Would you move to HK again?
- 06-08-2011, 06:31 PM #9
We've been in HK for 5 years now and I love it. My husband was born here but grew up in Australia. We decided to come back after we were married in Australia to be closer to his Dad. We came with my husband fresh out of uni on a local package. Compared to locals, we are well off, but we make fractions of what many expats make!!! It's all relative though and there's always someone better off than yourself. We're content :)
I would move to Hong Kong again in a heart beat. There are so many things I love about it. It hasn't always been easy - we have had two kids here, one with significant health issues. We had 18 months which we were unable to fly due to health reasons - it was awful being "stuck" here... but now that that's all behind us, I'm back to loving it again :)
- 06-08-2011, 06:42 PM #10Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2010
- Hong Kong
Just wanted to add that after living in 6 different countries over the last 12 years, I love living abroad and think it's a really valuable experience for everyone including kids! So, I wholeheartedly endorse living abroad in general, I just think there are better places to live than in Hong Kong in terms of quality of life if you're not here to make alot of money.
That said, if this is your only option and you're looking for something new and exciting, I think Hong Kong is great place to start with as it's very English friendly and westernized compared to other Asian cities. I've heard it (and Singapore) called Asia for Beginners :P
Last edited by hkexpat2010; 06-08-2011 at 06:49 PM.
- 06-08-2011, 09:55 PM #11Registered User
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
We have lived in Hong Kong for 3 years and are relocating back to Australia this month.
As you said, it does come down to personal choice, what you are used to, and what lifestyle you want to lead (I have never been to Florida so can't compare).
Is it possible for you to do a trip here before making your decision - I would strongly recommend that as it will provide you with a good feel for the place. If you get that opportunity, get a property agent to show you properties in your price range, recommend schooling, walk through supermarkets, baby stores etc. And ask yourself - what is your reason for moving, adventure?, financial?, career opportunities?.
There are many pro's, and many cons of Hong Kong (like many other places I guess). Pro's - Hong Kong has offered us a lifestyle we would never have had in Australia, we have a wonderful network of friends, we have home help which allows us to have a night life, and makes life generally easier at home. We have been able to experience a very different culture (we love the locals), international travel is so cheap (compared to Oz) and such beautiful locations close by like Thailand, Japan etc. And of course, everything is so convenient (taxis are cheap, everything is close by, delivery everything, internet shopping for everything etc).
The biggest con is definitely the pollution. We live in a large complex which looks out over the water and sometimes I can't even bear to look out the window a I still can't get over how polluted it is and it makes me feel guilty that I am exposing my children to it (they are 2 and 3). Also, as it is all vertical living, and such a huge population in such a small space, for me my children are so sick, all the time. I have been told by the doc that it must be environmental (we are honestly in there at least fortnightly, if not more often) and when they get a cough for example, it lasts for weeks. We have taken them to Europe and back to Australia for large periods of time and they all of a sudden get better and not sick again until we return here. To be honest, I know so many people who have left here due to their childrens respiratory problems. Other small cons is that HK does feel quite congested (it is so busy and built up), the only way to escape is by plane, or a train into China, no road trip holidays. And I really don't like the quality or range of food. Plus, compared to many other western cities I have been to, I feel it is quite dirty (maybe it's not, but it just feels that way with the pollution and smelly streets).
Would we do it all again?? Although we have enjoyed our time here, and are grateful for the 'adventure', knowing what I know about my child's health here, the answer is No. And my husband is on a pretty generous package where we get decent accommodation (2300 sqf), full schooling covered, private health etc, along with a max 15% tax rate (compared to 45% in Australia) not even that would keep me here. If you asked my husband though, if it wasn't for the kids health, he wouldn't have left. HK is buzzing with business opportunities and growth, all my girlfriends husbands love it here and never want to leave.
