At the time my children were 7 and 11 years of age and we had our little dog too. The community is convenient to the International school walking distance , close to Stanley market and Central. The entire infield is available for romping around. Even if there are contests going on there's plenty of grass to play on. Discovery Bay would work for the kids but the International school there has a long waiting list I am told. Spouses must enjoy hanging out at the club if they do not intend to work because that's where most of the social life is.
The commute is a hassle but the boats leave frequently in the morning and evenings. As I recall it was about a 45 minute boat ride to Central with walking or bussing time on either end, it can take an hour and a half easily portal to portal. I hated it, but I don't have kids. If you travel a lot it's better now because the airport is on the same island, a short bus trip. The real hassle is if you want to do something late in the city. An expat in Hong Kong advised, "Go through an expat agency as opposed to a local agency as the expats agencies tend to understand what Westerners are looking for in accommodation.
Local agencies seem not to understand certain requirements. I went through three separate local real estate agencies and asked to see 4 bedroom apartments and I was shown one bedrooms with walk in alcoves, two bedrooms and three bedrooms. This is not a language thing but they kept suggesting that we could just squeeze in and I had a hard time explaining that my list of criteria was not really negotiable. And there are also lots of charities that welcome volunteers. These are great ways to meet people and stay active," suggested an expat living in Hong Kong.
We have found it hard to get into the local scene here. However the expat scene is very tight. All expats we have met have been very accepting of differences and open to new people. Language can be a barrier to getting to know local people.
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You can get around very easy just knowing English but you will have a harder time getting yourself in the local culture without knowing the language. I can't really say what the average cost is, as there is a large range depending on the neighborhood and size of the apartment.
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But it is much higher even than, for example, NYC. Most companies will subsidize housing, at least partially, even if you are a local hire," described an expat living in Hong Kong. They have several campuses, starting from pre-school age, all in Kowloon. Their website is ycis-hk.
Read reviews of international schools in Hong Kong submitted by expats. Plus, it's fun to have furniture custom-made here, so you will want to be able to have room for that! DO bring your beds and bed linens, though. Leave all of your appliances in the USA - you'll need a transformer to work them and it's not worth it," advised an expat in Hong Kong.
Another expat submitted a detailed list of items to bring to Hong Kong due to high local prices or lack of availability. I feel comfortable to walk the streets at any time. The police to population ratio is very high and the crime rate consequently low.
Moving to Hong Kong: a checklist
It also helps that alcohol is not a big problem here, although sadly, it is increasing," wrote an expat in a moving to Hong Kong report. However, it becomes clear that household help gives the family much more free time to experience Asia and adapt to Hong Kong's busy life style. The vast majority of domestic helpers are female and Filipina, although Thai, Chinese known as amahs , Indonesian, Sri Lankan and Indian helpers are also employed.
The staff number should not be below 5 with the staff speaking the languages of the maids they hire. Offices need to be well set up and organized and inquiries need to be promptly dealt with in a friendly and efficient manner," explains Jacqueline Reischel in her article, Tips on Employing Domestic Helpers in Asia.
They can easily stand face to face, back to face face to back in order to get somewhere. On a train, bus and elevator they will kindly pack the area of standing only to get to where they want to go without getting upset," described an expat in Kwun Tong. Another expat said, "Mid-Levels is way too crowded and polluted for a family of four to live in. Besides, I would go crazy after only one week having to deal with all those escalators and stairs!
Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. Travel news: Places to stay and play. Fun things to do in Hong Kong. International Arts Carnival 5 July - 18 August. Top things to do in Hong Kong and best places to visit. Guide to Living in Hong Kong and where to live. Living in Hong Kong.
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