Where to Live in Hong Kong as an Expat?

7 min read|Last Updated: September 13, 2023|

Moving to Hong Kong as an expat soon? Lets us help you to navigate your life in Hong Kong by recommending some places to live. Take a look at our article about renting in Hong Kong for a brief on the procedures required to rent.

Just like how it is when moving anywhere, there will be a need to take into account your priorities, such as rent and living costs, nearby facilities and attractions and preferred living environment. For expatriates, there are added considerations such as ability of the place to accommodate short-term stay, presence of expat communities for times of homesickness and the availability of international schools offering your child’s desired education syllabus.

Areas to Live in Hong Kong as an Expat

  • North Point
    Tucked away on the northeastern edge of Hong Kong Island, North Point shines as a unique neighborhood nestled between the vibrant hubs of Causeway Bay and Quarry Bay. It’s one of the more affordable spots in this lively city.

    Fitness enthusiasts have plenty to explore here, with a range of gyms and fitness centers dotting the area. But if you’re one to embrace the outdoors, the North Point and Quarry Bay Promenade are your haven. This inviting pathway traces the coastline, offering a perfect track for jogging, running, or simply taking a leisurely walk. Alongside your exercise, you’re treated to stunning views of Hong Kong’s skyline and the Kowloon Peninsula.

  • Sai Kung
    Sai Kung has a quiet fishing village vibe, a perfect break from the busy city life that Hong Kong is famous for. Nature lovers are in for a treat with plenty of hiking trails in the nearby parks. You can also park your boat at Hebe Haven and enjoy sailing on the weekends. The nearby bay, Port Shelter, is gorgeous. And don’t miss a leisurely walk by the edge of Sai Kung town, followed by a delicious meal at one of the cozy restaurants.

    Sai Kung offers lots of pluses. Housing is more affordable and there’s a strong sense of community. You can explore the Maclehose trail for hikes, have a family day out in Sai Kung Country Park, and wander around the old town for its history.

    But there are a few downsides too. Rush-hour commutes can be tiring, and having a car, especially with kids, is handy. On weekends, the promenade gets crowded with tourists.

  • Lamma
    If you’re seeking a change of pace without straying too far, Lamma Island might be your perfect fit. It is located a 30-minute boat ride away from the city. Lamma offers a rather affordable housing market. This island oasis is embraced by a vibrant, artistic community, creating a tapestry of cultural diversity that sets it apart as a distinct and alluring neighborhood. The island exudes a calm and relaxing ambiance, making it an ideal refuge. The unique blend of eateries and cultural spots adds a touch of charm that’s distinctly Lamma. The Tai Peng Community Garden is a pretty lovely space for local gardeners. It’s full of beautiful flowers and a haven for wildlife, especially butterflies.

    Of course, there are a few aspects to consider. Access to Lamma Island is exclusively via ferry, which might not suit everyone. The absence of international schools and comprehensive medical facilities could pose challenges, particularly for families with children.

  • Gold Coast in New Territories
    With a reasonable 50-minute commute to Central even during peak hours, Hong Kong Gold Coast is a true gem. Nestled by Castle Peak Bay in Tuen Mun District, New Territories, it boasts stunning sea views, including the iconic Hong Kong International Airport on Chek Lap Kok Island.

    This place strikes a perfect balance between modern comforts and natural beauty. From grand hotels and bustling shopping plazas to elegant yacht clubs and inviting beaches, the Gold Coast offers a blend of city life and coastal charm. The presence of private housing estates adds to its unique appeal.

  • Happy Valley
    Favored by many expats, Happy Valley is an enclave where tranquility meets accessibility. Its quiet ambiance makes it a preferred spot for those seeking a peaceful environment, while its proximity to downtown ensures convenience isn’t compromised. This blend has led to a substantial expat population, making Happy Valley a vibrant international community.

    For families, Happy Valley serves as an ideal backdrop for raising young children, providing a safe and pleasant environment for them to thrive. In terms of transportation, Happy Valley has you covered. It’s well-connected through buses, trams, and the subway system, ensuring getting around is hassle-free and efficient.

    Within Happy Valley, Jardine’s Lookout stands out as an attractive expat-friendly neighborhood. Its pleasant atmosphere and convenience make it a sought-after residential area. Interestingly, it’s particularly beloved by the French community due to its proximity to the French School, creating a diverse and welcoming atmosphere

Places to Go for Fun as an Expat in Hong Kong

As expats, it is important to make the most out of your stay in Hong Kong by playing as hard as you work. Explore these few locations where you can hang out at and mingle during your weekends!

Daytime Fun

  • Stanley
    Stanley is a place where convenience and variety harmoniously coexist. The area boasts outstanding dining options that cater to diverse tastes, the thriving hub of Stanley Plaza, and the historic Murray House – all landmarks you’ll encounter before reaching the pier and the inviting beach beyond. The beauty of Stanley lies in how everything is thoughtfully situated close together, creating a compact and accessible layout that’s particularly favorable for families with young children.

  • Victoria Harbour
    The harbor’s allure is universal, and its appeal stands the test of time. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, the sight of the harbor against the city skyline is a spectacle that never grows old.

    Venturing along the promenade is a dual treat. Beyond the pleasant exercise it offers, it transforms into something spectacular around 8 pm each night. That’s when the renowned “Symphony of Lights” performance, a mesmerizing blend of lasers and music, comes to life. The display adds a touch of enchantment to your stroll and is bound to be a highlight of your time in Hong Kong.

    For newcomers to the city, the Victoria Harbour experience is a treasure trove of iconic sights. The famed Avenue of Stars and the Clock Tower are just a glimpse of the renowned landmarks you can witness. These elements come together to create an enriching and picturesque exploration of Hong Kong’s essence.

