7 Expat-Friendly Places to Live in Hong Kong

7 Expat-Friendly Places to Live in Hong Kong

Moving to Hong Kong can be overwhelming. The thought that a new chapter of your life is about to begin in a country where nobody even knows who you are, and the idea that you may stumble upon your future significant other in any possible way would probably both energize and frighten you. As overwhelming as this change can be, accomplishing a task as daunting as securing an apartment would definitely make things a lot more bearable.

Hong Kong is infamous for being populous, but securing a place to live isn't as hard as you might think. Finding a cozy apartment doesn't require much time; even finding a fancy three-story house with a sizable backyard is possible. However, there are 18 areas in Hong Kong to choose from and it all boils down to one question - where is the best place to live? Living in an expat-friendly area where foreign grocery stores and international schools are close by would be ideal for many.

We know it can be a headache just to skim through the districts and deciding which one suits you best so we've summed up Hong Kong's top districts for expats to help you decide.


Kowloon Tong 

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Living in Hong Kong is convenient. You don't have to drive across town just to grab a pack of apples in most areas. You can travel to the center of the city within minutes. That's the ideal way to live in Hong Kong for lots of expats.

Kowloon Tong offers exactly that - the exceptional transport links, the excellent international schools nearby, the comprehensive shopping center - Festival Walk - that's right beside your apartment - no wonder it's becoming popular areas to live among expats. For those families who're looking for both convenient location and fabulous family-friendly facilities, Kowloon Tong would be perfect to live in.

Living in Kowloon Tong

Mode of transport
  • MTR: Kowloon Tong Station
  • Bus
  • Minibus
Nearby schools#
  • 16 in total
  • 4 international schools
Nearby hospitals
  • Hong Kong Baptist Hospital
  • St. Teresa's Hospital
Grocery stores
  • Taste
  • Wellcome
  • PARKnSHOP
Top restaurants
Average price range*
  • for sale:  from HKD$8.5 million
  • for rent: from HKD$30,000
  • Gobear's remark: Safest bet for families

West Kowloon

香港西九龍站 I

If Kowloon Tong hasn't surprised you enough with its convenience, West Kowloon is going to get your mind blown. With three MTR stations in this single area, the world is your oyster. Whether you're going to the west, central, or east side of Hong Kong, the MTR gets you straight to it. You don't even have to get off the train and transfer to a new line.

What's more surprising is that there's airport express check-in available in Kowloon Station, meaning that you can drop off your luggage and check in there without actually going to the airport. For those of you who are frequent travelers, it's a real time-saver! With the recent opening of High-Speed Rail Station connecting China and Hong Kong, West Kowloon is, literally, the transportation hub of Hong Kong.

As one of the most convenient living areas in Hong Kong, the shopping experience in West Kowloon does offer the same perks. The shopping mall above Kowloon Station - Elements - carries all major stores and restaurants that will satisfy your daily needs. 

Living in West Kowloon

Mode of transport
  • MTR: West  Kowloon/ Kowloon/ Austin Station
  • Bus
  • Minibus
Nearby schools#
  • 32 in total
  • 2 international schools
  • Many are top-notch
Nearby hospitals
  • Kowloon Hospital
  • St. Teresa's Hospital
Grocery stores
  • ThreeSixty
  • Wellcome
  • PARKnSHOP
Top restaurants
Average price range*
  • for sale:  from HKD$11 million
  • for rent: from HKD$27,000
  • GoBear's remark: Single expats who enjoy the perks of a big city will love this!

Discovery Bay

The White Chapel 海濱白教堂

Discovery Bay is home to many expats. In fact, it's the only area in Hong Kong where the proportion of expats exceeds 25%. If living in a house along the coastline, throwing rooftop parties while being able to shop for international groceries is something you look for, look no further! Discovery Bay is your best choice in Hong Kong.  

Unlike the insanely high rent in Repulse Bay or Stanley, the properties in Discovery Bay are fairly affordable. The only downside is that it's not close to the center of the city, so you're going to need a car. A private, serene neighborhood away from the over-crowding city center yet somehow convenient? That's a real deal!

Living in Discovery Bay

Mode of transport
  • Ferry
  • Bus
  • MTR: Tung Chung/ Sunny Bay/ Central Station, transfer from bus or ferry
Nearby schools#
  • 11 in total
  • 9 international schools
Nearby hospitals
  • Discovery Bay Medical Center
  • North Lantau Hospital
Grocery stores
  • Fusion
  • Starmart
  • Wellcome
  • Il Bel Paese
Top restaurants
  • Koh Tomyums
  • MooFish
  • 22° North
  • McSorley's Ale House
Average price range*
  • for sale:  from HKD$5 million
  • for rent: from HKD$17,000
  • GoBear's remark: Perfect for expats who miss living in suburban!

Sai Ying Pun & Kennedy Town

Sunset Glow (晚霞) @ Kennedy Town, Hong Kong

Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town are an outstanding blend of tranquility and liveliness. Who doesn't prefer a quiet neighborhood yet enjoy the hustle and bustle of Soho? It's the dream of many expats. That's why the expat community in Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town is ever-expanding. Another perk to living here? It's an affordable alternative to Mid-levels, which has a much higher price tag with similar facilities.

