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I'm moving to Hong Kong, help!

(24 Posts)
LemonySmithit Wed 27-Apr-16 12:39:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShanghaiDiva Wed 27-Apr-16 14:18:30

I am in China, not HK. What support is the school offering in terms of accommodation? Teachers at the school my children attend have accommodation provided for them and don't have to look for anywhere themselves. Pehaps your school has a similar policy.
Banking - ime your employer needs to help with opening an account in terms of guaranteeing that you are employed in the country, have the necessary visa and confirming that you will be receiving a salary.

LemonySmithit Wed 27-Apr-16 14:36:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Farandole Wed 27-Apr-16 15:41:32

Hi! I'm also moving to HK, let's do this together (although I'm twice your age 😄). When is your move date? I assume a few weeks before the next school year?

Where is the school? As this will determine where you should live.

We opened an HSBC account in the UK. As I understand it, once you have an HSBC account it is easy to transfer to a local HSBC account in HK.

What will you be teaching?

It's normal to feel overwhelmed. But you are very brave to do this so young, it will be a great adventure!

LemonySmithit Wed 27-Apr-16 16:12:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

citychick Wed 27-Apr-16 16:13:06

Welcome to Hong Kong! (Almost)

I'm here.

Speak to the school about taxes. However, it's not PAYE here. You need to submit your own return. So you need to make allowances for that.

Accommodation - massively over priced, tiny apartments. Depending on your budget. Usual story, the further out you go, you might get a bit more room. Might.

Old buildings , bit bigger. New buildings are smaller but often have a clubhouse /swimming pool facility too.

Western food can be pricey, but if you are happy with the local eats, can do for less money. Lots of sport around. It's a very competitive atmosphere in all aspects of life.

I am sure you and your husband will have a wonderful time. There are a few mumsnetters here.

You will need air on and a dehumidifier in your flat. Especially Spring Summer!

It's late here, so I am off for the evening. Feel free to ask any questions! is a website u might find helpful. Especially for second hand items. Gumtree equivalent.

Is the school putting you up for a few weeks til you find somewhere to live?

Good luck!

leotwist Wed 27-Apr-16 16:29:36

Hey LemonySmithit, I went to work in the Middle East when I was about your age, on a bit of a wing and a prayer. Lived on my own, tho' had some family connections as well. Scary at first but, looking back, no regrets. It was one of the best things I ever did, and led to future jobs in South Africa and the USA too. See websites like ExpatNet and TransitionsAbroad for advice & contacts. Great that your husband's willing to go too. Hope you're excited and end up enjoying it all as much as I did! Good luck!

Farandole Wed 27-Apr-16 17:00:51

Have a look on squarefoot, it lists all the flats and letting agents for Hong Kong. Be prepared for pokey flats, bizarre photos, brutal or long expired listings, and narrow down your search area to places that connect easily to your work (there are several MTR lines and loads of buses).

Get an Octopus card, like an Oyster card but you can use it in most shops as a touch and go.

I'm spending a lot of time in HK for work at the moment and having a very positive experience. The locals are very welcoming, and the expat community even more so. The weather is weird though - heavy clouds most of the time, and never sunny. I don't mind as even the rain is warm. <never liked the cold, and I'm Canadian, so I know what I'm talking about>

If you can dig out where the school is, I'm sure we can help with where to live. I've spent untold hours on property websites for the last six months!

Start planning your first holiday to Vietnam , Japan, Cambodia, China. It wil give you a sense of purpose.

LemonySmithit Wed 27-Apr-16 22:18:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Farandole Thu 28-Apr-16 00:49:57

Salary tax in Hong Kong is 15%.

Is the school close to HFC station? If so this gives you quite a few options on where to live. The MTR (metro) is very cheap.

What is your budget for renting?

citychick Thu 28-Apr-16 01:24:20

Re accommodation.
Here is a contact.
Tony is English and helped us find our apartment.
Tony lawlor
Phone 852 3115 7601
Mobile 852 9126 3358

Lifestyle property hk

Local estate agents will potentially lead you a merry jig and you could end up having overspent and feeling duped.

Tony will help you find what you want.
Heng fa chuen is towards the end of the island line on the MTR. Properties may well be a bit cheaper. But you might also find it too local to begin with. A nice mix is the best way to start.

Lots of nice walks out that way and HK is quite small so if you do end up living close to work, getting home from a night out on the tiles won't cost much.


Laptopwieldingharpy Thu 28-Apr-16 14:32:27

HFC is an easy train ride for fun in central and an equally easy bus ride through the nature park down to the beaches southside.
The best of both worlds.

