Esteemed forum members,
I'm sure you're completely sick of these types of questions- here's another one that hopefully won't put you over the edge...
I'm facing an internal company transfer from Bangkok to Hong Kong within the next few months and would like to get some feedback on a few topics...
Salary - I'm looking at a salary of approx HK$750k/yr compared with approx HK$625k/yr in Bangkok. My goal is to save HK$200-230k/yr. Bearing in mind the profile desribed below, is this feasible?
Accommodation - I've got to pay for housing out of my own pocket... so will be trying to minimize the damage from rent. I'm a single guy and really am looking for something close to the MTR (my office is in Kowloon) - a studio in a nice building would suit me fine- would rather pay for a nicer building rather than for more space I won't use. The housing options seem endless and of the 5 HK residents I've asked so far I've received 5 completely different and sometimes contradicting answers regarding where I should live. Looking around during a quick trip wasn't much help either... as at the rate I was going it looks like I could spend an entire month out every day looking at different places. Any suggestions? Would like to spend as little as possible but still maintain a reasonably comfortable lifestyle. This, by the way, is one thing I'm really dreading about the idea of living in HK especially after having been in Bangkok for the past 5 years.
Lifestyle - From what I've heard, going out in HK at night can be the biggest money drainer. As such, should I give up all hope of going out and save my pennies for a monthly flight back to Bangkok??? Are there small cheap local restaurants or do people generally cook at home and only eat out on the weekends? If I have to cook for myself I'll probably have to survive on microwave popcorn and instant noodles. Any other big costs? What's life like for someone at this salary level? I'm bracing myself for the worst- a life inside my (tiny) apartment playing computer games.
Tax - Was pitched on the idea of going to HK partially because the tax rate is relatively low to begin with and (here's where I need some confirmation) it's possible to get my salary down to around 8% by having the company fiddle with housing and whatnot. Is this possible? Again I got conflicting info- one HK resident living in the US told me yes, another expat living in HK told me no way.
Electronics - I'll be able to bring over my electronics (primarily tv, audio system, computer) as part of the moving costs my company will pick up. Thailand is 220v at 50Hz. Found one website that says the electricity is the same (only the plug is different- easily remedied) but another one says it is 200v, 50Hz. Argh- another contradiction! Looking further I found more websites that say 200v or 220v What's the straight dope?
Mobile Phone - What's the quickest way to get on the local GSM network- is there a pre-paid phone service available?
Many thanks in advance for any feedback!!!!!!!!!!!!!