Hong Kong Travel Guide

Connect

Hong Kong has a world class communications infrastructure. Mobile phone SIM cards and calls are extremely cheap.

Post

Postal services are efficient and of high quality. You will find post offices in major city areas and outside of opening hours, coin-operated stamp vending machines. You can buy stamps (sets of ten stamps of $1.4, $2.4, $3) from many convenience stores such as 7-Eleven or Circle K (OK). It is relatively inexpensive to ship your purchases back home from any Post Office.

Internet Access

Internet cafes charge from $20–30 per hour, although many of those cafes disappeared due to the ubiquity of internet access at home, work and on mobile phones.

3G-enabled phone users can also choose a temporary 3G plan from different operators. Some operators, such as One2Free, offer unlimited 3G access for a week for $78. LTE is also available from some carriers. Getting a SIM card is straightforward and hassle free, just go to a mobile phone shop, pay your money and get a card. No registration is needed.

For access to commercial WIFI hot spots mainly provided by PCCW and Y5ZONE', $70 will buy you one week of unlimited usage (November 2011). Those companies also have daily, weekly and monthly plan ($158 and $98 per month for PCCW and Y5ZONE, respectively). In some restaurants such as McDonald's, you can also have 20 minutes of free WIFI access provided by Y5ZONE.

Most hotels these days, even down market ones, provide Wi-Fi access to their guests.

Free internet terminals are usually available in some Starbucks, Pacific Coffee Company and some shopping malls, the airport, the MTR (e.g. Wan Chai station, Central Station, Tsim Sha Sui Station). The government also offers a big network of free WIFI hot spots in most government premises and public libraries.

Telephone

Hong Kong's country-code is 852 (different from mainland China (86) and Macau (853)). Local phone numbers (mobile and landlines) are typically 8 digits; no area codes are used. All numbers that begin with 5, 6, 8 or 9 are mobile numbers, while numbers beginning with 2 or 3 are fixed line numbers. For calls from Hong Kong, the standard IDD prefix is 001, so you would dial 001-(country code)-(area code)-(telephone number). Note that calls to Macau or mainland China require international dialling. For the operator, dial 1000. For police, fire or ambulance services dial 999.

Mobile phones

Hong Kong has many mobile operators. The best choices for tourists are Hutchison 3, SmarTone and CSL (trading as one2free). All three operators offer 2G & 3G services on prepaid; however only SmarTone offers 4G LTE on prepaid. Micro, nano and standard SIM cards are available at the respective stores of the operators as well as numerous resellers. Each carrier charges unlimited data at $28HKD, $24HKD and $28HKD per day respectively. To top-up your prepaid credits, purchase a recharge voucher also available at electronics stores as well as a few convenience stores. Recharging can be done online with a Hong Kong credit card or by purchasing vouchers from retail stores, resellers, convenience stores such as 7Eleven and supermarkets. Mobile phone numbers have eight digits and begin with 5, 6 or 9.

For those on short visits, international roaming is available in Hong Kong onto its GSM 900/1800 and 3G (UMTS/W-CDMA 2100) networks, subject to agreements between operators. For those coming from the mainland, some China Unicom SIMs will provide Hong Kong roaming at purchase time, and China Mobile provides a dual-number service which results in cheaper rates than straight roaming.

Although the mobile phone charge in Hong Kong is one of the lowest in the world, all mobile phone companies charge for BOTH incoming and outgoing calls (similar to USA, but different from most European countries, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea). Coverage is excellent except in the remote mountainous areas. Almost all operators provide a good signal, even when underground in such places as the MTR system, on board trains and in cross-harbour and other road tunnels.

Landline phones

Landline phones for local calls are charged on a monthly basis with unlimited access, but be careful that hotels may charge you per call.

Payphones are available and a local call for 5 minutes costs $1. If you don't have a mobile and need to make a short local call, most restaurants, supermarkets and shops will oblige if you ask nicely.

Public payphones are becoming more and more difficult to find on streets nowadays, but MTR stations, shopping malls and government premises usually have public phones. The airport has courtesy phones around the baggage pickup area.


source: Wikivoyage

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