Not wanting to pay the ridiculous fees charged by the hotel from Hong Kong back to the states, I decided to pack some extra gear and try to find a better way.
Boy howdy this is great.
If you click to see the Flickr version, you can see my annotations that point out what’s what more clearly, but along the bottom of the image are the essential components. I connect the Linksys wireless (and wired) travel router to the hotel’s high speed ethernet connection. Then I attach my Vonage ATA packed up and brought from home and connect a $6 Radio Shack old-people-special POTS phone (with extra large buttons). Open up the laptop, connect to my wireless router, open up the browser, and hit the hotel’s “click this button to charge 24 hour internet access to the room”. Pick up the phone, get a dial tone, call anywhere in the US & Canada for f-r-e-e! The quality is impeccable. Absolutely no lag whatsoever.
Granted I have to pay the hotel’s internet charges, but there was no question I was going to be doing that anyway. The only downside of all this was the amount of equipment needed, especially having to plug everything in.
I signed up for Skype and brought a headset as a backup solution, but my initial tests using this method were really disappointing, especially in the lag-time area.