Despite being one of the most densely populated places in the world, Hong Kong is one of the greenest cities in Asia. Beyond the high-rise construction, the rest of the territory blossoms with parks and woodlands. Even Hong Kong Island itself has a number of walking trails. There's plenty to amuse those keen on getting close to nature and greenery.
For most people, moving to Hong Kong is an adventure, something new and exciting to look forward to. However, finding the right place to live can be a tough job. Expect the process to be time-consuming and frustrating; unless you are on an unlimited budget, then price may be a real problem. Bear in mind that it is important to find somewhere to live where you will be comfortable, so plan in the time to find the right place.
The main things to take into account when selecting somewhere to live are the following:
proximity to work and schools;
access to public transport;
neighbourhood amenities, such as doctors, hospitals, supermarkets and fitness centres;
clubs, restaurants and bars.
There is a large diversity of wealth in Hong Kong. Living conditions vary from small, windowless rooms with many occupants to spacious, luxury penthouses. While there are large numbers of expatriates living on Hong Kong Island, particularly the pricey Mid-Levels, many choose to find accommodation on the smaller surrounding islands, where relief can be found from the hustle and bustle of the city. Cleaner air, open spaces and a slower pace can be enjoyed but the trade off is a longer commute to work.
The part in Hong Kong you decide to living in for the long-term depends on your own personal needs. Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories are the three main parts that make up Hong Kong.
If you are looking to get more square feet and facilities for your money, consider living in Kowloon or the New Territories. Prices tend to decrease as you move away from the Hong Kong Island. On the other hand, better value for money in terms of accommodation may mean inconvenience, particularly if you have to commute into the business districts on Hong Kong Island. Many expatriates prefer to be on or near Hong Kong Island as this is the most ‘western’ area of the territory.
Hong Kong Island is the heart of Hong Kong. It is also the most famous due to its skyline of buildings bearing the names of some of the world’s largest companies. The Island is also blessed with an impressive public transport system, getting around is easy experience if you do not have a car. Serviced apartments are also widely available on the Island, which is the ideal option for those staying for a short period of time. The exciting nightlife on the Island adds to the list of advantages of living there, all of which mean a relatively high cost of living.
As you move towards the south-western areas of Hong Kong Island, the city thins out and becomes more residential and less crowded. Accommodation in these neighbourhoods varies from older style low-rise buildings to spacious apartments and villa complexes. Instead of the more hectic lifestyle of the main body of the Island, you get easier access to beaches, restaurants and a more relaxing lifestyle.
Kowloon is the main shopping area of Hong Kong, with a massive variety of goods on offer. Serviced apartments are also widely available in this region. Kowloon is one of the most densely populated places in the world, so it is as busy, if not more so than Hong Kong Island itself.
The New Territories offers many different regions with much more affordable accommodation. This part of Hong Kong is very green and remote, so owning a vehicle is needed in many cases in order to get around. This region is a much less popular option for commuters to the main Island as this can be a time-consuming journey.