My popcorn maker - can't find one in HK
If I could just have 30 min. in Target or Macy's!
I stocked up on underwear, deodorant that works (selection here is lacking), any cosmetics that may be hard to find (fav. foundation, concealer). If you like a specific item (like a favorite tee, etc.) from the Gap or Old Navy, stock up. I wish I had gone to Petsmart and brought more stuff for our dog.
You can find most stuff here, it is just a matter of exploring and figuring out where the heck to find it sometimes. This message board was very helpful. If in doubt, bring enough to tide you over until your first trip home.
We have been in Hong Kong 5 months and really like it. Best of luck with your move!
I second the needing 30 minutes at Target.
I would stock up on stuff like white socks, normal deodorant (the brands here suck), face moisturizer you like and other basics. If you have space, ship a couple blankets and some nice towels. Also, if you have pets and they have particular toys or treats they like stock up on them. Pet stores here suck. Also, tools - it took me forever to find a tape measure here when I needed one.
Last edited by hello_there; 12-08-2007 at 11:02 AM.
Some of this stuff you guys are saying you can't find is here, it just takes some looking.
Deordorant, toilet paper, kleenex---have you tried Gateway?
Tools---there are entire streets dedicated t this stuff.
Tape measures---just about any market; it will come in metric and US and won't cost a USD.
Cosmetics---all the big brands are easy; malls have whole floors of this stuff. Smaller brands might be an issue.
Sorry, haven't seen a popcorn maker.
The book "Shop in Hong Kong, an insider's guide" is a big help. As is the sister book for Shenzen. As you explore the author's recommendations, you will find other places nearby that suit you better.
Keep in mind Wal-Mart and Target won't be around the corner and you probably won't find everything in one place. Some, perhaps most, western brands will be more expensive here. But again for some perhaps most, there will be an alternative brand for less than you would pay at home. Maybe you'll like it better.
For brands you can't live without, stock up (especially if the company is paying for the move). By the time you run out you will know if you can buy it here or need to bring an extra suitcase everytime you go home. You could also "charge" guests when they come visit. They can stay at your place, but they have to bring a favorite brand from home.
When I arrived 3 years ago I bought lots of stuff at one of the larger Wing-On stores. They had towels, pots, cutlery, dishes, tools (such as a Black&Decker power trill for about half of what it would have cost in Europe). They even have the right-size bags for my vaccuum cleaner and the replacement brushes for my electric toothbrush (both European brands). I did not find Wing-On more expensive than Amsterdam, where I often spent a lot more on household items. I regret buying lots of power adapters in Europe; they cost a fraction over here and are much easier found in bulk here.
What can be difficult to get here are clothes; they tend to be too petite for most Westerners. Also, if you have large feet, you're in trouble in terms of selection and price. For undergarments Mark's & Spencer's is about the only option here IMO.
Everyone has their fav food items and while most everything can be purchased here, it will be more expensive than back home ... when I first came I asked visitors to bring wine and some food items but I stopped doing it because a) wine duty has been reduced and b) I noticed it was ridiculous in the grand scheme of things to save a few $$s
Personal hygiene products are indeed an issue. My gf (local HK Chinese) just went to Europe and packed a lot of Japanese-brand cosmetics because she wouldn't be able to find them there. Just like you probably won't find all your speciality cosmetics here in HK. Even getting the same color of foundation or lip stick can be tricky. I travel a lot and buy most cosmetics duty-free overseas although prices are cheap in HK but if you're looking for something special, selection can be a problem ihere if you're non-Asian and have specific needs.
Sleuth I agree with much of what you said and I do use Gateway BUT most of the time, everything you buy from them tastes like Downy Fabric softener - I guess because some bottles break and it leaks all over the food. Even the boxes of Kleenex always smell of it and I'm allergic to it. the Cup of Noodles even taste like fabric softer..................the only thing that tastes OK are the canned/bottled goods. My Big box of Cheerio's was also like eating Downey.
Makeup - you often cannot find caucasian or darker skin colour types in good cosmetics like Lancome, Estee Lauder and many won't even order for you.
You cannot find panty hose for the most part for women over 5'2 unless you go to Marks N Spencer and they are either terrible quality or ultra light coloured for Asians who don't want to look tan. Our legs look pasty all the time.
Jewlery - whether real or costume - it caters to cutesy or tiny and dainty for the most part. If you like mod and chunky, it won't be easy here. Hello Kitty gold, Mickey Mouse etc.
If you can afford to ship whatever you want, then bring whatever you use a lot. You cannot even get Ban Roll on Deodorant here.
One of the things I would really like (but can't find) is plain black and white T-shirts in 2xl and 3xl (American sizes). I get pretty much everything else I need shipped over, i.e.: socks, protein supplements, vitamins, face wash, shoes (hard to get US size 13.5 here) and lactase (recently discovered I was lactose intolerant. No lactase to be found in HK).
ok no worries then, stocked up on all forms of undies and found a place to order that delivers larger size bras to HK (PM me if you want info...i don't know what ism supposed to say and not say on here); deodorant will make sure to grab a few before we come. makeup... already use shiseido, so shouldn't be an issue. also i wear almost no makeup. checked out H20Plus (where i get my cleanser, moisturizer, etc here) in IFC mall when i was there and they have my stuff. i almost never wear pantyhose, but i put a few pair in the shipment. I'm pale as can be but i have been this way for 28 years, its not changing now, so i just deal. hubs is in charge of the tool packing...
thanks so much for all the great advice guys! I appreciate it