View Poll Results: Stay or Leave Hong Kong

Voters
156. You may not vote on this poll
  • Planning to leave in 1-2 years

    49 31.41%
  • Planning to leave in 3-5 years

    32 20.51%
  • No plan at the moment

    57 36.54%
  • HK is my Home, will stay forever

    18 11.54%
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[Poll] Stay or Leave Hong Kong

  1. #181

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    5,046
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Tsang
    I am born in Hong Kong, is a Hong Kong citizen and have never emigrated. However, I don't like Hong Kong and want to leave by 2021.

    Hong Kong does not offer what I want. As Hong Kong is just a city, I also look inside mainland China as well, but a country is even worse than a city.

    My main sport is trail orienteering and I'm currently in the top 100 of the world ranking list, however, there are too few training opportunities here. For each format there are only about 2 races per year, but if you want to maintain a high standard, you should be doing training races every month. Nearly all of the high-level races are in Europe, but going to Europe from Hong Kong is very costly which I can only do it at most 2 or 3 times a year. However, Hong Kong will be holding the world championship in 2020. If we talk about orienteering in general, than it is OK as it is now very popular in Guangdong.

    The other main sport I do is swimming. I like to do open water swimming, but the problem is, although Hong Kong has a magnificent coastline, the open water community is very small. It is very easy to find long-distance mass participation open water swimming races in the UK or the US, but in Hong Kong, nope.

    There are 3 marathon swimming races in Hong Kong every year. The HKASA 10 km Open Water Championship follows FINA rules which only cater for elites (equivalent to sub-2:30 marathon), the other 2 are Clean Half and Cold Half, which are 15 km in length, probably the longest swimming races in Asia. However, the participation count is so few. The organiser limits the event to 30 solos, however, there are fewer than 10 (!) solos participating in Cold Half every year.

    The problem is that, all of the mass participation swimming races in Hong Kong are so short! A lot of races which attract hundreds of swimmers are only 600 m (less than a km!). The iconic cross harbour race is 1 km, but the competition classes require a decent level to qualify. Some clubs are holding races of around 3 km, but not more for mass participation. Their 5 km races are "for advanced swimmers only", which the organiser only accepts entry from people they already know.

    I am looking in mainland China as well, but despite the population, there are basically no mass participation long distance swimming races along the coast! Nearly all races are of elite level and by invitation only, e.g. the Xiamen - Kinmen race. I would like to do marathon swimming eventually but there are no races for me to bridge the gap between 3 km and cold half 15 km! Think of the situation where you don't have 10 km or half marathon to run after finishing 5 km, but the city is holding a marathon every year! Is it insane?!

    People are promoting open water swimming races in the Philippines, including 5 km, 7 km, 8 km, 10 km, 15 km etc. but the problem is the Philippines is so damn hot!!!!!!!!! Your preference may vary, but I don't want to swim in 29°C water. It's too hot for me.

    This introduce to the next reason why I want to leave Hong Kong - the climate. Hong Kong is so damn hot in summer and never cold in winter. I have to use A/C from April to November every year - but in 2018 I had to keep the A/C on even after winter solstice! I'm very afraid of hot and like to set the indoor A/C to below 20°C, while wearing a thin T-short and shorts. In the summer I get dizzy very easily outside, walking uphill from the 904 bus stop on the tramway to HKU can make me headache. I have to stop all my physical exercise unless it is in an air-conditioned place - for swimming I have to go to an indoor pool in summer where the A/C is strong enough.

    I am waiting desperately for the summer to go away, such that I can resume my swim training. The sea temperature goes down to 24°C (anything warmer is too hot for me) only in October, which humorously is when the "swimming season" officially ends, 21°C in early December which I am the most comfortable in, and 18°C not until January, if the preceding weather is cold enough. (It is still 19°C at the time of writing this). Basically this is "summer swimming" in winter. It is not possible to do "winter swimming" in Hong Kong because there is no ice and snow. In the summer, I even don't want to go to the beach despite I LOVE swimming, because it is SO HOT! Better stay in an A/C room.

    This climate also means I can never do any winter sports in Hong Kong, including ski orienteering, ice swimming and ice sailing (corresponding to the main 3 summer sports I do in Hong Kong - foot orienteering, swimming and sailing).

    There, I get bored very easily as I don't like the kind of "entertainment" and "nightlife" in Hong Kong. I have no nightlife because I get up early for swim training, especially in winter where the university pool is closed in the evening.

    Now, another aspect why I don't like Hong Kong and want to leave is my career. I am a software developer, by the very nature like innovation. I also supports open data as well and would like to build solutions using 100% open data. However, everyone knows how useless Hong Kong government is in terms of supporting innovation - a lot of things, like e-bikes, are banned, and even cycling, which is an environmental friendly way of travelling, is discouraged in urban areas (Hong Kong and Kowloon). Most taxis stay cash only in Hong Kong while taxis in other places are accepting various electronic payment methods, therefore every time if I plan to take a taxi I have to find an ATM to withdraw cash, which may not be available in rural areas. And a lot of "public utility" companies refuse to do open data as well, where it is now the norm of some European countries and Taiwan cities. In terms of innovation, Taiwan is a huge step ahead of Hong Kong.

    Also, the civil rights, freedom and rule of law in Hong Kong is deteriorating as well in recent year, and may be totally gone when we hit the 2047 deadline.

