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Considering Hong Kong Move - Offer etc

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  1. #1

    Considering Hong Kong Move - Offer etc

    Hi all,

    I am considering a move to Hong Kong and have received an offer from a potential employer of HK$50,000 before tax. They are still a small company so I am realistic about limitations on their end. I am in my 30s, no kids, single, Asian. My biggest concern is rent. Work is in Central and while I've been advised to live on HK Island I understand that the rent on the island is quite high and in any case I'm more keen on somewhere quiet and with bigger space to install a pole or aerial rig.

    Lifestyle-wise, I'm keen to learn Mandarin for personal and career use (or Cantonese for short-term living), I'm not big on clubs and the nightlife, I have found fitness studios for aerial sports on the island which is more important to me. I'm used to terrible 1hr commuting and driving conditions, but knowing the work hours I tend to do I'll probably try to cap my commute at 1hour. I know that my employer is on a hybrid basis, some choose to go to work and some are still on work from home. Is it still worth getting a second bedroom for home office purposes? Expecting to cook at least once a day to keep living costs down, and learn basic Cantonese to live more locally. Quality of life concerns that I'm missing and should consider?

    Given the above I've done some searching and thinking of somewhere in the New Territories? Any advice on where there? Living on Ma Wan? The sea and mountain views are a big plus.

    I have to go back to them and ask about relocation assistance, but in any case relocation is unlikely to happen until maybe the new year due to pandemic border closures. I'll be working from my home country in the meantime, likely for the next six months at least.

    Any thoughts and advice appreciated!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    14,372

    Who advised you to live on the island?
    If you’re on $50k then it makes zero sense to spend almost half your salary on rent etc.

    Live in west Kowloon where it’ll be cheaper and you can get two bedroom apartments from $15k.


  3. #3

    Thanks! Will check out Yau Tong and thereabouts.


  4. #4

    Other expats, lol. I have to ask about housing allowances tomorrow which I realize would make life significantly easier.

    Thanks for the advice -- how's the noise level in west Kowloon?


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    1,918

    Check Tung Chung too, it's up and coming, lots of new bar/restaurants. The residence there have big swimming pools, gym, tennis court, bowling, snooker etc....

    In Caribbean Coast building you can get a decent two bedrooms with a nice balcony for about 14k. MTR takes like 30 min. Bus about 45 min. Access to the best hikes in HK hands down.

    In terms of noise I will say it's relatively quiet, it depends on what neighbours you get. The pavements are a lot bigger than in Central so it really does not feel like HK at all.

    Mui Wo is also good if you like taking the ferry, a bit more secluded but I found they have better restaurants et the atmosphere is more laid back.

    I'm completely biased because I live in TC, but I can not see myself going elsewhere in HK after living 7 years on HK island. Every time I go back to HK Island I can feel the crowd everywhere it's horrible.

    Mrs. Jones likes this.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    5,957

    Something to keep in mind is how Hong Kong treats incoming passengers and quarantine. We can't see any end to this... Do you want to travel often to explore Asia? To go back home and see family?

    Will your employer let you work from quarantine or force you to take leave even for quarantine? How much leave are they giving you and will it allow flexibility for traveling given the restrictions on getting back into HK?

    We haven't been able to travel out of Hong Kong for a couple of years now, because of the uncertainties about how rules change with travel and employer restrictions (e.g. work from home, but you must be in HK; take leave for quarantine time). If you're single and coming on your own, with no pets, you'll be better able to manage whatever the quarantine rules are at any given time, but do have an awareness that it is not very easy to come and go from Hong Kong and at the moment it is only a city, not a country (no travel even to China or Macau). At the moment, the best-case scenario you could be facing is 7 days hotel ($$) for any travel outside of the city. If you're coming from a place, a country, with more freedom and even cars to drive around, you may suddenly feel very restricted.

    For living places, really anywhere! Just plan to stay in a serviced apartment or hotel and spend your free time exploring different areas before you agree to a rental contract. No point in suggesting specific places, because there are so many possibilities.

    It's hard to find good Cantonese teachers here -- I sense there is a "this is our language, not yours" attitude and for me it's been difficult to make any headway with Cantonese. I've been able to find some good Mandarin teachers (+some time spent long ago when we could actually go to China) and enjoyed taking the HSK tests. But you can't really use Mandarin in the city without risking causing an offense... (<-- just my personal experience)


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Plutark:
    Check Tung Chung too, it's up and coming, lots of new bar/restaurants. The residence there have big swimming pools, gym, tennis court, bowling, snooker etc....

