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LIVING IN HONG KONG

Hong Kong's colonial history has established it as a key expatriate location. It is a leading banking centre that attracts talented high flyers and executives from all over the world. In many ways, it is also a gateway to the mainland and many international organisations choose to situate their regional headquarters here, due to the world class communications, transport links and favourable tax regime. Taxation is too low, far lower than most people are used to. Of course, Americans will still have to file their tax returns and may still be liable if you earn over a certain amount.

Getting along with locals

One of the most common questions asked by people moving to Hong Kong is 'How can I meet people?' It's a strange thing that so many people should be worried about this because Hong Kong has one of the most concentrated densities of Expats in the world and so many locals can speak English (remember it was a British colony until 1997), so meeting and mixing are actually easy if you just have the confidence. Hong Kong's nightlife scene is energetic and lively.

Safety

A myth is that Hong Kong might be dangerous and those coming here often have safety concerns. The reality is different, with the territory being far safer than anywhere in Europe or the Americas. Violent crime is almost non-existent in any neighbourhood.

Culture

t's has been a long time since Hong Kong ceased to be a British colony, but the influence on the culture of Hong Kong remains undeniable. Legal frameworks, politics, the capitalist economy, were largely based on British systems and ways. Although China is now in control, the HKSAR still carries on as normal for the time being. Western values remain entrenched in Hong Kong's very fabric. Western influenced modern architecture is everywhere. Signposts are in English as well as Chinese. This, among many other factors, makes the transition to living in Hong Kong extremely easy for a new expat arrival.

The variety and pace of this vibrant and ever changing city should keep the most demanding expat satisfied. There's plenty to amuse those keen on getting close to nature and greenery. 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.

The first-time Hong Kong visitor always struck with the skyscrapers, dramatic skylines, Visual reminders and superb shopping of its colonial past. Only in Hong Kong, can anybody find the trams and Peak Tram, Star Ferry, amongst outstanding contemporary architecture such as the Exhibition Centre and IFC1

There are a lot of colour contrasting standards of living and lifestyles. There are BBQ areas and the Country Parks with their hiking trails, which provide a refreshing week-end distraction..


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