Moving to HK - can I survive?!

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    4

    Moving to HK - can I survive?!

    I'm a UK journalist and my work has offered me a post in HK. Salary they have offered is $45000 a month, though I haven't negotiated on this yet. There's no living allowance, this being a publisher.

    Questions I have are:

    Is this enough to rent somewhere reasonable (1 or 2br, not necessarily bang in the centre - I don't mind a commute of up to 30 mins) and live comfortably? And if my girlfriend came out with me, is this enough to support the two of us while she found work?

    I'm used to London prices - will HK be a bit cheaper?

    Any guidance gratefully received!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    North District
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    285

    $45,000 HKD per month? Can we be friends? Lets 'yum cha' together, you pay


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,650

    I think it depends on the standard of living you are used to. There are people on this board living off $8000HKD monthly (and families in HK surviving for $5000 or less a month) and then there is bankers or other highly experienced people making $100,000+ monthly.

    Can you survive? Yes is the answer. Will you be happy and comfortable? Depends what you look for in life. If you don't mind commute that saves money on housing. If you cook at home sometimes that helps. If you don't drink in trendy places and eat expensive five star meals that helps.


  4. #4

    I'm also looking to move to Hong Kong. As regards places to live I don't mind commuting up to about an hour to work, but what's rent like out there? I'm not looking for much, a 1 bedroom flat (or equivelant)


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Sham Tseng
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    622

    As mentioned above there is no one answer to these questions except - It Depends on how you live.

    In my experience, household bills, transport, basic groceries and local dining are all cheap.

    Good restaurants are quite good value, great restaurants are expensive as you would expect.

    Drinking outside of happy hour is expensive.

    Grocery shopping for imported goods at 'western' supermarkets is expensive.

    Rent varies alot largely determined by location and size of the place you choose from 5k pm - 100k pm plus when you come you need some savings as you need to pay in general 3.5 months up front ( mth deposit, 1 mth in advance 1/2 mth to real estate agent)

    On the plus side crime & taxes are low, and public transport is good.

    On the negative side the pollution is terrible and you can feel a bit claustrophobic. The answer to this is the have the time and money to travel and be able to get away regularly.

    Good luck with your decision.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Fo Tan
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    2,389

    I second HKChigger. In some cases HK$45,000 wouldn't pay the rent, in other cases people will want to live with you. Same idea for food and entertainment. HK is as expensive or as cheap as you want to make it (although the cheap end is harder than the expensive end as the floor is there but the ceiling isn't).
    Wouldn't your gf need some sort of visa? Or is she just coming as a tourist and leaving?


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Hong Kong
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    It's more than twice the average HK household income, so you should be OK. Your girlfriend may or may not find it easy to get a job depending on her field, qualifications, etc. She couldn't get a visa allowing her to stay as anything other than a tourist (6 months on a UK passport, 3 months on most others) unless she found an employer who could successfully sponsor an Employment Visa for her, or if you got married she could get a Dependant Visa which would allow her to work without further paperwork.

    If I were you I'd be trying to negotiate that the company pay your joining and subscription fees for the Foreign Correspondents' Club as a place for you to hang out (at very reasonable prices) with fellow journos/media people.


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4

    Thanks for the tips. Sounds like I won't end up in the centre as I suspected - and I'll certainly give those hotel bars a miss!

    My gf would be over as a tourist, but depending how it went she might look for a job that would bring her over on a work visa. She's a graduate with 7 years' experience in retail, including senior management experience - any clues as to whether that's a good basis to get work out there?


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Hong Kong
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    It depends exactly which angle of retail. Many of the UK/European retail chains have purchasing people based here for the region (for example I know the person who sources clothes for Tesco in the region and is based here).


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4

    That sounds promising - she's in the supply chain dept of a big UK department store, so it's all about logistics, shipping, retail operations.


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