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Thinking of relocating to Hong Kong?
Relocating to a new city or country can be a big step; especially when you have a new job to face as well. You can only really get a good feel for a country when you have been there, but please keep reading our guide on Hong Kong to give you an overview of this country and what it has to offer, from the essentials to the desirables...
Hong Kong is an archipelago situated at the south-eastern tip of China, consisting of roughly 262 outlying islands. The three main areas of habitation are: Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, and the more rural New Territories which extend all the way up to the Chinese border. Hong Kong is both architecturally and geographically stunning, with these two elements working in harmony over the landscape as skyscrapers and apartment blocks are flanked by mountainous terrain.
Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China on July 1, 1997, having been governed by British law for 150 years. Under this current agreement, existing legal, social and economic systems will be maintained for fifty years, so much autonomy is enjoyed by over seven million inhabitants currently residing in Hong Kong. There is a thriving expat community and many locals in the centre speak English and/or Mandarin (Putonghua). Road signs, daily local newspapers, terrestrial television, public announcements, notices and legislation can all be found in English and Cantonese as these are the official languages, so communication is easier.
The climate is tropical and so it can reach above 35 degrees Celsius in summer, but drop below 10 degrees in the winter. There is also a typhoon season, and most rain falls between April and September.
The transport system in Hong Kong is efficient and clean. The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is the underground train system linking outlying islands, Disneyland, the airport and Chinese border to the centre of Hong Kong. An extensive bus network operates even further afield in the New Territories and some outlying islands. The original tram system has also been maintained connecting Hong Kong Island with history while colour coded taxis are incredible value for money and readily available.
Identity cards are issued to all Hong Kong residents. This entitles the bearer to dramatically reduced bills for treatment in government hospitals and smart chip entry and exit at Hong Kong immigration.
Education is of paramount importance in Hong Kong so a large selection of Chinese and international institutions ranging from kindergartens to universities are available throughout the region.
Hong Kong is home to Asia's second largest stock market, and over 4,000 international corporations have set up business in the region. Income taxes are extremely low and paid in full at the end of each tax year in one lump sum. It is no surprise that Hong Kong operates under a policy of free trade both for local and international investment and capital movement.
Bank accounts can be set up easily with travel documents and a deposit, but a small monthly fee will be charged on all accounts under a certain balance.
The words Hong Kong mean fragrant harbour and Kowloon means nine dragons.
Octagonal and concave feng shui mirrors are hung over doorways to scare evil spirits who may come near with their reflection.
- Fireworks are illegal.
- Mobile phone calls can be made and received on the underground MTR train system.
- The Hong Kong airport at Chek Lap Kok was voted best in the world.
- The Tsing Ma bridge is the world's longest road-rail suspension bridge.
- One of Hong Kong's major exports is human sewage, which the Chinese use to fertilize farmlands.
- The city with the most Rolls Royce's per capita is Hong Kong.
- The luckiest number is 8, the unluckiest number is 4. Many buildings do not have a fourth or forty fourth floor