Hong Kong

China

A City of Welcome Contrasts

A mysterious exotic city that has one foot planted in the west and the other in the orient, Hong Kong is a captivating place that pulsates with energy and promises to stir your senses. Since the day China regained sovereignty and Britannia departed from the waters of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong has continued to evolve and developed at breakneck speed. It has embraced the modern world while at the same time continuing to ooze traditional Chinese character and historical charm.

Today Hong Kong is home to one of the world’s biggest international trading posts, a powerful manufacturing base and a thriving financial center. It attracts expats from all over the world and the city has become a melting pot of cultures and landscapes, a vibrant metropolis where people from all backgrounds live side by side.

Hong Kong is most certainly a city of contradictions. It is a place where aficionados can move from Michelin Star restaurants to dai pai dong street-side food stalls in just a few steps; commuters’ daily journeys involve state-of-the-art underground railways networks, mountain side escalators and rickety old trams and ferries; crumbling tenements of residential buildings sit unassumingly next to ultramodern high-rises and elderly men push their over laden carts up steep hills as Ferraris roar by.

But perhaps most surprisingly of all, Hong Kong presents expatriates with much more than the thriving city life that it is touted as. A little known side of Hong Kong is the surrounding countryside parks and outlying islands where hiking, water sports, camping and barbeque pits can be enjoyed. People are often surprised to hear that less than one quarter of the land in Hong Kong is actually developed, leaving a huge area of natural beauty to be explored and enjoyed. From strolls on the shores of outlying islands to the scenic walks through the far-flung south-eastern villages, Hong Kong offers a


What’s the draw?

  • A fascinating interplay between the exotic past and the efficient and technically advanced developments of modern-day life.
  • A safe environment with a low crime rate where foreigners are a part of everyday life and expats are an accepted part of the city.
  • A place where you can quite literally party all night long in the streets of the city and then rest and recuperate the following day in the natural haven of one of the outlying islands.

Live there:

Life in this bustling city of more than 7 million people can be a challenge, simply because of its sheer size and the dense population. Written by Hong Kong expatriates for Hong Kong expatriates, our guide to living in Hong Kong contains a no-holes-barred view of what life in this fascinating city is really like.

  • Hong Kong is a very bureaucratic city and it can be very frustrating trying to organize basic services such as telephone, cable television, and gas and electric connections. Our guide tells you exactly how you can cut through the red tape and establish your new life as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  • Living in Hong Kong will not always be easy, and this vibrant Chinese city will undoubtedly offer different routines, climates, cultures and work ethics that may both fascinate and mystify you. Our Hong Kong guide contains details of Chinese customs and superstitions, cultural idiosyncrasies and religious beliefs that you need to understand and respect to settle into everyday life.
  • Choosing where to live in Hong Kong can be overwhelming. From the relative tranquility of the popular expatriate destination of Stanley, through to life on the doorstep of the exciting Central areas, choosing a place that is right for you can be quite daunting. We have demystified the popular residential areas with thorough information on the type of people who you will find living there, the local amenities on offer, the types of accommodation on hand and the availability and reliability of transport links.

The more you search for in Hong Kong, the more you'll find. Let us lead the way.

About Hong Kong we have

Our guide was written by Caryn Yeo and Sarah Moore and last published on Sunday 6th July 2014.

Read this guide »

Five top tips

01The majority of homes in Hong Kong do not have ovens, as most Chinese cooking is done on a hob. Check kitchen appliances before signing a lease.
02Hong Kong is mainly hot but it does get cold between December and February. Homes don't have heating so you will need your own heating appliances.
03All residents need a Hong Kong ID card. Queues for registration are always huge so book an appointment in advance.
04Rental prices are very high in Hong Kong and you will usually be expected to pay six weeks rent to the estate agent to pay for his or her services.
05Tax is not automatically deducted from your salary in Hong Kong. You will need to ensure that you put aside enough money each month for tax purposes.

Interesting fact

Hong Kong has a population of 6.9 million people and is ranked as the 4th most densely populated territory in the world.