Author Topic: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong  (Read 8481 times)

RuntoFIRE

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Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« on: November 10, 2015, 12:08:54 PM »
Hi forum,

Question for the international MMM fans:

I may have an opportunity to switch roles and move from San Francisco to Hong Kong for an assignment for 2 years. My fiance would be coming with me and we would support ourselves off of my income.

As I negotiate this switch, I wanted to get advice on living costs in Hong Kong. San Francisco is pretty high already, but we're managing to make it work with a below market apartment and low expenses.

What should I expect in Hong Kong? Is it easy to keep expenses low? What is a typical salary adjustment I should be prepared for?

Thanks for any advice!

the_gastropod

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2015, 12:25:27 PM »
My brother lives in Hong Kong, where he's teaching English. He doesn't make much (I think around $18k HKD / month). He lives in a ~100 square foot apartment, and pays $7500HKD per month. So rent is quite expensive (which you're probably used to, coming from SF).

Aside from that, Hong Kong is extremely cheap. I visited him last year, and typically could go out to eat, and spend under $25 HKD (which is about $3 USD). You don't need a car, as they have an excellent public transit system (buses, trolleys, and a subway). I didn't get the impression that it was very bicycle-friendly, though. I don't think I saw anyone riding a bike in the week that I was there.

Hong Kong is an incredible city. I'm sure you'll love it.

klystomane

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2015, 12:28:36 PM »
Food and transportation can be cheap in HK if you want it to be (eat more local, take the MTR, bus, etc.).

Housing is going to be the biggest expense, which is mostly unavoidable.

1. Are you moving there with your SF income?
2. Where will you work?
3. Where do you plan on living?

yyc-phil

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2015, 12:35:05 PM »
My brother lives in Hong Kong, where he's teaching English. He doesn't make much (I think around $18k HKD / month). He lives in a ~100 square foot apartment, and pays $7500HKD per month. So rent is quite expensive (which you're probably used to, coming from SF).

Aside from that, Hong Kong is extremely cheap. I visited him last year, and typically could go out to eat, and spend under $25 HKD (which is about $3 USD). You don't need a car, as they have an excellent public transit system (buses, trolleys, and a subway). I didn't get the impression that it was very bicycle-friendly, though. I don't think I saw anyone riding a bike in the week that I was there.

Hong Kong is an incredible city. I'm sure you'll love it.

All of the above. And if your employer covers part or all your accommodation in HK, you are set to enjoy all that city has to offer. HK is probably my favourite big city on earth, with tons of things to see and do, and incredibly, practically desert beautiful tropical beaches, hiking trails and relatively cheap weekend retreats a few minutes away by ferry on the many outlying islands!

RuntoFIRE

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2015, 02:12:06 PM »
Food and transportation can be cheap in HK if you want it to be (eat more local, take the MTR, bus, etc.).

Housing is going to be the biggest expense, which is mostly unavoidable.

1. Are you moving there with your SF income?
2. Where will you work?
3. Where do you plan on living?

Thanks so much for the great advice. To answer the questions above:
1. I am trying to negotiate retaining my SF salary, but I think HR wants to bring it down.
2. Will work in Tsim Sha Tsui, across the water from Central.
3. We have no preference on where to live, but would like to keep rent reasonable. It's only the two of us and we don't need much, but 100 sq ft may be a bit too small.

Are there recommendations of neighborhoods we should look at that are not crazy expensive but still convenient? Locals only neighborhoods?

Thanks!

klystomane

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2015, 02:35:37 PM »
Food and transportation can be cheap in HK if you want it to be (eat more local, take the MTR, bus, etc.).

Housing is going to be the biggest expense, which is mostly unavoidable.

1. Are you moving there with your SF income?
2. Where will you work?
3. Where do you plan on living?

Thanks so much for the great advice. To answer the questions above:
1. I am trying to negotiate retaining my SF salary, but I think HR wants to bring it down.
2. Will work in Tsim Sha Tsui, across the water from Central.
3. We have no preference on where to live, but would like to keep rent reasonable. It's only the two of us and we don't need much, but 100 sq ft may be a bit too small.

Are there recommendations of neighborhoods we should look at that are not crazy expensive but still convenient? Locals only neighborhoods?

Thanks!

If you're going to be working in TST, living in Kowloon could work. You would live closer to work, save on the cross-harbour transportation costs, but be farther from the action. TST as a whole is quite pricey though.

If you're working in the East TST area, you could also look for places that's further north along the KCR line and get to work that way.






klystomane

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2015, 02:36:48 PM »
Oh, and I would not let HR negotiate your salary down - HK CAN be VERY expensive.

If possible, I would even ask for a raise or at least housing/housing stipend.

yyc-phil

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2015, 02:38:45 PM »
Food and transportation can be cheap in HK if you want it to be (eat more local, take the MTR, bus, etc.).

Housing is going to be the biggest expense, which is mostly unavoidable.

1. Are you moving there with your SF income?
2. Where will you work?
3. Where do you plan on living?

Are there recommendations of neighborhoods we should look at that are not crazy expensive but still convenient? Locals only neighborhoods?

Thanks!

Since you are asking this question, I assume your employer will not cover your rent. If on top of that, you are expecting a salary drop, you should definitely negotiate some sort of housing allowance to offset the high cost of housing in HK.

In your case, where to rent is a very difficult question to answer without knowing your budget. Generally, the further you move away from Hong Kong, the "cheaper" rents will be, but you also have to factor in your commute. Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories are the three main parts that make up Hong Kong. If I were to pay for my own apartment, I'd definitely stay away from most places on Hong Kong Island, obviously the Peak, Wanchai, Repulse Bay, Happy Valley, Stanley, Jardine's Lookout, but you could perhaps check Mid-Levels and North Point where you can still find some relatively well-priced apartments. Kownloon would be my first choice for convenience, eating out, nightlife and street life, especially around TST and Kowloon Tong. Also, some areas in Sai Kung, a small fishing village not very far, are really popular and affordable, but the commute to TST might be problematic. TST and the areas around Nathan Road can be affordable, but what you will find might not meet your expectations in term of square footage, cleanliness, and amenities, but in my opinion, the overall ambiance of the neighbourhoods will more than make up for the cons. In Hong Kong, more so than in other international cities, you get what you pay for. For best recommendations, I would recommend to join an expat forum and read up on life in Hong Kong.

NewbieFrugalUK

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2015, 02:51:24 PM »
Super jealous. You will have an amazing time. Enjoy!!

lhamo

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2015, 04:26:57 PM »
This thread on Quora has some useful information/links:

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-cost-of-living-in-Hong-Kong

I haven't lived in HK, but have friends there and have visited several times.  It is a great city.  One option to consider, depending on the location of your office in relation to the ferry terminals, is living on one of the outlying islands and commuting by ferry.  Unfortunately I think that is easier if you work on HK Island rather than Kowloon side, but might be worth looking into anyway. 

Don't let them cut your salary, though.  Unless they are going to give you a housing allowance.  Even then, that is a slippery slope.

expatartist

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2015, 05:20:33 PM »
We lived in HK for 2 years, and I travel there regularly as our HQ is in Kowloon.

First thoughts:

* Don't let them cut your salary! Unless they provide a reasonable housing stipend to make up for it (our company's is HK$15K for overseas hires, which is lowish but fine)
* COL tends to be higher the first 6-12 months in a new location as you figure out where the bargains are and what works for you
* Depending on how dense a life you like, somewhere like Mongkok or East TST might be a good option for a job in TST. Mongkok has lots of quirky arts and culture options, M+ museum will be opening nearby in a few years and there are satellite events in the area now, there are good street markets and night time outdoor dining options too (if you don't mind giant cockroaches). IMO urban HK is a good place to start life in the city, though we lived offshore in a village house, and liked it at the time.
* If you're looking for seaside life with easy access to the city, Hung Hom might work too. Village life - Shatin has easy access to East TST.
* Not a lot of biking in the city; there are avid bikers on the offshore islands and rural areas.
* If kids are in the picture, expats tend to go for the island or village life
* Kowloon is 'the dark side' for expats who live in HK Island, but IMO retains the heart of HK life: lively, chaotic, with countless small-scale commercial industries, and a whiff of Triad action in Mongkok.

