Living & Working in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a fascinating and fun place to live. Located in Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China, over 350,000 expatriates call Hong Kong home. The city embraces the diverse cultures of the people who comprise the “fragrant harbour” and offers a modern, energetic world city. Interactive museums, world-class entertainment, shopping, a delightful range of cuisine options, stunning architecture and greenery abound and await you in Hong Kong.
Some of the key benefits of living and working in Hong Kong include:
- A Plethora of Public Holidays
- World’s Best Commute
- Low and Simple Taxes
- Excellent Social Life and Night Life
- A Variety of Housing Options
- Numerous Sports Events & Activities
- High Standard of English
- Freedom of the Press
- Very Low Crime Rates
- High Quality Healthcare
- Abundant Opportunities to Travel
- Vibrant Arts Scene
- Sub-Tropical Climate
- A Shopper’s Paradise
- Great Public Transport
To learn more about our exciting city please visit the Hong Kong Tourism Board or one of the great message boards, which cover a range of topics about living and working in Hong Kong, such as Asia Expat or Geo Expat.
For specific questions, contact
A Plethora of Public Holidays
One of the benefits of being a “fusion” country where East meets West is that you celebrate both Western and Chinese public holidays. The Hong Kong Government declares the dates of all 17 Hong Kong public or bank holidays. When a designated public holiday falls on a Sunday, or is on the same day of another holiday, the immediate following weekday will be a public holiday. The only exception occurs with Lunar New Year.
For a complete list of Public Holidays please see
Low and Simple Taxes
Hong Kong’s tax laws are easy to understand and advantageous to wage earners. There is no sales tax or capital gains tax. You will only pay tax on income earned in Hong Kong. Spouses are eligible to work in Hong Kong and many do thanks to availability of live-in domestic helpers who can perform childcare and domestic duties.
For a basic overview of Hong Kong’s tax system and information on obtaining a work visa, please visit
A Variety of Housing Options
Whether it’s a bustling highrise flat or a village home overlooking rice fields, Hong Kong can accommodate your housing needs and budget.
To view properties in various districts of Hong Kong, please visit
High Standard of English
Hong Kong is an international city and people from many cultures are proud to call this former British colony home. Cantonese and English are the two official languages. Most locals—including shopkeepers, bus and taxi drivers and waiters—have at least a basic understanding of English. Road signs are in English and Cantonese.
Very Low Crime Rates
Hong Kong is an extremely safe city. Crime rates against property and persons are extremely low.
Abundant Opportunities to Travel
With the plentiful public holidays, you have many opportunities to visit the splendours of the continent. Hong Kong is a gateway to Asia and ideally located for long weekend getaways to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan and Bali. History, beaches, diving, shopping, skiing, eco-tourism, world wonders, wildlife…it’s all at your fingertips.
For more information on short term holiday destinations from Hong Kong please visit
Hong Kong is known for its hot and sunny weather. Cold weather is considered anything below 15 degrees celsius! The rainy season, during which sudden rain showers, typhoons, and black rain storm warnings may happen, takes place during the summer months when most teachers are on summer leave.
For more information on Hong Kong’s weather please visit
Great Public Transport
Not only is public transportation affordable, it is clean, efficient and accessible! Hong Kong has the highest rate of public transport usage in the world, with over 90% of daily journeys taking place within the extensive public transport network. The MTR (underground and overground light rail) links seamlessly with tram, bus, minibus, and ferry services that cover almost all residential and commercial areas of the city. A network of covered overpasses makes crossing Central a breeze no matter the weather or traffic situation, and of course, Hong Kong’s world famous escalators make pedestrian commutes between residential mid-levels and downtown Central possible for thousands of people every day.
For more information on Hong Kong’s transportation system, please visit
- Citymapper (free smartphone app—highly recommended)
- Star Ferry
- About.com Article on the Central-Mid-Level Escalators
Excellent Social Life and Night Life
Making friends in Hong Kong is not difficult at all. Hong Kong is a transient city so at any time there will be newcomers looking to meet new people. The English Speaking Members Department of the YWCA offers a course entitled “atHOME” that is specifically aimed at newcomers to Hong Kong to help you get to know Hong Kong and meet other newcomers. Many people join a sporting club (rugby, cricket, netball) and find that a great way to make friends. Chambers of Commerce offer many social events and are well attended. Toastmasters, Rotary Club and Church are also other ways to meet a wide range of new people.
