e-book Living In... Hong Kong

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Be prepared, square metres are replaced by square feet and spacious apartments are only available to those who are paid the big bucks. Hong Kong boasts the most restaurants in the world per capita and second most Michelin starred restaurants in the world.

Hong Kong is a culinary treat. Hong Kong is at the centre of Asia — destinations such as the beaches of the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia are just a few hours away. One for the girls — luxury shops mixed in with the biggest markets in the world. Places such as Central and Causeway Bay are known for luxury retailing, Mongkok and Stanley for their markets and bric-a-brac stalls, Tsim Sha Tsui for its abundance of tailors and watch retailers, Wan Chai for electronics and computers.

Living in Hong Kong - Hong Kong Expats Guide

With a top tax bracket on income set at Tax returns are on one page and starting a business takes less than a day to complete the regulatory procedures. Since the release of the Asian Century white paper, Australians have been encouraged to look to Asia as growth for Australian business.

Hong Kong is leading the charge on many fronts as the gateway to China and the strong contingent of Australian businesses already set up in the special administrative region. Hong Kong is brimming with culture. For those looking to plan out their next decade, Hong Kong is the central business hub of Asia linking to Australia and further abroad providing the cultural and business links needed to make a global career. This may sound frightening, but in fact, Hong Kong is incredibly well-equipped to deal with the extreme weather.

Should a typhoon be approaching, signs will be everywhere indicating the level of the typhoon, so residents know if they can go on with their day or if they'll need to head home to wait for it to pass. In Hong Kong, every cuisine under the sun can be found, and restaurants range from the cheap and cheerful to the Michelin-starred and extravagant. Supermarkets are overpriced and lacking in selection.

Recent Comparisons

The price for certain Western foods will make one's eyes water, and even foods with Australian brand names will be much more expensive than their Chinese counterparts. Hormones, pesticides and MSG are still used very widely.

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Supermarkets in Hong Kong also seem to have a distinct lack of selection and an inconsistency of stock one week a certain product is sold, the next it is no longer there , which makes supermarket food shopping rather frustrating. Like everything else, it requires some adjustment, and the plethora of cheap eating options also means that eating out can just be the easier option. The MTR runs at very regular intervals, and delays are a rarity. But most of all, public transport in Hong Kong is incredibly cheap, especially considering how efficient it is. There are taxis everywhere in Hong Kong.

They are very cheap by Western standards although they are still much more expensive than public transport. Because Hong Kong is small, travelling by taxi is quick and it is very easy to find a taxi wherever one is — unless of course, it is raining, in which case all of them will seem to be full.

Australian Alex Oxford tells what living in Hong Kong is really like

It is practically impossible not to network in Hong Kong. The expat community is small, and no matter one's industry, meeting someone who will know someone that can make introductions to the right people is fairly easy. A lot of people, when searching for work, get business cards made up with their name and contact details to hand out when they meet people of interest, which tends to be more often than not in social contexts. Expats tend to work in finance, property and law. It is, of course, possible to get into other lines of work in Hong Kong, but overall, there is a lack of opportunity for non-Mandarin or non-Cantonese speakers outside these three industries.

Are you living in or relocating to Hong Kong?

Some other facts and figures

We are always looking for local "expat experts" to contribute to our Hong Kong guide and to answer forum questions for people moving or planning to move to Hong Kong. Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Hong Kong. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute. Celine works within diamonds and fine jewellery in Hong Kong.


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Most expats — especially those working in professional services — live on Hong Kong Island, where many of the multinational companies are based, but foreigners are spread out all over the city. But it's not cheap. But, many professionals with incomes far less than what top executives earn can still live comfortably in this densely populated city, although notoriously high rents often means living in smaller apartments than what they might be used to back home.

📱Hong Kong Life Live @ Fanling, New Territory - Typhoon Mangkhut (2018-9-16B)

Competition for admission of expat children into international schools is fierce. Ruth Benny, founder of Top Schools, a consultancy that helps parents find schools for their children, recommends that expat families apply as soon as they know they are relocating to Hong Kong — or even before the job deal is signed.

Expat's Manual

And you may not get your first choice. Working in Hong Kong requires a visa , which is normally granted to expats with specialised skills and higher education degrees. Companies generally will assist relocating employees with the streamlined process. All Hong Kong residents aged 11 and over, including expats, are also required to obtain a smart ID card, which has distinct advantages: