Thursday, March 8, 2007

Macao Phone Tips

Macau has just recently transitioned to a new phone system where all phone numbers have 8 digits.

To call the old numbers, just add "28" in front of the number if it is 6 digit and "6" if it is 7 digits.


To call Macau from overseas, dial 853 for the country code. Hong Kong is 852. China is 86.

To call overseas from Macau, you can dial 00, or better 050, then enter the country code. Using 050 instead of 00 saves much money. You can also get CTM Bonus Points for all the calls you make.


For travelers staying less than a month who do not intend to keep the same number, SmarTone rechargeable cards offer the best local airtime charges. They can be purchased all over Macau. But be aware of a few things that may not be clear:

1) Your line is probably recycled: You may get many calls looking for unknown people because someone has used the same line number in the past.

2) You will receive Chinese SMS from SmarTone and its roaming partners, including advertisements. Good luck if you can't read Chinese.

3) CallerID will cost you MOP$10 after the first month. [You will receive a Chinese SMS about it.] If you don't like it, turn it off by dialing 1662, then pressing 212.

4) You must top up every month or else your account will expire and all your credit forfeited. Again, the notification will be a Chinese SMS.

5) International Roaming is provided free, but the charges are high. Press *137# to check your remaining value after your call.

6) To call from outside Macau, you must dial *132*phone number# and wait for the SmarTone to connect you. It is inconvenient as you cannot dial your phone address book directly.

7) You are paying overseas charges as soon as you pick up the SmarTone call even if you did not get through to the line you are calling.

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