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Am I crazy wanting to live in the Mid-Levels with a 6 month old?

  1. #17
    Nwebb is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Hong kong

    Hi HKnewbie,
    The apartments at The Harbourside, Kowloon range from around $38,000 to $55,000 (for a harbour view)...Cheers, Nicole :)

  2. #18
    ssheng is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Kowloon Station

    We live in the Waterfront, and for your budget you could probably get a 1350+ sq ft place with a clean view of the water on a mid to high floor (facing the W hotel and Cullinan, which are attractive glass buildings). In contrast, you can also get a view of Central and the harbour through the gaps in the Arch and Harbourside in an 1200 sq ft place for about 35K. We used to live in the later, and now moved to the former, which I prefer because it has better light, even though I can't see the fireworks anymore.

    The facilities at the Waterfront are great - we probably have the biggest kid's playroom in the area and are refurbishing it with new playmats and equipment, and the pool is great, although it can get crowded. Waterfront was constructed early 2000s. I think with your budget you might want to go for something even newer, and a lot of people like the Harbourside and the Arch which were finished in the last few years. The Arch has pretty stunning facilities and common areas, although their kids playarea is a bit more suited to 1 year+, with an activity center and computers (I think...I was invited by a friend once but I might be mixed it up with the Sorrento). The Sorrento I think is on par, although because it caters less to high-end due to not having the view of Central (but does have nice waterviews on certain floors/angles), the average size of units is smaller, so there are a lot more people living there and sharing the common areas.

    PIPs Kowloon, which is the pre-school and kindergarten, has baby groups like Kindermusik from basically birth onwards, with their more formal playgroup starting at age 1. I read mixed things about it, but given we live here, it's a wonderful option. Plus I checked it out and I think their curriculum sounds just right for our daughter. On top of PIPs is a great playground for toddlers - slides, climbing stations, teeter totters, etc, all on soft outdoor mats.

    Anyway, I read the other suggestions and I agree it's totally a personal fit. Some people have told me they do not like the 'planned' nature of Kowloon Station, whereas that is exactly what we like. It's a controlled environment and super convenient, with a lot of nice families around. Others who enjoy nightlife in mid-levels complain it is not practical to go out at night there and come home to Kowloon, which is not entirely true but would make your taxi costs higher. I'm not a mom who kept up with the nightlife before or after having the baby, so that's not a personal concern for me! :)

  3. #19
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    i couldn't imagine paying $55,000 for 1300'...that is ridiculous to me. but on the other hand, i understand that others may like the convenience of it. personally, i still prefer my45 minute commute to central (life doesn't revolve around that area for us as hubby works from home and i work out of tsing yi) and my 2100' house with garden and less than $20k rent....

    so much of a lifestyle choice...

    basically, with your budget, you could live virtually everywhere in hk, it will all come down to YOUR personal choices and preferences.

  4. #20
    penguinsix is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010

    We live near the Hillsbourough (we are on May Road) with an 18 month old and a 4 year old. We occasionally head over to that building to play with some friends in that large playroom. Overall I wouldn't say this area is swarming with kids, but there are quite a few (most of the International school buses run their routes through here).

    We occasionally walk down to the Zoo off of Old Peak Road, but primarily we take a taxi, which is one of our small complaints about this area. We are somewhat car dependent for a number of things, such as going out to dinner or shopping at anyplace beyond the very tiny Welcome on May Road. There are a few minibuses on irregular schedules and if we time it right we do take the building shuttle, but our taxi cab budget is quite a bit higher than we thought when planning our move. Walking with a stroller down Old Peak and on these narrow sidewalked other streets can be a bit daunting.

    Overall this part of Midlevels is relatively quiet. The trees on the Peak help clear the air a tiny bit but it is also extremely humid up here at times. We picked this area as a halfway between our schools up on the Peak and work down in Admiralty.

    If you are here in HK seeking more of a night life environment (i.e. walk out the door and have Thai food) than you might want to look a bit further west towards the escalator (though the trade off is worse traffic/noise/pollution) or consider Kowloon Station where your budget would get you a breathtaking view of the Skyline one station away from IFC and lots of other kids in the buildings nearby.

    We moved from your standard US 3,000 sq foot place to our 1,300 sq foot (1000 usable) here in HK and surprisingly, we really don't miss the extra space. We do feel a bit tight sometimes but overall we've adjusted to the downsizing and have found a few benefits even (for example it is hard to lose a toy in a place this small).

    Last edited by penguinsix; 10-11-2010 at 06:41 PM.

  5. #21
    yonge is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Hong Kong

    No, you're not crazy! We moved here one time when our younger one was about 1. We hardly used the stroller and opted to carry him in the Baby Bjorn - he's very small sized - or back-pack carrier. The upshot is that he learned to walk up and down the stairs really well in Mid-levels and catch public transport with me. I still get a kick out of seeing him wave his hand to flag the bus/minibus/taxi!

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