  • Tai Kwun
    Nestled within the vibrant heart of Central’s SoHo district, Tai Kwun stands as a captivating heritage-arts haven, preserving and narrating Hong Kong’s legal, judiciary, and penal history. This unique venue holds within its expansive embrace a compelling living testament to the past.

    With an impressive array of 16 restored heritage buildings, Tai Kwun immerses visitors in a journey through time. The former Central Police Station, Central Magistracy, and Victoria Prison stand as poignant relics, harmoniously juxtaposed with the modern marvels of JC Contemporary and JC Cube, masterpieces designed by Herzog & de Meuron.

    Tai Kwun is a beacon of recognition, having received the prestigious Award of Excellence in the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2019. This accolade underscores its significance as a guardian of Hong Kong’s rich cultural heritage.

Night Life

  • Lan Kwai Fong
    Lan Kwai Fong, nestled on Hong Kong Island, takes the crown as a favorite nightlife spot for expats. Though small, it’s buzzing with bars, restaurants, and nightclubs like Play Club and Volar. This lively enclave is where expats gather to unwind.

    What makes Lan Kwai Fong stand out is its unique allowance for open-air drinking. It’s a rare exception in Hong Kong, adding a special touch to the experience.

  • Kowloon
    Kowloon’s rooftop bars hold a distinct charm, offering a more refined and upscale experience. This elevated ambiance often appeals to expat couples seeking a sophisticated night out, perhaps with the luxury of a babysitter in tow.

    In a nutshell, Kowloon captures the essence of elegance against the city’s twinkling skyline. With its chic allure, it stands as a haven for those who appreciate the finer aspects of life.

  • Soho
    Soho’s allure lies in its ability to transport you into a world of sophistication. Exotic cocktails and serene wine bars invite you to unwind while indulging in people-watching – a quintessential urban pastime. Delve into the hidden nooks of side streets, and you’ll uncover a treasure trove of additional bars and dining spots that beckon with their own distinct charm.

    Much like Kowloon, Soho holds a special appeal for expat couples. It’s a place where you can escape the ordinary, savoring the atmosphere of refined leisure in the heart of the city.

Where to Live in Hong Kong as an Expat? FAQs

What are some considerations when choosing a place to live in Hong Kong as an expat?2023-09-13T01:46:15+00:00
  • Budget: Consider your rent and living costs as Hong Kong can be expensive.
  • Proximity to Facilities: Think about access to shopping, schools, medical facilities, and transportation.
  • Community: Look for areas with expat communities if you anticipate homesickness.
  • Education: Check for nearby international schools that offer your child’s desired education syllabus.
  • Transportation: Evaluate the convenience of getting around the city from your chosen location.
  • Access and Amenities: Be aware of any limitations in access (e.g., ferry-only access for Lamma Island) and the availability of essential services.

Remember to prioritize your personal preferences and needs when choosing where to live in Hong Kong as an expat.

What are some fun places for expats to visit in Hong Kong with my family?2023-09-13T01:45:32+00:00

Daytime Fun:

Stanley: A compact and family-friendly area with dining options, shopping, and a beautiful beach.

Victoria Harbour: Enjoy the iconic harbor view and the nightly “Symphony of Lights” show.

Tai Kwun: Explore Hong Kong’s legal and penal history in a heritage-arts haven.

What are some fun places to seek for nightlife in Hong Kong?2023-09-13T01:45:05+00:00

Lan Kwai Fong: A popular nightlife spot on Hong Kong Island known for its bars, restaurants, and open-air drinking.

Kowloon: Offers upscale rooftop bars with a refined atmosphere and stunning skyline views.

Soho: A sophisticated area with exotic cocktails, wine bars, and hidden gems for a refined urban experience.

Where are some recommended places for expats to live in Hong Kong?2023-09-13T01:43:52+00:00

North Point: A vibrant neighborhood on Hong Kong Island, known for its affordability, fitness options, and beautiful coastline.

Sai Kung: Offers a quiet fishing village vibe, affordable housing, and a strong sense of community, but consider rush-hour commutes and crowded weekends.

Lamma Island: Located a short ferry ride away from the city, Lamma offers affordable housing and a relaxed ambiance, but keep in mind limited access and amenities.

Gold Coast in New Territories: A 50-minute commute to Central, it combines city life with coastal charm, including sea views and private housing estates.

Happy Valley: Tranquil yet accessible, it’s favored by expats for its peaceful environment, convenience, and proximity to international schools.

What conditions may be considered as demerits by those intending to move to Hong Kong?2021-02-16T01:44:04+00:00

Overcrowding 

Despite Hong Kong’s outstanding public transport, navigating your way through the city during the working days can prove quite an uphill task as the walkways are full of people trying to access the commercial city. 

Pollution 

Air pollution is real, especially for those who move from western countries where pollution is minimal. This is a result of the many vehicles and companies in Hong Kong. 

High rental rates 

Rental costs are higher in this region almost worldwide. 

What is life like in Hong Kong?2021-02-16T01:43:42+00:00

Most expats think life in Hong Kong is exciting and fast-paced. 

How much is a home in Hong Kong?2021-02-16T01:43:29+00:00

CNBC claims that a home costs more than $1.2 million in Hong Kong as of 2019. 

Does the Hong Kong community welcome expats?2021-02-16T01:43:06+00:00

Yes, the Hong Kong community welcomes expats in general. The expats in Hong Kong are widely accepted in the community and people are happy to assist the newly arrived expats

How much does a can of Coke cost in Hong Kong?2021-02-16T01:36:13+00:00

A can of Coke costs HKD$9.00 in Hong Kong. 

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