Hong Kong has the big city specials like smog, odour, 14 million elbows and an insane love of clatter. But it's also efficient, hushed and peaceful: the transport network is excellent, the shopping centres are sublime, and the temples and quiet corners of parks are contemplative oases. The best thing about being in Hong Kong is getting flummoxed and fired by the confluences ...


Local Health Conditions  |   Crossing Boarders  |   Pre 20th Century History  |   Money and Currency
Telephone Overview  |   Media Overview  |   Hong Kong Travellers  |   Night Time Venues
Transportation  |   Kowloon  |   Hong Kong and Arts

Telephone Overview

All calls made from private phones in Hong Kong are local calls and free. From public pay phones calls cost 1.00 for five minutes. The pay phones accept 1.00, 2.00 and 5.00 coins. Hotels charge between 3.00 and 5.00 for local calls. All landline numbers in the territory have eight digits (except 800 toll-free numbers), and there are no area codes.

Hong Kong's country code is 852. To call someone outside Hong Kong, dial 001, then the country code, the local area code (you usually drop the initial zero if there is one) and the number.

Remember that phone rates in Hong Kong are cheaper from 21:00 to 08:00 on weekdays and throughout the weekend. If the phone you're using has the facility, dial 0060 first and then the number; rates will be cheaper at any time.

International direct dial calls to almost anywhere in the world can be made from most public telephones in Hong Kong, but you'll need a phonecard. These are available as stored-value Hello cards and as Smartcards in various denominations. The latter allow you to call from any phone - public or private - by punching in a PIN code. You can buy phonecards at any PCCW branch, 7-Eleven and Circle K convenience stores, Mannings pharmacies and Welcome supermarkets.

Mobile Phone Overview

Hong Kong has the world's highest per-capita usage of mobile telephones and pagers, and they work everywhere, including in tunnels and on the MTR. Any GSM-compatible phone can be used in Hong Kong.

PCCW-HKT i.Shops sell and hire out mobile phones, SIM chips and phone accessories. Handsets can be hired for 250.00 a week plus 100.00 deposit, rechargeable SIM chips cost 180.00/280.00 for 150/250 minutes, and local calls work out to about 1.00 a minute.

SIM chips and phones are IDD compatible, but there's an extra charge if you need a roaming service to take to Macau or China. Top-up SIM cards (99.00/200.00 for 150/250 minutes) are also available at 7-Eleven and Circle K, Welcome supermarkets and Mannings pharmacies.