    In Caribbean Coast building you can get a decent two bedrooms with a nice balcony for about 14k. MTR takes like 30 min. Bus about 45 min. Access to the best hikes in HK hands down.

    In terms of noise I will say it's relatively quiet, it depends on what neighbours you get. The pavements are a lot bigger than in Central so it really does not feel like HK at all.

    Mui Wo is also good if you like taking the ferry, a bit more secluded but I found they have better restaurants et the atmosphere is more laid back.

    I'm completely biased because I live in TC, but I can not see myself going elsewhere in HK after living 7 years on HK island. Every time I go back to HK Island I can feel the crowd everywhere it's horrible.
    I'll check out Tung Chung! I originally did not consider due to distance but if the MTR travel time is reasonable, then that makes it a lot more attractive.
    Plutark and GreggS like this.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Elegiaque:
    Something to keep in mind is how Hong Kong treats incoming passengers and quarantine. We can't see any end to this... Do you want to travel often to explore Asia? To go back home and see family?

    Will your employer let you work from quarantine or force you to take leave even for quarantine? How much leave are they giving you and will it allow flexibility for traveling given the restrictions on getting back into HK?

    We haven't been able to travel out of Hong Kong for a couple of years now, because of the uncertainties about how rules change with travel and employer restrictions (e.g. work from home, but you must be in HK; take leave for quarantine time). If you're single and coming on your own, with no pets, you'll be better able to manage whatever the quarantine rules are at any given time, but do have an awareness that it is not very easy to come and go from Hong Kong and at the moment it is only a city, not a country (no travel even to China or Macau). At the moment, the best-case scenario you could be facing is 7 days hotel ($$) for any travel outside of the city. If you're coming from a place, a country, with more freedom and even cars to drive around, you may suddenly feel very restricted.

    For living places, really anywhere! Just plan to stay in a serviced apartment or hotel and spend your free time exploring different areas before you agree to a rental contract. No point in suggesting specific places, because there are so many possibilities.

    It's hard to find good Cantonese teachers here -- I sense there is a "this is our language, not yours" attitude and for me it's been difficult to make any headway with Cantonese. I've been able to find some good Mandarin teachers (+some time spent long ago when we could actually go to China) and enjoyed taking the HSK tests. But you can't really use Mandarin in the city without risking causing an offense... (<-- just my personal experience)
    Thank you for the points, especially quarantine -- at the moment I'm not being asked to transfer immediately due to quarantine restrictions but I may be asked to move in about six months if things go well. I am planning on doing the serviced apartment thing upon arrival, but I'm on the look out for places to consider for whenever I get there so I can figure out my next steps. (It's also a bit of I just really miss planning to travel, ha!)

    Thanks for the tip on Mandarin too -- last time I was in HK it was English or Cantonese, I guess that hasn't changed really!! I'll just keep it purely academic then, pity about the difficulties for finding Cantonese teachers though. I just want to be able to order food...
    GreggS likes this.

  9. #9
    Original Post Deleted
    I'm coming from Manila, and honestly don't see anything changing until mid-2022. We're entering into our strictest lockdown again next week, so HK and Manila might be in similar boats soon anyway...

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    5,957

    The Philippines has often been banned (but I haven't kept up with that!) so if you have family in the Philippines, it may be difficult to travel back frequently to see them for the foreseeable future.

    Hong Kong has a zero-tolerance approach for the virus. I know a handful of people who have had to serve 2 week quarantine in Penny Bay because they were a "close contact". That kind of pressure can really wear on you (if I go to this pilates class could I get locked up? Was nearly YES at one time! Who will take care of my plants and cats if I am locked up? Is it worth it to go to this BBQ?). Again, being single and without many responsibilities to others, it'll be easier for you to handle if you encounter any problems like this. But many of us here are feeling pretty demoralized now halfway through 2021...

    Others have different experience with the language, so certainly try your best and see what you find in terms of teachers and experience! The app Memrise (free version) has a good Cantonese food vocab set. I'm able to order at restaurants from this! Check it out.

    anon_third_part likes this.

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