How To Register For Healthcare In Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a comprehensive two-tier health insurance system which consists of universal free coverage for everyone, including expats, as well as private medical insurance. Below, we will look at the territory’s medical system and how, as an expat, you can register for it. Hong Kong’s healthcare is a co-pay system which gives universal coverage … Read more

The Shadows Of Bubbles

One very intriguing aspect of living in a place like Hong Kong is that you often find yourself treading niftily between parallel cultures; and never more so than with language. For example, I recently learnt a new Cantonese expression – the above title – while daydreaming on a bus. I kick-started my knowledge of Chinese … Read more

How To Open A Bank Account In Hong Kong

In terms of banking, there are a few options open to expats living in Hong Kong. For example, some choose to maintain an existing account in their home country, which can be useful for things like paying recurring bills back home. Others choose to open an international account with their existing bank, which may eliminate … Read more

How to Learn the Language in Hong Kong

The former British colony of Hong Kong is still an attractive destination for expats, not least because it is still English speaking. You will therefore have some advantage as a native speaker, but more so if you also speak Cantonese or Mandarin.The official languages in the city-state are English and Chinese. However, there are two … Read more

How To Rent Or Buy Property In Hong Kong

Hong Kong is densely populated, and property there is expensive. You can find various types of accommodation, from small apartments to luxury serviced villas, but there are comparatively few houses. Historically, expats have favoured the Mid Levels on Hong Kong Island, but they are now seeking cheaper accommodation further afield. Luxury complexes, with gyms, pools … Read more

How To Apply For A Visa In Hong Kong

For many years, the booming Asian city of Hong Kong has been a popular destination for expats, and this continues, despite recent political unrest. The city is one of the world’s major centres of commerce and finance, and as such is an appealing choice for residence and work. Read on to learn about the visa … Read more

New Year Going Viral

One of the odd things about living in Hong Kong is that I get the chance to wish you all a happy New Year not once but twice, second time being for the Chinese version which we are celebrating at the moment. So there you have it, New Year with a double dose of happiness!Well, … Read more

How To Find A Job In Hong Kong

The city-state of Hong Kong is one of the most booming urban centres on Earth and has been a major attraction for expats seeking employment for many years, particularly those from the UK, with which Hong Kong obviously has historical ties. There are a very wide range of jobs available but there are also some … Read more

How To Register With The Health System In Hong Kong

Hong Kong offers an incredibly high quality of healthcare, both in the public and private sectors, so rest that assured you will be in good hands after you move. Unlike many other popular expat destinations, Hong Kong has a well-established public healthcare system, which even non-permanent residents can be eligible for.Many doctors in Hong Kong … Read more

How To Keep Your Health Insurance Costs Low In Hong Kong

Hong Kong was ranked as having the most efficient healthcare system in the world back in 2017. According to Bloomberg Healthcare Efficiency Index, Hong Kong had an efficiency rating of 89.9 out of a possible 100. Seeing as it boasts world-class hospitals, state-of-the-art technology and equipment, and highly-trained practitioners, this is hardly a surprise, and … Read more

How Much Do Health Procedures Cost In Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is well known for having some of the best healthcare in the world, with extremely high standards of medical practice. In fact, Hong Kong was the first place in the world to carry out an adult-to-adult live donor liver transplant in the early 1990s.Hong Kong has a strong private health insurance industry and … Read more

Shannon Kapoor, Taikoo Shing

Who are you? I am an individual who believes each day of our life is an experience that evolves us as a person, so learn and move forward with a smile. Where, when and why did you move abroad? In Hong Kong, we are located in Taikoo Shing. We moved here back in 2012.My husband … Read more

Carrie On Hong Kong

Protest march, rally, riot, violence, revolution of our time, liberate Hong Kong, democracy, f**k the po-po, are not the sort of words or phrases I ever thought it would be necessary to learn in hitherto peaceful Hong Kong, indeed my Teach Yourself Chinese book is starkly lacking in this area. But, with the past weekends, … Read more

What Visa Options Are Available For Expats In Hong Kong?

