15 Reasons Why Hong Kong Is A Great Place To Live
Drop-Dead Gorgeous, out of this world Cityscapes
We have one of the best cityscapes in the entire world. How lucky are we? Picture a glowing orange-yellow sunrise making its way up over the Victoria Harbour, gently waking up its children. As the day goes on, the skyscrapers glisten in glorious delight against the vibrant sunshine. As night falls, hundreds of skyscrapers light up across the harbour in a view that never gets old. Ferries and classical old fiery red Hong Kong junks float across the ocean, connecting Kowloon and Hong Kong island in one of the most breathtaking city views known to man.
Describing Hong Kong as a simple concrete jungle, metropolitan, world-class city just doesn’t do it any justice. Anyone who looks at a the skyline of Hong Kong would think that they are in temporarily transported to a dream. Hong Kong has one of the most incredible skylines in the entire world, with sweeping panoramic views that have been the superstar of many a Hollywood movies, the city deserves the global attention it gets. Hong Kong is home to some of the most legendary viewpoints, with its most famous view being the awesome sight overlooking picturesque Victoria Harbour. Few cities in the world can hold a candle to Hong Kong’s stunning composition of towering skyscrapers, glistening water and mountain terrains. Most cities have views of one or the other, but our city has all of the most sought after qualities packed in to one sassy package!
We live in a true urban jungle!
When we call Hong Kong an urban jungle, it’s not just another cliché metaphor. Hong Kong’s urban jungle is very real. The city is literally nestled between ancient mountains, deep oceans, whimsical harbours, old traditional buildings and modern skyscrapers. Hong Kong may be one of the most densely populated cities in the world, but only about 25 percent of Hong Kong’s land area is inhabited because the rest is covered by mountains and nature, making the city look like a thick winding jungle punctuated by pockets of skyscrapers, rather than the opposite. There’s more nature than city in Hong Kong. What a surprise right?
The wonderful thing about Hong Kong is due to this unique combination of urban and literal jungle. Even though everything in the city moves so quickly, there are many opportunities and moments to experience absolute stillness in ways that only mother nature can offer - moments that make you pause, reflect, and contemplate in gratitude. Life is never the same each day. There is always somewhere to go, somewhere to eat, and always something miraculous to marvel at. That is the wondrous beauty of Hong Kong.
With an urban landscape that’s hard to beat, Hong Kong is the perfect mix of tradition, modernity and nature.
This City Really Never Sleeps
We are all aware of the fact that New York has long been called “The city that never sleeps”. But in reality, a New York minute is a Hong Kong second. That is how fast-paced the city is, and it is truly a city that never ever rests. Why is this a good thing? Well, living in a big city like Hong Kong can at times get fairly lonely and there’s something peaceful about knowing that the city is always awake with you. There’s no feeling quite like being completely immersed in the midst of a moving metropolis, and having all of your senses awakened by the sounds, smells and views of the city.
Safety is Number One!
With all the political happenings going on in the world, the vibe can be rather defeating and frightening. There are so many cities in the world where people are literally fighting each second just to survive and here we are in one of the safest cities in the world…nestled in pure comfort and security? How can we possibly complain? How can we not be in absolute gratitude over such a blessing? Hong Kong is ranked one of the safest big cities in the entire world,now that’s quite an accomplishing in itself don’t you think? Compared to the current state of US cities, Europe, Mainland China, and other parts of Southeast Asia, we are blessed to be in such a safe haven where we can still enjoy our day to day lives without worrying for our the safety of our lives.
The local culture in Hong Kong is very family-oriented. There are very low reports of crime, violence and overall destruction. A woman can walk around late at night by herself and still feel very safe. How many other cities can we say that about? It doesn’t matter where you are at what time of the day or night - you can feel entirely safe and secure. Whereas in cities like Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and London, you are not always capable of feeling the same sense of confidence, especially if you are a woman, teenager, child or elderly. The Hong Kong police force are very friendly, accommodating and free of violence. We often hear about civilians being shot to death by police in the US, but these things would never happen in Hong Kong. Nobody gets beaten up or murdered from racial profiling.
Where else can you feel completely safe walking around int he middle of the night without any worries of problems coming your way? Not to mention, the streets are so bright and so busy that you don’t have to think twice about walking home alone at night. Safety is Hong Kong’s greatest pride, hence our greatest pride.
The nightlife in Hong Kong is world-reknowned. Hong Kong has an interesting culture of “Work Hard, Play Harder”. As long as the hours are amongst business professionals, it never stops them from letting loose and enjoying their hard-earned money. People like to enjoy their nightlife post work here. The nightlife is vibrant 7 days out of the week and there is always something to do. Most cities are only exciting on the weekends and dead during the week, which can make for a very lonely life especially if you are of single status. Hong Kong is a playground with unique districts like Lan Kwai Fong, Soho, and Wan Chai. It’s pretty cool that all the bars, clubs, lounges, and restaurants are all within walking distance. It makes for safe drinking and convenience. If you come from America, this is a concept that is sure to be very foreign to you. It is completely legal to drink in the streets here! Possibly due to the city’s uber convenience and safety, it makes the city a very safe and comforting place to get a little inebriated.
If you are of the nocturnal species, there is no better place to live than Hong Kong. It really is a city that never sleeps and Hong Kong has plenty of options for all the night owls.
