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Move back to Hong Kong - vs Taipei??

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  1. #11

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    Mar 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raccon:
    Maybe you guys could state if you just visited or actually lived there and if so, how long. I have done 6 years on the rock and by now 3 years in HK, preferring the latter.
    That's just my opinion / subjective view and others might of course disagree, no problem with that.
    good idea. I have lived in both cities for a year.
    scooters are noisy and Taiwanese suffer from the "small island syndrom" thus they
    are a little paranoid.
    However, I still like Taipei over HK as I feel it's more laid back and stylish,
    Eslite bookstore for example, Dymocks or Swindon in HK are a far cry from it.

  2. #12

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    Aug 2006
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    Are you going with children? My husband lived in Taipei, (Tien Mu) for two and a half years and my daughters and I for a year. They girls were younger, 4 and 6yrs, and we put them into a local school (Shidong). It was difficult but fun. We call Taiwan our adventure. We had to use the mandarin we were learning as there was not much english around but everyone was so nice and helpful, we bumbled through our daily life. We did have a lot of opportunities to laugh at ourselves but all in all the hard work was worth it. Getting around Taiwan/Taipei is no problems and you do manage to get use to the scooters, or cope with them.
    We enjoyed it and maybe it would have got easier if we had stayed longer but we know a lot of people who did stay longer ie 4-6yrs and ended up hating the place.
    Hong Kong is much easier long term wise. Having been here 6 years it is easy and a comfortable life. A big disappointment is not being able to use mandarin much on a daily basis(which is what the kids are learning and we want them to have for their futures). Pollution is bad but we use high end air filters at home and travel away regularly to have a break from it all.


  3. #13

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    Jun 2004
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    Ah yes this is definitely a PLUS for Taipei....the quality/quantity of bookstores in HK is simply unacceptable


  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tung Chung mum:
    ......... we know a lot of people who did stay longer ie 4-6yrs and ended up hating the place.
    .....
    for what reasons ?

  5. #15

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    Nov 2009
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    Tuen Mun
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    Lived in Taipei for 5 years after having lived in Hong Kong for 5; have now been back in Hong Kong for 18 months.
    If it's relevant, I'm a single caucasian female who speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin.

    While there is a big variety of beautiful places in Taiwan compared with Hong Kong, I absolutely loathed living in Taipei because
    - bureaucracy for foreign residents! The situation has improved, but HK is still much more streamlined
    - except for a few showpieces, upkeep of public areas (specially parks) was appalling.
    - sidewalks just about unusable - not just mopeds parked all over, but steps, broken pavement, drainage ditches, shops extending half way or more across, etc... (OK, Tien Mu is better than downtown).
    - unlike a previous poster, I found the city layout thoroughly inconvenient. I had to waste so much time just getting from point A to B to C. (and I live in Tuen Mun now!)
    - driving is definitely worse than in HK, as are construction standards.
    - typhoons & earthquakes (those construction standards again).
    - I found the people there even more face-obsessed than those here: for instance, if I asked directions in Taiwan, people would give a made-up answer if they didn't know; here they'll just say they don't know.
    - the ready acceptance of violence - domestically, politically and even among different sects of Buddhist monks. There's still huge antipathy between "native" Taiwanese and "mainlanders" - nearly all the descendants of the latter now, and let's not even mention the first nations of the island.
    - and generally I just found the residential and local commercial areas of the city to exude a dull, grey sameness.

    It wasn't ALL bad; I did like the street market around ShiDa, and appreciated the efforts being made to encourage recycling even though my job meant I was only able to get to the rubbish trucks once a week, which meant my "real" rubbish got distinctly on the nose during summer.

    But I have NNNOOOOOO regrets whatsoever about moving back to Hong Kong

    Morrison and SiuMaiTaiTai like this.

  6. #16

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    Feb 2010
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    Wow, you lived there 6 years with these grievances.


  7. #17

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    Jun 2011
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    We lived in Taipei City (Xinyi District) for 3 years and we are on our 4th year here in HK. We love Taiwan and its people. Most of them are genuinely nice & friendly. More places to explore. The drawbacks: higher taxes, earthquake, dependant spouses are not allowed to work, cannot apply for a credit card....


  8. #18

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    Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaikolit:
    We lived in Taipei City (Xinyi District) for 3 years and we are on our 4th year here in HK. We love Taiwan and its people. Most of them are genuinely nice & friendly. More places to explore. The drawbacks: higher taxes, earthquake, dependant spouses are not allowed to work, cannot apply for a credit card....
    Oh yeah, forgot about that. Think banking in HK is a hassle at times? Try dealing with banks in Taiwan instead (foreign branches included) ...

    Anyway, it's ain't a bad place but as the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side.

  9. #19

    Wow -really appreciate all of the advice. I guess my biggest negative about HK was the growing pollution - found all of the smog filled days so troubling - and I hear it has gotten so much worse in last 10 years. What I loved about HK was the sense of community - in looking through Taiwan sites - think that exists if you live in an area with large concentration of expats? I can't seem to find any websites to look at houses available for rent in Taipei (super easy to find sites for HK).
    Also - learned basic Japanese in 11 months (after having to pantomime laying an egg in grocery store cuz couldn't find the eggs to the EXTREME mortification of the Japanese shopgirl-LOL)... Never learned a word of Cantonese in over 4 years (shame on me..) - but truly wasn't needed in HK. Can you get by without Mandarin in Taiwan?
    thanks again everyone!


  10. #20

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    Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by asiabound?:
    Wow -really appreciate all of the advice. I guess my biggest negative about HK was the growing pollution - found all of the smog filled days so troubling - and I hear it has gotten so much worse in last 10 years. What I loved about HK was the sense of community - in looking through Taiwan sites - think that exists if you live in an area with large concentration of expats?
    Many expats stay in Tian Mu, but there are gatherings all over the place. You could get some more info here.

    I can't seem to find any websites to look at houses available for rent in Taipei (super easy to find sites for HK).
    Try Master Realty. They have English speaking staff (and Japanese), I found my first place through them.

    Can you get by without Mandarin in Taiwan?
    No problem, though speaking Mandarin would be an advantage.
    Last edited by Raccon; 20-07-2011 at 02:39 AM.

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