Newcomers Guide to Hong Kong

Any helpful newcomers guide to Hong Kong should include information for individuals, families, and couples. It is a resource to help foreigners learn to live in a new location where the first language is a form of Chinese and the culture is rich but different. Canadians can find information they need for living happily in Hong Kong by visiting, reading blogs by expatriates and people who lived there for an extended period of time, and travel websites.

Schooling for International Students

If you plan on living in Hong Kong with school-aged children, there are several schools for expatriates and international students. The expatriate community in Hong Kong is thriving here. Many choose to live in Repulse Bay and other locations where lots of other international residents make their homes.

The Language Barrier

English is an official language along with Cantonese. If you cannot speak Cantonese, you might not have to. Exceptions include rural parts of the country where Cantonese is spoken almost exclusively.

Job Opportunities

Hong Kong is a city of entertainment, shopping, and financial careers. A person with experience in banking, software, international law, and professional expertise in anything to do with business could make a fine living here. Entertainers, nightclub waitresses, and bar hostesses keep the night owls’ happy when the moon is out.

Housing Options

Apartments are tiny and expensive. Imagine taking your family and squashing them into an apartment the size of half of the top level of your home, possibly many stories above the street. This is what living in the city would be like if you could find an apartment at all.

The city is what many young singles like: sleeping in a box but living near the city’s heart. They are right in the center of the commercial area where excitement and entertainment are to be found.

Besides the tiny size of apartments, expatriates say it is hard to cook in them. Rather than cook, they simply go out. There is an abundance of restaurants to choose from serving cuisine from various Chinese regions.

Getting Around

Forget buying a car in Hong Kong: choose to walk or take public transport. Trains connect individuals to all points within the city. Intercity lines take people out of town for meetings and outings.


If you like shopping, Hong Kong is the right place to be. A newcomers guide to Hong Kong would not be complete, however, if it did not point out the natural beauty surrounding the city. Many hiking opportunities are a short train or taxi ride away. If you get into trouble and sprain something, healthcare is good too.