Settling in as an expat in Hong Kong

Published:  31 Jan at 6 PM
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Tagged: Hong Kong, Jobs
Hong Kong’s cosmopolitan ambience and still-booming economy continues to be a major hub for expat professionals.

Fast-paced, vibrant and utterly fascinating, Hong Kong is high on most expat professionals’ lists of preferred locations, but settling down may be confusing at best and stressful at worst, especially if you’re relocating your family as well. Your first choice will be accommodation, bringing you face to face with whether to pay far more in rental charges to live on the island itself or pay less and settle for an apartment on the mainland. In your early days in the city, the thought of commuting to work may be slightly off-putting.

For a family relocation, there’s more space off the island, with Stanley and Repulse Bay districts giving access to the beach. Family-sized apartments, local shopping facilities and schools are easily had in West Kowloon and Kowloon Tong, making the two districts overall favourites with expat families. Living on the island itself is an exciting, crowded and often noisy experience, but all Hong Kong’s world class facilities are within easy reach.

If your significant other is determined not to become a trailing spouse, it’s possible to find part-or even full-time jobs in Hong Kong. Networking and sharing business cards is one way to connect with international business people from all countries on the planet, and the island’s social life is whatever you want it to be. Getting around is easy and surprisingly cheap due to an excellent transportation network including ferries between the mainland and the island.

Hong Kong’s international schools enjoy an excellent reputation, and places can easily be found, but they’re an expensive luxury for many expat families. Language tutoring can be had in the public system, with kids able to pick up their new language at an amazing rate whilst their parents are still struggling.

Almost everyone in Hong Kong eats out rather than slaving over a hot stove, and prices vary between very low to top dollar. Dim Sum is everyone’s favourite, easily had from a myriad street stalls as well as from elite eateries. Local supermarket prices tend towards the expensive, with the many street markets the best choice for vegetables and other ingredients.
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