What's it really like in Hong Kong?

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  1. #31

    Hi everyone - thank you so much for your replies!
    Just for a bit more info, I'm 29, it's just me and my boyfriend - no kids so that's one area I don't need to worry about.
    I've just been taken on a tour of Asia with work for two weeks (Singapore, Thailand, China and Hong Kong) at which point the job offer was made.
    I love the company I work for, have been wanting more from my current job which is exactly what the promotion gives me and the support levels I have globally (not just in Asia) from work are fantastic.

    What's the best way when someone arrives and gets settled to make friends, see more from a social angle? I have friends at work in Hong Kong that I am in no doubt would offer but I want both sides so I feel like I'm getting away from work in part too.

    Two of my colleagues will be ex-pats - one British and one American - they love it and have been in Asia for years.

    I'm fully accepting to being in a different culture and way of doing things - I'm at the nerve-wracking point of signing on the line which is why I want to make doubly sure with people that are there - my theory is if I know about it I can deal with it!


  2. #32

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    My 2 cents as someone who recently moved:

    As someone else said, it depends on you and what excites you. For me, HK is ok. There are other places I enjoy a whole lot more but I've also been worst places.

    What noone else has mentioned (I don't think):

    Lots of good travel packages on offer, yes, but that only matters if you're travelling as a pair

    A buzzing, vibrant city life also means noisy, pushy crowds, long lines and lots of waiting...waiting...waiting...

    Stores galore (in some places, it's mall after mall after mall...literally) but don't get too excited if you're not built like the average Chinese woman

    Friendly expats and lots of social events. Your friends count on FaceBook will skyrocket (if that means anything). If you're a single female, be forewarned, the dating scene is..um, lacking.

    Oh, and money rules above all else

    Just giving it to you straight. Don't be deterred - there are definitely some pluses (see replies above). Pretty much, you can only find out what it's like by coming here and experiencing the place yourself and you just might love it.


  3. #33

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    Rachel, it is much, much easier to meet new people and make friends in HK than in most other countries. Here there are so many expats in the same position that they are all open to new friendships. That side is definitely one you will not have to worry about. Just go out, go online, do sport, go hiking, you'll meet people everywhere.

    But thinking you are going to get clued up on everything before you come so you can 'handle it' is just not possible. It's not like an exam you can study for. To me it sounds like you have already made your decision to come. Just do it and deal with whatever you need to when you face it.


  4. #34

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    Just for a bit more info, I'm 29, it's just me and my boyfriend
    Just one thing, I have seen problems with relationships if the trailing spouse (or 'other' in your case) cannot find a job, and again in your case one which sponsors an employment visa so he can stay here. Hong Kong and living overseas can be quite a strain on some relationships.

  5. #35

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    In da Uk? Hey, wha happen?
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    How about this -- my boss and I have just moved from Hong Kong to the UK. And all we talk about is how we wish we were back in Hong Kong...


  6. #36

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    Jan 2009
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    I really had trouble fitting in the first 6 months, but then I found my stride. nearly 7 years later, im still here, happily married to a local, and have terrific business experience and prospects.

    aside from being a great city in which to live, hong kong is one of the finest places to build wealth in the world. the taxes are low, and no capital gains tax, so that 10 years in hong kong is like 35 in the USA, provided you accept the hong kong lifestyle (i.e. no house, local type foods, home cooking, and not constant partying every week).

    There are some things that take getting used to, but what city doesnt have those?


  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel_UK:
    What's the best way when someone arrives and gets settled to make friends, see more from a social angle? I have friends at work in Hong Kong that I am in no doubt would offer but I want both sides so I feel like I'm getting away from work in part too.
    Hi Rachel!
    As someone who came here initially as a trailing spouse and is now happily building my own career in HK, I can honestly say that one of the best places to meet people is here on GeoExpat!

    My husband and I arrived 8 months ago knowing no-one, had a month or so of feeling like fish out of water, and then eventually plucked up the courage to answer some of the 'Anyone in their 20's & 30's wanting to meet up' ads that are all over this site. I was terrified, thinking it'd be like an awkward blind date experience or worse, that I'd meet a load of weirdos, but I was completely wrong! Since then, we've aquired a great circle of friends, (got on well enough to go on holiday with some!), have joined sports clubs (always meant to in London, never quite got round to it!) and are generally having a much more active social life than we ever did back in the UK.

    I attended the YWCA's 'At Home' course with huge reluctance as I assumed it would be full of people I had nothing in common with but was happily surprised that there was a really diverse group of women there, some of whom were at home, some working, single, married, parents, but all newbies like me. English Speaking Members Department - Hong Kong YWCA

    Also for girls, Sassy HK run a load of meet and greets - free of charge (unusual in HK!) - and are a friendly and mixed group in my experience - been to a few of their events. Sassy Hong Kong - Fun, Friends & All Things Girly!

    If you or your boyfriend is into football, there's a supporters club for pretty much every UK team who have regular meets in pubs all over HK. My husband's joined amateur football, rugby and squash clubs, and the hiking and diving is really easily accessible too.

    Basically it's a great place to be, the majority of people that you'll meet are really friendly and there's no end of social events and clubs to get involved with - and GeoExpat is a great resource!

    Feel free to PM me when you get here if you would like to meet up for a coffee!

  8. #38

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    ...you and your B/F will love it...just keep your minds open to everything...


  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by carang:
    rental costs are ridiculous
    pollution is atrocious
    schooling (if you have kids) can be a headache
    stinking (literally) hot for 7 months of the year
    small flats

    very close for travelling asia
    great food
    good money
    amazing public transport
    VERY safe
    nice lifestyle

    I will edit, for my opinion:

    rental costs are ridiculous
    pollution is atrocious
    stinking (literally) hot for 7 months of the year
    very small flats
    It stinks (literally)


    very close for travelling asia
    amazing public transport
    VERY safe
    great food NOT, Bad food, pay $$$ even for things like yoghurt
    good money, tax break is good, Great shopping, Great for getting suits/shirts and shoes made
    nice lifestyle Not really, A LOT of drinking, apart from that nothing to do except hike
    Last edited by pandabearest; 25-11-2009 at 12:47 PM.

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by pandabearest:
    I will edit, for my opinion:

    It stinks (literally)

    great food NOT, Bad food, pay $$$ even for things like yoghurt

    nice lifestyle Not really, A LOT of drinking, apart from that nothing to do except hike
    Well it doesn't stink where I live. Where do you live?

    Food costs depend on what you want to eat and where you buy it.

    Just because you can't find anything to do apart from drinking and hiking doesn't mean it does not exist. As one example how about swimming at one of the good beaches here?

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