Is Quality of Life better in HK than UK?

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  1. #1

    Is Quality of Life better in HK than UK?

    Hi guys, I'm after some advice and hoping someone out there can help!

    My husband has been offered a job with his company who have an office on Hong Kong island. We are agonising over the decision to move there - it would be for a minimum 3 year contract.

    What we really want to know, and can't find the answer to, is will we have a better quality of life living there than in the UK?

    We don't have kids, and are in our early thirties, enjoy outdoor sports such as moutain biking and watersports and currently live in Bristol. But I am fed up with the weather and want a chance to live in another culture and explore Asia. I think the pace on life on Hong Kong island may be a bit too hectic for us so we would look at living perhaps somewhere in the new territories like discovery bay and he would commute to his office.

    Any advice?


  2. #2

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    Hmmmmm methinks I'm pretty qualified to talk more as I'm an Exiled Bristolian whose currently in HK on a career break from London.

    Well depends on how you qualify as better quality of life.

    If you're into your water sports and mountain biking then yes one of the islands is a better bet for you, The trade off is of course the time spent in commuting. From say somewhere like Sai Kung in the new territories where a lot of the ex-pat community seem to reside, Which I used to live in, You're looking at roughly an hour plus commute to say central business district.

    I'd say do it whilst you're still young and in that three years you'll have opportunities to travel throughout the whole of asia as its pretty much only a few hours away.


  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbiepike:
    Hi guys, I'm after some advice and hoping someone out there can help!

    My husband has been offered a job with his company who have an office on Hong Kong island. We are agonising over the decision to move there - it would be for a minimum 3 year contract.

    What we really want to know, and can't find the answer to, is will we have a better quality of life living there than in the UK?

    We don't have kids, and are in our early thirties, enjoy outdoor sports such as moutain biking and watersports and currently live in Bristol. But I am fed up with the weather and want a chance to live in another culture and explore Asia. I think the pace on life on Hong Kong island may be a bit too hectic for us so we would look at living perhaps somewhere in the new territories like discovery bay and he would commute to his office.

    Any advice?
    Hi... I've been in HK quite a while now, & sorta agree that it's pretty handy, while here, travelling from here to other spots in Asia, esp. Japan or mainland China. The choices are many! And the novelty of that for the first few years, plus the bar/club-crawling scene & the "new" helps distract from the drawbacks of being in this buzy city. The shine eventually wears off tho'.

    Lately, & not unusually, the air has been thick with dirt & "fog" around urban built-up areas, so retreating to the New Territories, or elsewhere green & "spacious", on the weekends is a must. E.g. enjoyed biking & walking along quiet waters edge & a country park earlier today - so as long as you get out & about away from the concrete (& glass) jungle now & again, HK's quality of life is passable - fine...

    Now, once you's have kids that's another thing, entirely. Generally, (unless you've loadsa money & can choose) the educ system here is DIRE.

    Despite the Ed Dept's well-publicised intentions here, the actual in-class approach of too many schools keep most kids thinking WITHIN a tight box... Gradually, beating the love of learning outta our young teenagers. I mean, where else in the world would a majority of young uns cite "sleeping" as one of their favourite hobbies? And they weren't jokin! Poor things...

    Excuse my rant...

    Still, guess if you've people you're close to here, you can grow to treat any place as a second "home".

    Yeah, definitely give HK a go while you can.

  4. #4

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    From London but now in HK so would have a good view.....

    Livingin HK would be a great expereince and with all the outdoor hobbies you have, you will have real fun. Forget the view of HK that many foreigners have that its just one big concrete jungle. You have really beautiful nature trails and mountain biking trails. Remember that over 40% of HK has been dedicated to nature parks !

    As you say, live out side of Central to fully get the nature in and be able to mountain bike etc. You will be amzed how close to Central some of the trails are.

    Yes, life is at a quick pace but it all depends on you.

    And...the weather is really good. We went out for dinner last night on The Peak and sat outside in a t-shirt and my wife was saying can you imagine doing this in London in Jan !!!!

    Here's another thing....going out is relatively cheap when compared to the UK and the quality of the food is so much better. Here's another thing....I went out on Friday night with a buddy and then went out on Sat night with the wife. Both really good restaurents and had wine on Sat so not a cheap meal. Yet both meals added up cost me GBP100. I don't think I could have done that in the UK.....

    Given you don't have kids, just do it. Just make sure that you know what the hubby's expat package is going to be as housing can be expensive.


  5. #5

    Thank you all for your honest replies. They are all really useful as we know that there's pro's and cons to living in HK and we're trying to weigh it all up. We've got a visit in April before we make the final decision.
    If anyone else out there has any more useful info for us then it would be great to hear from you.


  6. #6

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    I'm biased - I really dislike the UK for so many reasons - and was so glad to be shot of the place, so for me HK outshines the UK in so many ways: cost of living, scenery, culture, food, public transport, weather, convenience, proximity to the rest of Asia blah blah blah.

    If you are a bit fed up with the UK then 3 years in HK maybe just what you need. It combines the best of city living with almost immediate access to masses of green mountainous countryside and some serious rugged and spectacular coastline. Perfect for a young couple who love the outdoors. Three years isn't so long in the grand scheme of things and it will certainly broaden your horizons.

    I only have one con for HK and that is the air quality can be poor at certain times, but this is a small consideration given all the things it has going for it.


  7. #7

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    Originally from UK, London to be precise and have just been back and some of the comments above are valid, although not all.

    Cost of living, pretty much better in HK, although housing will be expensive compared to Bristol and flat / house quality is in no way compatible and will be small. Food, well yes there is some good food here but do not expect to go into the supermarket and have something called choice - food choice from supermarkets and freshness of meat / veg again is not comparable. Eating out however is much cheaper and there are thousands of places to eat out and at a good price. Scenery, well we have some here. Certainly not a much as UK but the NT does have some stunning back drops, mountains and water views / beaches.

    Public transport here is great to most places, again not all. Where it is good it is extremely cheap and reliable. Some areas you do need a car which is a huge expense in HK. Weather is certainly better if sometimes a lot more extreme.

    Overall I love HK, miss certain things from the UK which would make it a better place but this is my home and I have no plans to leave.


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaykay:

    Food, well yes there is some good food here but do not expect to go into the supermarket and have something called choice - food choice from supermarkets and freshness of meat / veg again is not comparable.

    Only if you tend to shop at wellcome and or city super etc, freshness and choice of meat and veg is plentiful if you go to a wet market for example and much much cheaper.

  9. #9

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    To a point Jimbo, the meat and veg here is mainly from across the border - the meat cuts ain't great and not exactly stored in what could be called bastions of hygiene and the veg is full of all sorts of crap as pointed out in the news several times of year. Try getting a nice leg of lamb or a good cut of beef in a wet market! That said we eat loads from wet market.

    And don't forget bread............HK in no way can compete with bread...........


  10. #10

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    Yes, bread and milk seems to be a lot more expensive than in the UK. You'll be paying around 50p for 250ml of milk and the same for 4 slices of bread. Yogurt is even more extortionate. For a Muller Corner you're paying around 2 pounds for 1. Basically, dairy products are a lot more expensive. If you're not a big dairy fan, then it won't be much of a problem.


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