Triangle Trip

Tag: hong kong

CSL offers the best prepaid mobile data plan in Hong Kong

by on Jul.22, 2013, under Business Tools, Business Travel, Vacation

If you’re visiting Hong Kong without a global roaming plan, buy a CSL (used to be called One2Free) prepaid SIM upon your arrival at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG). One2Free, a subsidiary of CSL has the best prepaid voice and fastest mobile plan available. This is an update from my previous post where I said Peoples offering the cheapest prepaid mobile data plan in Hong Kong).

You can pick up a CSL (One2Free) pre-paid SIM at the 7-Eleven or 1O1O (mobile phone shop) at HKG Terminal 1 Arrival Hall. The two shops are located in between Arrivals area A and B as indicated in this map:

CSL has the following prepaid mobile data plans with speed of up to 7.2Mbps (around 4G speed):

Prepaid Plan


Approx. USD

Hourly Pass



Day Pass



7 Day Pass



30 Day Pass for 5GB



To signup for one of the plans listed above, you’ll need to know CSL/One2Free’s SMS codes. Below is a quick list of codes for your reference:

Note that you may get throttled to 3G speed once you have exceeded 1GB of data usage. However, CSL’s service will probably faster than your roaming plan. For your information, CSL’s voice rate is around HK$0.30 per minute and around HK$0.80 per SMS.

If you’re an American, you should make sure your phone is unlocked before you leave the country. Check out Big A’s tip here.

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Americans can get Vietnam Tourist Visa in Hong Kong on the same day

by on Jun.22, 2012, under Vacation

As a citizen of the United States and most western nations, you are required a visa to enter Vietnam (more info from US’s Department of State Website). You can get the Vietnam visa from the US or abroad. Getting the Vietnam visa in the US can take up to 10 business days if you don’t choose an expedited service. The cost is USD 50 for regular service and up to USD 200 for expedited service (more information from the Vietnam Embassy).

I recommend getting the Vietnam visa from Hong Kong where it is processed faster than the US. To get the Vietnam visa while you’re in Hong Kong, just go into the Vietnamese consulate located in Wan Chai. You do not need an appointment and the form is very simple. You will need one passport size picture which you can take at any nearby photo shop in Hong Kong.

The fee to process an expedited / same day Vietnam tourist visa from the Vietnamese consulate in Hong Kong is HKD500 (around USD 65). Since the tourist visa is a single entry, one month visa, be sure you tell the Vietnamese consulate your exact date of entry as they will use that date on the tourist visa. The Vietnamese consulate in Hong Kong processes visa from 10am to 1pm local time. In my case, I went to the office at 11:15am and received my Vietnam Tourist visa at 11:45am.

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China Mobile Hong Kong’s (People’s) Benefits and Gotcha’s

by on Dec.29, 2011, under Business Tools, Business Travel

Furthering my previous post on “How to get prepaid mobile data in Hong Kong and China,” here are some additional benefits and “gotchas” from China Mobile Hong Kong’s (also known as People’s in Hong Kong or CMHK) prepaid plans:

1.  First the benefit:  If you’ve signed up for one of CMHK’s prepaid mobile data plans (one day, seven days or a month), you can access China Mobile’s WiFi Hotspots throughout Hong Kong and Kowloon. “CMHK” is the China Mobile hotspot. This is a valuable free add-on as there aren’t many free WiFi hotspots in Hong Kong. Starbucks and other coffee shops in Hong Kong only provide 30 minutes of free WiFi access with your purchase.

To use the China Mobile prepaid mobile WiFi add-on, you will need to setup a password on your prepaid mobile phone card. To setup a password,  press “*124*<6 digit number of your preferred password>” on your handset.

For example, *124*123456 where 123456 is your password. To use the CMHK Hotspot, you will login using your prepaid mobile number and password. The WiFi network is pretty fast.

2.  Now the “gotcha”:  If you’ve signed up for a daily, weekly or monthly plan and you don’t want to renew the mobile data plan, you must make sure you have deactivated mobile data from your prepaid account. No one will tell you that you will need to disable mobile data from the prepaid plan as I have found out the hard way – watching my HK$50 credit drained to HK$0.15 in less than one day. If you do not deactivated mobile data on your prepaid card, China Mobile will charge you on their regular data rate which is highway robbery. Most smartphones have applications that uses mobile data in the background which will drain your prepaid mobile account at HK$0.15 per KB.

So if you do not want to use CMHK’s a la carte mobile data plan, you must deactivate your mobile phone from using CMHK’s data network. To deactivate from CMHK’s data network, you will need to send the following code using your mobile phone:  “*106*02#”. To re-activate mobile data service, just send:  “*106*01#” from your mobile phone. You can also use “disable mobile data” feature from your mobile phone if it has such a feature. I know that most Blackberries have it.

3.  Another “gotcha” is: your CMHK prepaid card must have a dollar value in order for you to continue to use your mobile data plan. For example, you purchased a one week prepaid mobile data plan for HK$38 and have HK$10 left on your prepaid account. Once your prepaid mobile account cannot fall to HK$0, you will not be able to use your prepaid mobile data plan even thought you have already subscribed for the service.

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