Hong Kong is a true melting pot of locals and expats from every part of the world, which can make your life in the new surroundings a bit challenging at first but will certainly be an invaluable experience. The fact that so many expats are living in Hong Kong, allows you to meet people from every continent but also communicate more easily because English is one of the most widely spoken foreign languages. Moving to Hong Kong will require a few adjustments and if you’re not sure what it will require, we have a few pointers that you’ll appreciate for sure.
Hong Kong is a highly international place, which won’t make the process of moving there much of a hassle. You should know that shipping personal and household goods is free from any tariffs or duties and there is no limit on how much currency you can bring with you. However, when it comes to food, you will be encountered with an extensive list of restricted items. You should apply for a Hong Kong ID as soon as you arrive, because the ID will have all your details, including your thumbprint for the biometric customs gates. You can easily complete the application in English and get a card within ten days.
The new way of life
Before you move to Hong Kong, you should know that the streets are usually extremely crowded, and traffic jams are a common phenomenon. You shouldn't even bother driving with all the vehicles cramming the city, and finding an empty parking spot would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Save yourself the trouble of driving on the left side of the road if you have never driven on it before, and instead of splurging on fuel and annual vehicle licensing fees, opt for a cheaper and more comfortable option to get around town – public transport. The Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR), has ten train lines that run across all major districts. When it comes to accommodation, be ready to spend about half of your monthly budget on rent. If you go for a two-bed apartment, for example, rental fees can vary a lot depending on the area and the layout you’re looking for. Nevertheless, you should be prepared to pay between 8,000 HKD and 310,000 HKD a month.
Children's adjustment to life in Hong Kong
The majority of expats choose to enrol their children in one of the good international schools that can be found in Hong Kong. Therefore, you don’t have to be worried about offering your child a top-class education because the excellent syllabus and education programmes that these schools have makes even the local Hong Kong parents want to enrol their children as well. If your children are still not old enough to go to school, you’ll have no trouble finding the best playgroup Hong Kong offers, and have your child go through this big life change with ease and in the company of other children their age and very well trained and experienced teachers.
You should use domestic help if needed
One of the things to consider when you settle in is domestic help. This will be especially convenient if you’re working long hours because work life in Hong Kong isn’t particularly flexible. Your children will be well taken care of by very polite and experienced staff who’ll make sure to prepare delicious meals for the kids when they’re back from school, do all the main chores around the house and offer you peace of mind. Since you’ll most likely be working all day long as you’re contracted, you won’t have much leeway to take care of your children.
Moving to a new environment is a huge thing in life and will come with certain challenges. That’s why we’ve put together this little guide to hopefully ease your transition and help you adjust to the new way of life in Hong Kong. Enjoy your life in Hong Kong and follow the aforementioned tips if you need a helping hand during the move.