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Moving to HKG. Where to live with a 10-month old (Bel-air, Hillsborough Court, DBay)

  1. #1
    Marusya76 is offline Registered User
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    Moving to HKG. Where to live with a 10-month old (Bel-air, Hillsborough Court, DBay)

    Hi everyone,
    We are moving to HKG soon with my 10-month old daughter. My hubby works in ICC tower and has to start his working day at 7 am. So commute time is crucial for us. At the moment he is looking for flats all over HKG. I plan to fly over once he has found something. Several weeks has passed and he cannot pick up an area to focus on. He has seen a few flats in Bel-Air, but feels that I might feel a bit isolated there. He liked Discovery Bay but the commute is not ideal. Most of the real estate agents suggest Kowloon Station area. However, it seems to be very noisy around there and not baby-friendly (i.e. lack of green space). He has also seen 2 flats in Hillsborough court. We also plan to bring our dog from Europe. So I would appreciate any advice regarding housing situation.

  2. #2
    Taitam is offline Banned
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    I think Bel-Air would be a good choice - great for children and reasonably close to Central. I don't think you'll feel isolated at all, so easy to meet people there. They also have amazing facilities for children and lots for adults too. I have a 10 month old too and wouldn't fancy living in the Kowloon Station area with her. Pokfulam has parks nearby and nice views. I am not a fan of ferries (don't like the fumes) so that's why I wouldn't pick DB. Might be better to start off living on the island anyway so you get a better feel for HK. If you are still unsure you could always rent a serviced apartment in Central to begin with?

  3. #3
    yonge is offline Registered User
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    Have you considered Western Mid-levels?

    We're on Kotewall Road, which is in between Pokfulum and the rest of Mid-levels. We love it as we can literally walk to the Peak, walk to HKU and walk to the bars, restaurants and markets in Sai Ying Pun, where I can take the minibus 45A back up. Bus 13 in front of our building takes us to City Hall and Minibus 3 terminus up the road will take you to IFC. Minibus 56/56A terminus is right below our building and goes through Garden Road, Admiralty, Queen's Road East, Causeway Bay and North Point. As we always board at the terminus, we never have any trouble getting seats on the minibus getting to work on time. There are two public playgrounds within walking distance for small children and it's located near some pretty great public schools - Kau Yan, St. Stephen's Girls, etc. Minibus 45A will also take me past Tsan Yuk Hospital for all my ante-natal tests and scans and I transfer to minibus 10, 8 or 28 to go to Queen Mary Hospital for all my ante-natal visits. The local Maternal and Child Health Clinic is in Sai Ying Pun, but I'm more familiar with the one in Tang Chi Ngong in Wanchai, which is accessible on minibus 56/56A. So far, we've rented two apartments in the past two years here for under HK$50,000 with 3 bedrooms, 2,000 square ft and a carpark space.

    We looked at Bel-Air as well, but hubby - who works in Central - found it too far away from work. I've also seen some postings about people with allergy problems, because of the new construction materials and renovations taking place all around. We didn't look at Hillsborough Court because it can get jammed after work and it's nearly impossible to get public transport back up that way. We also didn't look at Discovery Bay, although we have friends who love it - as it has a built-in community feel. There's a large community of home-schoolers that live there, so it's helpful to be able to put your children in with a group if you do choose to home-school as well.

  4. #4
    jane01 is offline Registered User
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    I live in DB and I think it is great, but I wouldn't want to commute to Kowloon side. Too far and too inconvenient. I work in Central and DB is very convenient.

  5. #5
    Marusya76 is offline Registered User
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    Thank you very much for your replies. I will definitely ask my husband to take a look at Mid-levels Western. He loved DB but it seems to get to Kowloon side of the town, he will have to wake up at 5:30 am. Is the area around Kowloon station really as horrible as it seems (i.e. no trees, constant noise from the traffic and construction works)? I personally don't like the look of Bel-air, it looks gigantic..

  6. #6
    Obiwan is offline Registered User
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    Hi Marusya76, my answer is absolutely not! I work in ICC and live in Kowloon West and I always tell others I cannot imagine ever changing job as it's such a great area to live in. My walk to work is 10 minutes door to door and I can't stress how valuable that is for a working mom (as well as for a working dad). We used to live in mid-levels and I was reluctant to move to Kowloon West, and now I am a total convert. Kowloon West actually has a lot of open space compared to most parts of Central. The apartments are new, the airport express is at your door step (if you husband travels for work), there is a little green area and a playground for the kids. All the apartments have good club houses and facilities. There is even a nursery/kindergarten if you wish to enrol your child.

    I can name many other advantages, but the main swinging factor is the convenience. Time saved on commute = time with family. That i think is priceless. And I can think of many other ares in HK with lesser environment (said with all due respect).

  7. #7
    Obiwan is offline Registered User
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    One thing tho, the apartments here do not allow dogs. Interestingly all my neighbours have dogs, they keep them in bags when taking them out.

  8. #8
    KeHK is offline Registered User
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    Hi Marusya76,
    We live near Olympic Station, which is just 1 stop away from Kowloon Station/ICC. There are a few newer buildings in our area, which offer great facilities (pool, gym, kids-playground, etc) and at least in our building, they do allow dogs. There's also a small park nearby.
    I personally like living in the West Kowloon area as it's a bit more local than in Central, you get a great view (depending on where exactly you live), there are many shops close-by (either at Elements Mall or Olympian City), you have the MTR right at your door-step and it's very close to Central plus it's not that crowded.
    Of course it's not as green as DB and there aren't too many outdoor facilities for kids around, but given that we're talking about living close to ICC/Central, open space is almost impossible to find, unfortunately.
    By the way, we have friends in DB and it takes us about 1 hour to get there to visit them. Definitely not the best option if your husband wants to avoid a long commute.

    Good luck! I'm sure your husband will find something suitable for your family.

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