So, you’ve set up a satellite office, or landed that great new job in Hong Kong, and are looking into the ins and outs of living in this unique city, well this is one city that doesn’t need to intimidate expats whatsoever!
Due to the high propensity of commerce, trade and deal-making going on in Hong Kong, most of the people speak the international language of business, English. A moderately expensive city, statistically rent accounts for 40% of the average person’s income and money spent in the markets accounts for about 20%. Utilities and other expenses are fairly manageable; as the wages generally match the cost of this city and the standard of living is high.
When looking to rent a home, it is important to remember that space is at a premium in Hong Kong, there are 7,650 skyscrapers in the Peninsula area alone, making Hong Kong the recipient of the unusual title of The World’s Most Vertical City, due to the amount of its residents living and working above the fourteenth floor of a building. Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories are the three main parts that make up Hong Kong. If you are looking to get more square feet and facilities for your money, you may want to consider living in Kowloon or the New Territories. Prices tend to decrease as you move away from the Hong Kong Island, although this will likely increase your commute to work.
Commuting to work in Hong Kong is a common and fairly efficient undertaking as this city has an excellent transit system; the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) extends to practically every corner of the city. Cabs are also affordable and plentiful.
Much like New York, eating out and enjoying friends is a way of life here. From the cheap, cheerful and very social experiences such as Night Markets like Temple Street (located near Jordan and Yau Ma Tei in Kowloon), where one can enjoy hot pots, seafood, beer and many of Hong Kong’s unique foods, to five star experiences such as Bo Innovation, where Chef Alfred Leung serves up his inimitable version of X-treme Chinese.
Supermarkets are plentiful in Hong Kong, meeting a variety of needs. Organic produce and fine teas are renowned at Three Sixty in Central, while one of the best places to find Western ingredients is City’s Super; the largest and most well-known chain in the city is Park ‘n Shop, where you’ll find a selection of Chinese to Western fare. Of course, the Wet Markets are fresh, lively and not to be missed!