Guide for moving to Hong Kong from New York

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If you’re looking for something new and exciting but don’t want to let go of the best aspects of living in a big city, moving to Hong Kong from New York might just be the perfect compromise. There are many things Hong Kong and New York have in common: they’re both major cultural, social, and business centers, both populous and welcoming cities, both places where you can work hard and play hard. So you’ll likely find your favorite things about New York in Hong Kong as well. And yet, in many other aspects, Hong Kong is unique, and living here is an experience you don’t want to miss out on. But before you start looking into overseas moving services, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. So let’s consider some of the pros and cons of moving to Hong Kong as well as how to make it happen.

How moving to Hong Kong from New York won’t change things for you

It may seem strange, but Hong Kong and NYC are alike in many ways:

  • big urban centers densely populated with mullions of residents
  • culturally diverse with people from all over the world living together
  • financial and business centers that offer a lot in terms of employment
  • popular tourist locations for travelers from all over the world
  • cities that enjoy the finer things in life with tons of cultural events, different dining options, lively nightlife, and more
Hong Kong street at night.
A busy city that never sleeps – could apply to Hong Kong or NYC.

How moving to Hong Kong from New York can change your life for the better

Despite their similarities, NYC and HK are also very different in some aspects. Moving from New York to Hong Kong will, therefore, be a major change in many ways too. Some of them, you will surely enjoy.

You’ll get to experience a completely new and different way of life

Moving to Hong Kong will show you a whole new world. Being a former British protectorate, Hong Kong shares in Western influences and culture (including music and movies). At the same time, it is very clear that Hong Kong is not quite part of the Western world. Instead, it is the perfect blend of East and West, a unique place that you simply must experience for yourself.

Public transport is good and cheap

If you’re used to NYC’s metro and bus system, then you’ll just love Hong Kong’s public transport. It is modern, clean, reliable, and incredibly cheap. Taxis are also a popular mode of transportation as you can flag them down on just about any street corner and won’t have to pay too much for them either. So you may want to reconsider international car transportation when moving to HK – you can easily get by without a car.

Healthcare is excellent and easily accessible

Hong Kong has a famously good healthcare system. And after dealing with international moving costs, you’ll be happy to learn that healthcare is not just affordable; it is entirely free. There are no contributions to healthcare – it is provided to all citizens and non-permanent residents at absolutely no cost. All you need is a Hong Kong Identity Card and you can get treated for free in one of 164 public hospitals.

Hospital equipment.
Access to health services won’t be a problem in Hong Kong.

How moving to Hong Kong from New York can change your life for the worse

Unfortunately, like any other place on Earth, Hong Kong also has its flaws. And before you hire international movers NYC, you should be aware of them. Even if they don’t make you reconsider the move, you should at least know what to expect.

You won’t know the language and that limits your options

Although English is an official language in Hong Kong and the majority of residents do speak it, English proficiency has actually been on the decline in recent years. It is not uncommon to find low-income workers in the service industry who speak little to no English. The other two major languages are Cantonese and Mandarin, both variants of Chinese. Neither is easy to pick up and the locally preferred Cantonese less so. This can make getting around, meeting people, and finding a job difficult.

The taxes may be lower but so are the salaries and the work culture is ruthless

The good thing about Hong Kong is that you can look for work in all sorts of industries and you’ll be taxed less on what you make at your chosen job. However, you will also earn less than you would in NYC for the same job. Add to that the exceptionally high costs of living in HK and moving may just not pay off. Not to mention, the work culture in Hong Kong is brutal: workers regularly stay for unpaid overtime and the work-life balance is practically non-existent.

Raising a family in Hong Kong can be challenging

Hong Kong has many international schools that your children can attend and get an excellent education. However, there is a limited number of spots in schools at all levels of education. This creates a huge competition and drives up the prices of schooling. Additionally, lack of space and the very urban, industrial environment mean less spacious housing and fewer playgrounds or otherwise child-friendly spaces in the city.

Pollution is a big problem

New York City does not have the cleanest air, that’s no secret. You may think this has prepared you for Hong Kong. But HK has a huge pollution problem. The smog often hangs over the city like a cloud, the air can sometimes feel thick and unbreathable, and most people regularly wear masks in public to protect themselves from pollutants. This is especially a problem during humid summers that only exacerbate the problem.

Smog that you will get used to seeing after moving to Hong Kong from New York.
Pollution is a huge problem in Hong Kong.

Make moving to Hong Kong from New York easier

If you do decide that Hong Kong is the place for you, it’s time to start thinking about the relocation itself. Moving to Hong Kong from New York is going to be a challenge as you’re traveling over a significant distance and crossing borders while at it too. Doing this by yourself is next to impossible so it’s best to hire international movers to help you with the relocation. Working with movers will make packing and shipping your belongings much easier. But don’t forget about the things you need to do to prepare for the move: renew your passport, get your visa and work permits sorted out, and find your new home before you even start thinking about the practicalities of the relocation itself.

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