Like Tree6Likes

Move back to Hong Kong - vs Taipei??

Closed Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
  1. #1

    Move back to Hong Kong - vs Taipei??

    Help!

    We lived in Tokyo in 1997 - Hong Kong from 1998 - 2002 - US citizens.

    May have an opportunity to move back to Asia.

    Loved HK (and Tokyo) - but after 4 years in HK - happy to leave as the air pollution was becoming overwhelming (and we lived on the south side of HK island in stand alone home...). We actually went for a look see from Tokyo to Shanghai in 1998 and nixed the idea as the air pollution was so bad - so picked Hong Kong.

    I have heard that the air and water pollution is even worse? Exactly how bad is it? I am reading online that even the sea is filled with floating debris - got to say - never had that problem 8 years ago and we were constantly at beaches and in the water. How bad is the air and water quality?

    Another possibility is Taipei - have never been there - anyone have any experiences? Loved the Asia expat experience for the sense of community/friends and the ability to travel and experiencing different cultures.

    Any and all comments greatly appreciated. Thank you!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,677

    Taipei as a city sucks. It's convenient but crowded and noisy. In that sense it's actually not too different from many parts in Hong Kong but most annoying are the myriads of scooters that drive and park on the side walks, as well car/bus/truck drivers are more reckless (though not as bad as mainland China). Less people speak English as compared to HK but they are generally friendly and helpful.
    Cost of living and especially accommodation is cheaper, you can get 2-3 times the size for the same price of what you pay here (at least when it comes to apartments).

    Taiwan is nice though, just need to get out of the city and explore the mountains, go to the coast or one of the many islands. There are also lot's of places that can be easily reached from Taipei, e.g. for day-trips or an overnight stay during the weekend.
    A car is an advantage for longer trips while in Taipei the MRT and bus network reach most places, as well taxis are cheap and plentiful.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    6,698

    There are threads about air & water quality in HK on geoexpat, e.g. "HK beaches", if I remember correctly.

    As to Taipei, go and get an impression. It's always better than relying on other people's opinion. For example I disagree with Raccon, there are also nice districts in Taipei and I like Taipei way better than HK.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    14,623

    Agree with Morrison, you should go an take a look first.

    I'm not a huge fan of Taipei BUT Taiwan is great and at least you can own a car and travel around the country freely ;-) Something harder to do in HK where you are stuck in HK (unless you fancy paying huge $$$ to get a double plates)

    Pollution in HK has certainly not improved as compared to when you left.

    Discalmer: For DeletedUser any other places in Asia are better than HK (except Macau which is even worst since they have no 3G - Actually they do, but he thinks they do not have) so I wouldn't read too much into the "any day"


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    111

    Amazing just how different the perceptions are of Taipei - definately worth a visit to judge for yourself. Personally, whenever I am there I keep wondering where the people are. It seems a lot less crowded and a lot better planned than HK but I have to agree the scooters are amazing. Not dangerous like in other parts of Asia that will run you down but just en mass are quite a sight to behold. I have found the people very friendly but very little english ability which has been a hurdle but not too much of an obstacle - ie can deal with that easily because I have found the people there a bit more laid back. Yes, I am a fan of Taipei.

    TheBrit likes this.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    7,441

    I found Taipei to be clean, friendly and definitely not as busy. Laid back as the other poster said. The girls are cute and sophisticated, food quite good and large enough to get out and see the rest of the island. No polluted at all either.

    HK is definitely expat friendly and reasonably livable but becomes small quite quickly. Pollution is worrying. Definitely don't like the noise in the urban areas.

    TheBrit and roen like this.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,677

    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.

    Morrison likes this.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    14,623
    Original Post Deleted
    Ah I knew Britus would react

    Don't think what I said was rubbish (ie Taiwan being great and you can get around easily and HK being more polluted now than before, or you claiming that Macau does not have 3G....oh right maybe that tiny bit part about any places in Asia being better than HK in your opinion, yes but that is what we call teasing britus...you should know)

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    6,698
    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.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    tung chung, hong kong
    Posts
    338

    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.


Closed Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast