Things to know before moving to Hong Kong
February 28, 2019
‘Pearl of the Orient’ – Hong Kong is ‘Asia's World City’. Currently, over seven million people call it home comprised of many different nationalities from all around the world.
Hong Kong’s reputation as the world’s freest economy, coupled with a favorable tax regime has attracted thousands of multinational companies to establish base, making it one of the largest community of international firms in Asia. Beneath the carapace of a magnificent skyline bustles one of the world’s most industrious and densely populated cities.
Life in this wealthy city, where fortunes are more often won than lost, comes with a hefty price tag. Space is at a premium and continuous hike in residential prices for executive housing has made Hong Kong a very expensive city to live in.
Fortunately the financial reward of working here offsets the cost of living – and living in this city is an experience to be relished. There is a real East-meets-West feel to Hong Kong; it is exciting and edgy, modern yet esoteric.
Hong Kong’s dynamism attracts an eclectic mélange of individuals, from high-level executives and their families to energetic young entrepreneurs. Rewardingly, rich business and social networks are easily woven, ensuring Hong Kong daily life is rarely tarnished with a dull moment.
Its entrenched expat community makes moving to the city a comfortable leap of faith - even if it does mean trading an expansive garden for a postage stamp-sized balcony. That is assuming you have opted to live on Hong Kong Island. For those who prefer to take a breather from Hong Kong’s high-paced "work hard, play hard" lifestyle, there are other options.
Discovery Bay on Lantau Island offers lush green, spacious, family- and pet-friendly living and is only a short ferry commute to Hong Kong Island. Clearwater Bay and Sai Kun are also popular among families, although the commute can be trickier. Hong Kong strives to meet every resident’s needs; efficient, polite, and incredibly safe, this city always aims to please.
The official languages of Hong Kong are Cantonese, English and Mandarin. Cantonese is the most widely used dialect in daily life.Expats will not have problems living in Hong Kong without knowing the Cantonese dialect. Schools in Hong Kong teach in Cantonese, English and Mandarin so most people in Hong Kong, especially the younger generations will not have trouble communicating with foreigners. Of course, it is always recommended to learn a few common phrases in the local language, including the ability to give directions (for taxis) and count (for bargaining).
Hong Kong is a city of contrasts, where the crowded, bustling city and commercial areas are offset by sleepy villages, deserted beaches and soaring peaks. Hong Kongers of all nationalities adopt the Chinese ethos of working very hard, and value politeness and manners in their dealings with others. They are justifiably proud of their wonderful city.
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