Eat Pray Love at the glorious Beaches
Hong Kong’s concrete jungle gets way too much attention, we often neglect the real jewels of the city. Hong Kong is the perfect mix of metropolitan and ocean-side living. If you think skyscrapers are Hong Kong’s pride and joy, think again. Hong Kong is insanely proud of its wild and nature settings - with hundreds of square miles of the island being protected land in the form of country parks, marine parks and other special areas under conservation - nature is the city’s real prized gem. Hong Kong is frequently compared to New York City for its similarities in urban-living but New Yorkers don’t get to enjoy beachside life the way we do! We can be at any of our beautiful beaches within twenty minutes. There are approximately 50 plus beaches dotted along the shorelines of Hong Kong, Kowloon and the outer New Territories - Repulse Bay, Deep Water Bay, Clear Water Bay, Stanley Beach, Tai Long Wan, Shek O, Cheung Sha Beach, Sai Wan Beach, Pui O Beach - just to name a few.
We are showered with so many options just in the variety of beaches we can choose from. Most big cities only have a handful of beaches to choose from and we have 50 plus to pick out of depending on our mood and the kind of vibe we crave.
Hong Kong may be one of the world’s premier metropolis and world-class International hub, but did you know that out of the total 1,108 square kilometres of land in Hong Kong, about three-quarters of it is countryside? Hello, Mother Nature! Sandy beaches, rocky shores, coastlines, reservoirs, woodlands, mountain ranges, and a variety of scenic vistas make up the majority of the Island. There are a total of 24 country parks in Hong Kong designated for the purposes of nature conservation, countryside recreation and outdoor education. There are 22 special areas created mainly for the purpose of nature conservation. How amazing is that?
Hiking is one of the most popular activities amongst Hong Kong residents, with a number of scenic hike trails to choose from. According to the AFCD (Agriculture, Fisheries, ad Conservation Department of The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region), the hike trails interlink and traverse all over the various islands of Hong Kong:
The four long-distance hiking trails are very popular among hikers. The MacLehose Trail (100 km) traverses the New Territories from Sai Kung in the east to Tuen Mun in the west. The Lantau Trail (70 km) is a circular trail on Lantau Island. The Hong Kong Trail (50 km) traverses all the five country parks on Hong Kong Island. The Wilson Trail (78 km) stretches from Stanley in the south of Hong Kong Island to Nam Chung in the north of the New Territories.
Scenically, Hong Kong has more to offer than just skyscrapers. Most of the Hong Kong parks have over 1,000 different species of plants, a true tropical haven. Habit protection is a big deal here too, with the Government’s increasing concern with the protection of natural environment being demonstrated both by legislation and by the activities of its conservation staff. Game hunting is prohibited - a proud bonus point for Hong Kong.
The nature areas available to us makes city life more than bearable. We can go hiking, trail running, mountain biking, surfing, boating, swimming, sunbathing, paddle-boarding, fishing, kayaking - all over the terrains and ocean of our city just kilometres away.
Islands such as Lamma Island, Lantau, Discovery Bay and other beautiful outlying islands are just a short distance away by ferry or boat. Think hipster bars, quaint little cafés, healthy restaurants, beaches, and dogs roaming freely - and all of this can be experienced just 30-60 minutes away from the city center. How amazing is that?
If Hong Kong had a middle name, it would probably be “Convenience”. There really is no city more convenient and efficient than Hong Kong. Everything is uber efficient, and people truly understand what it means to “save time”. Although Hong Kong has one of the largest private luxury cars/capita cities in the world, one doesn’t actually require a car to get by. Unlike other big cities in the world, the compact size of Hong Kong makes it easy to get from point A to point B. The greatest thing about Hong Kong is that you don’t need to drive. Often, it’s more of a hassle to drive than it is to just hop on our great transportation system. The public transport in Hong Kong is remarkably efficient, convenient and comfortable.Not to mention, the transportation system is one of the best globally, with the underground train (MTR) in Hong Kong often ranked best in the world. Whereas in most US cities, a car is a necessity, you really don’t need one to have a convenient lifestyle in Hong Kong. Taxis are everywhere, so are buses, minibuses, trams, and ferries. Don’t forget to take the “ding ding” or tram, which is actually the most scenic and cheapest way to get around Hong Kong! These rattling double deckers will have you feeling like a real Hong Kong local. Did you know that Hong Kong is one of the most walkable cities too? Filled with wide, pedestrian only walkways, bridges, and overpasses, connecting you from skyscraper to skyscraper, these were designed to help us avoid Hong Kong’s scorching summer heat. There’s no better way to get to know a city than by walking, and Hong Kong has made it oh-so-easy for us!
People here live a very fast-paced life, which makes getting things done really efficient. Unlike overseas in the US or Europe where people work on their own time at their own pace, Hong Kong is the polar opposite. You can get errands done in the blink of an eye. There’s a hustle mentality here, and for every hard worker there are a hundred other who are willing to work twice as hard. It’s a competitive city but that’s what makes it so great because we are all pushing each other to do better, to step up our game. Hong Kong is a land of opportunity and efficiency. When you’ve been here too long, it’s easy to take the convenience and efficiency for granted when we have become so accustomed to it. We don’t realize that other cities don’t operate the same way, and other people living in various cities around the world don’t get to enjoy the same benefits as we do. In Hong Kong, you can call a locksmith in the middle of the night to come open up your apartment for you with no trouble. Customer service is efficient, and most business operations run very smoothly. It’s time to swap our entitlement for gratitude.
We have the best airport
It’s true, we have the one of best aiports in the world. In fact, South China Morning Post published an article titled “Six of the best airports to sleep in” and guess who was on that list? You guessed it!
Hong Kong International Airport has time and time again be ranked as one of the best in the world with feaatures like- unlimited Wi-Fi, helpful security personnel, a good sense of security, beautiful design elements, tons of restaurants to choose from- we can understand why.
Hong Kong International Airport is also the winner of the 2017 Award for “World’s Best Airport Dining Experience” as voted by customers around the globe in the World Airport Survey. Singapore Changi Airport takes 2nd place and following close behind in third is Tokyo Narita Airport in 3rd place. Our foodie cultures even transcends to our airport dining experience.
A Technology & