The days when you would spend your entire life in a single neighbourhood of a single city are long gone. People choose to relocate all the time for all kinds of reasons, but most commonly it’s because they’ve got a better job offer someplace else. Moving abroad is also not unusual anymore, and the market in the Far East is becoming more and more popular by the day. If you’re thinking about moving to Hong Kong (or you’ve already moved there) and need some guidelines, read on:
Get an Octopus card
Because Hong Kong is so big and crowded, you’re going to have to rely on public transport to get from point A to point B. Fortunately, public transport is not just modern and clean, but most importantly, it’s reliable and punctual. The MTR (Mass Transit Railway) is a well-connected network consisting of heavy and light rail, and also the feeder bus service. To use the MTR, you’re going to need an Octopus card (Opal in Australia and Oyster in London operate in a similar way) and you’ll be glad to hear that you can also use Octopus to buy drinks and even meals at cafés and bars.
Find great schools for your kids
People with families will be glad to know that Hong Kong has a lot of really great international schools you can send your children to. Getting your children the best education should be high on your priority list, and you can get a lot from specialized learning centers. There are learning centers that recognize the importance of phonics for kids and their future education. By learning to read at an early age, they will have an advantage later on in kindergarten and elementary school. What is more, a great number of locals have also recognized the importance of international education, and many schools are constantly expanding to keep up with an increased number of students.
Get a face mask
You’ve probably heard this one before, but pollution in Hong Kong can be nasty, especially in summer. Even the World Health Organization’s Air Quality Index puts Hong Kong very low on the list of cities with clean air. This is one of the reasons why people wear face masks everywhere. At first, it might be strange seeing people with masks in the streets and on the subway, but it’s a part of life you get used to after a while. Even the Government of Hong Kong takes this issue seriously, and you can get useful health advice on their website.
Adjust to small spaces
Once you start looking, you’ll be surprised by the rent (and not in a good way). The rents in Hong Kong can be eye-wateringly high, and sadly, the space you’ll be looking at can be infuriatingly small. On the bright side, the taxes are very low, and expats don’t find it too difficult to pay for rent in Hong Kong. You have to decide what your priority is: if you’re looking for more space, you should take a look at some of the older buildings (the ones built between the 80s and 90s are always a good pick). If, on the other hand, you’d like to enjoy the comforts of modern buildings such as swimming pools and gyms, you should be ready to live in cramped rooms.
Relocation to any destination has its disadvantages and advantages, and expats will find that Hong Kong is no different. The better prepared a person is for the less appealing aspects of life abroad, the more successfully they’ll be able to adapt. The good news is that Hong Kong is one expat destination where the good seems to outweigh the bad.