Enjoy the adventure!

SecretMinimalist

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2015, 05:27:42 PM »
Greetings from Hong Kong!

Firstly transportation and access to different parts of Hong Kong...

Where is Tsim Sha Tsui will you be working?  There are lots of train stations around the area (TST, East TST, Jordan, Austin, Kowloon, which serve various parts of the city so you can get anywhere.
The MTR train map is here:
http://mtr.com.hk/en/customer/jp/index.php
This also gives the cost of travelling. It's likely to be in the region of US$20 per week.
Trains are cheap and very frequent.

Also TST is served by hundreds of buses, big (Kowloon Motor Bus) and small (Green Mini buses).
Some housing developments also provide shuttle buses.
Buses are also cheap and frequent.

Taxis are also cheap.



SecretMinimalist

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2015, 05:35:37 PM »
Here's some ideas of other costs (approximated into US$)
- mobile phone (data and calls) US$20 per month per person.
- food (mostly local, not much processed or imported) US$400 per month can cover two people (you can spend a lot more)
- hairdressers (men or women) US$20 per visit if you use a local place
- eating out can vary from US$2 noodles to US$$$$$$ fancy dining
- activities can be cheap (hiking, museums, sightseeing)
- playing some sports can be good value.

If there is anything specific you or your fiancÚ would like to know, please ask.

SecretMinimalist

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2015, 05:43:50 PM »
For an idea of rental prices, you can look here:
http://www.gohome.com.hk/en/
Be aware that square footage listings usually include the apartment's share of the public areas (lift lobbies etc).

If you want to live in the urban area, TST, Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei, To Kwa Wan, Hung Hom, Olympic are probably a good place to start looking.
You'll usually need to pay half a month's rent fee to the estate agent pus one month's deposit.

If you want more space, you can look at Village houses in the New Territories. These are nearly all 3 floors of 700 square feet each, and you can rent 1,2 or 3 floors. Top floor usually gets to use the flat roof, bottom floor usually gets a yard.  Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay have many of these. For convenient access to TST, you could look around Kam Tim Station.


SecretMinimalist

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2015, 05:51:22 PM »
Some other random thoughts on living in Hong Kong...

I don't know if your fiancÚ can get a dependent visa unless you are married, but should be able to come in with no problems on a tourist visa. With a dependent visa, they are allowed to work.

Hong Kong is a very safe place. Families tend to stay out with their kids until late at night, making it fine to walk around alone without any worries.

TST is one of the busiest parts of Hong Kong, especially with all the visitors coming into the ferry terminal from Mainland China.  That can be quite full-on if you are not used to it. (And if you look like an expat, you may be pestered by suit / handbag / copy watch salesmen on your way to and from work every day). 

Left

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2015, 06:01:08 PM »
ask for a raise... the air population will push you to a more expensive "cleaner" area...
and plus asking for a raise is just better, for any reason

i liked visiting hk, but im not sure i could do the smog thing past a vacation

RuntoFIRE

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2015, 10:17:32 PM »


SecretMinimalist, thanks very much for the recs, they are super helpful to get oriented. I looked and if I move, I will be working close to TST station. What is the difference between living in the neighborhoods on the Kowloon Bay side vs. the neighborhoods on the Hong Kong Island side?

SecretMinimalist

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2015, 06:35:56 AM »
Hi RuntoFIRE
Kowloon side is generally a bit cheaper than HK side and seems to have more local people and fewer expats.  If most of your friends live HK side, and you like to stay out after the last cross-harbour train has left (around 1am) you'll need to get used to taking one of the overnight buses or a taxi, but that's not a big inconvenience. Some expats seem to think Kowloon is the "dark side" but it really isn't.

There's a lot of urban regeneration Kowloon-side so there are a lot of new residential developments as well as old places, and housing quality can vary a lot. You can, however, almost always be sure that every apartment you view will have a massive chandelier.

