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Moving to Hong Kong

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  1. #91

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    OP: I think you mentioned that you are from the UK. So, imagine living atop the Hilton Hotel in Canary Wharf, with a toddler, when you have options all over London. Why would you do that - there isn't much for children in the immediate area, while surrounding residential communities in all directions offer so much more. Living in Admiralty (where the Pacific Place apartments are located) would be much the same, you will be living in a very busy commercial district, with good transportation to other parts of HK, but the area itself is not residential. The "shops" in the mall below are along the lines of Louis Vuitton and Prada, and the grocery market in the mall is one of the most expensive in HK. There are a few restaurants, but most cater towards the business lunch/ dinner crowd and are child unfriendly (in terms of menu, seating arrangements, etc.).

    You can walk to Central or Wan Chai from Admiralty, but in the summer heat (and often heavy rain), not to mention the very heavy roadside pollution in this area, I can't imagine wanting to do this walk with a little one in tow. And, I wouldn't want to have to travel by public transport or taxi every single time I went to a playgroup (I cannot stress enough how hot it is and that indoor play activities are a must for kids during the summers, which last sometimes until October, in HK.)

    I think "The Brit" mentioned taxis for transport with your toddler. While it is legal to have kids in cars without car seats in Hong Kong, I personally think it is nuts and exceptionally unsafe. Cab drivers in Hong Kong bad, like really terrible. I have had cab drivers fall asleep at the wheel, drive onto the sidewalk, drive on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic to pass, been in two small accidents involving taxis and had one cab have a break failure. All of these things happened within 10 minutes of my home. Just something to think about - the MTR, and busses to some extent, are much safer options for travelling with an unrestrained child.

    Am not trying to talk you out of your choice, but rather just let you know that for the short term Pacific Place apartments are probably great, I can't imagine wanting to live there with a child long term. The list Mat gave you is excellent and should help you find a real home here for your family.

    MovingIn07 and carang like this.

  2. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seano76:
    Jeez it's not that much over a kilometre from Pacific Place to the zoo, maybe 2.5km to get there and back going through the park. Assuming the OP is not totally bedridden I'd suggest they should be able to do it quite easily without breaking down from heatstroke.
    No. This is a MISERABLE trek with a toddler and a pram in the summer. I've done it. It sucked. Kid was hot, sweaty and very unhappy (and this is a kid who is used to HK's weather, not one just arriving from a cooler climate). I cannot imagine doing it with any kind of frequency in the summer. During winter when it is cooler it would be an entirely different matter, but for 6 or so months out of the year it is a terrible idea with a kid along for the ride.
    carang likes this.

  3. #93

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    OP, stay 6 weeks at Pacific Place and see how you like it - It would not be my cup of tea but know of some young couple with kids leaving in Star Street nearby and they seem to like it (albeit they work in the area so that makes "more sense')

    Report back after 6 weeks and let us know where you finally settle.


  4. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seano76:
    Jeez it's not that much over a kilometre from Pacific Place to the zoo, maybe 2.5km to get there and back going through the park. Assuming the OP is not totally bedridden I'd suggest they should be able to do it quite easily without breaking down from heatstroke.
    Is that before or after the visit to YWCA? I never implied that its that difficult, but you will sweat buckets, especially if you visit both. Yes, its a lovely park with some cute animals.
    Lets not get sidetracked : Seano, are you also suggesting that Admiralty is a top choice for a family with a kid and a pilot-father?
    Last edited by Editor; 19-07-2012 at 11:19 AM. Reason: Quote Removed

  5. #95

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    I have lived in GC and I work in PP so here we go:

    Pacific Place:
    - HK Park (walking distance)
    - Cinema (walking distance)
    - Shopping (walking distance)
    - Restaurants (walking distance - on the expensive side)
    - Beaches (need public transport)
    - Bars/nightlife - easily accessible
    - Supermarket (International + Great, not the cheapest but within walking distance)
    - Car (very expensive to park)
    - Transport to Airport (average: ie direct with bus but rather long ~ 45mn/1 hour easy, else bus/taxi + aiport express: expensive)
    - very very urban/office feel
    - Facilities: alright, the conrad pool is very small and kids can't play there (I know I go there every few days)
    - Schools/playgound for young babies: available

    Gold Coast:
    - Cinema: None, need to travel to get there (15 mn by public transport)
    - Shopping: None, need to travel to get there (15 mn by public transport)
    - Restaurants (walking distance but lmited choice - on the average to cheap side)
    - Beaches (walking distance)
    - Bars/nightlife - extremely limited
    - Supermarket (one or two within walking distance but the big ones you need to travel to - 15mn public transport)
    - Car (cheap to park)
    - Transport to Airport (better than PP but still not the best)
    - Holiday/resort feel
    - Facilities: excellent
    - Schools/playgound for young babies: available


    As I said though, there are plenty of other options than those 2,

    Best is spend 6 weeks in PP and spend that time looking around...