LemonySmithit Thu 28-Apr-16 18:14:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Laptopwieldingharpy Fri 29-Apr-16 00:40:33

Start looking at to reconcile budget and expectations. Will they pit you up for a few weeks when you get here? You should plan 2-4weeks for the process and you won't be able to sign a lease anyway until your visas are sorted.
Remember you need a 2 month deposit and a bit more for furnishing so make sure your finances are aligned.
There are a couple of FB pages where you can buy second hand household items and even one for free stuff.

It is a beautiful day! HK has lots to offer. All the outdoor activities certainly make up for the small living space and your are opening up a lot of possibilities with this on your resume!
What kind of work will your DH be looking for?
All the best!

NisekoWhistler Tue 03-May-16 15:00:15

We moved to Hk 2 years ago and absolutely love it! It might not ever feel like this when you're in the uk at the moment but HK is one of the easiest places to settle. All expats I meet seem to say the same. I also know few teachers at intl schools.
It's getting late now so I'm kind of place marking. Happy to help you with absolutely any questions at all.
As it happens I'm pregnant so we'll be moving out of our (rented) gorgeous 1 bed this summer. We live in tin Hau which we have loved and may very well stay in the same area just depends what we can find.
Bye for now

TheCuriousOwl Sat 07-May-16 00:23:36

Nothing much useful to add except that I went to HK earlier in the year and fell totally in love with it, hence reading the threads on here and dreaming of going back! Such a great place.

MangosteenSoda Wed 11-May-16 14:33:33

I'm guessing you are going to be working at a private language school/tutorial centre English Excel Is your DH looking for similar work? With a degree, it's pretty easy to come by.

The money will be just enough, but if both of you are working then you will have enough money to live on and have some fun in Asia.

Accommodation is poor quality and expensive. I think your best bets are a flat share somewhere on the island (you get a fair number of couples in flat shares) or one floor of a village house in Sai Kung (700 sqare feet). If you want to have a fun party time and be in the thick of it, then try for the island. If you want more private space, go for Sai Kung. The commute to Heng Fa Chuen is ok and Sai Kung town can be a fun little place. It's not hard to go out in Central/Wan Chai when you feel like it.

KeyserSophie Wed 11-May-16 14:42:50

If it is EE they will do your tax for you. You won't actually have to pay any as you won't earn enough but they sort that out - I know this as my sister used to work there. Most people in English centres do tutoring on the side as well, but wait a few months till you establish what the "overlook" factor is.

MangosteenSoda Wed 11-May-16 15:47:21

I've never heard of a small company doing tax for employees in HK. Basically, you just fill in your tax return at the end of the tax year and then pay the bill which can be done in a couple of instalments. Returns are filed around now and taxes paid around January I think. It's very easy and simple to do. You can do the filing online- simple form and pay the bill through an atm machine.

I assume the company is offering to hold back 15% of salary each month to make sure the employee has enough money to pay the tax bill, but unless you are atrocious at budgeting you shouldn't need that. Obviously, it benefits the employer to keep hold of more money for longer. I'd rather keep hold of it myself until I need to pay it!

The personal allowance here is around 120k, so you should need to pay tax, but it won't be a lot. If your husband is not working, then you get his allowance too.

All of this info should be on the HK inland revenue website.

citychick Thu 12-May-16 05:27:56

i agree re accommodation.
dh came home last night and was telling me that a couple he was chatting to have recently moved and were up late scrubbing the place clean. landlords don't seem to bother with leaving their properties professionally clean for the next tenants.
after leaving our London home spotless we were horrified at what we came across
keep an open mind!

KeyserSophie Thu 12-May-16 10:41:47

As a reference point, my sister pays HK$10k/mth in Mongkok (i.e. off the island). It's a "vibrant" but hectic and unposh bit of HK- it's convenient though as near all the markets, on the MTR line onto the island and loads of bus routes. Her apartment is seriously minute. Open the front door directly into living space that includes a kitchen, a bathroom which is basically a toilet with a shower attachment and a bedroom that just fits a std double bed. The second bedroom is effectively a cupboard.

KeyserSophie Thu 12-May-16 10:45:56

Also, re tax, yes the personal allowance is $120k but nearly every year there's a "special" where lower earners effectively get out of paying any tax- so one year they said anyone who owed less than $12k in tax didn't have to pay, another year, they gave one off additional allowance etc. I am not a low earner by HK standards and my effective tax rate is usually closer to 8%. I think if you fall into the "nothing owed" bracket some companies effectively testify that to the IR and then they dont send you a tax demand. However, yes, it probably varies a lot but dont stress about it- just clarify with your employer when you arrive- i.e. will they be making any deductions and if so, for what?

LemonySmithit Sat 18-Jun-16 21:47:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Laptopwieldingharpy Sun 19-Jun-16 14:04:52

Farandole just posted, see her thread.

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