The Move to HK - I'm scared!

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  1. #1

    The Move to HK - I'm scared!

    Hello! Moving to HK within the next month. Where do I start??!

    I'm a male 25yr old US Citizen. Please help me with any of the following questions you may have an answer for:

    Living - Intend on spending about $2000-2500USD per month for 1bdrm. Will be working in Central. Mid levels or central/ sheung wan better?

    Cost of Living - Intend on getting fully furnished apartment, but looks like HK is more expensive than US. How about for electronics? Should I bring my lcd tv from USA and other expensive items?

    Nightlife - I hear there is a large expat community. Is it friendly and fun enough even if I don't know anyone? Will be working A LOT so not too much time to make friends.

    I was thinking of bringing my girlfriend over the short term at least - is this a bad idea? she has nothing to do there except maybe take an online course? will it be easy for her to find friends?

    Given all the uncertainties this decision brings in terms of career and my relationship, this is the most stressful decision of my life. Any words of wisdom / help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Fo Tan
    Posts
    2,389

    You can bring US electronics if you (1) buy a converter or (2) they run on 220. Chances are you will leave them and buy new ones here.
    Your gf can only stay for the length of a tourist visa, it isn't like she will be here for long so why not bring her?
    We find food here to be more expensive, but utilities to be cheaper. Housing is, of course, a lot more expensive unless you are coming out of NYC or California. Restaurants are as expensive as you want them to be.
    I think your housing budget, for a furnished place, might be a little low. I think we paid more than that living in afurnished place in Ma On Shan.
    But there is no reason to be scared. You aren't the first person to do this, English is widely spoken and the "system" is used to ex-pats. You should find the answer to just about all your questions in this forum.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    12,383

    Browse around .. you're not the first 25 year old banker to have moved to HK from the US. You're also not the first person who has had to make a decision about a girlfriend.

    You're also not the first person who would have to be gently reminded that -- US electronics don't work in HK, we're on a different power system (not to mention that the TV / Cable broadcast signals are also on a different standard)


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    77

    My boyfriend and I are both 28 and moved here from the UK in January. Not beingmarried meant I hadto get a job so I could get a visa with permission to stay in HK. Fortunately I am a qualified teacher so it wasn't to ohard to get work - your girlfriend needs to think about what she would do here to get a visa or she will be required to leave every few months to get her visitors visa renewed, and i don't know how many time they will do this. You need to investigate how long a visitors visa is valid for if you are a US resident.

    It is easy to make friends here - both of us work long hours but through Geoexpat, socialising and just generallly joining in we've met some great people.

    We live in west mid-levels - we hadn't been here before we moved and didn't have a choice where to live (company decided for us) but we like it here. We've rented unfurnished but it is easy to find furnished. Your company should give you a lettings agent to help you - if not PM me and i'll give you details of the one we've now been using as we have to move soon.

    If you want to be close to central then living there is best option (obviously!) but if you want to be close enough to get to the main night life areas easily but far enough away to get a little peace then mid-levels is better. You should try and get your company to pay for a serviced apartment fr the 1st month you are here and then you can explore and find the area you like.

    Good Luck!


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3

    Hi; Relax -- you are going to LOVE it here! We arrived 3 months ago from the US. Don't bring any electricals - they won't work. You can buy everything on the ex-pat web-sites as the families sell off when they leave HK. and everything is cheap. Just google the Asia ex-pat web- site and see for yourself.
    Your girlfriend would love it here - she should join the American women's Ass. and the YWCA and there is a zillion things to do eveyday, to suit all interests. the women are of all ages and nationalities, and very friendly.
    There are welcome coffess almost everyday.
    Absolutely, NO problem in keeping busy, PLUS, if she likes shopping (duh!!!!!) and dining and spas --- this is the place.
    Lan Kwai Fong is the happening place for ex-pats to hang out at the open air bars in the evening - lots of fun
    Good luck.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Happy Valley
    Posts
    3

    Your budget is about HKD$15k-$20k; OK, but nothing premium. HK rent roughly similar to Manhattan's prices, but maybe a little more. :-( May want to consider Kennedy Town. Is an up and coming neighborhood with reasonable rents (so far). If you leave early for work and come home late, you can take the highway to Central and be there in about 5 minutes by taxi.

    For fully furnished, there are less choices, but you could rent a normal apartment then rent furniture.

    Electronics will be fine here. In HK, you can get a 2000W power converter (110V->220V) for about US$150. Lower power ones are much cheaper. One problem may be the TV though, since HK uses a different video system than USA. You can buy a multi-purpose VCR which will handle video conversions, but if you have newer HDMI, etc, I'm not sure what your options are. If you have a China town where you live, stop by an electronics store there... they should know all about multi-system TVs. Bottom line, the expensive stuff you can't live without maybe worth bringing, but other stuff can get here easily and cheaply.

    As many mentioned, the expat community here is large, friendly, and helpful. Very easy to make friends, I think easier than in US. Also, you can easily get along here with just English, though the more Cantonese you learn, the more you can get involved with the local culture.

    The banking community here is pretty small and close knit.

    If you're 25, this should be fun, not stressful. :-)


  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    bangkok currently
    Posts
    12

    good luck

    Nothing to be scared about. HK is a modern as USA. just bring your clothing. I recently arrived from Bangkok and i secured a 2 bedroom new fully furnished apartment not big around 660sq ft for HK$16,800 in a 5 tower estate in east kowloon named "Harbour Green" indoor pool outdoor pool with lifeguards, balcony, modern gym with gym instructor, CNN lounge, High security altho that puzzles me as it not a crime ridden place like US, next to Olympic MTR station and close to Nathan rd etc etc. U can do a lot of exploring on the internet.
    Even has a TV inlaid in the bathroom mirror not that i hav it working yet.

    Bring yr girlfrind good experience altho her stay will be short

    brgds mark (australian)


  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    bangkok currently
    Posts
    12

    good luck

    P.S. When you get hear i need some money from your bank

    LOL

    Rgds Mark


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    TST and Macau
    Posts
    1,464
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennyh14:
    ...You need to investigate how long a visitors visa is valid for if you are a US resident....
    A US citizien gets 3 months on a visitor's visa. Leavind every 30-45 days for a day or two to Macau or CHina would let you go at least a yeat without problem. If you do it every 2 months and 20 days it might be trouble after a few times.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    103

    Take a deep breath...it'll all be okay!!!

    I cannot offer any advice on finding a place to live, as my boyfriend handled all the details, but I do live in Kennedy Town (as was mentioned earlier) and I love it here, and the rent is decent. I'd describe it as 'old school' and much quieter than other neighbourhoods in Hong Kong. The transit system is great, and there are a million buses you could take to get to work in Central. The hardest thing that I had to deal with in regards to our apartment is the lack of an oven, which is going to make Thanksgiving dinner VERY DIFFICULT!

    The expat community is very large, and I've met all my friends here through this website actually. There is ALWAYS something going on.

    On bringing your girlfriend: My boyfriend got transfered here for work, and when he asked me to come along, I said ARE YOU CRAZY??? HELL NO!!!. Then I said maybe. Then I said no again. Then I said what the hell, okay hahaha. It was the best decision that I have ever made. If she decides to come, I'm always looking for new gals to hang out with!!

    Good luck with the move!


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