What do I need to know before moving to Hong Kong?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Hong Kong, they said:
"As I said before, just think about your priorities. Make a list. For example, is a spacious apartment more important than having Starbuck's outside your door? Do you want to be near the beach or would you rather have a shorter commute to work? Each area in HK has it's own flavor and, like any other city, it's plusses and negatives. Just think about what's most important to you, discuss with your family (if applicable) and your real estate agent. There's such a variety here, you'll be likely to find something that will meet (most) of your needs.
Once you are here, get involved with local expat organizations, the YWCA, etc. And there are also lots of charities that welcome volunteers. These are great ways to meet people and stay active,"
mentioned another expat when asked about moving to Hong Kong.
"I love the location - we have water views and back up against a mountain and there is lots of greenery around. Least favourite? Mosquitos!
Go through an expat agency as opposed to a local agency as the expats agencys tend to understand what Westerners are looking for in accomodation. Local agencies seem not to understand certain requirements eg I went through three separate local real estate agencies and asked to see 4 bedroom apartments and I was shown one bedrooms with walk in alcoves, two bedrooms and three bedrooms. This is not a language thing but they kept suggesting that we could just squeeze in and I had a hard time explainign that my list of criteria was not really negotiable. Location was, price was but my needs weren't,"
commented one expat who made the move to Hong Kong.
"My favourite thing about Hong Kong has to be the feeling of safety. I feel comfortable to walk the streets at any time. The police to population ratio is very high and the crime rate consequently low. It also helps that alcohol is not a big problem here, although sadly, it is increasing. What is your least favorite? - my least favourite thing is the lack of community. I have lived in the same block of flats for 5 years and still do not know my neighbours. We exchange greetings but that is all. This lack of community is exacerbated by the middle class habit of employing alive-in maid. I am just about the only person I know who does her own cleaning. This isolates me and makes me appear a bit of a freak,"
remarked another expat in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
How do I find a place to live in Hong Kong?