    Last edited by Mat; 18-07-2012 at 03:13 PM.
    carang likes this.

  6. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by HowardCoombs:
    Is that before or after the visit to YWCA? I never implied that its that difficult, but you will sweat buckets, especially if you visit both. Yes, its a lovely park with some cute animals.
    Lets not get sidetracked : Seano, are you also suggesting that Admiralty is a top choice for a family with a kid and a pilot-father?
    I go hiking for about 20km or so most saturday mornings and don't really mind the heat so hopefully a casual stroll to YWCA and the Zoo wouldn't be too much of a stretch for me, obviously we don't know what sort of physical fitness the OP has though.

    Admiralty wouldn't be my first choices of places to live if I had a child but it is quite close to lots of expat areas and assuming the OP doesn't want to socialise in just one area the entire time they are in HK they are going to have to use plenty of taxis or public transport anyway, might as well be somewhere reasonably central. My personal recommendation would be around Central/Soho/Sheung Wan as there are excellent transport links, plenty of places to meet up with people and it is quite handy for getting out to the airport. Then again I'm quite comfortable with living in business areas as I spent 7 years living near Canary Wharf in London, the OP might prefer somewhere a little quieter and less busy. Horses for courses. I've only been in HK for about 8 months though so probably not the best authority on where to live.

  7. #97

    The fact is for the OP GC on a relative basis may be more suitable if they desire a natural family environment versus the concrete canyons around PP. Not sure if the OP's allowance must be fully used (seems so) but if not for a young family the savings on a per month basis would be great to build a safety net with. It all boils down to the OP's current lifestyle. Is the OP more of a suburbanite or lives in a place more cosmopolitan -- and if there is any desire to change. IMO pilots seem to have flexible schedules ie not routine 8AM to whenever and the wife is a housewife with a young kid. I would suggest tilting toward GC for lifestyle and quality of life reasons. What is it in Admiralty that they need to do everyday? That they cant access on weekends, if they even want to? I dont think the OP desires a weekend of "wilding" in LKF nor Wanchai, so what's the draw? If the OPs desire is be solely around other gwei people, living in Admiralty isn't going to accomplish that either. The OP will be in Asia.

    Last edited by HKNumberOne; 18-07-2012 at 03:12 PM.

  8. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seano76:
    I go hiking for about 20km or so most saturday mornings and don't really mind the heat so hopefully a casual stroll to YWCA and the Zoo wouldn't be too much of a stretch for me, obviously we don't know what sort of physical fitness the OP has though.
    Add a stroller and a baby; I assure you that for most mortals, it will be a walk too far...
    Admiralty wouldn't be my first choices of places to live if I had a child
    Thats really the whole point. There is a huge number of better suited places for a family but our resident Gritty has a problem with one of them so he has to stick his head in and try to defend one of the least suitable ones....

  9. #99

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    My understanding is that she has a toddler. Here is my list for GC - recognising I do not have a toddler:

    * The football field in the residences - ie GRASS! For sitting on, playing on, crawling around on and generally being a toddler on. No grass in Admiralty.
    * Golden Beach - for the kid to play in the sand or swim if they are old enough. There are also BBQ's behind the beach if that's your thing.
    * The swimming pool/squash court/tennis court/gym in the residences (ok, this is for Mum)
    * All the other mothers with toddlers (the place is full of them) - there are various social groups from what I can gather from my friend who lived there with two young kids
    * A walk across to the plaza, over the cute little bridge with zero roads to cross and no overpasses. Once in the plaza, coffee with other mothers in the coffee shop; get her hair done in the hair-dresser; her nails done in the beautician or any of the other shops in there.
    * If adventurous (our friends with their kids are), then push the stroller up to the Maclelose trail and walk along to Tuen Mun or the reservoir - lovely hikes in both directions on paved, stroller-friendly path. Involves crossing one road.
    * Coffee in Crossroads (there is some kind of a social group that gathers there too)

    Last edited by Editor; 19-07-2012 at 11:26 AM. Reason: Quote Removed

  10. #100

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    The Brit, the fitness center of the Conrad that I happen to frequent on an almost daily has NOTHING to do with the Faiclities of GC...not to mention the swimming pool.

    Apples and potatoes comparison.

    For the rest and unlike all of you, I provided above a detailed comparison and the OP will be more than free to make her choice.

    HowardCoombs likes this.