Hong Kong has a separate visa and immigration policy from China. If you are traveling from Mainland China you will need to go through Immigration and have your papers/passports checked. If you have the right to live or have land in Hong Kong then you do not need a Visa (details in the section below) … Read more

What Is Life Really Like For Expats In Hong Kong?

Hong Kong used to be considered a mecca for expats back in the day, but is that still the case? It’s no secret that the cost of living in Hong Kong has been skyrocketing over the years and that the job market changed completely in the late 90s after the city-state was handed back to … Read more

Helen Bannigan, Sai Kung

Who are you? I’m a mom, wife, entrepreneur, culturalist, and a lifetime advocate of making the world a better place by following my passions in life and sharing those passions with those around me. Where, when and why did you move abroad? 30 years ago, after graduating from university in Washington, DC, I got fired … Read more

How To Find The Right Neighbourhood For You In Hong Kong

Are you in search of the ideal neighbourhood in Hong Kong? Here, we explore the myriad options available in the city, providing an overview of the best places to live, whatever your priorities.Mid-Levels The bustling Mid-Levels are the perfect compromise for expats living in Hong Kong. Great for employment opportunities and with a vast range … Read more

A Guide To Hong Kong’s Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme

What is the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme, otherwise known as VHIS? As per the official statement, VHIS is a policy initiative implemented by the food and health bureau in Hong Kong to regulate individual indemnity hospital insurance products. Participation is voluntary, for both insurance companies and members of the public. The primary goals are to … Read more

An Expat Guide To Socialising And Meetup Groups In Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the world’s most popular expat destinations. One estimate puts the population of internationally-born residents at nearly five percent of the total 7.1 million population. But in this crowded city, it’s all too easy to feel lonely.The former British outpost in the Far East was an important trading post for centuries, … Read more

Ben Zabulis, New Territories

It’s a bit of a standing joke in our circles that a few years of procrastination was brought to a timely end by that well-known film and TV actor Ian McShane. You see, whilst enduring a wintry spell in Nottingham, England, we had taken to watching repeats of the series Lovejoy on day-time TV. Not … Read more

Why Is Hong Kong So Attractive For Ultra-Wealthy Expats?

An autonomous province located on the Pearl River Delta, the sovereign state of Hong Kong is Asia’s gateway to China. On the surface, this island city comes across as a highly modernised location, with its towering skyscrapers, booming industry, superior living standards, modern amenities, excellent nightlife and state of the art infrastructure. However, as you … Read more

How Living Like A Local Can Save You Money In Hong Kong

While Hong Kong is one of the world’s greatest cities for expats to move to, news that expat packages are falling in value is not good for those who live there. Hong Kong is not the cheapest place for executives to relocate to, but there are ways and means to enjoy a stint working there. … Read more

The Best Places To Live In Hong Kong

Moving to a new location to live is an exciting prospect, but at the same time, it can also be daunting. One of the most crucial steps associated with moving to a new location is finding a place to live. This can be a tricky thing to pull off, especially for first-time expats, and some … Read more

Thinking Of Moving To Hong Kong? Read This First

In Hong Kong, the east meets the west, and at the root of its towering skyscrapers and fast paced life lie deeply held traditional values. Expats will find familiarity in certain aspects, while some may appear entirely foreign to them. In general, expats have found it easy to live in Hong Kong over the years, … Read more

Why Moving To Hong Kong Will Change Your Life… For Better And Worse

Hong Kong is a meeting place of the East and West. Its landscape of skyscrapers exists alongside places of worship. Life here is highly modernized, but traditional Chinese practices are still carried out. This is evident even in the food choices, where both local dishes such as dim sum, and modern gourmet cuisine, can be … Read more

Hong Kong – Recommended Social Media Accounts

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at Hong Kong and some of the social media accounts you should be following if you’re thinking of moving there.Expat Hong KongFacebook Group This community … Read more

9 Important Things You Need To Know About Healthcare In Hong Kong

The Fragrant Harbor boasts of one of the best healthcare systems across the globe, which is on par with, if not better than, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and a number of other developed nations. In fact, the island’s healthcare is often regarded as the ultimate safety net by numerous foreigners who have … Read more

Why Are Expat Relocation Packages Being Downsized In Hong Kong?

