Moving to Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of leading finance centres in the world, however, be a finance centre is not the only complexion of Hong Kong, she contains diverse of natures and able to satisfy your desires, this is so she is popular to tourist, students, entrepreneurs, companies, and certainly for permanent staying.
Here is a short introduction to Hong Kong (LINK: Page of brief introduction of Hong Kong), and it has all you need to know about Hong Kong. For example, the culture, weather and background of Hong Kong, as well as sort of foods you may find in Hong Kong and so on.
Please read the following passage, which is going to recommend you few steps to get ready for moving to Hong Kong:
Step 1: Apply a Visa
Even though Hong Kong procession of free trading, but you still need a visa for a long-term staying. There are different types of Hong Kong visa and each of them requests appliers to fulfil their specific requirements. From the variety types of visa, you should base on personal conditions and utilize time to do research on the visa you will apply.
For more up to dated information and to consider which Hong Kong visa best suit you, please check out the official government immigration department guide (http://www.immd.gov.hk/en/forms/hk-visas.html).
Step 2: Accommodation Hunting
Actually, hunt an accommodation is a time-consuming issue. An accommodation with high satisfaction able to comfort you, so people will not neglect its importance. No matter you are budgeted or not, Room in the Moon can help you!
Remember, visit room listings in the Room in the Moon website (LINK: link to the page when it is available), and you will find it is easy to get a perfect accommodation in Hong Kong.
Step3: Leave your Beds
Experiencing the local life is the fastest and best way to understand a culture. Under comparison, although Hong Kong is smaller than some other major cities, like New York, London or Singapore, however you are able to find out the natures of Hong Kong instead of finance.
Exploring Hong Kong is straightforward, because the transportation is highly developed in Hong Kong. And there are three transports that usually used and they are covering most of the regions in Hong Kong.
Taxi also known as Cab, is familiar to everyone. Take a taxi is really convenience and flexible to move in town, and yet the cost for this options is too high. When you are not in hurry, than taxis are not your first choice; apart from the time is running short or you do not know much about your destination, than taxis become your best choice throughout the variety transportations.
There are three colours of taxis and they are responsible for different regions in Hong Kong separately.
- Urban red taxis have the highest fares among all, and serve all area of New Territories, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. Sometimes, they also serve Tung Chung, Hong Kong Airport (Chek Lap Kok) and Hong Kong Disney, but not the rest of the Lantau Island.
- The Green taxis only serve parts of the New Territories, they may also serve Shatin and Tai Po. However, they can only serve Hong Kong Airport (Chek Lap Kok) and Hong Kong Disney in the Lantau Island.
- The blue taxis mainly serve the Lantau Island. Since they are responsible for smaller area than Urban red taxis and Green taxis, so there are only around 50 of them in Hong Kong.
Taxi in Hong Kong is everywhere and some ‘Taxi Stand’ have also been set in urban area, so you do not have to worry when you miss one, except in peak hours.
Mass Transit Railway (MTR):
MTR, also known as metro or subway is commonly used in Hong Kong. It covers the area of New Territories, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, there are about 152 stations, including 84 railway stations and 68 light rail stops. MTR has some extensions currently, and in the future MTR must able to provide superior services to people. You may visit the website (http://mtr.com.hk/eng/homepage/cust_index.html) for more information about the current and future routes. Besides of huge coverage of area, it is fast and convenience and charging reasonable fares (http://mtr.com.hk/eng/fares_tickets/index.html), which lead MTR becomes the most popular public transport in Hong Kong.
There are five private companies run the bus services in Hong Kong. One majority franchising company named Kowloon Motor Bus (http://www.kmb.hk/en/) provides 402 routes and mainly in Kowloon and New Territories. The second company which also play an important role in bus services is Citybus (http://www.nwstbus.com.hk/home/default.aspx?intLangID=2), and it operates 154 routes in Hong Kong Island. Under comparison, bus services is much slower than taxi and MTR, but the fares that bus services charge is the cheapest amongst these three options.
In Hong Kong, there is a smart card named Octopus card, it is rechargeable and used in an electronic payment system. Octopus card is not only widely used for MTR and bus services, but also accept in supermarkets and other retailer stores, so Octopus card becomes your good friend when you are moving in Hong Kong. For more information, you may visit a website here: http://hong-kong-travel.org/octopus/.
Step 4: Banking and Taxing after moved in Hong Kong
You will find out that there are many choices for bank in Hong Kong, HSBC (http://www.hsbc.com.hk/1/2/home), Hang Seng (http://bank.hangseng.com/1/2/home) and Standard Chartered (http://www.standardchartered.com.hk/preferred/) are the three most popular in Hong Kong with foreign professionals.
To open a bank account in Hong Kong is simple; all you require is ID and proof of address from home country, even if you are tourist or without a working visa, you are still able to open a bank account. However, the situation that have mentioned is just for people who stay in Hong Kong shortly. For those with an address in Hong Kong, including non-residents, the acceptance of ID forms are passport or Hong Kong identification card; and the proof of address (such as utility bill or letter from official government) that you require not only from your home country address but also from Hong Kong.
Once you have income, you have obligation to pay tax in Hong Kong. While your employer confirmed to employ you, he/she will also inform Inland Revenue Department (IRD: http://www.ird.gov.hk/eng/welcome.htm), then you will receive a tax form from the department.
Here is a kind reminder, please ensure you receive the tax form and pay on time, as the Commissioner of Inland Revenue will take legal action (http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/taxes/taxfiling/consequences/recovertax.htm) for the late payment. Therefore, if you have not received a tax form, than please contact IRD immediately (http://www.ird.gov.hk/eng/tax/ind_ftt.htm).
Step 5: Health Caring
Get a full health body check in your home country is a good preventative measure because having checks done by doctors and dentists that you trust and familiar with will be one less thing to worry.
Insurance is not a must in Hong Kong, but it can ensure you will get the treatment you need in emergency. And Global Health insurance is one of the best options with wide range of fare options and benefits.
Please do not make decision based on price but the one you trust! Here provide some insurance company with good reputation in Hong Kong, even in worldwide: AXA (http://www.axa.com.hk/html/AXA_PRO/eng/home.html?), AGEAS (http://www.ageas.com/en/Pages/index_en.aspx) and Manulife (http://www.manulife-asia.com/our_market/hk).
Step 6: Currency and Utilities
To move to a new place, you may have to deal with much stuff before you carry on and enjoying for your life in that place. After you have finished the first five steps, and ensured yourself get a place to live and your health will be protected in Hong Kong. Then, here are few more steps to go before a load off of your mind.
Currency of Hong Kong Dollars:
In step 4, Room in the Moon guided you to open a bank account already, before you put money into the bank account, there are some think about currency that you should know. Hong Kong dollar is the currency of Hong Kong with sign: $ and code: HKD. Once Hong Kong dollar has been divided into 100cents, but now 100 cents are no longer carry in regular transactions instead of stock market due to its small value. The banknotes come in $1000, $500, $100, $50, $20, $10, with coins $10, $5, $2, $1, 50c, 20c and 10c.
The banknotes of $1000, $500, $100, $50, $20 in Hong Kong have three designs, and they are designed by three leading bank in Hong Kong, which are HSBC (http://www.hsbc.com.hk/1/2/home), Hang Seng Bank (http://bank.hangseng.com/1/2/home) and Standard Chartered bank (http://www.standardchartered.com.hk/preferred/). The banks will publish new design every year, so you may not only treat them as money, but also to relish the design on the notes.
Although Hong Kong was British Colony, the currency exchange rate is linked with US dollars. Since it is backed with US dollars, so it kept Hong Kong’s exchange funds the largest official reserves in the world. If you want to exchange Hong Kong dollars, you may use the following currency converter (http://coinmill.com/HKD_calculator.html), which provides the most updated exchange currency of Hong Kong dollars.
The cost of living in Hong Kong is high, and she has been ranked as the top 14th in the world of cost of living (http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1143157/hong-kong-ranks-14th-world-cost-living). However, Hong Kong government applied policy of the minimum wages for employees as to protect the currency of Hong Kong dollars and the demand power in the society. Here is a website for you to estimate and budgeting the cost of living while move to Hong Kong (http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Hong+Kong).
Mobile communication services:
Mobile phone, not matter for job hunting or communicating with others, it is an important tool, and there is no exception in Hong Kong without doubt. In Hong Kong, you will see that everyone using their phone while waiting, working, shopping and sometimes even in the toilet. It is not exaggerate since people with different ages love to use their mobile phone to communicate and the people who working in Hong Kong also make good use of time to reply emails. This is so Hong Kong people are known as hard-working.
