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Hong Kong: 6 Best eSIMs Compared + Discounts (2022)

Hong Kong is a beautiful travel destination.

However, it is not known for being a cheap place to be.

What you should not do, in many cases, is roam internationally in Hong Kong.

International roaming can be expensive, which is why using local and travel eSIMs is recommended to save money.

And if you get a travel eSIM, you do not have to deal with the SIM card registration bureaucracy and skip the queues in Hong Kong.

How much will a local or travel eSIM for Hong Kong cost you?

You can get an eSIM for Hong Kong for as little as 5 USD, with 1 GB of data for 7 days, up to 99 USD, with unlimited data for 90 days, from Three (3) Hong Kong, Airalo (Hkmobile), Holafly & Nomad.

Those are some generous data allowances, right?

And you can even get unlimited data if you want.

See how much it would cost you to use 10 GB while roaming – much more than what Holafly would charge you for unlimited data for 90 days!

In this guide, I will go over the eSIM options offered by the Hong Kong mobile operators (Three (3) Hong Kong), Airalo, Holafly & Nomad. Let's do this.

Buying an eSIM for Hong Kong Guide (logos of Airalo, Holafly, Nomad, Three (3) & Hkmobile)

Original publication: 25th of August 2022. Last updated: 30th of August 2022.


Table of Contents

eSIMs offered by the Hong Kong Mobile Operators

To get the best service available, in terms of reception and speeds, you want to go with the local mobile operators directly instead of with a travel eSIM.

That is because you will have a higher priority on the network in case of network congestion.

However, that does not mean travel eSIMs will always be slow.

In fact, some mobile operators throttle (prepaid) on select plans or all plans for “optimization” reasons (read: we cannot be bothered to invest in our network).

Anyway, which Hong Kong mobile operators offer eSIMs to prepaid customers?

Currently, only Three (3) Hong Kong offers eSIMs to prepaid customers.

You also have several other options for getting an eSIM for your trip to Hong Kong: You can choose travel eSIMs from Airalo (with Hkmobile), Holafly & Nomad.

Not only can you set up these eSIMs before arriving in Hong Kong and activate them upon landing, but you can also avoid Hong Kong's SIM card registration scheme, which is mandatory for anyone using Hong Kong SIM cards and eSIMs.

While mobile data is already affordable in Hong Kong, getting a travel eSIM will not break the bank – not at all.

Plus, I have plenty of experience with Airalo, Holafly & Nomad, and I can assure you they work well – and other Phone Travel Wiz readers also had pleasant experiences with them.

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So let's see what these travel eSIM providers have to offer in Hong Kong, right?


Airalo eSIMs for Hong Kong (Hkmobile)

Hong Kong Hkmobile eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

If I could only get a travel eSIM during my trip because I do not have the time or opportunity to buy a local SIM card or eSIM, then I would always get an eSIM from Airalo.

Airalo has eSIMs for around 190 countries, offers eSIMs at the lowest prices (on average compared to the competition) & has good service.

Airalo usually partners with the local mobile operator with the best coverage, the fastest speeds, or both.

And if it needs to partner up with multiple mobile operators, it does so, allowing you to have the best reception at all times.

Anyway, you can get an Hkmobile eSIM for as low as 5 USD, with 1 GB of data, up to 19 USD, with 10 GB of data.

Those prices and data allowances are not too bad, right?

Especially knowing that the Hkmobile eSIM uses the CSL Hong Kong network.

CSL Hong Kong Logo
© cls

The following four Hong Kong Hkmobile eSIM options are available:

  1. Hong Kong/Hkmobile 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 5 USD
  2. Hong Kong/Hkmobile 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 9 USD
  3. Hong Kong/Hkmobile 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 13 USD
  4. Hong Kong/Hkmobile 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 19 USD
Hong Kong Hkmobile eSIM Airalo (with Prices)

For Airalo eSIMs, the links above will automatically get you the Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers available – a code is not necessary.

Overall, the Hkmobile eSIM gives you fantastic value for your money.


Airalo Hkmobile eSIM Pros

Are there any other reasons why you should get the Hkmobile eSIM for your trip? For sure:

  • You can activate your Hkmobile eSIM as soon as you land in Hong Kong
  • You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to the CSL Hong Kong network
  • Hkmobile eSIMs are affordable (especially compared to roaming) and have generous data allowances
  • You do not have to worry about SIM card registration with the Hkmobile eSIM, saving you time
  • Out of data? You can simply top up online on the Airalo website and not worry about language barriers when dealing with local agents

There are many other small pros, but these are the major ones.

It would be disingenuous not to mention some cons, so here we go.

Airalo Hkmobile eSIM Cons

So, why should you not get the Hkmobile eSIM?

  • The Hong Kong mobile operators, including CSL Hong Kong itself, have much more generous data allowances
  • While you get access to CSL Hong Kong's network, your speeds will not be as fast as going with CSL Hong Kong itself because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
  • There is no 5G NR access with the Hkmobile eSIM (yet)
  • You cannot call or text with the Hkmobile eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)

Airalo Hkmobile eSIM Overall Thoughts

Honestly, the Hkmobile eSIM is fantastic.

