Best Travel (e)SIM for Hong Kong and Macau
Exploring connectivity options if you were dropping by Macau
· 3 min read
Traveling to Hong Kong and Macau offers a rich blend of cultural experiences, stunning landscapes, and bustling city life. Most visitors who travel to Hong Kong might also consider hopping over to the nearby Macau to explore the enchanting casinos. Or maybe, cross over to Shenzhen for some budget shopping. Whether you will be visiting Hong Kong alone, or also taking the chance to explore the nearby cities, staying connected is important. To make the most of your trip, having reliable connectivity crucial.
Getting Local SIMs in Hong Kong
If you are traveling into Hong Kong and planning to pick up a local SIM, you would be glad to know that many of the major telco providers like CSL (1010) and 3Three provide prepaid travel SIMs that has coverage in both Hong Kong and Macau, and maybe even China. These are great options to consider if you will be hopping over to Macau (or even Shenzhen) for a day or two during your visit to Hong Kong. With just a single prepaid SIM, you will be able to stay connected throughout your travels.
However, if you are planning to pick up a local SIM from Hong Kong, you should note that Hong Kong now requires real-name verifications and ID checks are required for all purchases of SIM cards in Hong Kong.
Getting Travel SIMs
Aside from getting a local SIM, another option that you might also have considered would be to get a travel SIM from providers such as ICC or other providers. However, these providers do not usually support roaming; so if you are looking to get a travel SIM that supports both Hong Kong and Macau, your options are to get multiple SIMs for the different regions or to get a single regional SIM.
The issue with getting multiple SIMs for different regions of course is that you will need to make sure to keep your physical SIMs safe, and you will need to go through the hassle of changing out the SIM cards as you transit across borders. Hence, a regional SIM is likely to be a better option, though the prices might be a bit higher than what you would otherwise pay for.
It should also be noted that most of these travel SIMs also require you to carry out real-name verifications and ID checks for them to work in Hong Kong.
Getting Travel eSIMs
Now, comes the option of getting a travel eSIM. Travel eSIMs provide you with much more convenience and flexibility in choosing how you want to stay connected.
Providers of travel eSIMs offer a variety of packages — you will be able to find travel eSIMs for just Hong Kong and Macau; or for Hong Kong and for Macau separately; or for the Asian region in general. One of the biggest advantages of eSIMs is that you will be able to easily switch between eSIM profiles without going through the hassle of changing out your physical SIM card; and this flexibility opens up way more room for you to compare the different prices and find the most cost-efficient option for you.
In general, providers that offer plans for connectivity in Hong Kong and Macau are rather pricey, and getting a regional plan for Asia might actually be more cost-efficient. But if you will only be traveling to Macau for a day, perhaps you might find that getting a separate low-volume plan for Macau might work out to be cheaper.
Another factor to consider would be the need to carry out real-name verification and identity checks. Some eSIM providers also require that you submit your personal information for KYC checks before your eSIM can be used in Hong Kong, while there are providers that do not require that piece of information.
Get a Nomad eSIM for Hong Kong and Macau
If you are planning to visit Hong Kong with a stopover in Macau for a couple of days, getting a Nomad travel eSIM would be a great option!
Although Nomad doesn't have plans that include only Hong Kong and Macau in a single plan, they offer a variety of plans for Hong Kong and Macau separately. If you will only be traveling to Macau for a day or two and don't foresee needing that much data, you could consider getting a low-volume data plan for Macau.
Alternatively, you could also consider getting a regional plan for Asia, which covers both Hong Kong and Macau. The regional plans also include coverage for China, so if you decide that you wanted to also cross the borders and visit Shenzhen, you wouldn't have to worry about losing connectivity there. (And no, even if you were visiting Shenzhen, you wouldn't need to get a separate VPN!)
And, if your concern is on having to go through real-name verification and ID checks, this isn't currently required for Nomad's eSIMs.
Switching between eSIMs
If, after comparing your options, you decide that getting two eSIMs (one for Hong Kong and one for Macau) is a better option, we recommend that you install both eSIMs ahead of your trip! Installing your eSIM in your device will not start the countdown of the validity. Instead, the countdown will only start when you activate your eSIM (which you can do just before you arrive at your destination). Note that for some eSIMs, you will need a stable internet connection to activate your eSIMs.
And if you already have both eSIMs installed in your device before your trip, you wouldn't have to worry too much about scrambling to installing your eSIMs when you arrive at your destination. Instead, upon arrival, you can easily switch your eSIMs and activate in just a few taps on your device.