Moving to Hong Kong
Beyond the food and shopping paradise that it has come to be known for, Hong Kong also makes its name in the financial scene as the world’s leading banking and trading centre.
Have you secured a posting to Hong Kong? Or, are you about to try your luck in the vibrant job market there? Let us take you through the first step of your relocation and settling into this Asian melting pot.
Formerly a British Colony and once occupied by Japan, Hong Kong has risen from the ashes and eventually became a Special Administrative Region of China with a high degree of autonomy.
Being one of the top financial cities in the world, Hong Kong's capitalist economy has been ranked the freest in the world for the past 15 years as per the Index of Economic Freedom. Its dollar is the 9th most traded currency, and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the sixth largest in the world. Hong Kong's prosperity has partially led to its position as the world's 4th most densely-populated country, with about seven million Chinese residents and expats squeezing themselves into 10% of the available land space.
The promise of a stable career and vibrant lifestyle, however, is just the tip of the iceberg - you will be surprised with the endless possibilities Hong Kong has in store for you. Hong Kong is a melting pot of different cultures and expats from all over the world living together in harmony. Foodies and shopaholics will fall in love effortlessly to the city as they get lost in the busy shopping districts and tuck into authentic local dim sum delicacies. At night, it lives up to its reputation most number of high-rise buildings and brings you a skyline that will take your breath away.
Given its subtropical climate, it is best to pack clothes made of cotton and linen for the summer and a raincoat for the winter. November and December are often regarded as the best months of the year as it is cool with plenty of sunshine. It gets colder in January and February, and temperatures can drop below 10°C. From May to August, it is hot and humid with occasional showers and thunderstorms. Day temperatures often exceed 31°C at this time of year. Come July to September, Hong Kong is often affected by tropical cyclones known as typhoons. There will be strong winds and heavy rain, so it will be wise to always have an umbrella in hand.
Hong Kong is considered unitary; hence, the entire island is not divided into cities or towns. Although Victoria City, Kowloon and New Kowloon are known areas with legally stated limits, they are not recognised as cities or towns. Districts are determined regarding mountains, coastlines, and roads. In Victoria City, districts include Central and Western District, parts of Wan Chai and Eastern District; in Kowloon, Yau Tsim Mong, Sham Shui Po and Kowloon City; in New Kowloon, Wong Tai Sin and Kwun Tong.
Even with towering skyscrapers, neon lights, busy malls, party zones and other cosmopolitan delights, Hong Kong is a Chinese Haven to its core. After all, 98% of the population is Chinese. The primary languages used by the locals are Mandarin and the Cantonese dialect.
Make sure you familiarise yourself with Chinese beliefs before making that bold step to living or working in Hong Kong. If you wish to establish your own business in Hong Kong, make sure you consult a feng shui professional to advise you on the launching date, entrance, exit, positions of furniture and so on. Being superstitious people, the Chinese refuse to do business without a feng shui expert's permission, lest any misfortunes come to pass.
The cultural etiquette in Hong Kong calls for humility. For instance, any compliments directed to Hong Kong citizens will be met with denial. Gift giving is a widely-observed tradition in Hong Kong as it displays respect and friendliness. Make sure you bring a gift for your first meetings, preferably something from your hometown.
Lastly, learn how to use chopsticks!
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