The Pearl of the Orient, Hong Kong, is one of the most interesting places in Asia to live and work in. This country has a lot to offer in terms of cultural experiences, infrastructure, diversity, quality of life, safety, education and career opportunities, to name just a few. The best part is that it offers … Read more

What Makes Hong Kong The Most Expensive City In The World For Expats?

Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient, is a fascinating place where East really does meet West. Surprisingly, the Chinese and British cultures haven’t been amalgamated; instead the two have managed to coexist side by side and in fact complement each other rather well. You’ll find ancient tradition rooted at the base of every towering … Read more

Moving To Hong Kong? Here Are Ten Things To Be Aware Of

Situated on the southern coast of China, the autonomous territory of Hong Kong is often referred to as the perfect combination of “East Meets West”. Chinese traditions have been strongly affected by a British influence all across the region.On the one hand, this vibrant island boasts all the modern conveniences you can expect in any … Read more

Should Expats In Hong Kong Worry About Pollution Levels?

In December 2015, the first “green bus” in Hong Kong made its journey across the city, followed by at least four more buses on different routes in the next few weeks. The Hong Kong government simultaneously also announced plans for several more electric buses over the course of 2016, as part of a massive scheme … Read more

The Best Co-Working Spaces For Expat Entrepreneurs In Hong Kong

For several years now, Hong Kong has been actively promoting its startup culture, not just among its citizens but also among its foreign residents and visitors, by making constant reforms to its entrepreneurship laws and regulations. Hong Kong has become a major Asian hub of new businesses for consultants and freelancers from around the world. … Read more

Interview With Ruth Benny, Founder of Top Schools HK

Ruth, what inspired you to set up Top Schools HK? I saw a need! I saw parents stressing about getting their kids into kindergartens and primary schools and no-one to turn to for help. The system is very complicated and I saw parents getting themselves into a mess and making unnecessary mistakes and thought that … Read more

A Brief Guide To The Main Religious Beliefs In Hong Kong

The multicultural population of Hong Kong consists of various communities that have their own beliefs and ideologies. The Chinese community, which forms the majority of the population, has three main religions – Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. The other major religious communities in Hong Kong include the Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Sikhs. This diversity is … Read more

Hong Kong – Five Recommended Expat Blogs

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at Hong Kong and some of the bloggers who write about living there. This Girl Abroad The blog of a Canadian expat who now lives … Read more

Stewart McKay, Yau Ma Tei (Kowloon)

Who are you? My name is Stewart, and I am an English teacher currently living in Hong Kong. I’m originally from the UK. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved to Hong Kong just over 3 years ago. I always intended to move abroad, to teach English, and a job came up … Read more

A Guide To Employment Laws In Hong Kong

Employment laws are important for both employers and employees. Since human resources play such a significant role in a company, the employer needs to be able to manage them effectively to ensure success. Employment laws ensure that the employer has certain rights and obligations with regard to the employees, which are in place right from … Read more

5 Foods You Must Try When Living In Hong Kong

Hong Kong offers a wide variety of choices to those who love dining out. From swanky restaurants to tiny street stalls, eating out is a popular pastime here. Hong Kong has been influenced by Eastern and Western cultures and you have the opportunity to sample cuisines from different countries like Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, Europe … Read more

What Are The Health Risks For Expats In Hong Kong?

