What I wish I Knew Before Going to Hong Kong

There has been a draw for people from all parts of the world to make the move to Hong Kong. From Students who want to study abroad, a young graduate looking for entry level professional opportunities or families with business opportunities. Whatever your background Hong Kong makes for an ideal living metropolis. However, any move takes some adjusting to, and if you are coming from Europe or North America you’ll notice some definite changes, however subtle they may be.

 

The mega city is an efficient one. The people, the transport, government and all facets of infrastructure just seem to flow. So while no place is perfect, the transition to Hong Kong for most is an easy one. I made the move from the US to Hong Kong a few years back and found it pretty seamless, but there are still a few things I wish I knew. So here they are.

 

Language

There are two official languages in Hong Kong, Cantonese and English. Ideally, you’ll know at least some of the latter. It’s not difficult to get through day to day life with only knowing English. That said, Cantonese is very helpful and some areas of the city speak no English at all. If you intend to stay in Hong Kong and make it a temporary home, it’s worth learning a bit of the language. Finding a tutor in Hong Kong is an easy and fast way of grasping the language.

 

Climate and Air Quality

The weather in Hong Kong is sub-tropical. This means hot, muggy and humid from May to September. This is when most of the rain and thunderstorms roll in. It is also when the typhoons happen. Hong Kong is hit with a big typhoon every so often. From October – April the weather is hot and sunny with less humidity. The air quality in Hong Kong is often not great though. Smog and air pollution advisory occur regularly. It has improved in recent years but is still something to take precautions with.  

 

Cost of Living

You may have heard, Hong Kong has some of the highest real estate prices in the world. Often compared with cities like Vancouver, Singapore, and Paris. This is going to eat up the majority of your money and you’ll need to expect that even at a high rental rate you won’t get that much space. Thankfully other costs in the city like food, transport and amenities are more reasonably priced and comparable or cheaper than other major cities.