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Moving from UK to HK - Loadsa questions!!

  1. #9
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    i would suggest bringing OTC cold medicines for yourselves, not just for baby.

    i, too, have not had any problems with nappies here.

    some things that i miss from "home" even after 14 years here:
    close-up toothpaste (the red one)
    aussie mega shampoo
    GOOD deoderant
    hubby's neutrogena shampoo (can buy it here at about 10X the cost)

    i REALLY miss the supermarkets from canada... they are awesome and i spend at minimum one full day perusing the supermarket everytime i'm back.

    the things above, i ALWAYS bring back tonnes of as they are either not available here or wayyyy too expensive.

  2. #10
    0ze_Kid's Avatar
    0ze_Kid is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    DB, Hong Kong

    Where to live?
    If your DH is anything like mine he will not like to commute very far. Quarry Bay is a nice area with some good international schools nearby (such as Delia School of Canada in Taikoo Shing). We lived in the area BC (before kids) and liked it a lot. We also stayed back in the area on our second move to HK in a serviced apartment for two months but the commute to Kowloon was just too long (about 1.5 hours) so we moved to Discovery Bay.

    As above and as others said. First you need to decide how long DH is willing to travel and then you will be better placed to pick an area to look into. I think the public transport system is excellent in Hong Kong so I would not consider that a factor.

    There are lots unfurnished. Bring it all over if you can!

    We liked what ESF had to offer but places are fierce and with ESF you can not apply at anytime and go on a wait list. You have to do it during a set period of time (usually 12 months before the year of entry). Each school does have its own requirements though so best to pick where you want to live and then look at the schools in that area.

    What to bring / not to bring?
    I have heard that the local nappies are NOT good (especially) for boys as they are made as unisex. I shipped over about 6 cartons of nappies and kept those for my girls at night, using Huggies or Pampers Premium during the day. When the boxes ran out, I used the local ones and never had any complaints. Ship some if you have the space but I would pack other items first (see comment below!).

    As others have said, lots of playgroups and Quarry Bay has its own one here on GB too. Here is one you may want to post some questions in Play date for 3 year old in Taikoo Shing

    Good luck with it all.

  3. #11
    karen bt is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Happy Valley

    Hi, just wanted to reply to let you know, I am living in Happy Valley, with 2 children, 7yr old boy and 2 year old girl, and we love it here. The location is perfect (although we are at the top of the hill!), you can get many buses from here, also taxis are quite cheap. The town has many shops and 2 main supermarkets. There is an indoor playground and also an outdoor one next to the racecourse (which has the football club within - also play rugby there). Not sure on prices as we are here on a work contract so accommodation is included, but apparently they are good at the moment.
    Schools, we came out in August last year and had our sons name down for 3 schools in June/July time, 2 international ones and an ESF one - it took him a month after we arrived to get into the French Int'l - we have never heard back from the ESF one! (very pleased with the french school though).
    Nappies - quality not as good, I find - pampers leak nearly ever night! (Will have to try the ones fom Bumps to Babes), not tried the chinese ones so can't comment on them.
    Medicines - def bring out what you can, although most pharmacies can give you childrens paracetemol - not sure if there is an equivalent to medised!
    Keep in contact before you come out, would love to meet up if you are going to be near by.

    Good luck

  4. #12
    kiwiinoz is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Hong Kong

    I would suggest bringing as many of the meds and the nappies as you can. Every time we go back to Australia, I buy my huggies by the boxload to bring back as they are much better quality than the ones here... my son NEVER had nappy rash until we used the local Huggies.. and the quality just isn't as good, nor are they as durable or absorbent. We find Pampers just as bad here.

    The childrens panadol here is quite good, as it seems to have a 'sedative' effect (something the Australian equivalent lacks), however we still bring over the meds we're used to and need as well as you just can't guarantee you can get the same (or even similar) stuff here.

    In terms of locations... we looked at Fortress Hill, Quarry Bay, Braemer Hill, Happy Valley and Jardine's Lookout. Given the decline in the market, you should be able to find an apartment in all these areas for under $40k... in fact one person I spoke to recently found a nice 1400 sq ft 3 bedroom apartment in Happy Valley for under 30k a couple of days ago.
    Things to think about are do you need a carpark? Do you need 'facilities' such a a playground in the apartment complex? How much room can you downsize to? How close do you need the shopping to be? Will you consider having a maid and do you want a maids room? Do you need an oven? (don't laugh... a LOT of places don't have ovens... we even saw one in Fortress Hill with no kitchen!) And remember, the 'ticket price' for rental is generally more than the price you will negotiate for rent.
    We live in Jardine's Lookout, which gives us the green suburban feel, but is only 5 minutes from Causeway Bay, however, personally, given the choice again, with children, I would have preferred to look closer in Happy Valley as it has a nice mix of shops/food/culture/playgrounds and people... despite being only 5 minutes away from Causeway Bay, I can't help but sometimes feel isolated being away from the bustle of the city (and taking a stroller on a green mini bus with an under-2 year old on your own is not an entirely fun situation).
    We saw some nice places in North Point too... which is also well worth considering given its location next to Quarry Bay.
    I think it depends on how much of the 'local' environment you want to experience also. Something that appeals about a place like Happy Valley to me is it has a nice mix of ex-pat and local chinese community.

    In terms of playgroups... well... there are always those of us keen to meet up. :)

    And schooling is a difficult one. As there are quite a few families being relocated back 'home' I imagine there are a few spots opening up all the time in various schools, but I don't know whether they have waiting lists for places or will give the places to a new arrival...

    Good luck!

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