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Moving from Chicago to HK; help with area??

  1. #17
    ginahertel is offline Registered User
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    Hi There - We live in Pok Fu Lam (near Cyperport) and love it. The road on which we live is called Bisney Road. We have a daughter who is 11 months old. We find that the area is very family friendly. We used to live in mid-levels and needed a bit more fresh air and space for a family! My husband commutes to central each day. It takes an average of 15 minutes. If you are in the taxi by 8am, it takes 15 minutes. During rush hour it can take up to 30 minutes. There are very few green spaces in Hong Kong and Cyberport has a huge lawn where many mums and babies congregate. It is also the host of the Pok Fu Lam market one sunday per month - see http://www.openairhk.com/. As for Bel-Air, you will be very comfortable there. It is an easy option for newcomers to Hong Kong. However, for a near PR (permanent resident) like myself, I see it as all flash and no value. As our current lease is expiring, we are moving up the road to a government flat - They are bigger, less expensive, but sometimes need a bit of work. See http://www.gpa.gov.hk/english/let/agencylist.html. Before going straight to Bel-Air, check out www.hongkonghomes.com or landandhomes.com for other options in Pok Fu Lam. That said, from Pok Fu Lam to Gold Coast by taxi is one hour. Whether you live in Mid-Levels or Pok Fu Lam, your husband would have to compete with the tunnel traffic each day, which can be very difficult. You are better off living on Eastern cost by Clearwater Bay or Sai Kung - better value and don't have to deal with the tunnel traffic. If you need more help let me know offline, I can give you my mobile number and we can chat. Best of luck!

  2. #18
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    hk has few green spaces? did you know that about 70% of hk is country park?

    also, the western tunnel is VERY fast and rarely has traffic. (i've never seen any traffic, and i use it almost daily.) i think that your taxi driver is taking you the wrong way if it takes an hour to get to gold coast. i've regularly done cyberport to tsing yi in 22 minutes. i think that gold coast would be about 15-20 minutes beyond that. thing is that the western tunnel is hardly used because it costs $25 more than the cross-harbour tunnel so taxi drivers will only take it if you ask them to.

    ps> i've also thought that the gov't quarters are great deals! they are some of the largest flats i've ever seen in hk. (gov't quarters not gov't housing... two very different kettles of fish!)

  3. #19
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    I think Ginahertel is refering to grass or lawns that kids can actually play on when she says there is not much green space. You'd have to agree that lawn is not something they're big on here and even when there is a bit, there is often a sign telling you to keep off. Either that or it is in such bad shape it barely resembles grass :( I find the lack of grass for kids to play on one of HK's greatest downfalls.

  4. #20
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    i agree that grass can sometimes be hard to find... but again, it depends on where you choose to live. if you choose to live out of the urban areas, it is quite possible that you could find a place with a nice garden and then have it all to yourself.

    we have a garden and we've just planted grass....

    one of the things i missed the most about "home" when i first got here was the smell of freshly cut grass... that's got to be one of the nicest smells there is.

  5. #21
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    We have plenty of grass to play on in DB!! And not just in people's private gardens. There's plenty of public grass for kids and dogs to share.

    It's not quite the same as grass in the UK, because grass just doesn't grow well here....the jockey club race tracks, for example, have fantastic grass but it is imported! Yes, imported grass!

  6. #22
    jens-babes is offline Registered User
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    Thank you all for your posts...many of them have put a smile to my face! All of this information is so great!

    On the topic of grass...:)
    How is Kowloon Park? If we decide to go into the Gateway at first, I'm just wondering how that park would be? Also, we will only be there for 1 year...not very long in my eyes. Could the Gateway be a year long (and very easy-in, easy-out) solution? I don't think I would mind the busy city/density issue if it were only for a year...especially if there is a great park within walking distance. It might be the most convenient option. Plus, we would really experience HK to it's fullest, right?

  7. #23
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    I think that could be a good idea if you want to experience a bit more of an authentic HK. On the Southside I often feel we are living a somewhat lacking and predictable expat life. I recently got an office in Causeway Bay and it was the best thing I could have done. I love the energy of the place and I like feeling like I'm a bit more immersed in HK.

    I can't actually comment on Kowloon Park itself but if you are coming for only a year why not lap HK up. One thing I do feel though is that Kowloon is A LOT more polluted than all the other parts of HK that have been discussed in this thread.

  8. #24
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    kowloon park has grass, if memory serves me correctly...but as in many places in hk, the grass is for looking at and admiring rather than sitting/playing on and enjoying.

    my hubby grew up here and once when we were in canada, we were sitting in my uncle's garden on the grass, just because i wanted that sensation. i got up to get something from the house and when i came out, there was dear old hubby studiously trying to "unbend" all of the grass that we had sat on. i asked him what he was doing and he explained that he didn't want to kill the grass that we'd just sat on. i laughed and told him that it would take a lot more than sitting on it for 10 minutes to kill it..."REALLY????? then why can't we sit on the grass at home?" was his question.....

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