It's probably worth getting a serviced apartment for a month or so while you look around and see where you might like to live. Don't rule out living further away from TST. Some of the new towns/ developments can be good value but you mind find then a bit soulless - Tin Shui Wai, Ma On Shan, Tung Chung.

Or, if you fancy more villagey Hong Kong, Mui Wo on Lantau Island (accessible by Ferry rom Central, or bus from Tung Chung) is less pricey.



lifejoy

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2015, 07:04:05 AM »
Maybe have your fiancÚ read about trailing spouses? It can be hard.


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expatartist

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2015, 09:23:09 PM »
Maybe have your fiancÚ read about trailing spouses? It can be hard.

Yes - though if it's for a fixed period of time (OP said 2 years?), it usually ends up ok. Male trailing spouses can be a different dynamic than female and can find it harder...my DH is struggling as my job is the main one keeping us here, he's now unemployed, etc.

lhamo

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2015, 07:34:18 AM »
I think HK is also a fairly easy place to be a trailing spouse, all things considered.  The prevalence of English means getting around/adjusting/making friends is much easier than in places where a foreign language is totally dominant.  Lots to explore culturally as well as great outdoor options (the urban trail system is AMAZING).  Lots of expats and many other trailing spouses makes it easier to find people with common interests.  And it is just an awesome city all around.  If it weren't for the cost of housing/schooling (the same things we currently struggle with in Beijing), I'd be pushing DH hard to relocate there.   

RuntoFIRE

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2015, 01:33:03 PM »
Hi all,

Thanks again for all the great advice.

So, I did get my initial offer and I need your insight on how to think about it.

In all, on compensation, I have a salary and a housing stipend. The salary portion is about $10K lower than my salary in SF on an annual basis. However, the monthly stipend more than makes up for, to the tune of a net gain of $44K a year.

Is this a fair deal? Should I fight to keep my original salary (plus the stipend)? Or negotiate on other points? Is the stipend treated differently than salary? What am I missing here?

Thanks!

lhamo

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2015, 01:49:31 PM »
Sounds like you should come out ahead overall.

The risk in taking a salary cut is what happens if/when you move on to another company.  You will be starting from a lower base and in some companies/fields that can limit your offer.  A good/smart place will consider overall compensation, but not all do.  Some organizations (like USAID) will only allow a 10% increase over last salary.  I took a significant salary cut the last time I changed jobs -- for quality of life reasons that were worth it at the time -- and never really recovered salary-wise. 

For these reasons, if at all possible I would try to renegotiate the terms so that you at least maintain the same salary and take a reduced housing allowance.  Another benefit of this strategy is that more money stays in your pocket if you are willing to live in cheaper housing, at least if the allowance is provided on a reimbursable basis. 


klystomane

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2015, 02:17:01 PM »
I'm assuming this is USD, so you're looking at about $3.7k per month for housing? You should be able to find something very comfortable with that amount.

Oftentimes, when expats work overseas, companies prefer to provide a housing stipend instead of a higher adjusted salary as they are then able to write off a portion of it as a business expense (I'm not sure of the exact details in how they do it).

How is the housing stipend paid out? Do you just have to show receipts totaling $44k a year? Do the receipts have to specifically be rent receipts, or will the company accept a wide variety of receipts? You should clarify if it is specifically for housing, or for expenses. If it's for expenses and not JUST housing, then you're all set.

As to the comment about taking a lower salary and worrying about your next job, I would just tell the next employer what your total compensation package was and not break it down. I.E. if you're making $100k now, your move to HK would mean you're now  essentially making ($100-10)+44k = $124k - that's what I would tell them.

*Edit: My math sucks - total = $134k

yyc-phil

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2015, 02:25:58 PM »
I'm assuming this is USD, so you're looking at about $3.7k per month for housing? You should be able to find something very comfortable with that amount.

Oftentimes, when expats work overseas, companies prefer to provide a housing stipend instead of a higher adjusted salary as they are then able to write off a portion of it as a business expense (I'm not sure of the exact details in how they do it).

How is the housing stipend paid out? Do you just have to show receipts totaling $44k a year? Do the receipts have to specifically be rent receipts, or will the company accept a wide variety of receipts? You should clarify if it is specifically for housing, or for expenses. If it's for expenses and not JUST housing, then you're all set.

