OWL Magazine Korea

Hong Kong & Macau Mobile Usage: SIM Cards

For my 7-night, 9-day trip to Hong Kong and Macau, I opted to use local SIM cards to have access to a mobile phone and the internet.

There are various methods to use a mobile phone and internet abroad, but in this case, I needed both in Hong Kong and Macau simultaneously, which made it a bit more complex.

“Hong Kong & Macau: Separate Systems within China”

While both Hong Kong and Macau have been returned to China and are now considered part of the country, they maintain their own distinct systems. This means that even though they are under one nation, they are treated as separate entities. They operate under a “One Country, Two Systems” framework.

Due to this, typically, to use a mobile phone or internet, you would need separate SIM cards or pocket Wi-Fi for each location.

However, through an internet search, I found SIM cards that could be used in both Hong Kong and Macau simultaneously. I opted for a SIM card that offered 8GB of data over an 8-day period.

“Worked Well in Hong Kong, But in Macau…”

Based on the information I heard before purchasing the SIM card, it was said that one SIM card would work effectively in both Hong Kong and Macau.

In reality, I didn’t face significant issues with using the phone and internet in Hong Kong. However, due to the narrow geography and concentration of tall buildings in the city center, GPS signals had some trouble in urban areas.

In Macau, though, it didn’t work well, which posed a challenge. When I first arrived and turned on roaming, it worked seamlessly. However, after a few hours of internet use, it stopped working, likely due to limited roaming capacity.

As a result, I had to continue my travels in Macau without internet, which was quite inconvenient. Nonetheless, luckily, there was free Wi-Fi available in various parts of the city, allowing me to intermittently search for information while continuing my journey.

When you suddenly find yourself without internet locally, it can be momentarily disorienting and even a bit overwhelming. Therefore, if you plan on traveling to both Hong Kong and Macau, using separate SIM cards for each location might be the better option.