Have you been posted as expatiate by your company, consulate, or want to enter Hong Kong with an investment visa? All the stories you have read on Hong Kong are about to become a reality. From the sky crappers that occupy every part of the island to the lovely sunset when on the 36th floor of a tall building, everything is truly magnificent. In this post, we provide you with a guide on living in Hong Kong to make your transition easy and enjoyable.
Hong Kong is an island with a total area of 426 sq m. However, pressure for more land has resulted to the progressive reclamation of additional land from the sea. Its population stands at slightly over seven million people that make it one of the world’s most densely populated areas. Over 95% of the population in Hong Kong is Chinese while the remaining 5% comprises of Indonesians, Philippines, Indians, and those from western countries such as Australia, the US, and the UK.
A brief history of Hong Kong and common facts you should know
Well, you are not jumping into an abyss! It is critical to know some facts about Hong Kong in order to get the appropriate attachment with it. Hong Kong was established as a British colony during the first Opium War in 1842. Though it was only confined to the island prior to the annexation, Britain expanded it to Kowloon Peninsula. After more than 150 years under British rule, Hong Kong was reunited with China in 1997 and operates as a Special Administrative Region.
Because of huge influence during the 150 years under Britain, it has become a region where the local and western cultures meet. In one way or another, Hong Kong has managed to balance the confluence of West with local culture to emerge as a unique and irresistible place for holiday, business, and holiday.
In comparison to other cities in Asia, Hong Kong is ranked the third most expensive after Seoul and Tokyo. The most expensive items are schooling for kids, food, and accommodation. This is because most of the food is imported and accommodation facilities are relatively limited.
When living in Hong Kong, you will appreciate the fact that it is a financial hub with top financial institutions having their operations there. From Citibank to Barclays and others, you can expect to walk into an institution familiar to you back at home. Note that though it is part of China, the main language is English because of long history under Britain and most of the companies are multinationals from the west.
What is it like to work in Hong Kong?
Unlike other countries in the Far East, everything is done in English. Government communication is done in both Cantonese and English so that foreign workers do not have a lot of issues. In fact, many people from the Mainland China still find it difficult to communicate because of the dialect variation.
Crucial concepts such as Feng Shui are factored with depth in everything such that businesses that do not master it risk failing. Other important components include Ba Gua (mirrors) that local people believe it helps to deflect devils. Therefore, it is not unlikely to get some buildings lacking entire 4th floor because the number means “die’ in local Cantonese.
The Hong Kong climate
Living in Hong Kong brings you face-to-face with a subtropical climate characterized by hot and humid summer with regular showers. Besides, typhoons are common in Hong Kong, and the government releases the warning about two weeks earlier so that schools, some government offices, and even businesses remain closed for safety.
Unlike summer’s, winters are mild though they occasionally bring strong cold winds. Every year, you should expect an average of 1,948 hours of Sunshine.
Hong Kong Healthcare system
People living in Hong Kong have access to some of the best medical facilities. The island has about 13 private hospitals and 50 more public hospitals. Once a resident has been issued with a Hong Kong ID card, he/she can access cheap and quality health care from all public hospitals. Many people with top multinationals usually receive the best treatment because they are heavily insured.
Membership clubs in Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, the common trend is joining a membership club that provides top quality dining, recreational, and other social services. Expatriates find members clubs more enjoyable because they are able to link with others from back home or even make good friends. Besides, they are also entertaining to give people some relieve from busy work schedules.
Hong Kong current
Now that you are living in Hong Kong, you have to learn how to use the local currency. The HK$ is available in coins of 5$, 2$ pieces, or 50c, 20c, and 10c. It is also available in notes of 1000$, 500$, 100$, 50$, and 20$. The average value of HK$ to the US$ is about 7.8. To know the nearest value of an item priced in HK$, simply divide the figure by 8.
Living in Hong Kong can be truly enjoyable because all the systems from transport networks to healthcare systems are very effective. Besides, the local people are very hospitable and welcoming. However, you must get contented with the high cost of food, accommodation and schooling for children.
It is, therefore, critical that people living in Hong Kong adapt appropriately and learn the way of life to enjoy every moment of the stay.