British expat shares advice for life in ‘beautiful’ Hong Kong- ‘costs more than you think’

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It is estimated that there are around 350,000 British citizens living in Hong Kong. Many British expats work in financial services.

Hong Kong has a population of about 7.5 million and the people speak Cantonese, English and Mandarin.

As part of the HSBC Expat Explorer survey, expats shared their views on what life was like in Hong Kong.

One expat said: “Come with an open mind, embrace local life, try to learn a few Cantonese phrases and explore the outlying islands.”

It’s always important to be open to new opportunities and experiences when emigrating overseas.

British expats should also try to learn some Cantonese before travelling to live in Hong Kong.

Although English is very widely spoken, knowing at least a few Cantonese phrases will help expats settle in.

Another expat issued a warning for life in Hong Kong. They said: “Don’t underestimate the cost of living in a lower tax jurisdiction!

“Accommodation, healthcare, education and transport can cost significantly more than you think!”

While taxes might be lower in Hong Kong, other costs can quickly add up. Expats should consult a financial advisor if they are unsure.

Another expat said: “Make sure you have sufficient available cash for the large deposit required to rent a property.

“Around 3.5 months required up front to include the deposit, a month’s rent in advance and the agent’s fee.”

Accommodation can be difficult to find in Hong Kong and expats will need to pay a lot upfront to secure a property.

The vast majority of Hong Kong residents live in apartments which can be a lot smaller than those in the UK.

Many expats choose to eat out a lot as kitchens are often tiny. However, restaurants are very reasonably priced.

One expat said: “Enjoy the wide variety of food available in Hong Kong and go trekking on some beautiful islands and mountains.”

Hong Kong might be small but expats will find amazing scenery to explore on the weekends.

From mountains to beaches, Hong Kong is a beautiful country and a top tourist destination.

One expat said: “English-speaking schools are very difficult to get into. You need to discuss this with your employers or organise it well in advance of arriving.”

Good schools can be incredibly competitive in Hong Kong and many have lengthy waiting lists.

Any British expats moving with a family should sort out education for children as soon as possible.

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