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What is better to bring from the UK rather than buy in HK? And where to live of course?!

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  1. #1

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    What is better to bring from the UK rather than buy in HK? And where to live of course?!

    Hi everyone, I'm currently in the very last stages of interviewing for a job in HK - just waiting to hear if I need one last interview, or if they're making an offer (fingers crossed!) - so I'm trying to plan ahead (assuming things go well and I take the job) what I need to bring over to HK.

    I'll be coming from the UK and have never been to HK before. Yes, I know...BIG culture shock awaits. And a serious lack of good coffee :-( I've had several discussions with HR at my potential new employers and they told me that they will pay for my things to be shipped to HK. I'm not intending to bring any furniture as 1) my current furniture is quite old and I'm just about to replace it anyway and 2) from what I've read on here, there's no point bringing furniture over as I could end up living somewhere really tiny and not be able to fit it in anyway. And there's nothing like a fresh start!

    But, again from reading on here, it seems like there may be a few things it IS worth shipping over (since its being paid for, I might as well make the most of it) so I wanted to get your thoughts/suggestions please??

    I'm going to bring my Gaggia coffee machine (can't live without that morning latte....and it cost me a fortune so I'm not leaving it behind lol) and of course my laptop, iPod speakers etc. But apart from that, are there gadgets / electrical stuff / anything else that it's worth me bringing over and/or buying in the UK that are either cheaper in the UK or you just can't get in HK?

    I saw a thread about breadmakers....do you really need a breadmaker in HK?? Is the bread that bad? Saying that, I don't each a lot of bread - or carbs full stop - so I don't think I'll miss it.

    Other than that, my shipping container will probably be full of shoes (!) given my Western size feet will probbaly struggle to find shoes to fit in HK.

    Really appreciate any tips/thoughts/suggestions please.

    And finally...the usual question....where to live? Been doing lots of research and the company will pay for a serviced apartment for a month when I get there so I'll be off exploring as many areas as I can to get a feel for the place and work out what suits me but...it's been suggested to me that since I've never lived in HK or Asia before (I worked for 3 weeks in Singapore years ago but staying at the Ritz-Carlton so hardly the real world lol) that I would be better off renting in Mid-Levels initially to minimise the culture shock. What do you think? I can see how this might make sense but at the same time, I don't want to be stuck renting in Mid-Levels for 2 years as I hope (!) that after a few (or maybe a lot of!) months or so, I will be a bit less "traumatised" and want to actually feel a little more "local".

    HR at the new employer has suggested looking at Kennedy Town or Wan Chai and friends (who travel to HK a lot) have suggested Causeway Bay. I will be working in Central. Causeway Bay sounds way too crowded at weekends - and I'm not into shopping when I'm too big and Western to fit stuff . I'm a bit apprehensive about Kennedy Town because of the lack of MTR. As a Londoner who won't live more than a few mins walk from the tube, I'm not keen on being totally dependent on buses/trams. HR suggested just getting taxis to work every day (?!) and I know they're cheap but my budget will be tight at first (after paying out rent deposits etc) so I'd rather try and keep costs down until I have an idea of what my outgoings really are. In terms of rental budget, ideally I'd like to spend around HKD 20k but can go up to 25k if necessary (and I imagine it will be necessary but I'm not telling the agents that!) and I'll be looking for a one-bed. Also been considering Tin Hau or Quarry Bay as they seem to be a bit cheaper (relatively!) and being East may be a good idea as I'm thinking of trying to get back into rowing when I move and the rowing action on HK Island seems to happen South-East (assuming I have enough money left after rent to pay the extortionate fees for rowing in HK...they seem to be x10 what you pay annually in London).

    Really appreciate your input, thank you!


  2. #2

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    All your ideas sound pretty sensible to be honest. Personally I would skip Mid-Levels but I would consider the other places you mentioned.


  3. #3

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    I am a fellow Londoner too and just a quick note, I would buy and bring a lot of clothes, not winter clothes though. So get shoes, lingeries, stockings, suspender belts etc, cos underwear in HK are designed for grannies. Western brands are double the price here, even though they are made in China... Definitely bring your coffee machine, u need to have some form of home comfort. Bring your electricals unless they are really old cos that will save u time shopping in busy places where the locals may not understand you.


  4. #4

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    Forget your antibus prejudice. Buses here are nothing like London.

    Satay Sue and dipper like this.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by MovingIn07:
    Forget your antibus prejudice. Buses here are nothing like London.
    Yes, the people on buses here are generally a lot ruder and less civilized than you'll find in London... plus they love to yell into their mobile phones which they have set at maximum volume. Also the bus drivers here often don't appear to know the accelerator and brakes have settings between on and off.
    Freetrader likes this.

  6. #6

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    This post has got me thinking again..I need a load of books bringing over, (I mean a load, big PE manuals). It would be great if Geo could set up some kind of forum for people who are bringing loads of stuff.

    Just as an example, I looked into bringing a car over from the UK and because you pay for the container space you can completely fill the car and the odd space around it at no extra cost.


  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MovingIn07:
    Forget your antibus prejudice. Buses here are nothing like London.
    Buses here are exactly like London IMO except they are cheaper.

    Minibuses....well, we've had that discussion to death and suffice to say I never use minibuses.

  8. #8

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    I don't think you need a breadmaker, I've found decent bread around.
    Public transport is very good, should be the least of your worries.


  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by WMDS:
    I am a fellow Londoner too and just a quick note, I would buy and bring a lot of clothes, not winter clothes though. So get shoes, lingeries, stockings, suspender belts etc, cos underwear in HK are designed for grannies. Western brands are double the price here, even though they are made in China... Definitely bring your coffee machine, u need to have some form of home comfort. Bring your electricals unless they are really old cos that will save u time shopping in busy places where the locals may not understand you.
    So is it worth bringing a TV, hifi, etc over? Or better value to get in HK and face the crowds?? Just to add that my current TV etc is old and I was about to replace it in London....if/when I move to HK, I will still keep my London flat (and rent it out once I'm happy that I'm settled in HK) so I need to buy a new TV that I will leave behind anyway - its just a question of whether I buy another to take to HK as well.

    I'm actually currently living (and working) in France and even though I speak French, I'm used to going to shops where they look at me like I've come from Mars and/or where I don't understand the local's way of doing things....the French do like their "secret rules". I'm quite integrated compared to most of the expats I know here in Paris but I see them going through quite a lot of pain trying to get things done...and I guess it'll be my turn to be on the receiving end of that in HK.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by WMDS:
    So get shoes, lingeries, stockings, suspender belts etc,
    I'm male but still plan to bring these items out with me


    Coming to a bar near you VERY soon

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