To make your new life in Hong Kong a success, you’ll need some insider knowledge. These friendly EL readers have been there, done that, and share their experiences and advice. Here, we asked them for three top tips for newcomers moving to Hong Kong.
#1 Embrace the energy shift; it’s a big one.
#2 Keep in mind your mental health and wellness – HK is a wonderful but chaotic city.
#3 Prepare yourself for some pricey groceries and small apartments!
#1 Connect with someone who already lives here to get the inside scoop on areas to live, commuting, supermarkets, schools… We’ve all been there and it can be challenging to navigate the ways of a new country at first, so don’t be shy to ask and it’ll be a massive help!
#2 As soon as I arrived, I found a local stockist with Greek produce; it felt wonderful knowing I could get these home comforts when I wanted them. Check in advance what produce you can find from your home country; this may also help cut down on your luggage space.
#3 I’ve always loved travelling, but emigrating was a different ball game for me. It took me a while to embrace the differences and wonders that HK has to offer as I was mentally unprepared for such a big life change. So, embrace the change; learn, explore and enjoy the cultural differences and quirky ways!
#1 Don’t convert everything into your native currency (GBP in my case), as you will spend different proportions of your salary on different things; for example, rent is a far larger outgoing, transportation is far less and the tax situation does help.
#2 Maintain an open mind and try as many things as possible – you might be surprised. (For example, I now don’t mind chicken feet, and I really like hiking!)
#3 Be patient and respect the local rules/customs. As an expat, you can sometimes find yourself frustrated with certain interactions, but you need to remind yourself that you are a visitor here in someone else’s home.
#1 Find a home quickly so you feel at home faster!
#2 Get your hong kong identification card or HKID.
#3 Get an octopus card.
#1 Get stuck in.
#2 The local food is amazing!
#3 Explore the countryside.
See more helpful tips in our Living in Hong Kong section.
This article first appeared in the City Guide 2021/22 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.