There are many different areas of Hong Kong to choose from when it comes to deciding on a place to live. Lots of things will have an impact on which an expat might consider to be their new address. For instance:
- Are you a young, single professional or a couple?
- Are you moving with a family and have schooling to consider?
- Do you have pets?
And of course, your budget will also be a big consideration…
So with all that in mind, the following 7 areas of the city are the best places to live for expats in varying circumstances.
1. Happy Valley/Jardine’s Lookout – Upmarket Living
The two separate areas of Happy Valley and Jardine’s Lookout offer all types of accommodation – from apartment living to luxury, detached houses. Happy Valley is home to many expats, thanks to its green spaces and close proximity to the city centre. Causeway Bay is nearby, offering all the amenities anyone could need.
Jardine’s Lookout is, as the name suggests, higher up the mountain, offering spectacular views over Happy Valley below. It’s a rather exclusive, secured residential location. It even has its own grocery stores, post office, and other amenities for residents to use.
There’s easy access to some of the good international schools, making this a good choice for families. As you’d expect for somewhere of this location and facilities, this is one of the more expensive areas in which to rent or purchase property.
2. Kowloon Tong & West Kowloon – Good for Families
The two separate areas of Kowloon Tong and West Kowloon have become popular places to live with expats, thanks to excellent transport links via the MTR to the centre of the city. Kowloon Tong has some excellent international schools, along with a good choice of larger than usual accommodation.
There’s also a new shopping centre – Festival Walk – that provides all the retail therapy you could wish for.
West Kowloon offers a combination of new and old high-rise apartment complexes. Shopping is easy here, with the Elements and Olympic Station malls to choose from.
3. The Mid Levels – Wonderfully Central
This is a great, central area with excellent access to the hot spots of Soho and Lan Kwai Fong. It makes it a great choice for younger expats who want to take advantage of the buzzing nightlife and social scene these areas offer. However, don’t discount it for a place to set up home with a family, as there are some good international schools close by.
4. Repulse Bay & Stanley – Offering the Beach Life
On the coast, living in either Stanley or Repulse Bay means that you’re going to need a car, as at present there’s no MTR line from either into the city centre. However, this hasn’t prevented both areas from becoming popular places for expats to set up home.
Stanley is the slightly more affordable of the two – but both provide excellent facilities, including international schools, restaurants, shops, banks, and doctors. If you’re looking for somewhere that you can enjoy the beach life, then both of these locations might well be a good choice.
5. The Peak
The highest, most scenic and, it has to be said, most affluent region of Hong Kong to make your home. And when you see the vista this location has to offer, it becomes obviously apparant why this is such a sought after area.
Even the building heights have been restriced, so as to not interrupt the view. Accommodation in The Peak tends to be in complexes, and as such each has a variety of amenities for residents to use – such as swimming pools, tennis courts, a gym etc.
6. Wan Chai
If living in the thick of it is where you want to be, then Wan Chai could be for you. This manic, central part of Hong Kong is jam packed with all the amenities you’d expect from major commercial area: restaurants, shops, cafes, hotels, and every type of entertainment you could wish for.
There’s also an excellent food market – great for stocking up on tasty tidbits. Even though this is the heart of the city, there’s a whole lot of residential property available. There’s luxury housing, cheaper apartments, or that wonder of 21st century living, serviced apartments.
Of course, with space being at such a premium here, the living spaces are naturally small (although this is typical of a lot of areas in Hong Kong), but this is the price necessary for living right in the centre of the city.
7. North Point
Often overlooked by many when it comes to searching for a place to live, North Point offers some of the most reasonably priced accommodation in and around the city. And the savvy expat is coming to realise this – hence a nice little community is building up in the area.
Sure, there are no massive shopping malls – but for those who live here, this is probably an advantage. Plus there’s a good local vibe going on here.
This makes for good integration with locals, and the chance to experience “real” life in Hong Kong. There are many traditional markets, some great restaurants and supermarkets – just not on the scale of some of the other areas mentioned above.
There are plenty of places you can begin your property search for Hong Kong – and most of us begin to look online. Hong Kong Homes is one website that advertises property for sale and rent. Square Foot and Island Property are also good places to look.
One other option to consider when looking for a good place to live is the slightly further away from the city area of the New Territories. Here, some pretty idyllic living options can be found, but the trade off is the long commute into the city.
There’s no MTR link into the centre, so the daily commute can be an arduous task. However, this doesn’t seem to deter many people – half of all of Hong Kong’s residents live here. And if you need somewhere to come home to that’s the complete opposite of the craziness that is Hong Kong City, then the New Territories could be exactly what you’re looking for.