Hong Kong attracts thousands of expats from Europe and the US every year. It is one of Asia’s banking centers and is a gateway to mainland China for businesses looking to penetrate the market. In addition, the country has a big expat community, which makes the transition a little easier for new arrivals.

This is a guide to living for new and soon-to-be expats in Hong Kong.

The Expat Community

Expat communities in Hong Kong range from the outgoing, to the insular and close knit. British and Americans compose mainly form the bulk of the community and they often work in the financial sector. Foreigners from neighboring East Asia countries are also prominent in the country mostly from Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, India and Thailand.

What Language to Learn

Foreigners with good language skills in both Cantonese and Mandarin are going to have a significant advantage. 89.5% of the whole population speaks Cantonese. We recommend you try to at least learn some basic conversational Cantonese.

Where Expats Meet and Hang Outexpats lan kwai fongCentral is where you’ll find Lan Kwai Fong, the most popular expat hangout. The area is relatively small but it is host to a large variety of restaurants, trendy bars and nightclubs, all huddled into this popular expat haunt. Drinks are fairly pricey with even your basic beer costing HK$60 and up. The area has quite an upmarket feel to it but it’s laid back and the perfect place to cap off a workday. expats wan chai

Wan Chai is also popular among expats because it’s a bustling business district by day and a hub spot of discos and bars at night where the parties last until daybreak. There is also a red light district in the area where it becomes a melting pot of all nationalities. Again, expect a hefty bill when hanging out in this area.

Housing and Other Accommodations

Hong Kong is known for having one of the most expensive property prices in Asia and even the world. Expect compact condos and apartments with high rent although there are still areas with more affordable housing.

We gathered the average rent for 2 bedroom apartments popular to expat communities in one of or blogs: Finding a Place to Live in Hong Kong

Hospitals and Healthcare

Public and private medical facilities in Hong Kong are highly developed and of very high standards. As an expatriate, you’ll likely favour private facilities because of an English speaking staff and more personal attention. However, Hong Kong’s public hospitals are still very good and you can turn up without an appointment.

Hospital fees are very high. Adequate insurance is particularly important. There are a wide variety of expatriate insurance finders such as Village Insirance Direct. We specialise in finding policies for expats from personal, family to business insurance.

Popular expat hospitals include:

  • Adventist, 40 Stubbs Road, Mid Levels
  • Canossa, 1 Old Peak Road, Mid Levels
  • Matilda, 41 Mt. Kellett Road, The Peak

We can provide free quotes on Health Insurance and other types of insurance for for expats.