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Possibly relocating to Hong Kong with 1yo(9 Posts)
DH is due to have talks with work this week about a position in Hong Kong, any ideas on where to start looking in terms of research, areas, rental property, nurseries, childcare? All seems a bit overwhelming at the moment with no idea where to start so would appreciate some advice from those that have made the move from the UK with young babies. Thanks
I would say young babies are easier to move than older children, as although you will miss their nct/baby group buddies (and I moved overseas (not to HK) when DD1 was 16 months old) actually emotionally it is less upsetting for the children.
We're in HK now, and there are a few MNers here also...although perhaps everyone's been away enjoying travel in Asia over Christmas, hence the silence.
There's a web site called geoexpat and take a look at sassy mama to get an idea of what is out there. You won't need to worry about schools yet (!!!) and will be able to enjoy live-in help which, although not necessarily the uncomplicated joy it sounds, does mean you have more freedom than in UK.
Lots of choice about where to live, especially without having to decide based on where you get a school place. To give you an idea mid-levels for a feel of the city, southside for a more beach lifestyle, new territories for more space...there are outlying islands with expat communities...there is somewhere for everyone depending on your priorities and budget.
Living space will most probably be smaller than UK, rent is eye-watering. Personal experience for me is three/four times London. Health care is excellent...public hospital a&e lacks the queues and drunks of UK, and if you have insurance then private healthcare is dream like.
Life is expensive...petrol, cars, groceries, clothes...all much more than UK, and although tax is less, HK is far far more expensive than UK but it is safe. It is clean.
Expats are friendly...everyone knows what it feels like to be new, so people very open to meeting for a coffee.
We won't live here forever, but it is a great experience.
Thanks for the reply mummysaysno very reassuring, hopefully we will know more today from DH work, fingers crossed, all sounds very exciting, thanks
Don't live on Kowloon, the mainland as its run down and dreary. Go for the main island, much nicer and more to do. That's it really. I have small one's but haven't been back to Hong Kong for a long time (HUGE expat community etc).
As you haven't been back in a while Anon then you wouldn't know that Kowloon ( which encompasses huge diverse communities) is the choice of lot of happy expats these days
OP if you search on these boards you will find lots of info about HK. I know I have answered a few questions like this in depth. If you have any more specific questions then feel free to PM me. HK is a wonderful place to live. All moves are hard at first and you never think you have chosen the right area/ apartment/ school etc. you need a ore visit to get a feel for the different areas and all that they offer.
Where you live will hinge on your housing - its small and expensive do you need a good package from work which includes a generous allowance- and by that I mean Suss out rent not what sounds good for uk!
We have many friends there with babies- several nationalities
It's safe friendly and easy to get about
Housing is scary if you're paying for all your own but Tavel child are wtc are cheap and food is as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be
Flights vary in price but the times and 13 he overnight flight makes for easy visits to/from home...
I'd do it
I've worked in Hk for years in and out but just meet actually got round to moving there!!
We moved here 2 years ago with 2 dc who are now 5 and almost 3. We love it. Yes accommodation is expensive, but then tax is very low so it balances out. If you have help (which most people do), then life can be great. It's easy to meet people, loads on for kids, a great gateway to the rest of Asia, safe and full of fab things to do - beaches, restaurants, museums etc... We are here for the long haul as our quality of life is so good.
Your priorities should be housing budget, then schools. Nurseries don't exist as we have in the UK, but helpers do, so that's childcare sorted. If your dc are above 2 yrs 8 months then they can go to unaccompanied pre-school and there are some great options to chose from - Woodlands, Tutor Time and Baby Buddies to name a few. If they are younger, then all activities are accompanied, but there is loads of choice.
Most popular expat areas - Mid Levels, Southside, Happy Valley, Clearwater Bay, Sai Kung and Discovery Bay. All have their pluses and minuses - just depends what lifestyle you are after! Have a look here www.thehkhub.com - tons of useful info to help you in your decision making.
Best of luck, it really is a great place to live! PM if you want any specifics answering - happy to help.
There's some great tips here and I'm biased (as I work for them!) but sassy mama is a great resource as we have contributors for almost every topic.
Also topschools site for education info, asiaexpat for classifieds, geoexpat and geobaby for meet ups, HK Moms Facebook group for everything parenting-related and our sister site sassy for bars and restaurants!
We've just moved back after 18 months in Shanghai and HK feels like home to us. Feel free to PM me for any info!
Ooh am what a fab age/life-stage for HK! Unless you're used to/enjoy buggy-pushing around central London or equivalent, i'd strongly recommend DB- best of both worlds, space, greenery and fast boat to town. I love mid/levels but cant imagine life w babe there.
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