However, I don't think that would be the case if I were to live in Central or Kowloon. Back to the OP ... if it's important to you to mingle with your neighbours, then you might want to consider somewhere that isn't smack in the middle of the city.
I too know several of my neighbours - I think for the same reasons as thisdress. We have to walk past the other boats to get anywhere and often people are sitting outside on their decks or walking around themselves so we often say "hi" or chat. I'm also on nodding terms with many of the people who take the residents bus into central - again because it's a small number of the same people. I don't think this would be true if I were in a block in midlevels and certainly my colleagues who lived in similar places commented they did not know their neighbours.
I have found this to be the exact same experience as This Dress & Movings. Having lived in Sai Kung and various other parts of the NT, in village houses/villa's/apartments, especially at house level, you do get to know majority of the neighbours on a first name basis, I'll even include shop keepers too..
I find also, that people are a lot more courteous/laid back/relaxed out here, more interested in chit chat with their neighbours, which I find a comfort in.
Mycher, as many have already mentioned, it would be best to list the priorities of what matters most to you, for example:
Do you want an unobstructed view of the sea, mountains ?
Do you want your own private roof terrace, balcony or downstairs garden ?
Do you want to live in a community that does get to know you, allowing you to become a part of it, or do you want to live totally separate from it ?
Are you willing to sacrifice a little commute time, for a much quieter rural/seaside village life, with all the mod cons, but far enough away, to get a break from work ?
Do you plan on sailing, or making use of the outdoors, located at your residential doorstep, for very active recreational weekends ?
Also, to give a little more perspective, I have provided some websites that the local expat community have invested time in creating, to give people living in those districts an idea of what's going on.
www.Lamma.com.hk : Lamma Island, Hong Kong - Community Portal, Lamma-zine, Events, Galleries, Forums
I know picking a location can be daunting for the uninitiated, but if you pick the right area that fits you right, your life in Hong Kong, will be a very happy one...
Last edited by Skyhook; 15-11-2009 at 09:40 AM.
I live in Hong Ning House at 17 Po Yan and like it but a friend just moved into Tower 125 across the street as it is newer and kitchen and Bathroom a bit larger. I have seen them and still like my place. It has a nice feel to it.
It is a few steps from Hollywood where there is a bus to Causeway Bay and loads of taxis all the time. Cheap to Central as it is so close. MTR is max 10 to 15 away as is tram road. Short walk to airport bus which is fast as it goes Western Harbour Tunnel. I have found it easy to get most places now on Kowloon side or HK Island. It is a quiet area (lots of expats) and if I have one negative (which is not a huge one) it is lack of a Wan Chai type wet market or Tai Koo type Jusco. International for food and Wellcome are the best you can do with the odd good wet shop with so so quality. A short walk to Lan Kwai Fong if you like walking. Civic Centre has a gymn.
Tung Wah has properties closer - one above Man Mo Temple just off Hollywood and some in Wan Chai, etc. I liked this area as it was not too busy and had lots of nice, interesting walks along Hollywood Road with all those art and antique stores.
Staff here are very friendly and helpful and the landlord is across the street. I know a few expats in here and they love this building.
Last edited by Football16; 15-11-2009 at 09:40 AM.
Be aware though that I am told by someone who lives in one that Tung Wah management staff run the place like a dodgy hotel, and require anyone entering or staying in your apartment after 11pm (or thereabouts) to be registered with them. Which is utterly laughable.
I liked that you must file a report within 3 days of taking the flat and then come and review it and set a time on the weekend to make changes. I was having trouble with the hot water not cutting out and they just came here and turned it on and were back a few minutes with a replacement. My floors are re-finished. Place painted and they are doing this to the flat across the hall - that guy and his wife moved to Tower 125.
Everyone I spoke to here including two expats who told me of this and also the young female expat love this place. The locals who spoke to me said the same thing - good building. I have just heard that some are moving to Tower 125 as it is newer. I spoke to a local woman in here 30s one day in the lift who asked if I liked it. I asked her and she said they renewed twice and are in their third lease.
It is a quiet, clean building. Just had a few ants which I got rid of as they were entering the living room window. Other than that, very good place and I like clean.
I doubt very much this is true.
Last edited by Football16; 15-11-2009 at 04:07 PM.
I just moved to Hong Kong from Tokyo last week. I also work at one of the IB in IFC as well, and am looking for apartments at the moment. Since I am local hire, I dont really have such big budget for an apartment.
I moved from LA to Tokyo and though the apartments are so small in Japan, but man, was I wrong now that I have seen HK apartments. Apartment size is like around 70% of advertised (so 600 sq ft is only 420 sq ft) and even with such small space, they cut it 2 bedroom or 3 bedroom (700 sq ft advertised size and above). I had easier time finding apartments I like in Tokyo. For 600 sq ft apt, the actual size is at least 580. Bedroom actually fits bed, closet and even space for me to open my suitcase to pack when going overseas trips. Here, pray you have a queen size or smaller bed or you sleeping in living room. (of course if you live in 1200 sq ft+ places,this wont be a problem) The difference in build quality and utilities is of course different too. Japan has better building quality, toilet and bathroom are separated (I dont get the idea of laying in my bathtub and having a toilet right next to me. Maybe double as a table to put your beer?) Japan has washer in bathroom area(where u have mirror, sink etc., no in the actually "bathroom" of course), HK puts it where dish washer should be. The crazy clubhouses at the newer apartments in HK is something Japan doesnt have... anyways, enough of my ranting thats going off subject.
If you live in Discovery Bay, you can find a good sized apartment with usable bedrooms for a decent price. However, if you need to be at work at 7am, then u need to wake up really early. Its good for those with kids, and cars are not allowed in general there except for buses and golf karts. very easy to get to airport too.
There are a few 2006 or newer buildings around Sheung Wan area. Priced around 19k - 23k for something around 650sq ft. I checked a few older ones, but even if they were built in 2004, for me, the quality is equal to the ones built in 1990s in Japan. Seem like building quality suddenly increased in the past 5 years here if you ask me. I think u can take a bus to work, but my colleague takes cab to work in the morning, I think its around 20 HK. Check out One Pacific Height (brand new), or CenterStage (2006), CenterPlace/Palace(?) etc.
Kawloon station looks cleaner to me. apartments look nice at least from outside. For 18K, I think you get maybe around 550sq ft, only slightly cheaper compares to Sheung wan.
Olympic station is another 10-20% cheapr then Kawloon I think. Quite a few buildings built after 2000 so you should have some good choices. Someone mentioned the bad smell, which I did noticed when walking by Island Harbour View towards The Long Beach, maybe its just temporary thing, I dont know.
I got a lot of stuff so I am looking at 650 - 700sq ft and under 20K. It depends on your budget and the size you need. I was told housing expense is tax deductable so I am thinking that maybe spending a bit more on housing isnt all that bad.
And it's not quite as simple as the housing being tax deductible either. See many, many previous posts here on this subject by searching for "Housing Allowance".