Living in Sai Ying Pun or Kennedy Town

Mode of transport

MTR: Sai Ying Pun/ Kennedy Town/
HKU Station

Bus

Minibus

Nearby schools#

33 in total

3 international schools

Nearby hospitals

Tsan Yuk Hospital

Prince Philip Dental Hospital

Grocery stores
  • International by PARKnSHOP
  • USelect (offering Tesco products)
  • Market Place
  • YATA
Top restaurants
  • Electric Ave
  • La Paloma - Sexy Tapas
  • Potato Head Hong Kong
  • thai on high
Average price range*
  • for sale:  from HKD$4.6 million
  • for rent: from HKD$12,000
  • GoBear's remark: There're a plethora of bars and private gym studios in this area. Hitting the gym and enjoying a pint of beer would probably be your daily nightlife!

Repulse Bay/ Stanley

Stanley - Hong Kong

When deciding where to live, some expats may opt for Repulse Bay or Stanley. Both of them share the similarities of "suburban" feelings that Discovery Bay has and the expat communities there are hugely active. A huge bonus to living in Repulse Bay or Stanley is the excellent location, hopping on a mini-bus and Causeway Bay is just 15-30 minutes away. 

Close to a beach, your life would be as laid back as you want it to be. However, since the MTR doesn't provide services from either into the city center, it'll take way less trouble to commute with a car if you're to live in Stanley or Repulse Bay. That being said, both are still a go-to option for plenty of expats moving to Hong Kong. Considering the larger-than-average houses in these areas and the stunning landscape they offer, no doubt people dream to live in Stanley and Repulse Bay.

Living in Repulse Bay or Stanley

Mode of transport
  • MTR: Transfer from minibus, Causeway Bay Station
  • Bus
  • Minibus
Nearby schools#
  • 32 in total
  • 3 international schools
Nearby hospitals
  • Gleneagles Hong Kong Hospital
  • Stanley Public Dispensary
Grocery stores
  • a&m US Groceries
  • Threesixty
  • Market Place
  • Wellcome
Top restaurants
  • Limewood
  • Beach Club
  • Beef & Liberty Burgers
  • The Boathouse
Average price range*
  • for sale:  from HKD$22 million
  • for rent: from HKD$80,000
  • GoBear's remark: If outing and barbecue by the coast are your things, either Repulse Bay/ Stanley is your best choice.

Happy Valley

跑馬地

Happy Valley is, very often, an overlooked area when choosing where to live in Hong Kong. Tucked away in the city center, Causeway Bay is just minutes away. Although the area isn't as large as Kennedy Town or Kowloon Tong, Happy Valley does offer every different kind of housing, ranging from high-rises to detached houses, so it'd suit everyone's preference.

International schools are easily accessible in Happy Valley, making this a decent choice for families. The close proximity to the city center and the wonderful amenities also make it appealing to a lot of expats.

Living in Happy Valley

Mode of transport
  • MTR: Transfer from tram or minibus, Causeway Bay Station
  • Tram
  • Bus
  • Minibus
Nearby schools#
  • 33 in total
  • 5 international schools
Nearby hospitals
  • Hong Kong Adventist Hospital
  • Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital
Grocery stores
  • Fusion
  • Market Place
  • Wellcome
  • PARKnSHOP
Top restaurants
  • Saint Germain
  • Nan Tei Happy Valley
  • Mother Of Pizzas
  • il Bel Paese

Average price range*

  • for sale:  from HKD$6.2 million
  • for rent: from HKD$19,000
  • GoBear's remark: Struggling between convenience and serenity? Happy Valley will be your oasis in Hong Kong.

Ho Man Tin

screen building 屏風樓 上的天空 018 kklkong

When deciding where to live in Hong Kong, Ho Man Tin probably isn't the first to come to mind. Located in the "local-er" Kowloon side, plenty of expats may be too afraid to step out of the comfort zone that Hong Kong Island offers and not get inside the walled city. The truth is, unlike what you might have expected, Ho Man Tin is expat-friendly as well. 

Right beside Mong Kok, Ho Man Tin enjoys the tranquility of the Peak while being close to the noisy and overcrowded Mong Kok. What does that mean? It translates to both convenience and peace! Being close to Mong Kok also means that you'll get to experience more of the local experiences, from getting curry fishballs and stinky tofu from the street-side snack stalls to singing karaoke at karaoke bars, there's countless opportunity to explore Hong Kong and its cultures. Living in Ho Man Tin will boost your motivation to doing so. While living in Hong Kong, let's seize the chance and don't let it slip away!

Living in Ho Man Tin

Mode of transport
  • MTR: Ho Man Tin Station
  • Bus
  • Minibus
Nearby schools#
  • 29 in total
  • 3 international schools
Nearby hospitals
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  • Ho Man Tin Chinese Medicine Centre 
Grocery stores
  • Fusion
  • Market Place
  • Wellcome
  • PARKnSHOP
Top restaurants
  • Sendonya
  • Hot Dog Link
  • XYZ Bar & Restaurant
  • Top Blade Steak Lab
Average price range*
  • for sale: from HKD$7 million
  • for rent: from HKD$25,000
  • Gobear's remark: Wish to explore the local cultures? Living in Ho Man Tin would get you to be a "local expert" faster than any listed places else

#data collected from hket

*data collected from Centadata

 

Settling down in a new city, especially in Hong Kong, requires quite a bit of effort. Besides physically checking out every house and apartment you’re interested in, you’ll have to adjust to the new culture and climate of Hong Kong as well.

Often described as muggy, the weather in Hong Kong is kind of miserable, especially for anyone that’s not used to be living in a sub-tropical area. It’ll be very easy to get sick. That’s where health insurance kicks in, as medical expenses for non-locals can be hefty here. Considering the budget, it’s better to get an international health insurance plan tailor-made for expats so that you can live, work, and play without worries!

 

Compare International Health Insurance Plans

 

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