What's it really like in Hong Kong?

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  1. #1

    Question What's it really like in Hong Kong?

    My company has offered me a job in Hong Kong starting early next year. It is a promotion and involves me leaving the UK which I am really happy to do - I just want to know is the life in Hong Kong all that its cracked up to be?

    Everything I hear is fantastic but I want the reality so I don't expect the perfect life only to be disappointed.

    Any hints on do's and don'ts, good stuff, not so good stuff would be great to hear now whilst I'm still deciding.

    Has anyone moved from the UK lately?


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Sai Kung
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    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


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    How old are you, do you have any children, what sort of things do you like to do in the UK? There's so much about HK that it's hard to give info unless you're a bit more specific!

    I've only been here 3 months (am from the UK), but so far have only met one expat who "hates it". Everyone else seems to love it, even if they don't intend to stay long term.

    I was in the same position your boyfriend will be in (from reading your other thread). My boyfriend was moved by his employer, so I could only come on holiday (if you're British you can stay 6 mths on a tourist visa). Luckily I have just managed to find a job, so I'm now waiting for my visa before I can start work.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    If you are offered any over seas posting to any location you should insist on a 'look-see' visit at your companies expense so you can find out for yourself what a place is like.
    Some people can not do overseas postings and some people can not do Asian cities / counties / culture.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    64
    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
    that was a perfect in a few words, just do it! and you will make it what you want to.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    675

    Seeing as everything you've heard has been fantastic, I'm trying to think up some negatives for you just to play devil's advocate, but it's actually quite difficult! Really, the only big downsides for me are:
    -the heat and humidity in the summer
    -the distance from the UK (i.e. no quick trips home for a friend's wedding/birthday/whatever at the weekend)

    If you're into theatre and music you're more restricted event-wise than in the UK of course. There are occassional touring productions and bands but if you're used to seeing big name bands regularly or are at the theatre every other week, then that side of things is a bit lacking here.

    But, really, that's it. I love it here don't know anyone that doesn't. I call it Easy Asia. You get the buzz of living in a vibrant Asian city and experiencing the culture, but because of its history it has a familiarity about it that makes it less daunting when you first arrive (e.g. road signs in English, etc). Opening bank accounts, finding a flat, setting up home, etc. can all be done really easily without knowing any Cantonese so it's much easier in that respect to starting a new life in many other countries.

    And there really is something for everyone here. If you're a city girl you can live right in the heart of it, or if you prefer a more rural environment you can live in a village with sea/mountain views.

    Good luck if you decide to make the move.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Tsuen Wan
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    To add my 2p to the already comprehesive replies.

    Are you ready for the promotion your company offered you? I have seen expats "crash and burn" within 1 year. It is not pretty. You have to be super adaptable to the sensitivities of a new culture as that is one factor most ignore or don't understand.

    New good/bad that haven't been mentioned"
    -Convienence/closeness of everything is fantasic. Max 1 hour travel will take you from the most remote places in HK to the city centres
    -Hardly any 'real' crimes.
    -Great friendly forum to help you adjust and to get you the best deals!

    - Banking system here sucks. ISPs sucks too.

    Good luck
    Ken


  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Just get on a plane and come for three days.
    You need to make your own mind up.

    Hong Kong is somewhat unique and you need to "feel" it for yourself.

    It is close to London - you can get on a midnight flight here and land at LHR at 6am. There are many many flights each day to LHR, so you are not that far from home (if you have the desire).

    Good Luck!

    (I love it)


  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    The other thing that has been repeatedly said on other threads is that it is important to spend some time working out where you want to live. We don't know much about you and it is a personal choice anyway. Getting a place to live that suits your preferences and lifestyle (and budget) is important - if not you could be very unhappy.


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,419

    and remember to give yourself at least 6 months to form an honest opinion about the place...there will definitely be facets of life here that you will HATE when you first get here, but will come to accept or even embrace after a while (the 'Why can't it be like what I'm used to??' feelings WILL pass, trust me. If they don't after half a year, it might not be the place for you...). I won't get into specifics as it applies to many daily interactions...but def. come with an open mind and enjoy this amazing city!


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