For more information on various clubs and social opportunities in Hong Kong please visit:
- YWCA atHOME Course for Newcomers
- HKTDC’s List of Major Business Chambers in Hong Kong
- The Rotary Club of Hong Kong
- Hong Kong Toastmasters
- Partial List of Hong Kong Churches
- Hong Kong Movie (Free iPhone App)
- HKTB Mobile Guides
Numerous Sports Events and Activities
Did you know that over 40 per cent of Hong Kong is protected country park and beaches? Hong Kong has many spectacular hikes of differing distances and difficulties. The only thing all the walks have in common are the breathtaking panoramic views, the occasional wildlife spotting, and the inevitable lovely lunch at the end. Come join the Ultimate Frisbee league! Tai chi in the park! Running! Or, if you are more of an aqua-man (or woman), Hong Kong offers many opportunities for dragon boating – for paddlers of every ability! Sounds exhausting? Then come watch world class horse racing or the famous Hong Kong Sevens! Or escape from it all at one of Hong Kong’s beaches or out on a junk.
For more information on Hong Kong Sports, please visit
- Standard Chartered Marathon
- Hong Kong Sevens
- Hong Kong Netball Association
- Hong Kong Island Paddle Club
- Hong Kong Hiking Meetup Group
- Hong Kong Ultimate Frisbee Players Association
- Hash House Harriers
- Sports Clubs and Associations
- Hong Kong Map and Walking Tours (Free iPhone App)
Freedom of the Press
If facebook doesn’t fill you in first, Hong Kong is home to 46 constitutionally guaranteed “freedom of the press” newspapers, five domestic TV stations and satellite and cable TV, including Sky, HBO, Lifestyle, AXN and all the sporting channels you need! There is fast, reliable fibre-to-the-home internet with no ‘firewall’. Hong Kong does not suffer from “brownouts” like many other countries in the region.
For more information on television stations available in Hong Kong please visit
For more information on Internet service providers please visit
Hong Kong’s English language news sources include
High Quality Healthcare
The Health Authority operates 38 public hospitals and many clinics across Hong Kong. These hospitals offer some of the world’s highest quality healthcare and follow up medication and treatment at an extremely low price to all Hong Kong Identity card holders. Both locals and expatriates are known to avail of these hospitals due to the excellence of the staff. Hong Kong also has 13 private hospitals and a wide range of private practitioners offering healthcare services including acupuncture, physiotherapy, infertility clinics, occupational and speech therapy.
For more information regarding Hong Kong’s healthcare, please visit
Vibrant Arts Scene
Hong Kong has a vibrant Art and Culture community. Whether it’s Elvis Costello, YoYo Ma, Justin Beiber, or Coldplay who tickles your fancy, they all stop by Hong Kong for the same reason you do…they love it here! Hong Kong Artwalk, the Arts Festival, Hong Kong Literary Festival and Hong Kong Israeli Film Festival are just four popular Artistic events held throughout the year. The Fringe Club promotes local talent, while the Arts and Cultural Centre, Performing Arts studio and Hong Kong Stadium host top international performers.
For more information on Hong Kong’s Art Scene, please visit
- Hong Kong Fringe Club
- Hong Kong Arts Festival
- Hong Kong Art Walk
- Hong Kong International Film Festival
- Hong Kong International Literary Festival
- What’s On in Hong Kong (Free iPhone App)
A Shopper’s Paradise
Choose between Jimmy Choos, “mock crocs” and everything in between! If you are in need of retail therapy, Hong Kong can cure you, and it only needs to cost what you’re wanting to spend. Many people come to Hong Kong just for the shopping, which has no sales tax or VAT. The Ladies Market, The Jade Market, Stanley, Sham Sui Po, Wanchai Electronics all offer great deals on clothes and electronics, as do the world class malls in Central, Admiralty, TST which boast legendary names including Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Lacoste and Miu Miu. The supermarkets stock a wide range of food items and amenities for the expatriate community and, yes, they deliver!
For more information on shopping in Hong Kong please visit