5 living tips for Hong Kong ex-pats

Hong Kong is one of the leading destinations for people looking to start fresh. This vibrant and dynamic city is unique in Asia, as it combines the Western and Eastern cultures to create something new and beautiful. It’s also one of the world’s leading financial centers, serving to create an affluent, culture-rich atmosphere in very pleasant living quarters. It should be no surprise that Hong Kong is a place with a very high cost of living. The one way to make sure your stay here is successful is to take on the wisdom of the people that came before you. Read on to find the top 5 pieces of advice from ex-pats in Hong Kong.

A working lifestyle

Whether good or bad, the people here are intensely focused on doing their best work, even if it takes them working overtime to complete it. Get used to long days and longer evenings, as you then reward yourself with a nice late dinner or massage. The heaps of international companies, combined with global talent and high costs of living, makes Hong Kong a very competitive place, where you need to put in the effort to succeed. On the other hand, that’s precisely what makes the successes so rewarding. The competition is healthy as it drives people to do their best and push the limits of what they think they can do.


Once you have decided to live in Hong Kong, you need to think about where you’re going to stay, at least for the first little while. The main tradeoff is typically between large brand name shops, proximity to all the entertainment and between a more affordable cost of living. Keep in mind that the farther you get from The Island, the more you’re going to need a working knowledge of Cantonese, as fewer and fewer people will know English. The way to get a good deal as an ex-pat then is to look into serviced apartments in Hong Kong. These will typically offer great deals, without needing to commit to anything immediately. There are a large variety of neighborhoods to explore, each with its unique features you have to see for yourself before you settle somewhere.


Get an Octopus card. It allows you to use all public travel without any difficulties; you can tap in and out. You can also load up extra money and use it to pay for meals or drinks at cafés, so you can even leave your cash at home. It makes Hong Kong’s already excellent public transportation options even better and more affordable. At the same time, if you’re far too used of having your own space, look into buying yourself a car here. The second hand cars HK prices here are insanely low, and if you browse the used cars Hong Kong section online, you will find new brands and cars in excellent condition going for a meager price.


The food here is phenomenal. Be sure to check out everything and anything you can get your hands on before deciding on your favorite. The food stalls and restaurants you’ll find packed everywhere have a great variety. You can find here different food from practically anywhere in the world, so broaden your horizons and reap the reward. Even picky eaters will be persuaded to try things and end up liking them.

Being practical

First and foremost, get your Hong Kong ID card and carry it with you at all times. Open a local bank account, as it will help you save money in the long run. Don’t be afraid to meet people – in such a large city, you’re bound to find likeminded people that can share their advice and offer help, should you need it. Invest in air purifiers and de-humidifiers – to ensure a much healthier level of air quality and prevent the spread of mold. Finally, don’t bring much furniture – the apartments and Hong Kong property tend to be somewhat smaller than you’re likely used to.

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