Expats living in Hong Kong are generally safe and not at risk for any major health complications. But expats planning to relocate should consult their doctor beforehand and inquire if there are any recommended vaccinations or preventive medications. It is also important to ensure that all routine vaccinations and boosters are up to date. Here … Read more

Dealing With Culture Shock In Hong Kong – Some Advice For New Expats

Summers can be hot and humid, and it’s not uncommon for people to stay indoors for much of the summer. Temperatures can rise up to 35 degrees and the humidity hangs heavy over the entire city. The city’s many air-conditioned shopping centers serve as a cool haven in such weather. Hong Kong also witnesses a … Read more

5 Experiences You Must Try As An Expat In Hong Kong

The thought of moving to a place like Hong Kong can be thrilling yet intimidating for any expat. From its colonial past to its imposing modern skyline, this island city can be called Asia’s melting pot of culture and diversity. Apart from its “East Meets West” reputation, many visitors consider Hong Kong a place of … Read more

Expat Family Friendly Things To Do In Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a wonderful city to live in, with its beautiful nature reserves and marine parks on one hand and its modern cosmopolitan nature and thriving economy on the other. It’s also a great place for family life as there are plenty of exciting places to visit. Here are some family friendly things to … Read more

5 Great Restaurants For Expats In Hong Kong

Hong Kong has more than 11,000 restaurants, of which 61 are Michelin-starred, serving a variety of cuisine, ranging from traditional dim sum to unique fusion culinary fare. To help you navigate through the maze of gastronomical creativity that is Hong Kong’s food scene, here is a list of five great restaurants for expats. RyuGin, West … Read more

5 Things You Should Know Before Moving To Hong Kong

Hong Kong has always been a popular expat destination. A major international financial center, this former British colony continues to see rapid industrialization, high growth rates and also continues to be an important cultural center. Here are 5 things you should know before moving to Hong Kong. Cost of Living Hong Kong is one of … Read more

Mary Tod, Hong Kong

Who are you? My name is Mary Tod. For thirty years I worked in the information technology and consulting industries in various roles including marketing, sales and senior management. Now, I am obsessed with writing historical fiction and being an expat is the reason for that change. I am happily married and have two adult … Read more

Expat Employment and The Hong Kong Job Market

As a major financial hub of the world, Hong Kong employs thousands upon thousands of expat workers that relocate in search of work and a better quality of life. Enticed by the area’s low taxes, efficient and well-developed public transportation system and heavy use of English, expats from areas like the United States, Europe and … Read more

The British Influence in Hong Kong: How Much Remains?

As a product of 156 years of British colonial rule, Hong Kong has only been independent since 1st July 1997. In recent years, Hong Kong has undergone a sort of identity crisis, leaving some yearning for the days of British control. How much the city has changed is up to debate, as Brits and foreigners … Read more

Hong Kong Neighborhoods: Where Expats Should Live and Why

Hong Kong lures expats from around the world in spite of its crowds and high cost of living. Like many cities around the world, each neighborhood in Hong Kong has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages. Hong Kong has retained much of its Western influence in some of these neighborhoods, offering comfort and a homely … Read more

Will the Hong Kong Healthcare System Be Adequate for My Expat Family?

Medical standards and the health care system differ hugely from Hong Kong to the mainland of China, and are arguably far better. The outbreak of the SARS virus still haunts Hong Kong in terms of reputation, as over 250 people died in the city. However, having been free from the virus for over seven years, … Read more

Angelina Draper, Hong Kong

Who are you? Angelina Draper, life long expat born in what was Jugoslavia to an Irish mother and Jugoslav father. First an expat child, then an expat in my own right and now an expat wife. So far I’ve lived in 26 homes on three continents, seven countries and eleven cities. Where, when and why … Read more

A Detailed Look at the Education System in Hong Kong

The ‘Special Administrative Region’ of Hong Kong is special for more than the relative autonomy from mainland China that it enjoys. For one, it is one of the most densely populated territories on the planet. This situation has led to some of the most in-demand upscale residencies in the world (see Causeway Bay for more … Read more

Christine Navin, Hong Kong

If you’ve never been to a wet market in Hong Kong, you are more than welcome to tag along with me. Loosely translated, a wet market is a catch-all phrase describing any open air market offering fresh produce, seafood, meat, and fowl, among other exotic-to-me delicacies. Fresh, as in the fish are still swimming and … Read more

Expat Having a Baby in Hong Kong?

