2014年3月18日 星期二

[Travel Taiwan] Internet & Telecommunication

When I travel, the most important thing to me besides my passport and visa is probably internet access.
I never knew I would be so dependent on internet until I had to go without it for days! I don't see myself as a internet addict, but my need for internet grows when I'm traveling because:
1) Apps like Whatsapp and Line means I can communicate with love ones and friends whenever I want.
2) When in meetings I often need to retrieve documents online or Google. (raise your hand if you always walk into meetings fully prepared- I need to know your secret to success!)
3) I need some online entertainment to relieve stress caused by being separated from boyfriend and being stuck in long meetings. 
4) I can get help immediately in case of emergency.

If you are anything like me, my advice is to either bring/rent a pocket WiFi, or get a prepaid SIM card with limitless data when you travel to another country. I
t's best not to rely on free WiFi, even though the coverage might be great, some WiFi requires passwords or log in authentication and it can become a  pain if you have to log in again and again when you're on the move. I know, I've been there.

Internet and call service (prepaid SIM cards)


ChungHwa Telecom Store
7-11

In Taiwan, there is no pocket WiFi rental service as of now. However, there are prepaid SIM cards and limitless data plans (aka 3G internet ) provided by phone companies for foreigners over 20. I personally recommend ChungHwa Telecom 中華電信 which is the telecom service I use, their signal coverage is fairly decent and they have a very concise English website aimed at foreigners looking for a prepaid card: Prepaid Card Reservation for Foreigners. You can make an reservation and get the card at the airport, or get them at most ChungHwa Telecom stores. Another company I recommend is 7 Mobile, a sibling company of 7-11. 7 Mobile's plans and prices are similar to ChungHwa Telecom's, but its advantage is that you can get 7 Mobile cards at any 7-11. But do note that if you don't speak Chinese, it's probably best to get it at the airport, since not all 7-11 clerks can understand English!

WiFi, free or not
If you still decide not to spend money on something that will make your trip comfy even though I rattled on for three paragraphs, there are still ways for you to get internet access. If your in Taipei, you can register with Taipei Free Public WiFi, granted the coverage won't be as good as ChungHwa's, but it's still pretty decent. Its hot spots are in all MRT stations and Municipal buildings, so try to stay close to those places. If you are not in Taipei, look for free WiFi provided by cafes or public facilities. Some chain restaurants like MOS, McDonalds or Starbucks provide WiFi, but they cost a certain fee and is NOT free with purchase. Another option is internet cafes (網咖), they offer internet access at a reasonable price along with other services (comfy sofas anyone?).

Emergency Calls





In case you don't have a local SIM card or forgot to top up your card, look for public pay phones. Most of them take coins of NT$1, NT$5, and NT10, some take phone cards. (But why buy phone card and not SIM card leh!)
If somehow you can even afford a call from public phone, look for police stations, I'm sure they will be happy to help out! 

Do you have any tricks for getting internet access? Share!


沒有留言:

張貼留言

Disqus