Now don’t get us wrong, Hong Kong is a very intriguing and exciting expat destination, but there are a few things you should know about it before you head off to live in this dynamic city.
Hong Kong 101 for foreigners
Hong Kong: An expensive expat destination
Hong Kong is known as ‘the Pearl of the Orient’ and is a truly fascinating place where East and West meet and complement each other well. It is also home to people from all over the globe and includes expats from Britain, Canada, the UK, Australia and the USA. But a recent Mercer survey has named it the most expensive city in the world, especially for expats. So before you immigrate, have a look at the cost of housing, education, transport and healthcare and make sure your expat budget can comfortably cover it.
Hong Kong: Where work never stops
Hong Kong is known for its competitive workplace where most professional people burn the midnight oil to keep up with the competition. A work-life balance is not something anyone can afford and this is so embedded in Hong Kong’s culture, it’s not uncommon to see commuters sleeping in public, on their way back from work. This fast pace and extensive overtime isn’t something many western expats adapt to easily, so bear this in mind before accepting an expat position in Hong Kong
Hong Kong: Where air pollution is problematic
The air pollution is sometimes so bad in Hong Kong it’s difficult to see the tops of buildings. A haze can cover the entire city for days. This is largely the result of emissions from power plants and car fumes and is exacerbated during the hot, humid summer months. It is not a destination for expats who suffer from asthma or reoccurring respiratory disorders.
Hong Kong: Home to Typhoons
Hong Kong falls within the typhoon zone and while locals might be used to these serious storms, expats can find them rather overwhelming. Typhoons arrive between the months of May and October and if you receive a level 8 to 10 warning you are advised to stay indoors and well away from the sea.
Hong Kong: A source of street scams
Hong Kong is renowned for its many street scams, which can even involve foreigners. Scams can range from time-share scams to electronic scams where you are drawn into a store with very low prices, only to discover your desired item is out of stock. When you leave you’ll have purchased a ‘similar’ item, only to discover it is an inferior product.
But before your write Hong Kong off your list of expat destinations, remember it also boasts excellent infrastructure, first-class education and healthcare. It is also a country rich with heritage and culture.
If Hong Kong appeals to you and you feel like moving abroad, talk to finglobal.com about your financial needs. Simply leave your details and we’ll call you for a no-obligation consultation.
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