Have you ever gone shopping for your next SIM card, in a flea market – where there are dozens of sellers offering up to 50 brands of SIM cards with various voice and data combinations? And you decide to pick up a few SIM cards for your next month’s usage? Most of us can’t think of this way of purchasing SIM cards, as we are used to buying it from a mobile operator’s store and sticking with the same one, maybe changing the plan once in a while. Lets take an interesting example of buying a prepaid SIM Card in Hong Kong.
Welcome to Sham Shui Po – the wholesale retail market for SIM cards in Hong Kong. So the next time you are in Hong Kong and need to pick up a 10 GB SIM card valid for 7 days (yes, people are consuming this amount of data these days) – head straight to this flea market. Buying these SIM cards, are students, mothers, office goers and even foreigners who are on a holiday for a short duration/business trips in Hong Kong.
Located in Kowloon, Hong Kong, Sham Shui Po is a flea market where multiple items are sold. However, the most remarkable thing about this market is that there is a street which is dedicated to just selling data SIM cards. Customers can choose from a variety of plans beginning with 3 days unlimited data SIM to going up to 20 GB per month. Travelers can opt for a suitable plan which will help them enjoy data, talk time, and texts, all at a reasonable price. The packages sold in Sham Shui Po are usually not available on the service provider’s authorized outlet or on their website.
The stalls are crowded as it is believed that one gets SIM cards with good plans that are offered at reasonable prices here. The SIM sellers are a busy lot, hence, don’t have much time to answer questions (if you are an inquisitive soul) as the sales are fast and brisk.
Another interesting thing about this SIM market is that you’ll get a new phone number with each package, and recharging the same number after the number of days expires is not economical when compared with buying a new package. It is recommended to visit the market well before 9 pm and do some haggling before making the final purchase.
International roaming charges have always been a pain in the neck for travellers. Using home country mobile number while travelling abroad is never considered a reasonable option as you can get a mighty bill shock and burn a hole in your pocket. The solution to such a situation is to buy a prepaid SIM card of the country you are visiting. There are several roaming apps which offer cheap international roaming charges and work well with a SIM card as well as without it.