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Hong Kong Transport

Taxis and buses run around the clock. The underground and over ground railways are fast, reliable, reasonably priced and use state-of-the-art equipment. Ferries and catamarans link Hong Kong's inhabited offshore islands. For those not in a hurry, the tried-and-tested two-tier electric trams, in service for more than a century, still trundle along the east-west axis of Hong Kong island's north shore. The Peak tram is more than a tourist attraction. Many inhabitants of Victoria Peak use it to commute to Central District. Hong Kong's transport is I believe second to none. You're spoilt for choice on how to get around. It's cost effective and reliable, what more do you want form a public transport system.

Cosmopolitan Lifestyle

The media portrays Hong Kong as a land of tall buildings clad in neon's and glass, full of people going about their high-density way of life. But there is a quieter side, of low-rise houses with gardens, beaches, Islands without cars and long walks with a variety of wildlife. There is something for everyone from the single professional with a busy career and hectic social life. To those with families who need more space and things for children to do. Living on Hong Kong Island, Kowloon side, New Territories or one of the Islands all offer a very different kind of lifestyle.

Historically Mid-Levels has been the established area for expatriates and resident foreigners. Well appointed tower blocks with varying in-house facilities, a premium part of town with rents to match. A truly residential area, no shops or restaurants to speak of, you have to go down to SOHO and Central for that. There is The Peak, Hong Kong Zoo and Botanical Gardens and Hong Kong Park. You can get to Mid-Levels in the normal way but there is always the longest escalator in the world, which after ten o'clock in the morning is "up" until the following morning.

Kowloon side is developing rapidly. There was a time when you wouldn't see a "Quilo" foreigner other than in the tourist markets. In more recent years there have been a number of tower block developments going up with shopping plazas attached, or not too far away that are attracting more and more expats and their families. In-house facilities tend to be larger and rents are noticeably lower, not that any rental is particularly cheap in Hong Kong. There is a unique feel of being a foreigner living in a Hong Kong district and Central (Hong Kong Island) is only fifteen minutes away by MTR. You do need to make a conscious effort to learn some Cantonese and it is appreciated.

Discovery Bay on Lantau Island and Lamma Island has the largest concentration of mixed families I have seen. Low rise houses, no blocks, rents are less than Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, just need to get used to ferry times. Nice beaches and Lamma has no cars at all.

As for shopping, there are supermarkets dedicated to catering for foreigners with different foods from all over the worlds. On a more local level there are two supermarket chains, Park n' Shop and Welcome that has a broad mix of Hong Kong/Chinese and western foods. But if you want to go local, get into the markets that are both in-door and in the streets, quality is always good, super fresh, local people won't buy rubbish, just remember to take your phrase book with you! The same applies to clothes, electrical and consumer goods there is a vast range to suite all pockets.

Hong Kong offers a wide and varied cosmopolitan lifestyle. Not everyone's choice when settling permanently. However, I have met so many people from around the world that arrived as visitors and now they live there permanently, Hong Kong is full of surprises.

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Hong Kong Ferry

Cosmopolitan Hong Kong
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