Moving to HK from New York

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  1. #1

    Moving to HK from New York

    I am about to take a great job opportunity with an investment bank.
    I hear that rents and living standards are as high as in NYC.

    I need to live right close to work and wanted to get the sense of how much apartments cost in central HK near where all the investment banks are. If I plan to stay for 1 year to see how it goes, would it make sense to just live in the serviced & furnished apartments?

    Also, how's the dating scene in HK?

    I heard that in HK, people are all about making money and are very superficial and materialistic? Is it that bad??

    Can you get by not speaking Cantonese??

    I got so many questions and as excited as I am, I am so nervous!!



    Someone, please advise.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    14,364

    Hi Pinkandparty and welcome to the boards.

    I'll answer a few of your questions.

    I assume you're going to be working somewhere near IFC in Central?
    Somewhere nearby I guess its probably going to be soho/mid levels etc where a lot of the guys here live, Rent isn't too bad but is it just yourself moving out here?

    Might be worth going to a serviced apartment for a month or so and see what areas you like then think of looking at your own place or get a flat share.

    Dating scene in HK well its definately not up there with New York thats for sure but theres a lot of very friendly guys and gals out here that I'm sure will introduce you to people etc.

    Not all of its about being superficial and making money, Maybe thats the way with some of your hardcore locals etc but out of the dozens of people I know out here thats not the case with them.

    Yes you can get by with not speaking Canto but its definately worth learning a few things such as your address in canto for when you have to jump into a taxi after a night out on the tiles etc!

    Feel free to ask away, I'm sure the rest of the guys will be along here soon with there own idea's and opinions.

    As you may of noticed we have an active social life out here so don't worry you'll be made very welcome by us guys.


  3. #3
    deleteduser
    I am about to take a great job opportunity with an investment bank. I hear that rents and living standards are as high as in NYC.

    Not sure about the rent prices in NYC, but I hear the sizes can be quite small. That's definitely the case here. But as always, the further out from the city core you are, the cheaper and bigger the apartments get. It's up to you to decide how far from work you want to live.

    I need to live right close to work and wanted to get the sense of how much apartments cost in central HK near where all the investment banks are. If I plan to stay for 1 year to see how it goes, would it make sense to just live in the serviced & furnished apartments?

    For an idea of pricing check out www.gohome.com.hk, www.midland.com.hk and www.hongkonghomes.com - don't count on them for actually finding a place though. You'll need to be here to do that, which is why getting a serviced apartment is a good idea for your first month.

    furnished apartment in general would be a good idea, but once you see the furniture here, you might get turned off. But I guess it would depend on your price range.

    Also, how's the dating scene in HK?

    This I can't answer, since I came her with my gf

    But I can tell you that it will be dead easy to meet girls if you are a foreigner... I had in my ICQ description that I was caucasian, location was hong kong, and language was English. Every week girls would send messages wanting to show me around and introduce me to the town... That might be a good way to get started! Of course I didn't go with anyone, and eventually changed my description

    I heard that in HK, people are all about making money and are very superficial and materialistic? Is it that bad??

    That is a broad generalization, but it seems to ring quite true. Whether it's good or bad depends on your personal take on it. For me, it is part of the reason I decided to live here. I am materialistic - I love to shop for the newest electronic gadgets and toys, and other things

    Can you get by not speaking Cantonese??

    Pretty much, yeah. Especially if you live in an area that caters to foreigners. If you're just here for 1 year of work, and a tiny little bit of culture, you'll only need to learn a few things like Jimbo suggested. If you want to be fully submersed, get out of Central, take some lessons, and start conversing with the locals! You can have it either way in Hong Kong.

  4. #4
    Oh my gosh!!! You guys are soooooooooo nice. Thank you for the deep insights. I am sure I'd have more questions as time gets closer, but wanted to thank you guys for the input so far.

    Do you have aim or msn messanger?? Maybe we can keep in touch?

    Let me know!


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    6,371

    Not sure if you're from the city, but rent here is pretty much on par with rent in Manhattan, especially around the business areas. No Central Park here, either, but there are enormous areas of land that are protected by the government where you can easily find yourself a trail to run on if that's your thing.

    I also suggest the Mid-Levels. That's where I live myself. There are a lot of New Yorkers around for some strange reason. It's also real easy to get down to Central where the I banks are.

    People here are about as superficial as people in NY. Being in I banking you should be used to materialism already With the fat salary you'll be making, you should have no trouble meeting girls here either. Plenty of Cosmo swilling Carrie Underwood wannabes around..lol

    Feel free to message me on AIM if you need anything!