The plans offered with Hkmobile eSIMs are generous and affordable.

You get fast speeds and access to CSL Hong Kong network, without standing in queues or dealing with SIM card registration bureaucracy.

And everything, purchasing and topping up, can be done online on the Airalo website or Airalo app (downloading the app is recommended).

Unfortunately, you cannot call or text with the Hkmobile eSIM, as it is a data-only eSIM.

But if you do wish to make actual calls, so not through apps like Whatsapp, consider a Three (3) Hong Kong eSIM or a Hong Kong SIM card (but you will have to deal with the SIM card registration laws).


Nomad eSIMs for Hong Kong

Nomad eSIMs Logo
© Nomad

Another travel eSIM provider I recommend is Nomad.

In fact, I have been in close contact with Nomad as soon as I partnered up with them.

For example, upon my recommendation, it started offering the Nordics regional eSIM – an eSIM that can be used in Denmark, Finland, Sweden & Norway.

Yes, I really try to get the best offers and deals for you 🥰.

Another thing I have been pushing Nomad for, and Airalo and Holafly (to be discussed next) for that matter, is lowering its prices or increasing its data allowances.

In June, Nomad started offering a 2 GB eSIM variant upon my request for Hong Kong and various other Asian countries (because Phone Travel Wiz readers asked for such an eSIM) at competitive prices.

In August, Nomad dropped its prices again for its China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand & Vietnam eSIMs (which are even cheaper than Airalo – that is remarkable on its own!).

So yes, Nomad is looking out for you 👁👁.

Anyway, in Hong Kong, it uses the Truphone network, which uses a combination of local networks (China Mobile Hong Kong, CSL Hong Kong, Three (3) Hong Kong & SmarTone Hong Kong), allowing your eSIM to switch to the network with the best reception automatically.

This way, you will always be connected!

You have the following five options with Nomad for Hong Kong:

  1. Hong Kong 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 8 USD/8 EUR/7 GBP/10.50 CAD
  2. Hong Kong 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 15 USD/15 EUR/12.50 GBP/19.50 CAD
  3. Hong Kong 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 17 USD/17 EUR/14.50 GBP/22 CAD
  4. Hong Kong 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 24 USD/24 EUR/20 GBP/31 CAD
  5. Hong Kong 20 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 34 USD/33.50 EUR/28.50 GBP/44 CAD
Hong Kong eSIMs Nomad

Even though Nomad dropped its prices for Hong Kong eSIMs, you can still get 3 USD off your first Nomad purchase by using code ADU123!

Of course, going with Nomad has some pros and cons, so let's go over them.

Nomad Hong Kong eSIM Pros

So, why should you get a Nomad eSIM? Because:

  • You can activate your Nomad Hong Kong eSIM as soon as you land in Hong Kong
  • You do not have to worry about SIM card registration, saving you time
  • You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access on all Hong Kong networks, allowing you to have the best reception at all times
  • You can avoid expensive international roaming fees
  • Out of data? You can simply top up online on the Nomad website and not worry about language barriers when dealing with local agents

But it is not all good news with Nomad though – there are some disadvantages.

Nomad Hong Kong eSIM Cons

So, why should you not get the Nomad Hong Kong eSIM?

  • The Hong Kong mobile operators have much more generous data allowances
  • While you get access to eight networks, your speeds will not be as fast as going with the Hong Kong mobile operators themselves because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
  • There is no 5G NR access with the Nomad Hong Kong eSIM
  • You cannot call or text with the Nomad Hong Kong eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)

Nomad Hong Kong eSIM Overall Thoughts

Overall, the Nomad Hong Kong eSIM is a great premium eSIM offering.

You will always have the best reception because the Nomad Hong Kong eSIM automatically switches to the best network at your location.

However, just like the other travel eSIMs mentioned in this guide, you do not get a (local) phone number with the Nomad Hong Kong eSIM.

Moreover, you can only get up to 20 GB of data.

Luckily, you can top up your Nomad Hong Kong eSIM with more data if you want.


Holafly eSIMs for Hong Kong

Holafly Logo
© Holafly

The last travel eSIM provider I recommend is Holafly.

In June 2022, Holafly introduced something that no other travel eSIM provider had done by that time.

You can now get unlimited data plans for Hong Kong, several other Asian countries, almost all European Union member states (except for Liechtenstein) & a few other countries, like Canada and the United States.

And that is super exciting!

Now, I have to say that the unlimited data plans offered by Holafly are more expensive than the Airalo Hong Kong eSIM or the eSIMs sold by Nomad.

But if you do not want to worry about data allowances, Holafly is the one to go for.

The Holafly eSIMs use the Three (3) Hong Kong network – the mobile operator with the best coverage (among others).

Three (3) Logo
© Tri (3)

You have the following seven Hong Kong eSIM options with Holafly:

Hong Kong eSIMs Holafly

Based on the emails I have received, the 20-, 30- & 60-day plans are popular because those who buy Holafly eSIMs tend to stay in Hong Kong for a prolonged period to explore the country.