    Although I can earn money in Hong Kong, money can't bring me happiness and can't bring me my desired lifestyle. Therefore I want to find a European country to emigrate to, with proper winter, where I can do orienteering every week or even after work in summer, and swim in ice water in the winter, and get support for my innovative entrepreneurial ideas using 100% open data. I am still deciding where to go, but language will be a great barrier, no matter Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia or Lithuania. (U.K. and Ireland are the only countries in Europe without any language barrier - English is officially used there)
    Move to Ottawa, Canada. There's a lot of IT industry there that pays good salaries and they constantly have races, triathlons, etc. There's also a massive provincial park starting almost at the centre of the city which is hilly terrain and excellent for trail orienteering. The weather is cold, but it does have hot summers. People speak English to boot. With good IT qualifications you should have no problems immigrating. Property is also cheap. For HKD 2.4 million you can have a house right next to the provincial park with 1 acre of land.

  2. #182

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Tin Shui Wai
    Posts
    215
    Quote Originally Posted by civil_servant
    Move to Ottawa, Canada. There's a lot of IT industry there that pays good salaries and they constantly have races, triathlons, etc. There's also a massive provincial park starting almost at the centre of the city which is hilly terrain and excellent for trail orienteering. The weather is cold, but it does have hot summers. People speak English to boot. With good IT qualifications you should have no problems immigrating. Property is also cheap. For HKD 2.4 million you can have a house right next to the provincial park with 1 acre of land.
    I want to go to Europe, not North America because of orienteering and better labour protection. In particular, I will not emigrate to the U.S. under any circumstances because there are no annual leaves, and no medical protection in the U.S. It is even worse than mainland China.
    Natfixit likes this.

  3. #183

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    5,046
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Tsang
    I want to go to Europe, not North America because of orienteering and better labour protection. In particular, I will not emigrate to the U.S. under any circumstances because there are no annual leaves, and no medical protection in the U.S. It is even worse than mainland China.
    I see. Good luck to you then.

  4. #184

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    8,862
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Tsang
    I want to go to Europe, not North America because of orienteering and better labour protection. In particular, I will not emigrate to the U.S. under any circumstances because there are no annual leaves, and no medical protection in the U.S. It is even worse than mainland China.
    Canada is very different to the USA. I would not group them together in any decision.

  5. #185

    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    123

    You could decide on places in Europe that you think might be good and apply for jobs there.


  6. #186

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    683
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Tsang
    I want to go to Europe, not North America because of orienteering and better labour protection. In particular, I will not emigrate to the U.S. under any circumstances because there are no annual leaves, and no medical protection in the U.S. It is even worse than mainland China.
    Sounds like The Netherlands might be a good fit for you! I would move back there in a heartbeat if I could.
    Bernadette J W and Skyhook like this.

  7. #187

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    a sunny un spoilt paradise
    Posts
    6,699

    Now just over a year since we left, I've noticed a few positive benefits over this period of time:

    We have not come down with anything in regard to cold and flu, no coughs or sniffles the whole time we have been back.

    LOVE food and ingredient shopping again, it really has been great. A lot easier for us getting all manner of ethnic ingredients, be they Asian, Continental European, Mediterranean or Arabic, we're very happy as a result.

    Traffic and parking.. I cant even remember the last time i was bothered by either, and its quite nice being able to park your car out front of a friends home or a childs activity and not clock watch or having to be forced to park your car in a privately owned car park, as there is more than enough publicaly available free parking. LOVE IT !

    Waiting in queues ? I was thinking about this yesterday, as I visited the our local Queensland transport department, as I popped in at 9;15am to order classic ( black and white ) number plates for our car as the front standard one on our car looked a bit tatty, so, decided to get a better looking set of plates a our car is black metallic.. all done and dusted in 15 minutes ! I find things actually work quite well minus lots of people around, again, we LOVE IT!

    The Aesthetic of where we live.. Its very nice driving up to our home as we enter a very pretty tree line street with in flower poinciana trees and our 75 year old leopard trees, which is very pleasant and to me looks nice having wide fronted properties dotted along our no through road.

    The best thing of all for me though, is, I'm being a local for a change. Not having to reexplain vernacular to other token expats and if there are any present they generally play nice. Ive noticed socially it's back to the way it used to be before I left, streets are quiet during the evening, and people invite you over to their place for dinner parties where we drink and eat together and it's just so chilled and relaxed... no more silly political arguments or mind numbing discussions about sport that I've never had any interest in, which is bloody fantastic .I also really enjoy eating out at mid to high end restaurants here, appreciating skilled chef plated food without any disappointments. so far so good.

    Overall, it is just so very easy to go about ones day to day activities, our children love the variety that they have now, and as parents we enjoy doing those things with them because it is just so easy and care free.

    Another thing I've noticed is that, our outgoing expenses to run our household in a healthy manner, has dropped off dramatically, we arent spending anywhere near what we were in HK. Utility costs for the size of home and the land that we have, vehicle maintenance and running a car, clothing, food, and very fortunate that we don't drink regularly or smoke, so for us, our costs have been quite low.

    Most importantly, thanks to the environment of where we live, people are friendly and easy going, we are very relaxed and content. I've also noticed that our pets ( dog and two cats) are also very happy with their new space here in Australia.

    In a nutshell, we have had a very successful move back ' home ' without any negative side affects, in fact I'm even ok with the tax differential, these days I have nothing to prove and we have enjoyed our international sojourn, but it really was time to get off the merry go round and start ' living ' life on our terms, nobody else's.

    If you are finding HK a bit much as a family, moving back home will be well worth the effort, relocating..it was very straight forward for us and hitch free..

    zero regrets


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