Even though there are of mobile phone providers, but their signal coverage in different districts is similar. And the most common plan is pay as you go, and the retailers offer bunches of services. Unless you choose to have contract with the company, you may do some research online to find a plan that best suit you. Once you have decided, just go to the nearest store for some simple registration process, than your SIM card is on your services. Here are five phone companies in Hong Kong:
- Hong Kong CSL Limited
CSL (http://www.hkcsl.com/en/index/index.jsp) is combined with Hong Kong CSL Limited and New World PCS Limited with Australia Telecommunications Company Telstra Corporation and New World Development as shareholders. It launched the world first 4G LTE international roaming and provides widest coverage in Hong Kong. It also offers three brands for 2G and 3G services, including New World Mobility (http://www.nwmobility.com/prepaid/eng/index.html), 1010 (http://1010.hkcsl.com/jsp/home/index.jsp?language=eng) and one2free (http://one2free.hkcsl.com/jsp/home/index.jsp?language=eng).
- Hong Kong Telecommunications (HKT) Limited (PCCW Mobile HK Limited)
PCCW Mobile HK Limited (http://www.pccw-hkt.com/en/index.html) was Sunday Communication Limited, which renamed its name in 2005. It is the smallest mobile communications limed and mainly provides 2G and 3G mobile communications services in Hong Kong.
- SmarTone Mobile Communication Limited
SmarTone Mobile Communications Limited (http://www.smartone.com/jsp/mobile/prices/hot_offer/english/index.jsp?ol=1&tt=1384564244687) is a mobile phone operator with brand SmarTone in Hong Kong. It provides mobile communication service on GSM-900, GSM-1800 and W-CDMA on the 2100 MHz frequency.
- China Mobile Hong Kong Company Limited (CMHK)
CMHK (http://www.hk.chinamobile.com/en/) provides 4G LTE and international roaming like 3GHSPA services. It has launched LTE network and covers both LTE FDD and TD-LTE in the services. Besides of the international roaming service, it also launched ‘1-Card-Multi-Number’ (1CMN) and Multi-SIM data sharing for frequent travellers.
- Hutchison Telephone Company Limited (3)
3 (http://www.three.com.hk/website/appmanager/three/home?_nfpb=true&pageid=000001&_pageLabel=P200170391219567376547&lang=eng) is a brand operate in worldwide and owned by Hutchison Telecommunications International and Hutchison Whampoa. It provides 2G, 3G and 4G in Hong Kong, and Apple Inc. agreed 3 to bring iPhone to Hong Kong on 2008, and 3 also provides services under a brand named Orange.
Everyone has a chance to get shock with their mobile bills. Even people have always been told to be aware for their mobile bills, but still some of them are charged with huge amount of money for their mobiles. Therefore, Room in the moon is tireless to present a website about mobile bill shock provision here for your review. (http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/communication/mobilecomm/mobilebill.htm).
Basically utilities cost in Hong Kong are divided into four main categories with tariffs. They are not included by landlord and you have to inform the related department by yourself. Fortunately, the departments provide online services, which may save your time for registration process.
In Hong Kong, voltage supply is 200-240 volts and the standard British –style rectangular 3-pin is commonly used. The Hong Kong Electric Holdings (HEH: http://www.heh.com/hehWeb/Index_en) and China Light and Power (CEP: https://www.clponline.com.hk/Pages/home.aspx?lang=en) are the two main electricity suppliers in Hong Kong. You choose one between them depending on where you live. HEH only serve Hong Kong Island and Lamma Island, and CEP serves only Kowloon, the New Territories and the other islands in Hong Kong.
Piped gas is usually used in Hong Kong properties. There is only one supplier in Hong Kong, which is Town Gas (http://www.towngas.com/tgweb/eng/common/home.asp). For the areas which do not apply piped gas, you shall order bottled gas (LPG) for stoves. And here are some leading suppliers in Hong Kong: Shell (http://www.shell.com.hk/en/products-services/in-your-home/lpg/all-about-lpg.html) and http://www.hklpg.com.hk/html/eng/hklpg/main/index.jsp.
Water supply in Hong Kong is managed by Water Supplies Department (http://www.wsd.gov.hk/). Hong Kong water is come from the East River in GuangDong, although the water in Hong Kong meet the health standard, it is better to boil tape water before drinking.
- Landline Telephone & Internet Connection
Here are the leading companies which providing landline telephone services in Hong Kong: PCCW (http://www.pccw-hkt.com/en/index.html), Hutchison Global Communications (HGC: www.hgc.com.hk/), New World Telecom (www.newworldtel.com/), City Telecom Ltd (www.ctihk.com/), One Tel (www.onetel.com.hk/) and EC Telecom (www.ectelecom.com/).
