How to Stay Connected in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a city that runs at a million miles an hour, and visitors often find this a little intimidating at first. Thankfully, modern technology can go a long way in smoothing out the adjustment process. Follow our recommendations to discover how to stay connected in Hong Kong and find out useful local apps to install that will make your stay in Hong Kong easier as well as more exciting!
Tourist SIM Cards
The best way to get online as soon as possible is to buy a prepaid Hong Kong Tourist SIM card upon arrival. There are several travel SIM cards on offer in Hong Kong, such as the Prepaid Discover Hong Kong Tourist SIM Card with 3 day (HKD$88/1.5 GB) or 5 day (HKD$118/5GB) plans that allow you to access the internet with 4G speed. These tourist SIMs also come with unlimited local voice calling so you can book a reservation at a restaurant or order a taxi. With a travel SIM card, there is no need to subscribe to any plan to enjoy 24/7 connectivity. Tourist SIM Cards are available at any local convenience store (such as 7-Eleven and Circle K) and at 1O1O mobile network operator stores. For travelers heading to Macau, Mainland China or Taiwan, tourist SIM cards in Hong Kong conveniently provide optional extension packages for coverage in these regions.
Pocket WiFi Rental
To enjoy internet access on your laptop as well as your mobile phone, you may also want to rent pocket WiFi from any China Mobile Hong Kong branch (CMHK). With the use of pocket WiFi rental, you will have unlimited WiFi access for the price of around HKD$60 a day. Please note that the minimum rental period is 1 day and the maximum rental period is 14 days. Renting a pocket WiFi device also requires a HKD$1,500 deposit. Simply pick up your pocket WiFi at the Hong Kong International Airport and return it to any CMHK store in town!
If you are looking for CMHK pocket WiFi rental points, two of them are located near V Causeway Bay and V Wan Chai at G/F, 70 Percival Street, Causeway Bay and G/F, Mei Wah Building, 162 Johnston Road, Wan Chai.
Useful Local Apps
Hong Kong locals love using mobile apps to figure out the best spots in town to eat, shop and more. Here are our top five app recommendations that help you experience the city like a local:
OpenRice is a restaurant guide website launched in Hong Kong, which has since grown to track restaurants all over Asia. It is our most preferred platform as it is intensively used by locals, which means that reviews are much more frequent and even the smallest hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Hong Kong get noticed. Our favorite feature is its “Queue in Advance” feature, so that even if restaurants don’t take a booking, you can save time and get a ticket before arriving at restaurants.
MTR is how a majority of Hong Kongers get around the city, so suffice to say an app that tracks schedules is invaluable. Use the Train Trip Planner to check fares or search for shortest route if you aren’t sure how to get to a particular station. The app also features a guide to station facilities such as convenient stores or information centers. Most importantly, the app shows live traffic information, so that you can reroute your trip if a serious delay or special service arrangements occur. For this reason, this app is used by locals and visitors alike.
An app launched by the Hong Kong government, this nifty app provides a collection of suggested hikes at your fingertips. While the interface may not be the most updated, it is always helpful to have a trail map at your side no matter which hike you’re on. It also provides worthy information regarding mobile coverage on those hikes as well as advice on selecting hiking equipment and planning a trip.
Not limited to Hong Kong, this specialty coffee locater finds the best coffee near you. It’s like OpenRice, but just for coffee. We love it because it only includes boutique, independent coffee shops, so expect to be surprised each time. Coffees are rated and reviewed constantly, which makes the ratings quite reliable.
This simple app draws from Hong Kong Observatory and Environmental Protection Department for live weather information. It also includes relative humidity (an important thing to know in Hong Kong!), wind direction, and any impending typhoons.
Now that you’re connected, it’s time to install the city’s favourite and most useful mobile applications. Find out which apps you can find on nearly every resident’s phone here, and experience living like a local.