As to the comment about taking a lower salary and worrying about your next job, I would just tell the next employer what your total compensation package was and not break it down. I.E. if you're making $100k now, your move to HK would mean you're now  essentially making ($100-10)+44k = $124k - that's what I would tell them.

*Edit: My math sucks - total = $134k

+1 about "total compensation" when discussing remuneration with a future employer. I am not familiar with the US tax system when you work abroad. Will a portion of your income be tax-free? What about the housing allowance? This being said, if I were offered a similar deal to do more or less the same job but in HK, I'd accept the offer in a heartbeat.

SecretMinimalist

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2015, 04:36:02 PM »
Many companies structure their compensation packages to have part of it as a housing allowance for tax reasons. Have a look at the HK Inland revenue department if you want to know more about it
http://m.www.gov.hk/en/residents/taxes/salaries/salariestax/chargeable/residence.htm

If you are married, HK Inland Revenue assesses you together and separately for tax and let's you choose which one is better for you.  So if your partner isn't working you can claim their tax free allowance of HK$120,000 per year.




SecretMinimalist

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2015, 04:40:07 PM »
Other random financial stuff...
You will have HK$1500 taken out of your salary each month to put into a Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) (a pension). Your company will match the payment. Your company will choose the MPF provider (HSBC, Manulife, etc) but you can choose the funds your money is allocated to.
If you leave HK permanently, you can withdraw the money.

RuntoFIRE

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2015, 11:52:23 AM »
Hi guys,

I spoke to HR last night and figured out that my salary is actually staying the same- I wasn't counting in the 13th month payment that I guess is a thing in Hong Kong (kind of like a guaranteed bonus?).

With the above, the offer looks awesome, I will be basically making more due to the stipend. I have a few more things to work out (extra trip back home for my fiance's and mine non-Mustachian wedding) and a few more days off than offered for the same, but otherwise I am pretty set :)

Will let you know how it goes. Relocation should be end of Jan/beginning of Feb.

Cromacster

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2015, 12:16:58 PM »
I agree with others, if you are moving for work they should be paying you more and a housing stipend.  I would almost hardline this, unless you really really want to go.  I would not let them lower your salary.

TST is one of the busiest parts of Hong Kong, especially with all the visitors coming into the ferry terminal from Mainland China.  That can be quite full-on if you are not used to it. (And if you look like an expat, you may be pestered by suit / handbag / copy watch salesmen on your way to and from work every day).

Haha my experience with the salesmen in TST. 

Salesman "Watch? suit?, how bout a nice watch? hash? Watch for you?"

Me "wait a damn minute, what was the last one?"
« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 12:19:05 PM by Cromacster »

SecretMinimalist

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2015, 04:59:40 PM »
Hi guys,

I spoke to HR last night and figured out that my salary is actually staying the same- I wasn't counting in the 13th month payment that I guess is a thing in Hong Kong (kind of like a guaranteed bonus?).

With the above, the offer looks awesome, I will be basically making more due to the stipend. I have a few more things to work out (extra trip back home for my fiance's and mine non-Mustachian wedding) and a few more days off than offered for the same, but otherwise I am pretty set :)

Will let you know how it goes. Relocation should be end of Jan/beginning of Feb.

Chinese New Year public holidays are 8, 9 and 10 February in 2016.  Most workers (estate agents etc) will be spending time with family then, so I'd suggest flat hunting after those dates.  Or find somewhere before then but be prepared to sort it out quickly as people tend not to like having outstanding business transactions (money owed or owing) going into the Chinese New Year.

The 13th month payment is often paid around Chinese New Year.  It's handy for paying your tax (you have to pay some of the next year's in advance each year) and for Lai See (lucky money you give to subordinate staff and younger family members - married people are supposed to pay it. Expats can get away without paying but a token amount is always welcome).

lhamo

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2015, 05:20:59 PM »
You might want to Air BnB it for awhile when you first arrive.  Some friends of mine did that when relocating from Beijing, and they found it really helpful in terms of allowing them to get a sense of what different neighborhoods were like.  It also allows you more room to cook, etc., over living in a hotel.  THough the street food in HK is awesome....

expatartist

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2015, 05:22:07 PM »
Hello and glad to hear you'll be taking the plunge!
Housing stipends may be taxed I believe at a lower rate than salaries, check with HR.