Depending on the situation in your country of origin, you may find several pleasant surprises related to medical care in Hong Kong. Quality is high and costs can be quite low relative to other developed countries. Public options are very affordable and luxurious private options are available for a hefty price. If you have a … Read more

State of the Property Market in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong property market is vibrant, just like the city itself. With the Hong Kong dollar pegged to the US dollar, the property market somewhat follows US trends. At the very low current interest rates, along with very low supply, housing demand and prices are high. It is possible for an expat to buy … Read more

Ruth Benny, Founder of Top Schools HK

Ruth, what inspired you to set up Top Schools HK? I saw a need! I saw parents stressing about getting their kids into kindergartens and primary schools and no-one to turn to for help. The system is very complicated and I saw parents getting themselves into a mess and making unnecessary mistakes and thought that … Read more

Domestic Help for Expats in Hong Kong

Many expats arrive in Hong Kong without ever having had domestic help—especially live-in. And they’ve never held the role of private employer, so they aren’t aware of their legal obligations as employers. While there are many differences of opinion about the benefits and concerns regarding hiring a helper or amah, we’ll focus here on the … Read more

How to Choose a School in Hong Kong

For a family considering a move to Hong Kong, finding an appropriate school for your children has to be top of mind. Since most expat children will not arrive with Mandarin or Cantonese language skills, they will likely join the competition for limited spaces in international schools offering their home language. The limitation is not … Read more

Pollution in Hong Kong – What Expats Should Know Before Moving

The name Hong Kong means “fragrant harbor.” There is an old joke that when a plane landed at Kai Tak, Hong Kong’s former airport, and the pilots opened the doors, they would look at each other and one would say, “If it’s not you and it’s not me, this must be Hong Kong.” The harbor’s … Read more

Lack of Living Space in Hong Kong Homes – What To Expect

In our previous article on the cost of living in Hong Kong we note that the annual living quarters allowance for US government expats in Hong Kong is a range around $100,000 (US). This translates to a monthly rate for rent/utilities of $7K to $10K, which would provide luxury living in most parts of the … Read more

How to Estimate Your Cost of Living in Hong Kong

The good news is that Hong Kong is not one of the top ten most expensive world cities for expats, at least according to Economist Intelligence Unit which provides regular reports on cost of living in the world’s major cities. The bad news is it’s very close. In fact, a different assessment by Mercer rates … Read more

Eight Things NOT to Do in Hong Kong

by Nancy Bach 1. Don’t wear your shoes in the house. This was a bit of advice we heard at the one and only orientation session we attended on our arrival in Hong Kong before we were thoroughly engaged in our working lives. It makes good sense. When you walk the streets of Hong Kong … Read more

Fun For Expat Kids in Hong Kong

by Nancy Bach Our three kids were ages four through nine when we arrived in Hong Kong. It wasn’t just a foreign country to them, but the whole “big city” situation was unknown. We constantly scouted out activities that gave them opportunities to enjoy hands-on outdoor fun. 1. Take the ferry. On our first days … Read more

Madeline Acton Rae, Hong Kong

Who are you? Madeline Acton Rae Where, when and why did you move abroad? My husband and I moved from NYC to Singapore for his business. At the end of 2012, after 4 years in Singapore, his company moved us to Hong Kong. Our fist expat posting was in Tokyo, Japan from 2001 – 2004.What … Read more

