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Relocating from London to Hong Kong - Advice Needed Please!!

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    Mimi2 is offline Registered User
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    Relocating from London to Hong Kong - Advice Needed Please!!

    Hi everyone,

    We are potentially relocating to Hong Kong in a couple of months and I wondered if any of you with experience of living there, particularly with small children ( my girls have just turned 4), could give me some advice. I am coming out there next week for a few days to look around and figure out where to live etc. If anyone has any advice of good areas to live with children, what schools to look at, things to do with young kids or general advice about relocation I would really really appreciate it. Not sure where to start!!!

    Thanks very much!

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    ummm.. you are asking how long is a piece of string.

    give us an idea of budget/type of schooling/lifestyle you are looking for, then we may be able to better help.

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    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    ps> what schools to look at? (1) depends on what kind of curriculum you are looking for (2) budget
    (3) medium of instruction (4) which school has space (this is a MAJOR problem for english-language schools) (5) how far you are willing to have your kids commute

    just to name a few things to consider..

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    Mimi2 is offline Registered User
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    Hi again,

    I guess our accommodation budget will be about 40-50,000 HKD a month. Ideally I would like 3 bedrooms and quite a modern place with facilities and near other English speaking expats. My husband is a lawyer and will be working near Central so ideally no further than 30 mins commute from there. Is it possible to be near a beach and near Central too?

    My twin girls ( who have just turned 4) were due to start at a fantastic local state school in London in Sept which was a 2 min walk from our house. Whilst I appreciate that we will probably not have a good school on our doorstep, I would like to live within 10/15 mins from school. I am assuming that private schooling is the only option for us now but even so, will there be any places available for Sept 2012? If not, what are my options?! They are currently at a private Montessori nursery but they are definitely ready to move on to school! They like to have action packed days filled with nursery, swimming, ballet, playball etc and I am a bit worried that when we move I am going to struggle to fill our days.

    Thanks for any responses!

  5. #5
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    actually, with the age of your twins, there is no reason why they couldn't go into a cantonese or mandarin kindergarten. there are quite a few of us who have chosen this route instead of the typical expat-english-only route. however, the local schools are a lot more traditional and nothing like montessori at all.

    if you want to be near a beach but also not too far from the action, you could look at:

    discovery bay
    stanley
    shek o
    repulse bay (although your budget may not be sufficient for repulse bay)
    clearwater bay & sai kung (if you don't mind the expense of a car)
    clearwater bay (closer to silverstrand, and hang hau mtr, you wouldn't have the same need for a car...but more residential)

    why do you think you will struggle to fill your days here? most of us have the total opposite problem.
    art
    language
    music
    sports
    swimming
    science classes
    dancing
    martial arts

    all are readily available in hk.

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    kacoak is offline Registered User
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    I agree with carang that you won't find a lack of activities here for young children - it's quite a big industry in HK. For English speaking options, check out the YWCA, they have lots of courses. Mid-levels is quite a nice area to live even though it's not close to a beach and it may be a stretch finding a 3 BR with the budget (as a point of reference, we live in a 3 BR for 55,000 and that was on the low end as of last year - we had negotiated it down too, by losing the car space it came with. The building is an old one, very basic, non sparkling amenities, but it IS right in front of the HK zoo and playground).

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    penguinsix is offline Registered User
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    We have a 3br in midlevels for about 52. It can be done but most of the places are like the ones across the street from me, where 3br start at 100k or so and go up.

    I think the bigger concern is schooling. If you want to go international, you're already late in the application process. Most schools will have wait-lists so you are going to have a rough go getting into the 'big ones' at this late stage. You can however keep them in a private kindergarden (Tutor Time, Woodlands, etc) for this year and apply for the international schools for next yea (August 2013).

    The reason we mention schools is not only because of the difficulty in securing a spot, but also because you kind of want a place that is convenient for both work and school. You don't want a 1-hour commute for your kids at this age, so finding a final place to live might be a bit dependent on where you end up sending them to school.

    As for other things, what to bring, what to leave, there are dozens of threads on geoexpat.com (a sister site) that will have answers to that and suggestions.

  8. #8
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    as another point of reference: we live out in the boonies (a car is a MUST). we pay $20k and have 5 bedrooms (two of which have ensuite and are roughly 350' each), 4 bathrooms, rooftop and 1000' garden, carpark.... but we live in the middle of nowhere....

    so, if you moved closer to sai kung from where we live, you would likely get the same or similar to what we have but pay $45k-50k for it... of course, the closer you get the higher the price.

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