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Moving to HK, family of 5

  1. #1
    Snordl is offline Registered User
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    USA
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    Moving to HK, family of 5

    Hello all,
    My husband will likely be accepting an expat position early this fall. We are a family of 5 ( a 3.5 yr old and 6month twins, all boys). We are looking for a little help on narrowing down our search for a place to live.
    I know from my research so far that we need to start with finding a school for our oldest, he'll be in K2 this fall, before we find a place to live. I have looked into both in the Midlevels, Repulse Bay and Clear Water Bay and just lately have been looking at Kowloon. I'm just struggling with what school options their are in each area and which would be the best fit for our family.
    So here is our wish list: 3 bedrooms, a view, expat neighbors, no car but able to get around by local transit or walking, and great kid friendly facilities in the building or nearby in a club. Our budget is $75-100k HKD but we would like to stay on the low end of that. My husband will be working in Quarry Bay right near the MTR and we would like his commute to be no longer than 30 min.
    Any help with schools in these neighborhoods and places that tick all the boxes on our wish list would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    emma_mama44 is offline Registered User
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    Aug 2011
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    HK
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    Hi Snordl,

    Whatever you do, if you want your boys to go into an international sch - apply it NOW before you move to HK. My expereince is it will be much easier for you to have a place before your family is in HK. Largest group that runs international sch will be ESF (1 kindy on the Island side, 3 primary schs on the Island side; but much less on the Kowloon side.) So I will recommend you to stay on the Island side. ESF offers IB curriculum. Christian Internation Sch (Sha Tin) and American Intl Sch offer US curriculum.

    For living - many apartments in Quarry Bay and TaiKoo. 2 big shopping malls, a big park and a path to walk around along the seaside. Quite a no. of expat. Apartments available within your budget (I will say it is a very generous budget in this area). A more quiet area will be a train station away: Sai Wan Ho. Your husband can take a bus, minibus, tram or train to work in Quarry Bay.

    Of course rental will be much higher in mid-levels, you will have more expat neighours.

  3. #3
    emma_mama44 is offline Registered User
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    Aug 2011
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    HK
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    Once again, submit your application now! ESF Hillside is down at the Victoira Peak. Sch bus available in Taikoo and Sai Wan Ho (I know, school bus?!) You boy should enter K2 in Sept. this year.

    If not ESF Hillside, you may try Kornhill International (local curriculum but all Eng with an option of Chinese or Eng lesson in the afternoon) in Kornhill, Taikoo.

    Yes, I live in TaiKoo. All the best :)

  4. #4
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Actually, seems like there are equal number of ESF primaries and 2 ESF kindies on the Kowloon/New Territories side. (School Map | English Schools Foundation)

    However, if your husband works in Quarry Bay and with your budget you could consider living in Stanley. It's a very expat neighbourhood and I think the estates there would have bigger clubhouses than the Quarry Bay/Tai Koo/Sai Wan Ho ones. Grand Promenade in Sai Wan Ho has a huge clubhouse but the rooms in the apartments are small. I lived in Quarry Bay for a few years and while I liked the area, it is a more Chinese than expat neighbourhood.

    Then again, if you're willing to compromise a bit on the expat feel, a shorter commute for your husband might be good reason to check out options in Quarry Bay/Taikoo/Sai Wan Ho.

  5. #5
    emma_mama44 is offline Registered User
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    Yes, I should make it clearer. ESF has more or less the same number of schools on both the Island and Kowloon sides, but the population on the Island side is much fewer... so may be a better chance to get into it.

  6. #6
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2010
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    Hong Kong
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    Clearwater Bay would be a quick commute for your husband, as Quarry Bay is only a few stops from Hang Hau MTR. My husband works there too and does that commute. With your budget you'd be able to get a bigger place than on the island (2100 sq ft village house) with a garden or some outdoor space, with a green or sea view, and its close to some nice beaches. A good area for children I think, and quick into town. Not sure about club facilities though - some compounds will have them.

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