Moving overseas is a life-changing decision and there are positive and negative aspects to living in any country that you’ll need to consider. We asked a group of EL readers to share their reflections on some of the pros and cons of expat life in Hong Kong.
“One of the things I love most about Hong Kong is its people. I have felt so welcomed by expats and locals alike. There’s a strong community feel and it’s been a terrific place to make new friends and start a new business. The expat community itself is big and broad with a range of remarkable people from all around the world.
A perk for me as a busy mum and entrepreneur has been that you can absolutely get by with English only and limited Cantonese. As much as I try to immerse myself and learn the local language, the fact that I can easily do my banking, shopping and day-to-day errands in English really does make living as an expat here a breeze.” – Julie
“I love the convenience and efficiency – things just work! I also love the work ethic. You can walk in for a facial, order some curtains, get something printed; no need to make an appointment. I love the entrepreneurial spirit.” – Ruth
“You’re living in a city that can offer you everything at your fingertips! The convenience and speed at which everything moves can be dizzying but also very efficient. The food! You can experience the best Asia has to offer … and the Western food isn’t lacking either. The MTR and Airport Express – this has to be one of the best train systems in the world.” – Cici
“Hong Kong’s geography, with the proximity of the hills and beaches to the city, is unique and a game-changer in terms of the lifestyle you can lead here. Expats are, by and large, here because they want to be here, and with that comes a positive and can-do attitude to life that I find wonderfully refreshing.” – Ross
“It’s a city of opportunities. There are so many people and so many connections to be made here. With the expat community being so strong and in such close quarters, it’s a great place to create good opportunities for yourself.” – Alex
“One negative is the high cost of living. Aside from that, though, Hong Kong is really paradise. It has the buzzing city life, yet you can be close to nature, and it offers a great mix of East-meets-West culture.” – Cici
“I still can’t get on with the weather; 2020 was our hottest summer ever. You’ll need air-con!”- Ruth
“You’ll consume more alcohol in HK than anywhere else. The drinking culture here, especially amongst the expat community, is so strong. Your belly and your wallet will be feeling it at some point!” – Alex
” I find the overall attitude and response to sustainability and environmental issues in Hong Kong depressing. While positive moves are being made, considering the balance sheet, the high educational standards and the relatively small population, it could and should be a world leader in the field.” – Ross
This article first appeared in the City Guide 2020 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.
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