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Moving from Chicago to HK. Questions on living, electronics and cat litter.

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  1. #1

    Moving from Chicago to HK. Questions on living, electronics and cat litter.

    Hello, I'm moving to Hong Kong from Chicago in June, and have some questions about rental budget, electronics, and pet care, and I'm hoping to get some answers/opinions from those who have gone through this before.


    LIVING - It will be myself, my husband and our cat. I'm hoping to be in a 2 bed 2 bath apartment with a newer kitchen and bathrooms. I'm in the kitchen alot, so an equipped kitchen (definitely an oven) is important. Having a newer, clean bathroom is also on the priority list. On the other hand, we are ok with (and are prepared to live in) a smaller living space. Ideally, commute to work should be <30 minutes, which is in the ICC building in Kowloon. My budget is <$HKD30K.
    QUESTION - Is this reasonable? For this budget and what I need, where do you think I'll most likely be able to find a place? (FYI, we currently live in a 1000sqft apartment)



    FURNITURE - My employer is providing 1,000lb air and a 40' container sea shipping, so technically, we can bring everything, but we plan to purge most of our things, with exception to a few things that we think is either difficult to find our expensive in HK. Furniture:
    - Queen Tempurpedic matrress + box spring
    - A new Italian leather sectional
    - A small vintage coffee table (more due to emotional attachment)
    - A small dresser (which doubles as dressing area, as I don't want to buy a dressing table in HK)
    QUESTION - Does this sound reasonable? We have a small 4 seater dining table (which expands to 6 seater with a leaf) that we plan to leave behind as we're not even sure if we will have space for that.



    ELECTRICS/ELECTRONICS - We are aware of the voltage issue, and have found very reasonably priced voltage transformers/regulators to deal with that. I was hoping to bring the following:
    - Kitchenaid Mixer
    - Kitchenaid Food Processor
    - Playstation 3
    - Possibly the 42" Panasonic Viera HD Plasma TV
    QUESTION - I'm just not sure about the TV. It doesn't support PAL, but it only cost us $USD600 to buy this TV last year ($HKD4680). I checked out prices at Fortress website, and was shocked to find that this TV sells for over $HKD10K, but is that because it is online retail price, and the in-store price is actually far more reasonable? We found a retailer here that sells mutisystem, multivoltage TV (same model as above) for $USD700 (http://www.world-import.com/plasma.htm). Since shipping is free for me, is makes more sense to ship my own TV to HK, right?



    THE CAT - This cat littler system quite literally changed our lives - Breeze Cat Litter System by Tidy Cats (http://www.breezeforcats.com/productOverview.html). However, it can only take a special hard pellet litter that they make (http://www.breezeforcats.com/pellets.html).
    QUESTION - Is this sold anywhere in HK? Because they are small and light (unlike sand litter), I can easily bring 2 years worth of this stuff with me, if they are not sold in HK. Hopefully, 2 years worth will hold us up for a while, and figure out a way to get more from the US/Singapore later.


    MY sincere apologies for the really long post! There's just so much I want to ask, so much on my mind as we're preparing our move! THANK YOU THANK YOU in advanced for your responses!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2007
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    496

    I haven't seent the Breeze Cat Litter supplies in HK so you will need to bring a large supply of that. There are alternatives to clay clumping litter, including, wheat, paper and soya pellets, crystal litter but I've yet to see the Breeze system.


  3. #3

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    Chinese kitchens do not typical have ovens.


  4. #4

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    Oct 2004
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    Bring the bed, but note a Queen in HK is not the same size as a Queen in the USA so you may want to buy extra sheets in the US before you leave (like a spare set or two).

    The sectional should be ok, but double check the dimensions of a) your flat and b) the door way and staircases. You want to make sure it can get into the apartment through whatever twists and turns there may be.

    You're going to need a table to eat, aren't you? Is it that big such that it just won't fit? You might want to sketch it out to see.

    Electronics: First, the voltage issue is out there so you'll need transformers, which personally I hate but if you are comfortable using them go for it. The Playstation I'm not sure about whether the DVDs will be region locked (games I think are ok).

    As for the TV, you'll probably be connecting via i-Cable or NOW TV and not really relying on over the air transmissions, so I don't think the PAL/NTSC debate really is an issue. Maybe someone else can speak authoritatively on that. You may double check the power supply to see if it can handle 220 (some do). Prices for TVs are cheaper in the US but you also need to check the warranty issues--is it a worldwide warranty?

    Personally my advice, if you have a container, is to stock up on a few things you'll need but which you'll pay more for over here. For example laundry soap. If you like the US brands of Tide or Cheer or whatever go down to Costco and buy a year's supply rather than pay the higher prices here. Glad garbage bags--you'll need them, get them at Costco. Other kitchen stuffs, like pasta sauce that keeps for a year, or pancake mix. If you have a particular affinity for any western brands you will probably save money buying in bulk over there than buying the same western brand over here.

    Also you might look into some clothing if you or your spouse is slightly larger. If he is wearing XL anything than you might need to stock up on a few things. Large size shoes (i.e. greater than mens US 12) can be somewhat hard to find here.


  5. #5

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    Apr 2005
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    i haven't ever seen a 2 bed 2 bath flat... usually it's 2 bed, 1 bath (if you're lucky it actually has a bath, not just a stand up shower) or 3 bed, 2 bath....


  6. #6

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    penguin... just out of curiosity... where do you propose that she store a year's worth of TIDE in addition to her 2 year's worth of cat litter????

    honestly, hk flats are TINY, storage rooms in flats are non-existant (for the most part).... you need to REALLY think about what you are brining and where you will put it once you get here...


  7. #7

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    Oct 2005
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    One Silver Sea is Tai Kok Tsui which is very close to ICC has 898 sq foot 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms for $28k a month. Usually won't have an oven but there can be space made for one.

    Last edited by jimbo; 05-05-2011 at 10:38 AM.

  8. #8

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    It's not that big. Just a few boxes. We stored tons of bulk goods atop our wardrobes, under the bed, under the couch and in other places that you don't necessarily need to get to every day but which are available for storing things out of the way. We even keep some stuff in our empty suitcases (which are also stored atop of a wardrobe unit).

    You can find a way to store a great deal but you're right you really need to plan it through.


  9. #9

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    There are flats with nice kitchens but they are NOT standard. You probably need something that has been renovated by an expat. A floor (or two) of a village house that has been renovated somewhere along the coastal corridor (there is a freeway pretty much to the door of your office) might work. The Olympic area (noted above already with it's chinese name) is a good place to look too although many of those are so new I wonder if they have been renovated yet!. Have seen appts near Olympic (friend had one for a while) and the kitchen was TINY with no oven. He liked cooking and struggled with it; but otherwise it was a nice place. You'll just have to look around. Your requirements are not impossible, just hard to find. Get a good agent (or two!).


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    You can live next door to work in a 1000 sq foot apartment for around that budget. Check out Sorrento and the The Waterfront as the two cheaper buildings above Kowloon station. Your commute will be a 5 minute walk!

    To refute the mis-information from M07 and carang, virtually all the flats there are at least 2 bed, 2 bathroom and will have proper built in kitchens. You don't need flats renovated by expats to have a nice kitchen. You might have to add a tabletop oven if they just have a built in microwave but this is something you can check when you are viewing.

    Oh - and to refute another point from carang - lots (all?) of the Kowloon station apartments have a maids room that you can use for storage if you don't use it to house a maid.

    Last edited by TheBrit; 05-05-2011 at 11:01 AM.

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