Your housing allowance should get you something very nice by HK standards, maybe reasonable by SF standards ;) We adjusted to living in small spaces and I find our large flat now too big.

PS: I've applied for a transfer to HK for next August, if it goes through perhaps we can all have a HK MMM meetup.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 06:09:46 PM by expatartist »

MMMaybe

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2015, 05:36:56 PM »
It is definitely possible. I lived in HK for 4 years and hope to return.

Your biggest expense will be housing. Of course you could spend all kinds of money chasing an expat lifestyle as well but housing is the big one. You can save money by choosing to live in a smaller place, further out or in one of the old style "tong lau" walk up apartments. We lived in one for 2 years. It actually wasn't bad and we had thighs of steel after climbing all those stairs.

There are plenty of expats there who are not on big money or who prefer a more simple lifestyle. So cheap activities abound. Hiking is great. There are beaches and loads of other low cost things to do. So another important thing to do, is to find some MMM style company.

chesebert

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #33 on: November 26, 2015, 07:43:55 AM »
Hi all,

Thanks again for all the great advice.

So, I did get my initial offer and I need your insight on how to think about it.

In all, on compensation, I have a salary and a housing stipend. The salary portion is about $10K lower than my salary in SF on an annual basis. However, the monthly stipend more than makes up for, to the tune of a net gain of $44K a year.

Is this a fair deal? Should I fight to keep my original salary (plus the stipend)? Or negotiate on other points? Is the stipend treated differently than salary? What am I missing here?

Thanks!

Depending on where you want to live. I dragged my family there for 2 years in 2010 and we were spending $4000 per month for a 800sqft 3bd apartment. When we left in 2012, the landlord wanted to increase to $4300. I'm sure now the rent just be well over $4500 per month. I don't know the COL in San Fran but I thought paying anywhere close to that for less than 1000sqft is quite crazy.

While working in HK, you prepay a year worth of income tax. This is unlike the US system where you pay prior year tax the following year. I had to take out a personal tax loan (and this is common in HK) to pay he first year tax as I wasn't prepared this immediate cash need. Also given there is no withholding requirement you will need to budge and save (in cash) accordingly.

Also, can you speak Cantonese? Are you Asian looking? White folks generally get treated well by the locals, even better if you can bust out some Cantonese.

Good luck!

RuntoFIRE

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2016, 07:24:24 AM »
Hi all,

An update on HK- I have taken the offer and am figuring out where to live. We are in HK right now looking at different housing options and neighborhoods.

One mistake I made in my previous posts is saying the office was in TST. It is actually in Kwun Tong. The relocation people that we are working with seem to want to push us towards living in or around Central or Sheung Wan. Is this a good idea? I am worried about the long commute and living in a fancy neighborhood. Any other neighborhoods we should be thinking about that would be convenient to the green line? We want to live in a neighborhood that has easy access to the outdoors, that is convenient but not necessarily built on top of a shopping mall (as a lot of developments new Kwun Tong seem to be).

Any advice would be welcome. Thanks in advance!

expatartist

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2016, 05:37:59 PM »
Anywhere with easy access to the Kwun Tong 'red line' should be good for your commute, ideally with no transfers or buses involved. Most expats prefer Central & Sheung Wan has gotten hip though still remains a better value. Personally I prefer parts of HK which are a bit less unilaterally anglo-american westernized, but the Central area will make a seamless transition for you.

SecretMinimalist

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Re: Living the MMM life in Hong Kong
« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2016, 06:04:16 PM »
This is probably a bit late now, but you might want to look at Clearwater Bay (there is a public minibus - number 103M - from there to Kwun Tong). It has great access to the outdoors (hiking trails and beach on your doorstep) and is only 15 minutes by bus to an MTR station.
You can 1,2 or 3 floors of a village house depending on your space requirements and budget.

Good luck with your house hunting!