Most people who have lived here agree that there isn’t anything else quite like living in Hong Kong. The living standards are very high for expats and opportunities to travel and explore Asia are abundant. The tradeoff is that it is more expensive to live here than many other cities in the world and flats are notoriously tiny. Read more here to find out how to live in this amazing city!
Cost of living in Hong Kong
Relative to most of Asia, the cost of living in Hong Kong is high. This is offset by the high salaries that make a teacher’s quality of life very high, while maintaining high saving potential.
Relative to nearly every city in the rest of the world, Hong Kong’s rental costs are notoriously high. For what you’ll pay for a small 300 sq. ft. flat in Hong Kong you’d be able to rent a mansion in many other cities. While this is surprising to many, it is something that everyone easily gets used to once they realize that they don’t need nearly as much space as previously thought. On a basic teacher’s salary, rent is easily covered and is quickly recognized as a totally normal fact of life in this booming city.
Hong Kong has possibly the best public transportation network in the world. Through a mix of the MTR train system, city buses, mini buses, ferries, and a tramway, all of which use the ubiquitous Octopus Card payment system, getting around the city is safe, quick, reliable, and has 24/7 options. If you’d rather grab a cab, jump in one of the 18,138 taxis that are all over the city at all times.
The MTR is by far the most convenient and reliable way to get around all major parts of the city. It covers nearly all of Hong Kong, is cheap, and runs with very high frequency (often only 1-2 minutes between trains). Nearly everything in Hong Kong is within walking distance of an MTR station, including every Monkey Tree center and all of our accommodation.
typically double-deckers, there are hundreds of bus lines in Hong Kong that cover nearly every medium sized and major road.
Anywhere you can find a big bus, you’ll find a minibus. Anywhere you can’t find a big bus, you’ll find a minibus. Many routes run 24 hours, meaning you’re almost never stuck anywhere. Just tap your Octopus card or drop a few coins in the driver’s hand and go.
While getting from point A to point B on the tram on Hong Kong Island isn’t always the fastest way to get around, it is by far the most scenic as it runs from the western side of the island to Shau Kei Wan. As an added benefit, it only costs slightly more than walking.
Here’s not a single spot in the city without at least a few restaurants. Local Chinese food is abundant and available at nearly all times of day. More specialized cuisines are only slightly less convenient, with all sorts of restaurants on nearly every city block. Food can range from very cheap, to cheap, and at times, very expensive. Search for your favorite kind of food, favorite location, or price range on Open Rice and you’re sure to find something tasty just around the corner from wherever you happen to be.