Hong Kong is increasingly becoming a popular expat destination, with a rising number of expatriates moving to the city each year. High levels of safety, a thriving jobs market and entertainment are some of the reasons why families and young professionals are settling on a long term basis.If you are considering moving, here are a few top tips for moving to Hong Kong.
One of our tips for moving to Hong Kong is to get The Octopus. In Hong Kong, The Octopus AKA ‘The Pus’ is a smart card that can be used on all forms of transport and also to buy food, clothes, coffees and collect redemption points. You can also link the pus to your credit card. If you are moving to Hong Kong, you will want to ensure you have the card with you at all times.
The cuisine is varied and full of flavor. You may recognize famous dishes such as Peking duck pancake, chow Mein and shrimp fried rice but there will also be plenty of exotic foods and delicacy’s you have never even heard of. Popular snacks include, abalone which is a large sea snail, fried pigeon tongue and jellyfish tentacles. It’s safe to buy fruit and vegetables from the markets but avoid buying meat products as they often aren’t what they appear to be. When it comes to dinning at restaurants its custom for dishes to be shared with your friends or family.
Another of our tips for moving to Hong Kong is to looking into understanding the language as early as you can. Cantonese isn’t an easy language to learn but if you are moving it’s important that you at least master the basics. Realistically anything from 5-7 years of learning is what it will take to be able to hold fluent conversations. It’s advisable that you enroll on a full language course years in advance of your move. A great way to support your learning is to travel to the region prior to your move as this will give you time to practice and to get comfortable speaking with locals.
There are wonderful mountains and hiking trails to explore but always be aware of what could be hiding in the grass. There are over 50 species of snakes in the region with many of them poisonous. Aside from being careful it’s best to make the most of China’s natural beauty. There are lots of hot springs scattered all over the country and China’s equivalent of Hawaii is the Island of Hainan (about an hour’s flight from Hong Kong), and has nice clean white sandy beaches.
Christmas and Easter will not be the same in China as they are not celebrated. There are expat parties in expat areas that celebrate the events, however they are fairly low key. Instead, it’s best that you immerse yourself into local Chinese culture. Most expats tend to take the opportunity to return back to their homelands during the Chinese holidays. The highlights of the year are the Chinese New Year at the end of January (it’s China’s equivalent to Christmas) and the Mid-Autumn Festival in the first week of October. There is also the May Day holiday in the first week of May.
If you would like more tips for moving to Hong Kong click here for our Hong Kong destination guide.