What would it be like?!

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  1. #1

    What would it be like?!

    Hi - we are trying to relocate to HK after a job offer from my husband's company. Having never been to HK, am trying to work out where would be best place to live? My husband is happy with a bit of a commute but would these areas make going out difficult. What is social life like here. Have 2 small boys and wouldn't want them to feel cooped up and like the idea of Repulse Bay or Stanley from what I've heard. Do children play outside on the beach, is this a more family orientated area? Also,tThe concept of a helper is totally new to me and whilst the idea of someone helping with household chores sounds great to me , I quite enjoy (Most?) of childcare myself? Are there other non-working mums who look after kids themselves? Are apartment complexes friendly - do people socialise etc? Sorry for rambling questions - have a lot of things to think about!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    on the road again
    Posts
    927

    Some quick answers :

    Repulse Bay and Stanley are great for families, as well as South Bay, Chung Hom Kok and Tai Tam. Commute from there into town is no big deal and easy by bus, taxi or car. Most bigger complexes have shuttles as well. Second hand cars are quite cheap and so is parking (compared to Europe or the US). Not everybody has a helper, actually, none of my friends nor I have one, and we all have kids and work part time or freelance. It's a very personal choice. Appartment complexes are very friendly, everyone knows everyone, and if there is a playground and a pool, you can meet other mothers there as well quite easily. There are plenty of preschools around. During summer, we spend at least one day every weekend at the beach, and the kids really enjoy that. There's also a good car-free place for kids to ride their bicycles between Repulse Bay and Deep Water Bay. Lots of child friendly restaurants in Stanley, and a brand new public library with a big english books for kids section.
    The only major downside for us is the pollution.


  3. #3

    Thank you - that is interesting and just kind of info i was after. What are the pollution probs - esp for kids? Also what kind of percentage of expats do have help? Are the preschools you mentioned easy to get places at - do you know if this is something a company may ever think about paying for as part of package?


  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    on the road again
    Posts
    927

    The pollution is less bad on the southside, but still, it's way worse than any other place we've lived. Not everyone seems to mind though...

    Preschools are easy to get into, but probably not that cheap, so if you have a package, try your best to get it included. It really depends on the company. French companies usually start paying for school when the kids are 3+, some start paying from 2+, it really depends. It's all part of the negociations. Packages vary a lot! Some people get their electricity paid as part of their package, some just get the school, some don't get much at all, some get nothing but negociate a higher salary....it also depends what work you are doing: housing allowances here for a family w/ 2 children start at 35K and go up to 200K and more!

    I would say most expats w/ kids do have help. We're probably less than 5% without. Don't think about it ahead, you'll see when you get here, if you're appartment is big enough, if you meet the right person etc. If you don't want a live-in, but just some part-time help, you can usually hire a neighbour's helper for cleaning and occasional babysitting, or go through a legal agency....