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Transfer to HK - kids/schools/where to live???

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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scousebanana:
    $500k a month.
    Per year.

  2. #22

    Join Date
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    You're going to struggle with the 4 year old getting into a "top" school. I think for ESF which is the formerly gov't subsidized English language school system, applications for Year 1 entrance next year have already closed. But please check this at their website. Kellet which is the main British international school is impossible, people apply at birth. I went on a tour there and a couple with a 4 year old who were moving to HK were told without a $500K debenture impossible to get in.

    I would suggest for schools:
    - Nord Anglia International School (Kowloon) - UK/IB
    - Hong Kong Academy (Sai Kung) - IB
    - International College Hong Kong (Hong Lok Yuen) - IB

    imparanoic likes this.

  3. #23

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    Dec 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firemin:
    At the moment I have a 10min cycle to the station, 40 min train journey and then another 10 min cycle to the office (I have a folding bike to take on the train). Is that sort of commute feasible in HK (I.e. Do people cycle?)
    Yes and No. There are parts of the NT where people cycle and where there are cycle paths. These are mainly around the Shatin and Tai Wai areas.
    As noted above, I live in the Gold Coast and for several months last year (before an unrelated injury) I cycled to work every day - 18km down a road (no cycle path). I have a sports centre opposite my office and used to shower there before going in. I'm a very slow cyclist and despite this being an almost flat 18km, it used to take me over an hour.

    Now for the "no". On HK island its very hilly, so the only people who cycle are mad enthusiasts who get up at 4am to avoid the traffic and still sometimes get hurt.
    In the NT, where there are cycle paths you will often find people walking on them or at weekends in particular, very slow cyclists with NO CLUE what they are doing. That goes for the pedestrians as well. Complete lack of spacial awareness. Its problematic on cycle paths.
    In my commute, which was on the road, this translates into taking ones life in your own hand, as road users here in HK are also completely specially unaware, have zero understanding of bikes and are generally asshats. I generally arrived at the office shaking. I persevered because I wanted the exercise, but will struggle to convince myself to have another go.

    BUT -if you are a fast cyclist with excellent road sense and used to bad drivers, you should be fine.
    MandM! likes this.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Scousebanana:
    Plenty of people in HK live reasonably well on a lot less than $500k a month,
    Yeah, poor bastards, how do they manage....?
    jimbo likes this.

  5. #25

    For school advice, check out this group.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/hkschools/


  6. #26

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    Since this move will impact your family, I would suggest you bring your family to HK to explore for a couple of weeks. I have children of a similar age to you and I wouldn't uproot them to a place in HK unless there are compelling reasons (brexit).

    TheBrit and Mrs. Jones like this.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by emx:
    Per year.
    Oops. Sorry guys. Not able to edit my post, unfortunately.

  8. #28

    And maybe one little thing: Don't be scared by the idea of living in high-rises. It's actually quite nice and safe.


  9. #29

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    246

    Thanks for all the comprehensive replies.

    with regard to schools, we already assume that top top schools are out - I did email Kellett and they told me they already had 600 applications for year 1... but I was welcome to apply and send them HK$2000 for the privilege!! Response from ESF wasn't particularly useful, just cut and pasted all the information from their website which didn't really help. Will have a look at some of the others schools mentioned above.

    As for cycling, I cycle in central London everyday so am used to a fairly poor standard of driving. I guess the ideal would be to look for accommodation within cycling distance of an MTR station if I am likely to be commuting that way. Otherwise am I right in thinking that there are ferries from places like discovery bay?

    Village lifestyle appeals because it is the least departure from our current lifestyle. I guess the aversion to high rise living is that my understanding is it is more expensive per square meter etc, and I value space over distance to the office (hence living in a decent sized house in the Kent countryside with a longish commute rather than in a shoebox flat within central London!)

    I have been offered the possibility of a short trial period/explore if I want, but it isn't really fair for me to be yanking the kids out of nursery (and my wife out of school, which would have to be unpaid) for a couple of weeks to take them to the other side of the world, as we wouldn't really be able to accomplish much of use.

    The main priority is trying to sort a school place and I should hopefully get more details about the package etc today, so may be in a better position soon

    imparanoic likes this.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firemin:
    Thanks for all the comprehensive replies.

    with regard to schools, we already assume that top top schools are out - I did email Kellett and they told me they already had 600 applications for year 1... but I was welcome to apply and send them HK$2000 for the privilege!! Response from ESF wasn't particularly useful, just cut and pasted all the information from their website which didn't really help. Will have a look at some of the others schools mentioned above.

    As for cycling, I cycle in central London everyday so am used to a fairly poor standard of driving. I guess the ideal would be to look for accommodation within cycling distance of an MTR station if I am likely to be commuting that way. Otherwise am I right in thinking that there are ferries from places like discovery bay?

    Village lifestyle appeals because it is the least departure from our current lifestyle. I guess the aversion to high rise living is that my understanding is it is more expensive per square meter etc, and I value space over distance to the office (hence living in a decent sized house in the Kent countryside with a longish commute rather than in a shoebox flat within central London!)

    I have been offered the possibility of a short trial period/explore if I want, but it isn't really fair for me to be yanking the kids out of nursery (and my wife out of school, which would have to be unpaid) for a couple of weeks to take them to the other side of the world, as we wouldn't really be able to accomplish much of use.

    The main priority is trying to sort a school place and I should hopefully get more details about the package etc today, so may be in a better position soon
    Somewhere like Discovery Bay is not within your budget, unless you get an increase in housing allowance, or contribute more yourself. You could look at the villages on South Lantau around the bottom of the island from DB.

    I would caveat all this talk of villages with a word of caution though. As a 6+ year veteran of village life, it can be a great experience, or it can be the worst. I don't recommend it to those not 'hardened' to the Hong Kong way of doing things, and I advise those who ask me about moving out here to start off with something more conventional. Some villages are ok, some should come with a 'No Gweilo' warning. Unless you are in an Expat enclave or gated Estate like Discovery Bay, you won't know what you are in for until you land and put your first foot wrong. Find your way first for a couple of years, especially with young kids, before heading out to the wilds.

    I would class anyone who cycles on the roads in HK as a person with a death wish. If the drivers don't get you first the pollution or heat surely will. If you want to cycle to the MTR, look at Tseung Kwan O / Lohas Park. A flat 'new' town with cycle paths everywhere, numerous sports facilities and parks, cheaper rents, handy to a few international schools, easy access to hiking and beaches.
    shri and hullexile like this.

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