Many Landline and mobile companies offer internet packages, besides of the companies that have been mentioned in ‘Mobile Communication Services’, here are the internet service providers for you: Netvigator (www.netvigator.com/), Hong Kong Broadband (www.hkbn.net/main.htm), Pacific Internet (www.pacific.net.hk/), HKNet (www.hknet.com/), HGC Broadband (www.hgcbroadband.com).
Since Hong Kong is encouraging people to go green currently, so there are tariffs charged for electricity, gas and water, more information can be found in the websites respectively. If you are environmental friendly or trying to be, this website (https://www.wastereduction.gov.hk/en/household/index.htm) presents some tips of household wastes reduction. For a range of household queries, http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/housing/moving/movinghome.htm is a useful website for you to review.
Step 7: Buy daily supplements
To know where to obtain your supplements is essential while you moved to a new place, as this helps to save your time after workings or just in case of some emergency situation occur. The following passage presents you the places that can purchase your supplements:
There are two main chained supermarkets in Hong Kong, and they are PARKnSHOP (http://www1.parknshop.com/WebShop/index.do) and Welcome (http://www.wellcome.com.hk/wd2shop/en/html/index.html). Although their foods and supplements are not the cheapest than the other two options below, their food quality and demand to customers are stable and reliable, the range of product also much wider than the other two options.
Hong Kong market has a long history, some of them have been dismissed and some of them still able to survive in the current economy system like the market in Wan Chai and Mong Kok. Even though Hong Kong is not an agricultural industry, and these markets majority provide meat and seafood, but their products are much fresher than supermarkets and convenience stores because of the direct importation from their own farm or suppliers every early morning.
- Convenience Stores:
As it named, it opens in an area as to convince people. To meet this mission, their opening time is 7 days with 24 hours every day. Therefore, their products are set in a higher price and less fresh than supermarkets and markets. While you want to eat something at late night, it is a good choice and you will always find one nearby you.
Step 8: Entertainment
No matter where you are, where you from, you must heard about “work hard, play hard”. And the people who believe this idea always get successful from their work, since they always make use of every effort to achieve their goals; on the other hand they also enjoy their lives.
Sports in Hong Kong are important, and it is a spiritual support of Hong Kong people in daily life. The popular sports in Hong Kong are football, basketball, swimming, badminton, tennis and running, and the most well-liked sport in Hong Kong must be football. No matter there are friendly matches or World Cup holding; no matter the audiences are male or female, old or young, people in Hong Kong always gather together and support the team that they like, yelling and drinking. This becomes one of their ways to relaxing from stress.
- TV Channels & Reading Materials:
There are two licensed broadcasters in Hong Kong and they are Asia Television Limited (ATV: http://www.hkatv.com/zh-hk/) and Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB: http://www.tvb.com). There are also three local suppliers of cable and satellite services. The two licensed broadcasters mainly provide drama and the cable and satellite services suppliers mainly provide sports games and news in Hong Kong. In the future, there are two more licensed broadcasters enter the TV market as to provide related services to people in Hong Kong.
There are also two English channels provided by the two licensed broadcasters. Magazines and newspapers are also offer copies which printed in Chinese or English, and this is trying to take care of different people with different nationality in Hong Kong.
Step 9: Register for Mandarin Classes
Although the language used in Hong Kong is Cantonese, the China people from Mainland like to connect their business with Hong Kong, as to expand his/her business with this free trading port. Therefore, to learn an extra language may help you to communicate with them and easier to get into their social network. Leaning a new language need a lot of efforts, but you may find that this will improve your own competitive advantages in the current Hong Kong society.
Step 10: Find yourself a job
While everything is settled, you shall find a job in Hong Kong with a peace of mind. As this guide mentioned Hong Kong is a place with a lot of talented people, to stand out from the crowd is not only able to rely on language skills. You have to put efforts on job hunting and keep sending emails and resumes to your targeted companies, and this is one of the methods to hunt a job in Hong Kong. If you prefer this method, you may visit the following websites for chances (http://www.indeed.hk/jobs-in-Hong-Kong & http://www2.jobs.gov.hk/1/0/webform/default.aspx).
Beside of the method that has just been mentioned, job hunters may also develop their own social media, like Linkedin and Facebook. Since the power of social media become more powerful in nowadays, to furnish your own profile on internet may bring you more chances to get a job and you may even get in touch with the professional and experts as to build a strong social networking though the medias.
Hong Kong is a place with huge competition, but it also a place with lots of opportunities. Therefore please keep it up and never quit from failures. Good luck!