Sorry to be so blunt and maybe a little over negative, but just my thoughts. I really look forward to returning to clean air, blue skies, walking my children down the road to parks with green grass, large supermarkets with amazing selection of products (and regular stock), being able to see the stars and moon every night, reasonably priced products (I find everything here extremely over expensive), back yards, nice (pollution free) beaches, road trips and a variety of stores catering to all walks of life (not just the choice of Market quality vs top end 'LV & Bulgari' options, and nothing in between).
good luck with the decision - try and get here beforehand for your own personal thoughts! It is upto you and you will find many differing opinions here.
- 06-08-2011, 11:52 PM #12
i moved here 16+ years ago as a single, just out of university girl. i am now married to a local, run/own 2 playgroup centres, own a dog boarding business and have 2 wonderful kids.
would i move here again? in a heartbeat without a second thought!
do i miss "home"? every day (especially miss my mum!)
for living, i could NEVEFR live on hk island or in the built up areas anymore. i've been there, done that and grown out of it.
we're now about to sign a lease out in the new territories (we've lived everywhere) about 39 minutes from central by MTR (subway) that has a 4000' garden & a private swimming pool. the rent is crazy expensive (for us) but compared to what friends pay on hk isalnd, it's cheap! ~ $40k/month. we are not on a local package or an expat package. we are both self-employed and only get paid when business is good. we don't have private med coverage. we are happy to utilise the gov't medical services that are virtually free (once you have a HKID then you are eligible to use them too!), we have no housing allowance whatsoever and we pay for our kids edcuation ourselves, so we've again decided to make use of the local system and so far are extremely happy with the choice.
- 06-09-2011, 07:19 AM #13Registered User
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
Wow! Such a great collection of replies. Thank you all so much for your opinions. My husband is meeting with the HR group tomorrow so I am hoping to have more info. We have been told we'll get a trip over to check things out if things progress (my husband has been before, but not me) and I had already thought of checking out some places, walking around as if I was living there, going to the store, etc. and would love to visit some schools (I already have a list going) since my little one will turn 3 in August.
Definitely an exciting time! I feel a lot better knowing that meeting some great moms won't be a problem!
- 06-09-2011, 09:22 AM #14Registered User
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
- Clearwater bay
Hi wendy how did the meeting with HR go, I am originally from The UK I went to university in Florida moved to hong kong seven years ago and now have a 9 month old daughter and am still here. Would I do it again definitely. You'll definitely find it different from Florida although the temperatures will be similar for you. But it's easy to meet people, how much you choose to spend on living is more flexible than most imply. After seven years we have just moved to Clearwater bay to have more space and a back garden. Thus makes the commute to work 45 minutes which I'll bet is better than your commute in Florida. The large international supermarket is 10 mins away. If you want to live on the island house prices are high but you'll find you spend a lot of time out.
- 06-09-2011, 09:52 AM #15Registered User
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
- Clearwater bay
Remember it doesn't have to be forever if you like it you can stay otherwise you head home with two years or experience you wouldn't have had otherwise . Good luck
- 06-09-2011, 06:40 PM #16
"Other small cons is that HK does feel quite congested (it is so busy and built up), the only way to escape is by plane, or a train into China, no road trip holidays. And I really don't like the quality or range of food. Plus, compared to many other western cities I have been to, I feel it is quite dirty (maybe it's not, but it just feels that way with the pollution and smelly streets)."
this is so not true and unnecessary (the part that you need to escape by plane or train). there are MANY, MANY places to live in hk that are NOT built up at all! we just signed a lease for a place and from our window we can see: huge fields, jungle, mountains....only 2 small (3 story) village houses!
of course, if you choose to live on hk island it will be built up, but to make it sound like that is all there is is not true and does hk a huge dis-service.
as for pollution, i agree, it can be absolutely disgusting. but then there are times like this past week where it's been absolutely beautiful out! the worst pollution is in the winter as the winds come from the north and bring all of the pearl river delta pollution with it. in the summer, the winds shift and come from the south, from over the south china sea and they bring lovely, but hot weather.
the other reason that your kids might be sick more often is simply the population density in hk. there are a LOT of people in hk and most are crowded into a tiny area. but it IS possible to escape that simply by moving to the new territories.
don't get me wrong, you do raise some valid issues but to imply that it is impossible to circumvent any of them is not accurate.
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