10 Things You Wish You Had Known Before Moving To Hong Kong – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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Whether you’re still considering moving to Hong Kong and it’s in research mode, or you’re on your way to catching a flight, Hong Kong still remains one of the best cities. It’s seen as an important gateway into the world’s market for many multinational companies with tech, advertising, HR, and finance industry.
Hong Kong is a large city that has been attracting expats in recent years. Besides, it’s a large expat destination, and it’s an extremely international city, popular among people from both nearby Asian countries and further away from Western nations. Are you one of the many expats planning to move here?
If that truly sounds like a yes, we’ve got you covered. Living in Hong Kong can be both a daunting and wonderful experience. And for the fact that it’s a major international financial center, there are many things to explore in the city. In fact, Hong Kong is a popular holiday destination with people worldwide.
However, there are many things you wish you had known before moving to this country. Today, we have researched well to draft 10 of these things to help you understand more about the Hong Kong relocation guide. Have you been surfing the internet to get the right information about Hong Kong? Look no further!
In this article, we will walk you through the ten things you might have wish you had known before moving to Hong Kong. Aside from this fact, you’ll understand what living in Hong Kong entails as an expat. So, are you ready to explore what we’ve unleashed for you in this article? Read further to know.
What to Know about Living in Hong Kong
If truly, you’re planning to move to Hong Kong in the next couple of months, congratulations! You’re moving to one of the most exciting, densely populated cities in the world with a unique cultural background. Although adapting to any foreign country can be daunting but here are the things to know.
1. Rent is Quite Expensive
Since we don’t want to leave you scared, rent isn’t that expensive like you imagined. Anyway, we recommend having enough cash while planning to move to Hong Kong as an expat. As showed by a recent survey, Mercer’s 24th annual cost of living disclosed that property prices are high and rising in the city. To give you an idea, the average monthly cost to rent a one-bedroom is $16,600.
2. Proper Etiquette Is Common
Knowing that etiquette is the key in Hong Kong is a crucial way to enjoy your lifestyle. In fact, always understand that Hong Kong is a city that embraces hierarchy in nearly everything they do, just like the South Koreans. In business, the hierarchy will be according to people’s position, both in the company and their social settings. More so, you must always greet the most senior person at a function first.
3. High Cost of Living in Hong Kong
Surprisingly, Hong Kong is infamous for its high cost of living, and in fact, also ranked as the worst in the world in the cost of living index of Expat insider survey. This is partially due to a very high rent price in the city. Again, the country comes to last for affordable housing, with over 90 percent of expats unhappy with housing affordability, compared to 72 percent on a worldwide scale.
4. No Language Barrier or Problem
You don’t have to go the extra mile to learn another language if you plan to relocate to this country. As research disclosed, both Chinese and English are the official languages of Hong Kong due to its history as a former British colony. So, the most common type of Chinese spoken is the Cantonese
With that being said, expats should know that English is a co-official language of the country. This means, with no knowledge of the local Chinese language, you should be able to get along fine in the country. More so, all signage and government information in the country are in the English language.
5. Home to Best Transportation in the World
One thing Hong Kong is known for is that; they own one of the best transportation systems in the world. Many expats who have visited this country cite public transportation as one of the best things about living in Hong Kong. Not only that but the safety and transport are good, and you can easily get around.
Additionally, Hong Kong’s transportation system offers the Mass Transit Railway, tramways, minibusses, taxis, and many others, to mention a few. Aside from those mentioned, ferry routes connect Hong Kong Island to the smaller surrounding mainland and islands. So, you can definitely take advantage of this beautiful scenery when you relocate to the country.
6. Home to Expats Community
If you’ve been surfing the internet to know the right place to reside in Hong Kong, you need to worry less. This is because; Hong Kong is home to expats community, and you can easily get along with the locals as fast as possible.
Luckily, you can join a group in your community to easily mingle with friends. Meanwhile, you can also meet other global minds in your city at an event as this plays a huge role in meeting new family and friends. In other news, the best way to avoid loneliness and make friends is to join an expat community.
7. Many Things to Do in Your Free Time
This also contributes to another thing you wish you had known before moving to Hong Kong. If you’re going to work in this city, the chances are that you’ll definitely see a lot of things to do. In the long run, we will explain briefly about the best places to visit in this country.
With this, you’ll get a glimpse of what we’re saying and how you can enjoy your life as an expat in the country. Nonetheless, be rest assured that while Hong Kong is not particularly famous for its nightlife, they still have many party districts.
8. Lowest Tax in the World
Another thing that you’d find surprising in this country is that the tax rates are quite low compared to other country you might think of. While the rental rate is statistically one of the highest in the world, corporate tax and personal tax are fairly simple. Besides, if you’re moving to work in the country, you don’t need to pay massive tax as other western country does. Meanwhile, there’s no sales tax as well.
