Hong Kong life vs NYC

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  1. #1

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    Hong Kong life vs NYC

    Hi All,

    I work for a global company in New York and they have offered me a new position in their HK office. I was wondering if any former New Yorkers or just US citizens out there can give me their opinions on how HK differs from a big American city like NYC, i.e. what do you like about HK more and what things you miss. For example: Is pollution really bad? Does it really get super hot and humid in the summer? Or are these exaggerations?

    All input on almost any aspect of HK life will be greatly appreciated!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Kowloon, Hong Kong
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    Similar situation

    Filin,

    I will be relocating to HK over the next few weeks for a 2 year project, similar employer and have never been over there.

    I am taking this move as a cultural lesson, one that will bring with it some additional clicks on my cv and open doors to some international business deals that I would have never had here in NY.

    Because I am traveling solo (I dunno your situation) its going to be a little easy (Ihope) to adapt, plan to stay busy and do a little traveling.

    What I understand about the city is that its not that healthy to do outdoor anything, stay indoors and you will be allright for the most part. I scuba dive and will be looking for places not too close to the smog or storms.

    Good luck in your decision, mine is made up.


  3. #3

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    Jun 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by bklynfan:
    What I understand about the city is that its not that healthy to do outdoor anything
    Oh good - one less person clogging up the wonderful hiking trails at the weekends!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by PDLM:
    Oh good - one less person clogging up the wonderful hiking trails at the weekends!
    Well put.....

  5. #5

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    Amazing what preconceptions people have!

    Yes - the pollution is terrible but you live with it.
    If you are coming from a "big city" like New York you are probably already familiar with the concrete-jungle effect of big cities so no change there!
    I've met plenty of US expats since moving here so no doubt you will find friends (and the rest of us are also quite friendly).
    There is lots to do outdoors here - including the FABULOUS hiking, even in the hot, humid and sweaty summer (you just get used to it). Winter is lovely temperature ... but pollution is worse.
    The food is great - some places even serve Burgers but you could also try out some of the great cuisine from the rest of the world....
    The supermarkets are much smaller than you are used to, but you realise after a while that you don't need 10,000 brands of cereal to make breakfast - they stock the necessities and even a few expat luxuries if you shop around.
    Accomodation is dire - tiny and expensive. Unless you have a HUGE housing allowance that might take some getting used to!
    Forget the driving gear - no need for a car here!
    And the rest of Asia is on the doorstep for great holidays.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    60
    Quote Originally Posted by filin:
    Hi All,

    I work for a global company in New York and they have offered me a new position in their HK office. I was wondering if any former New Yorkers or just US citizens out there can give me their opinions on how HK differs from a big American city like NYC, i.e. what do you like about HK more and what things you miss. For example: Is pollution really bad? Does it really get super hot and humid in the summer? Or are these exaggerations?

    All input on almost any aspect of HK life will be greatly appreciated!

    I moved from NYC to HK with my husband one year ago. Yes HK gets very hot and humid in the summer but I found that I've gotten used to it, and there are many covered pedestrian walkways and everywhere indoor pretty much has AC.

    Some of the things I like about HK: good food, the efficiency, good services in general, cleaniness (despite the bad air quality, public areas are much cleaner than ones in NYC), a very good transportation network, more affordable taxi's than NYC, proximity of the city to nature - i.e. you can get to a beach or hiking trail from the city in less than 1 hour via public transportation; super efficient airport that makes traveling sooo much easier than wrangling your way through JFK/LaGuardia/Newark.

    Some of the things I miss about NYC: better air quality than HK, less humidity, chance of seeing more blue sky; larger city, wider sidewalks, eventhough there are many people in NYC it never feels as crowded as HK; more outdoor / sidewalk dining; the diversity; more access to cultural events like the summer festivals, free concerts, the museums, etc.; and lastly, I miss Central Park!

    There will be a period of adjustment when you come here, but if you have an open mind and once your body gets used to the humidity and the air you will learn to get past the negatives and enjoy the many benefits of HK.

    Good luck!

    Feel free to PM me if you want to meet a fellow NY'er once you get here!
    Last edited by bxu; 22-07-2008 at 11:57 AM.

  7. #7

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    You also get to moan about paying tax in two places (if you're earning above a certain amount).


  8. #8

    I just moved here from NYC about 4 months ago. Was in NYC for 7 years working and living and been around NYC my entire life.

    The humidity here is quite terrible, that is the biggest problem I have with life here. But as said above, winters are great, and NYC winters you can lose your nose and ears with those winds and chills.

    Food is way better in NYC in my opinion, and some would say the chinese food is even comparable ( I disagree though, it's much better here). As far as burgers/mexican/pizza/bagels/italian, good luck finding anything here to satisfy what you are used to in NYC except for maybe a few random places.

    Commuting and transportation is a lot better here in HK. Unbelieveably clean and efficient and cheaper, compared to the coveted NQRW/7/ACE/239 trains in NYC (456 is an exception due to newer cars).

    Nightlife I would say is somewhat close in respects to availability and convenience but most places are less arrogant than NYC.

    Sorry for jumping back and forth on topics, just typing as I'm thinking.


  9. #9

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    Jul 2008
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    Kowloon, Hong Kong
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    You can have them

    Quote Originally Posted by PDLM:
    Oh good - one less person clogging up the wonderful hiking trails at the weekends!
    Thanks a lot

    The trails are yours if you feel that way, I promise to stay away from them... I'd rather take transportation to the nearest beach and practice my Cantonese/Spanish/English with the locals while I hook up the next dive or wreck site.

    Preconceived notions aside, I am not looking to walk about in the middle of the day just because I can.

  10. #10

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    Mar 2008
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    lived in nyc for past 7 years, grew up around the area...lived in hk for the past month...

    1. humidity- yes it is that bad. take nyc on your hottest most humid day...and add more humidity. at least in nyc, if i stood outside (still/shade) and didn't move, i'd be ok. now i sweat...so even though one doesn't mind walking a few aves/blocks in nyc...the same is painful in hkg.

    2. everything in central is covered walkways for the most part- good planning due to the amt of rain...

    3. cabbies are jerks in hkg. in nyc, they'd take you wherever you wanted to go...in hk, they kick you out if you only want to go a few blocks...

    4. distances to places- i lived on 25th and lex...if i were going out anywhere in manhattan, it wasn't a problem. if i'm in central and decide to go to causeway bay, it's a bigger issue...

    5. locals in nyc walk like locals...only tourists stop in the middle of the sidewalk. locals in hk, walk like tourists.

    6. ppl don't j-walk. i.e...nyc= no cars/cabs coming, you cross. not so much here

    7. nightlife- the clubs in nyc, while selective, always had an out for those looking to get in- buy a bottle/table. in hkg...not so much, if you're not a member, you basically will have a hard time getting into the nicer ones (prive/m1nt)..unless you're white(truth!)

    i make it seem worse than it is, but if you're only here on limited assignment like myself, then i'd def. take it. if for nothing else than to make yourself realize where NOT to live...not saying i feel that way, but it's one way to look at the option.


    oh. and while the mtr is wel lconnected...I HATE IT. ppl here have no sense of personal space- during rush hour. i.e. on the 456/ace in nyc, i'd always get on the subway, even if it were packed, i'd still have enough room to at least breathe. here, they pack the trains japan style (look it up on youtube)...so much so that i've had to bitch in the mornings to let ppl know, there is no more room! throw in the odd voyeur old chinese guy taking pics of my gf while on the subway...and you get the clue...

    Last edited by campas12; 23-07-2008 at 05:08 AM.

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