie.

The data charge is HKD$28 max cap charging for 24 hrs unlimited usage. After 12 a.m. it will be return to normal charging per MB until you hit $28 again. Basically you can treat it as $28 per day unlimited usage. Top up card of $50 and $100 are sold in any convenient store there. So, buy top up value depending on your usage.

Anonymous said...

Is the Internet speed fast enough to get work done? Reply to emails and send small files etc?

Anna