9. Home to Two Healthcare System
Another thing to put into consideration when moving to this country is the healthcare system. There is only two healthcare in Hong Kong; the private track and the public track. This private sector offers numerous options and several luxurious packages at a high price. In comparison to the public sector, you can only see a subsidized amount because the Hong Kong government regulates it.
Also, they provide high-quality medical services for an eligible person at a considerable price. In total, Hong Kong’s public healthcare system has about 42 public hospitals, 47 specialist out-patient clinics, and 73 general out-patient clinics, which are organized into seven clusters according to their respective location.
10. Ladies can drink for Free
While Hong Kong seems to be the home to expensive drinks, you can drink for free in nearly all the restaurants or hotels in the country. This is only applicable for a lady because ladies’ nights in the country are usually alive and kicking in the 852, with various bars offering free drinks after a specific period in the evening. Meanwhile, you need to be careful as an expat visiting the country for the first time.
7 Best Places/Things to do in Hong Kong
As of today, Hong Kong still remains one of the most important and exciting cities in Asia. Not only is it known to have a fascinating mix of cultures, but it’s also one of the most important economic tourist hubs in the world. Whether you’re on a big budget or a small one, Hong Kong has something special. Check it out!
1. Need for Speed at 18 Challenge Karting
Undoubtedly, Hong Kong is home to the biggest indoor go-karting venue. If you love indoor activities, this is the perfect place to go with families and friends, your partners, colleagues, and more. Aside from this fact, you’ll experience the 18 challenge karting spans across a 50,000sq ft. space with an adult-sized racing featuring 18 twists and turns as well as a child-friendly track for the little rugrats.
2. Disneyland in Hong Kong
Traveling with kids in Hong Kong is not complete without visiting Disneyland. Here, you’ll experience a magical adventure, and it’s even the second Disney-themed amusement park in Asia after Tokyo Disneyland. On the flip side, the best time to visit this place is in the afternoon if you want to explore the park and watch the beautiful fireworks shows at sleeping beauty castle.
3. Victoria Harbour and Star Ferry
You can have a central skyline view of this place from Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong. Apart from been dirt cheap, it also offers a nostalgic ferry crossing with a fantastic view of the skyline on both sides of Victoria Harbor. This way, if you’re looking for the perfect introduction to Hong Kong, this is the right place to go.
4. Hong Kong Symphony of Lights
We can literally tell you that your Hong Kong trip is not complete without a visit to Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront to enjoy the panoramic views of the impressive Central Hong Kong Skyline and Victoria Harbor. Aside from this fact, this place has emerged as the world’s largest permanent light and sound show, according to the Guinness World Records.
5. Hong Kong Ocean Park
Ocean Park is another place to visit in Hong Kong. Also, it’s a famous theme park and one of the world’s most popular marine-themed amusement parks in the world. Of course, you wouldn’t want to miss the giant panda habitat and Chinese sturgeon aquarium, as well as the grand aquarium dome.
6. Explore or Ride the Star Ferry
This is another place to take into consideration if you’re planning to visit Hong Kong. The star ferry is one of the best ways to enjoy the view of the Victoria Harbour skyline and in no doubt has been carrying passengers from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and back since 1888. So, it is memorable to take a close look at so many towering skyscrapers while floating on the calm waters.
7. Enjoy Dim Sum in a Local Restaurant
In Hong Kong, Dim sum literally means ‘to touch your heart,’ which refers to a vast number of exquisite bite-sized dishes. At the same time, this restaurant always offers 30 or 40 different dishes for customers to choose from, including shrimp dumplings, steamed pork, spring rolls, and congee. Therefore, it’s no doubt that you’ll enjoy these dishes while living in the city as an expat.
Pros and Cons of Living in Hong Kong
While you might have understood the ten things you wish you had known before moving to Hong Kong, it’s quite essential to get a glimpse of what the pros and cons of living in Hong Kong entail. We’ve scoured the internet and spoke to many who call Hong Kong home. Now, let’s quickly explain in detail.
Opportunity to Enjoy Outdoor Activities
From what we’ve mentioned earlier, there are tons of outdoor activities you’ll enjoy in Hong Kong. Well enough, many people think this city is a concrete jungle with no outdoor scene, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are tons of outdoor activities you can enjoy in Hong Kong. Even with the concrete jungle, Hong Kong is surprisingly green, and here you have Morse Park and many others.
Fantastic Transportation Network
It’s no doubt that the transportation network in Hong Kong is truly fantastic. In fact, there are multiple ways to get anywhere in the city. Additionally, the MTR, Hong Kong’s subway network, has significantly expanded in recent years and covers much of Hong Kong. Aside from that, their services are frequent, and even more so during the busier times of the day.
