A Guide to Settling in Hong Kong

hong kong

Asia is getting more traction as a tourist destination, but even more so as a place for people all over the globe to build a life there from the ground up. Whether you’re a solopreneur, a globetrotter by nature, or you have a family, Asia is somewhat of a melting pot perfect for people from all walks of life, yourself included. One particular spot is living up to its reputation as an excellent expat destination: Hong Kong! Its vibrant urban lifestyle, diversity through the roof, marvelous educational programs for kids and grownups alike, and majestic surrounding nature make it a one-of-a-kind city-state for eager travelers.

However, if you come from an entirely different environment and culture, finding your feet in Hong Kong may take some getting used to. To make the transition simpler and easier to handle, here are a few tips to help you settle in Hong Kong with your family!

Tackle the paperwork essentials

As a foreigner, you need to make sure that all of your bases are covered when it comes to settling in Hong Kong. After all, you cannot even begin to think about the best foodie spots or fitness centers before you handle the visa application, getting your Hong Kong ID card, as well as a bank account, and all the permits you need to effectively live and work in the area.

  • You have 30 days from the moment you land to apply for an ID card. If your kids are 11 or older, they need one, too! It’s best to get in touch with the Immigration Department online before you get there, though.
  • Get an Octopus card so that you can pay for the local public transport, groceries, and the like, and it’s more affordable than handling each payment separately.
  • Get a local sim card for your phone, so that you can make connections with more ease and use it to communicate with locals to find work, book appointments, and the like. 

Choose the right accommodation

One of those moving essentials every eager Hong Kong expat needs to take care of is, of course, choosing the best housing available. It all depends on your budget, your family, and the duration of your stay. However, the housing market in Hong Kong can be quite competitive since there are many locals eager to bid for the best apartment available, and of course, not to mention the rising number of expats coming to the area.

With many different areas to choose from, ask around for the preferred lifestyle of the community. Don’t move into a neighborhood famous for a vibrant nightlife if you have kids, for instance. So for families, Tai Hang district makes more sense than Central, especially due to its access to international schools. 

Make the most of local education

While we’re on the subject of schools and education for your youngsters, you can even find the best playgroup in Hong Kong for the youngest of your kids to make sure they are well taken care of while you work. Based on stimulating games, socialization, and learning through play, such groups are also a great way for your kids to meet and spend time with other little ones from the area. 

Their international scene is a great way for your kids to adapt more quickly, make friends, and you’ll be able to integrate faster into your local community by getting in touch with teachers as well as parents of other kids. Making connections from day one is a must especially if you plan to stay for longer and build a life for your entire family in Hong Kong. 

Stay healthy in Hong Kong

Now that your ID and your Octopus card, as well as your accommodation are taken care of, you also need to make sure that you’re not all work and no play in this vibrant metropolis. In addition to shopping and a fast-developing restaurant scene, the wellness industry is truly blooming, and fitness opportunities are practically around every corner.

You have a wide selection of gyms in Hong Kong to meet all of your fitness cravings, although you’ll find that parks and other outdoor options are viable for fitness enthusiasts who don’t mind the humidity levels which can be intimidating. 


With a little bit of research and some creativity, you can make the transition a breeze and enjoy your new life in Hong Kong as soon as you move. Use these tips and make sure you don’t skip any essential moving steps, and you’ll be ready to pack your bags!


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