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Singapore
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    54

    If you work in IFC, there is an ideal place you may consider. It is Park Island on an outlying island (Ma Wan) just 25 min by ferry to central around the clock -- the pier is just opposite IFC. There you can enjoy suburban lifestyle in a more spacious unit and at much lower rentals than SOHO or mid-levels. Alternatively, you may consider Discovery Bay for a similar environment.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Midlevels / USA (MD) / London
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    2,217

    The finance expat community is actually quite a fun group. You'll find a lot of other Americans and Brits who are all pretty much in the same boat--6,000 miles from home and a bit confused. I found it was much easier to meet these folks in HK than it is in NY, and 'doing things' with folks such as eating out, meeting up, seeing a movie, is far easier in HK than most cities as everyone is "10 minutes" away by a cab that costs about $5 US.

    There is a stereotype of locals being consumer by materialistic consumption, and yes, you will find some that fit that bill. I call them 'stray cats' because I once watched some stray cats devour some food and then run off to find some more food. It just reminded me of some folks in HK who would run to this person with money or rush to buy this thing and then turn their attention elsewhere.

    Prices for rent are similar to Manhattan, but space is smaller. Many places have no closets, for example, and I've seen more than a few apartments in which the bed fits into the bedroom just one way (i.e. touches three walls). It's kind of funny, but you'll get used to it.

    I would second learning how to say your address in Cantonese, and a few other things like that. A few other words, like 'coca-cola' or 'milk' came in handy for me (for some reason, I had the hardest time ordering a glass of milk when I was there--it was a word that many semi-English speaking people couldn't understand). That being said, HK is one of the most 'American' cities I've encountered overseas, with a wide selection of most American foods and groceries available.

    There is a certain 'rep' that expats face in the dating scene--a kind of attitude that the expat is just a 'love em and leave em' adventure. That keeps away some people from dating expats, and draws some as well. I guess it kind of depends on what you are looking for. As you develop a social circle, you'll find that HK is a pretty small place, and it can feel a bit like high school at times as everyone knows everyone in certain sectors (bankers and bankers, lawyers and lawyers, etc).

    Anyway, peruse this message board for other advice. You'll probably find an answer to all your questions just by using the search button.


  8. #8
    deleteduser
    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsix:
    The finance expat community is actually quite a fun group. You'll find a lot of other Americans and Brits who are all pretty much in the same boat--6,000 miles from home and a bit confused. I found it was much easier to meet these folks in HK than it is in NY, and 'doing things' with folks such as eating out, meeting up, seeing a movie, is far easier in HK than most cities as everyone is "10 minutes" away by a cab that costs about $5 US.

    There is a stereotype of locals being consumer by materialistic consumption, and yes, you will find some that fit that bill. I call them 'stray cats' because I once watched some stray cats devour some food and then run off to find some more food. It just reminded me of some folks in HK who would run to this person with money or rush to buy this thing and then turn their attention elsewhere.

    Prices for rent are similar to Manhattan, but space is smaller. Many places have no closets, for example, and I've seen more than a few apartments in which the bed fits into the bedroom just one way (i.e. touches three walls). It's kind of funny, but you'll get used to it.

    I would second learning how to say your address in Cantonese, and a few other things like that. A few other words, like 'coca-cola' or 'milk' came in handy for me (for some reason, I had the hardest time ordering a glass of milk when I was there--it was a word that many semi-English speaking people couldn't understand). That being said, HK is one of the most 'American' cities I've encountered overseas, with a wide selection of most American foods and groceries available.

    There is a certain 'rep' that expats face in the dating scene--a kind of attitude that the expat is just a 'love em and leave em' adventure. That keeps away some people from dating expats, and draws some as well. I guess it kind of depends on what you are looking for. As you develop a social circle, you'll find that HK is a pretty small place, and it can feel a bit like high school at times as everyone knows everyone in certain sectors (bankers and bankers, lawyers and lawyers, etc).

    Anyway, peruse this message board for other advice. You'll probably find an answer to all your questions just by using the search button.
    Kinda makes me glad I'm not an expat banker or lawyer or anything like that.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Midlevels / USA (MD) / London
    Posts
    2,217

    The expat banking and legal community is pretty small. Everyone knows everyone, or knows someone who knows someone, etc. Promotions, demotions, firings, affairs, all the office gossip does make its way around HK pretty quickly.


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    NY, NY
    Posts
    34

    hi, count me in too.
    just a few more months and i'll be here..

    good luck!


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