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Trading Life in London for Life in HK?

  1. #1
    BouBou is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    London, UK

    Question Trading Life in London for Life in HK?

    Dear All and Especially, Dear Expats living in HK,
    My husband and I are faced with the question whether to trade our life in London for a life in HK. While my husband is all enthusiastic, I am somewhat more cautious. We are having a 2 year old girl and London is a great place for her to grow up - the parks, the playgrounds, the museums, the baby groups, the nurseries etc. etc. I have been to HK a few times and frankly, I am having difficulties seeing how life with a toddler there can be enjoyable - the density of the population, the lack of parks, playgrounds etc. But given that I obviously know too little about it, perhaps some of you could help me in my decision making by sharing your experiences and perhaps there are even some out there who can make direct comparisons between London and HK themselves. Any opinions are greatly appreciated! Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    you may want to look at Discovery Bay... i've been in hk for almost 10 years and i've lived almost everywhere there is to live in HK...(i've moved about 18 times over that period of time...thankfully most of it within the first 3 years!!)
    i've been in DB for almost 4 years and my local hubby and i are now 7 months pregnant... i wouldn't want to raise a child anywhere else in HK...

    if you'd like to email me, i'd be happy to answer any questions about DB or HK in general...

    [email protected]

  3. #3
    Sara is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Discovery Bay
    Hi Boubou!

    We also live in Discovery Bay (D.B.) with an almost 2-year-old boy and honestly don't think we miss out much. Here we have tons of parks, play parks, play groups, nurseries, we even have a beach! We are on an island (Lantau) though, so it might not be super convenient for your husband's work, but that all depends on where he works. I would say a lot of us here work at the other end of the city, and the commute is not at all that bad. We have friends that commute between London and Maidstone every day. D.B. is far easier...

    Good luck.


  4. #4
    jools is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Discovery Bay
    Hi Boubou,
    Just to add to the Discovery Bay lobby. We also live in Discovery Bay. I lived in London for eight years and yes it has all of those things, but the one thing that Discovery Bay has that London can never match is it's safe. I have a two year old and we can take him to the Plaza (the shopping area in Discovery Bay) and yes you have to watch him to make sure he doesn't fall over, but not becuase someone might walk off with him. It is totally safe over here. Another plus is there are no cars in DB. You get around on the very efficient bus service, hire 'cars' (which are our version of taxis and there aren't too many of them) and golf carts. So not only is it safe from the people point of view (everyone is so friendly, it's a fantastic commmunity over here), the traffic is not an issue.

    As for things to do, my son is starting swimming lessons this week and a music group next week. There are art clubs, playgroups, kindergartens etc. Last week we took him to the science museum in Kowloon and had to drag him away from all the great buttons to push.

    I also had our second child in Hong Kong. If you are thinking of having any more I can't recommend Hong Kong more highly. The whole experience was far better than back in the UK.

    You have to find where everything is when you're out here. But that's no different to moving anywhere new. The Geobaby website was my guide with many of my questions. You do manage it.

    Having lived in London and Hong Kong, I know where I would much rather bring up my children. The safety, the friendliness of the people (the Chinese love children), the cleanliness of the environment, the fact that everything runs on time, the fact that delivery people arrive when they say they're going to, the great food ... I could go on. At this point in my life I wouldn't live anywhere else! Just to add my husband commutes to Northpoint in Hong Kong from DB. It's a journey of about an hour. Which sounds alot, but it's an hour everyday. Not 3 hours one day because there are leaves on the line, or 2 1/2 hours the next day because of the wrong snow.

    Good luck with your decision


  5. #5
    shaz is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Yuen Long
    We more or less have great weather in Hong Kong too.

  6. #6
    a mom is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    i know how you might be feeling because i had lots of anxieties about moving here myself. but i'm so glad we did. we live in the midlevels and i find my 3 year old has more than enough to keep him happy, stimulated and healthy. a few specific examples (because that's what helped me feel better about it when we were considering this move):
    hong kong park--we like to sit ont he rocks beside a pond and watch the turtles and walk through the gigantic aviary.
    country parks--husband who was never a big outdoorsman is loving taking our son for short hikes, pedal boating, bike rides, etc.
    playgroups--there are so many!and the moms in general here are very friendly.
    socatots-- we'll be starting this this week. it's for kids 18 months and up, they learn the very basics of soccer/sport.
    beaches--some really nice ones and not too hard to get to. unlike some places, the beaches in hong kong seem (so far) very family friendly.
    apartments--many have kids play areas on the premises, both indoor and outdoor. it's a great way to make friends for your kids and nice respite from the apartment as well without making a big trip somewhere.

  7. #7
    loupou is offline Baby Guru
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    New Territories
    Sai Kung is also a great place to live and raise kids. The air is clean, more space than many places in HK, and you can feel more a part of "typical" HK life.

    You also are not dependent on the ferry for life, shopping & delivery is very convenient.

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