Hollie, Hong Kong

Who are you? My name is Hollie, and I am a Native English Teacher from the East Coast of Canada. I love books, writing, music, art and travel. I am a grown woman, yet I harbor an unhealthy obsession for Harry Potter. My husband and I are very proud of our East Coast Canadian roots. … Read more

Jennifer Brown, Hong Kong

Who are you? I’m an American ‘serial expat’ who loves people-watching, exploring historic places, and learning something new everyday. All past-times perfectly suited to expat life. We have lived in Mainland China, Holland (briefly), England and are now based in Hong Kong. I am a lawyer by training, but am currently taking time off from … Read more

Shannon Young, Hong Kong

Who are you? My name is Shannon Young. I’m an American writer and teacher currently living in Hong Kong. I love to read, write and spy on other people’s books on the train. My work has appeared on numerous expat websites, on an iPhone travel app, and in the Hong Kong Women in Publishing Society’s … Read more

The Amahs of Hong Kong

by Nancy Bach It’s Sunday. Who are the lovely dark-haired, round-faced ladies chattering away at the Star Ferry terminal, in Victoria Park, under the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank? They are women from the Philippines on their day off from duties as amahs, or “little mothers.” One of them could be your new spouse. Most Hong … Read more

Tom, Hong Kong

Who are you? Tom. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved to Hong Kong from Britain in 2005 on a post-graduate teaching programme and settled more permanently in 2007. I work in a primary school now and share my resources at How did you find somewhere to live? I was lucky … Read more

Doveen Schecter, Hong Kong

I came to Hong Kong just after the 1997 “Handover” of the British colony back to China. I had a little bit of savings in my pocket from my marketing job in Moscow with Deloitte. I was born in Hong Kong so I applied for permanent residency once I had tracked down my birth certificate. … Read more

Lincoln Taylor, Hong Kong

Who are you? I am part of the management team for a large US based chain of language schools. Recruiting, training, and managing teachers are my main responsibilities. My father worked for IBM, so the family moved around quite a bit. First, from London to upstate New York and finally ending up in Sydney. So, … Read more

Brittany Hite, Hong Kong

I’m an American journalist living and working in Hong Kong. I got here by way of Beijing, by way of New York, and originally come from Indiana. I originally moved to Beijing because I found a job there. Before that, I was working in New York but was feeling a bit restless. I was working … Read more

Typhoons in Hong Kong – My Experience As An Expat

by Nancy Bach If you’re arriving for your Hong Kong expat assignment to coincide with the fall start of the school year, you’re hitting typhoon season in full force. Unless you’re used to hurricanes along the US coast, this may be a bit of a scare. Not to worry… We flew into Hong Kong at … Read more

Make Hong Kong Your Home

by Nancy Bach If you’ve traveled many miles from home to Hong Kong, your world may be turned upside down, literally. So how do you deal with all the changes you meet in this foreign country? Some withdraw and try to wait it out, wallowing in homesickness. Some act as tourists, experiencing everything on the … Read more

Nancy Bach, Hong Kong

Who are you? I am Nancy Bach, a wife and mother of three. I’m a chemical engineer by training, with an MBA in economics and marketing. I worked for Eastman Kodak for 28 years, first in technical, operational, and supervisory roles in manufacturing, and then as a business manager with responsibilities for strategic planning and … Read more

Nicole Webb

Two years ago today, my life did what you might call a 180 degree turn! At 38 years old I went from being a News Reader with national 24 hour news channel Sky News Australia, where I’d worked happily (mostly) for the best part of a decade, to being an unemployed housewife, smack bang in … Read more

Jade, The New Territories

I’m Jade, a 30-year-old originally from Melbourne, Australia, and now living in the New Territories of Hong Kong. With my husband, 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter, I live in a tiny village in the middle of a tropical rainforest with views of the South China Sea. Apart from the stench of drying fish (as seen … Read more