As I recently started my collaboration with Holafly, you can get 5% off each purchase whenever you use code PHONETRAVELWIZ – awesome, right?

Of course, there are some pros and cons with going with Holafly, so let's go over them.

Holafly Hong Kong eSIM Pros

So, why should you get the Holafly eSIMs? Well, because of the following:

  • You can purchase and set up your Holafly Hong Kong eSIM before arriving in Hong Kong (and activate it upon landing)
  • You do not have to worry about SIM card registration, saving you time
  • You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access on the Three (3) Hong Kong network
  • You do not have to deal with data caps because you get unlimited data (56 GB – here I come!)
  • You can avoid expensive international roaming fees

But it is not all good news with Holafly though – there are some disadvantages.

Holafly Hong Kong eSIM eSIM Cons

So, why should you not get a Holafly Hong Kong eSIM?

  • While the Hong Kong mobile operators do not offer unlimited data plans (yet), their plans are much cheaper than Holafly
  • While you get access to the Three (3) Hong Kong network, your speeds will not be as fast as going with Three (3) Hong Kong itself because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
  • There is no 5G NR access with the Holafly eSIM
  • You cannot call or text with the Holafly eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
  • Holafly is the most expensive travel eSIM provider in this guide

Holafly Hong Kong eSIM Overall Thoughts

Overall, the Holafly Hong Kong eSIM is an excellent eSIM for those who do not want to deal with data caps because you get unlimited data.

Even then, you will still get fast speeds and 4G/LTE reception.

However, Holafly is the most expensive option in this guide and may not be the best for budget travelers.


Best eSIMs for in Asia (not just Hong Kong)

So what if you plan to visit neighboring China? Macau? Taiwan? Or other countries in East Asia or Southeast Asia?

Unfortunately, you cannot use your Airalo Hkmobile, Holafly Hong Kong, or Nomad Hong Kong eSIMs in any country than Hong Kong.

However, the three eSIM providers have eSIMs covering several East Asian and Southeast Asian countries.

I highly recommend these Asia/APAC eSIMs if you plan to visit multiple East- and Southeast Asian countries to save money!

Airalo Asialink Asia eSIM

Asialink Asia eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

Airalo recently heavily improved its Asia eSIM, which used to offer a meager 4 GB of high-speed data before allowing for unlimited data at snail speeds, following the popular Eurolink eSIM for 39 European countries.

The Eurolink eSIM is the most popular eSIM for Phone Travel readers, and I have no doubt that the Asialink eSIM will be popular too.

Just like in Europe, many readers tend to visit multiple Asian countries, so they would rather have a travel eSIM covering multiple countries than just one (like Hong Kong).

The Asialink eSIM can be used in the following 14 countries:

Below is an overview of how much each Asialink eSIM costs:

  1. Asia/Asialink 1 GB eSIM for 1 day, costing 5 USD
  2. Asia/Asialink 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 13 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  3. Asia/Asialink 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 20 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  4. Asia/Asialink 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 37 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  5. Asia/Asialink 50 GB eSIM for 90 days, costing 100 USD
  6. Asia/Asialink 100 GB eSIM for 180 days, costing 185 USD
Asialink Asia eSIM Airalo (with Prices)

Holafly & Nomad eSIMs for Hong Kong

Because of Airalo's previous Asia eSIM, I used to recommend Nomad's APAC eSIMs instead (to be used in 8 countries).

This eSIM can be used in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore & Thailand (1 GB/7 days/15 USD – 20 GB/30 days/69 USD).

APAC eSIMs Nomad
APAC Value Pack eSIMs Nomad

The Holafly Asia eSIM has only one variant: 8 GB for 30 days, costing 47 USD/49 EUR/34 GBP.

This eSIM can be used in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand & Vietnam.

Asia eSIMs Holafly

Basically, the same countries as the Airalo Asialink eSIM with just fewer options (1 variant (8 GB) vs. 6 variants (1 GB/3 GB/5 GB/10 GB/50 GB/100 GB) and much more expensive.

So yeah, the Asialink eSIM is superior, I would say.

Remember, the Airalo links above will automatically offer you the best deals.


Overview of the Best eSIMs for Hong Kong (Airalo vs. Holafly vs. Nomad)

In this guide, I went over various eSIMs for Hong Kong: Airalo (Hkmobile), Holafly & Nomad.

Below is an overview of my recommendation order:

  • Airalo's Hong Kong Hkmobile eSIM (best value for money)
  • Airalo's Asia Asialink eSIM (best value for money when also visiting other East- and Southeast Asian countries)
  • Nomad Hong Kong eSIM (excellent performance)
  • Holafly Hong Kong eSIM (truly unlimited data plans at premium prices)
  • Holafly Asia eSIM (to be used in 14 countries)

Remember to use code PHONETRAVELWIZ for Holafly eSIMs and code ADU123 for Nomad eSIMs – a code is not necessary for Airalo eSIM purchases.


Buying a SIM Card in Hong Kong

Want to just use a SIM card but not your current one because roaming will be criminally expensive?

Consider getting a Hong Kong SIM card instead – local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected abroad.


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