Useful Octopus Card
Have you ever heard of using an octopus card before? If that sounds like a NO, look no further as Hong Kong is the best place to see it all. Not only can you use it to access the entirety of the Hong Kong transit system, but it can also be used to pay for groceries, as well. This means having an octopus card in Hong Kong can make you get around quickly without fiddling finding coins in your wallet/purse.
Home to World-Class Eateries
As of the time of writing this article, Hong Kong has many world-class eateries and so many specialist bars that could cater to your taste. And that’s why Hong Kong is known as a food paradise. Here, you can have Yum Cha for breakfast, be eating sushi for lunch, and the day by sampling some of the best European food in the world. Not to mention Hong Kong has many western comfort foods as well.
Safety and Security Measures
It’s tough to convey how special this advantage is to the locals and expat. There aren’t many cities in the world where you can lose your purse and end up finding it turned in at your local police station with all the money intact.
In fact, some people have noted that Hong Kong is a crowded city, and you might bump into the odd pick-pocket. While this is true, your chances of having your pocket picked rifled through are slim to none. As research disclosed, the only story we’ve heard is from drunkards that lost their wallets.
As we’ve mentioned earlier in this article, you don’t have to learn Cantonese to relate with the locals in Hong Kong. And this is because; the English language is widely spoken. Although you totally should learn it but if you’re living in Hong Kong Island, the chances are high that you’ll never need to use a Cantonese word.
Large Expat Community
Just like how South Korea is known to have an enormous number of expats as of today’s digital world, Hong Kong is also home to a large number of expats from different countries around the world. Besides, if you move to Hong Kong, you are likely to make friends almost immediately as they’d be glad to provide you with advice and support.
Excellent Educational Opportunities
Educational opportunities in Southeast Asia are frequently praised as being among the world’s best, and of course, Hong Kong is no exception. Moreover, the students in Hong Kong’s international schools achieve excellent results in various subjects, with the schools providing a varied curriculum and several outstanding after-school activities.
High Level of Pollution
Unfortunately, this is one of the downsides of living in Hong Kong. And we can tell you that the atmosphere in this city has been ranked among the most polluted in Southeast Asia. This city is often shrouded in fog, thereby making it difficult to breathe easily or see clearly. And of course, the major sources of solution are emissions from industrial plants, marine traffic as well as vehicles.
Rental Cost and Small Spaces
If you’re used to living in an expensive residential property, living in Hong Kong shouldn’t be a problem. On the other hand, it might not be the best decision for an expat wanting to enjoy their stay in this country for the first time. For example, the total area in a typical three-bedroom apartment in a newer building in Hong Kong is quite equivalent to a small two-bedroom apartment you’ll see in the United Kingdom.
Most Expensive Cities in the World
Hong Kong is always rated as the best place to visit in the world. At the same time, it’s known as the most expensive city. In fact, in June 2021, someone bought a parking place for a whopping USD 1.3million at the peak, which is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Hong Kong list.
When people in Hong Kong talk about summer, what they really mean is that the season comes from late April to late October. However, the climate here is officially known as the humid subtropical climate. In a nutshell, the city is hot and humid. And when the humidity gets you, you should know that air-conditioning is a must.
Frequently Asked Question about Hong Kong in 2021
Is Hong Kong officially part of China?
Well, we can tell you that Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. Not only that, but it is an inalienable part of the country. Due to its special status, this city is able to exercise a high degree of autonomy and enjoy executive, legislative, and independent judicial power.
Is Hong Kong safe compared to other cities or countries?
Hong Kong is quite safe with some petty crimes like theft and vandalism. Also, serious crimes are rare in the city, and that’s why it remains one of the top destinations for expats to reside. Of course, there’s no safe place in the world that’s 100% guaranteed. But it is always recommended to be watchful to avoid becoming a victim in a new country.
Can I speak English in Hong Kong?
Of course, you can speak the English language in Hong Kong. And this is used widely in the government, academic circles, courts, businesses, and many others, to mention a few. However, those who spoke English or were taught English were considered elite and upper-level students.
Is it safe to eat food in Hong Kong?
We can definitely tell you yes! Hong Kong is home to the best restaurants in the world. This way, you can definitely eat in nearly all restaurants in the country without having a second thought. Therefore, be rest assured that this city is safe and you can eat whatever you like in Hong Kong.
Preparing yourself for the big move to Hong Kong is exhausting and could be a daunting process. However, when you get the call to uproot your life and relocate to a new country, it’s better to do your research before proceeding. Nonetheless, we’ve compiled the ten things you wish to know. So, check it out and refer to this platform for more information.