5 things you wish you'd known/done before moving

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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Clear Water Bay
    Posts
    201

    I really wish I would have realized how short my time here was.

    I leave HK next week for a trip through Thailand/Vietnam and I've still yet to do about a million things on my list of things to do in Hong Kong. I spent so much time not in the city figuring that I would always have time later to find myself with no time left.

    Also, bring the shoes/clothes that fit you well and if you need more, just get them copied here. I've not been able to find any shoes that fit me (size 13 4e) in this entie city, and no store can even have them special ordered and shipped for me. The clothes battle for me has been lost as well.

    On the other hand, I wouldn't trade the experiences I've had here for the world. It is a very different culture than from where I'm from and even with all of the complaining about it not being like the US, it was still a great treat to get out of there and experience more of the world.

    Also, if you can, try and see if you can get a multi-entry visa for China in your home country. I know a lot of my friends who were able to get multi-entry visas into China from the US, but they won't issue me one here - so I've been stuck with using double entries and paying each time I want to go shopping or something.

    c


  2. #12

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Kowloon (formerly San Francisco)
    Posts
    20

    definitely warm clothes and slippers for the winter time! (totally random but in resposne to earlier statement - you can get itunes here...i use it all the time!). also, if you are planning to travel, might be easier to get visas in advance. just my thoughts!


  3. #13

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Hong Kong now!!
    Posts
    53

    1) we love our apt but wish we hadn't chosen a furnished one (now that we've been here, we want to buy some of the beautiful and inexpensive furniture that can be found)

    2) wish we'd brought more winter close but we too are going home for xmas and will bring our sweaters and coats back with us

    3) wish we'd chosen the option to come and live in a serviced apartment for a month and looked more thoroughly for apartments. We came for a week trip ahead of time and chose then. We love our apartment since it's brand new but think we could have found something for less or closer to the escalator that we would have liked just as well

    4) wish i'd known to negotiate NOT to have tax equalization

    5) and I'm not sure where you're coming from but one thing we are GLAD we did before we came was to tranfer our home telephone number in the US to Vonage, a VoIP service so now we have cheap phone calls home and our family can call us for free.


  4. #14

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    408

    It's cold in Summer because of the aircon. And it's even colder in Winter, because the Aircon is set to 15 degrees inside as well.

    At home, the heater (in Winter) needs to run around the clock. So get some for every room you have.

    Enjoy the thought of moving to Hong Kong and not to mainland China.


  5. #15

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    49

    Thanks everyone!

    These are great postings, from both a practical and emotional view. I'm especially interested in the VoIP thing...Does anyone know if I can transfer a cell-phone number to vonage?


  6. #16

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Midlevels / USA (MD) / London
    Posts
    2,215

    I'd echo many of the things posted here, especially about the cold weather and the oversized clothes, if that is an issue (no, I'm not calling you fat, but if you are normal European you will be tall in HK).

    If you are particularly fond of a specific toiletry, say toothpaste, you may want to consider bringing over an extra supply. Sure you can get it in Hong Kong, but it usually costs a bit more than bringing it, especially if it is something you have a taste for (not just toothpaste, of course, but other things).

    Do not bring anything electrical, basically. Coming from the UK, you may find the prices better in HK than in the UK, but personally, coming from the US and a heavy online shopper, I could beat most of the prices I saw here during my regular trips back home to the US. Still, there wasn't anything that I needed that would have been worth the effort to bring over (i.e. a tv or something large). I did take my own laptop but that's just me.

    Be ready for the absolute worst--not from what Hong Kong has, but from what life can throw your way. Be advised that leases are generally for a year, phone and Internet and cable contracts as well, so if your work arrangement ends quickly or you have an emergency return, you may be stuck with payments for things (that in the US) are often done month-by-month. Watch for that. You also might see some place great to live on paper, but when you get to HK after two weeks you learn there is a fire station around the corner and it is a bit loud (i.e. not the kind of thing they put on a website). I'd second the corporate apartment for a month until you get your footing.

    Travel a bit. As much as I love Hong Kong, there are times it feels a bit claustrophobic and parochial. That's not saying only HK is that way--I mean NY is very inward looking on NY sometimes, but I was a bit surprise how insular it sometimes felt (given that it is so international).

    Keep an open mind. There are things that you can change and things that you can't. If you want your maid to clean a certain way, tell her. If you want the air to be clean outside, well, just deal. Don't get too overly upset over either.

    My final piece of advice is "go local." Not only in the sense check out the back street diners in Mong Kok and root for the HK team in the Rugby 7s, but try to think of your time in HK as where you are. Meet new people, participate in community oriented things, don't just live like a visitor.


  7. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    95

    old spice deoderant... seriously people c'mon! If you don't want me smelling like the tofu stands in prince edward, start supplying some real deoderant!


  8. #18
    AmandaS
    Quote Originally Posted by hbrand
    If you're female, with feet size 41, bring excessive numbers of shoes as they only stock up to size 40 in most stores.
    Agreed! My precious size 41/2 shoes get ruined in HK so quickly because of all the walking...then I have to wait patiently until I next go back to England

  9. #19

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    in a little hole
    Posts
    1,229

    I'd bring a cow. the milk in HK tastes like crap, even the stuff imported from Oz must 2 weeks old by the time we get it


  10. #20

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    362

    Try Mengniu Milk from Mongolia, it's the most popular brand in hk.


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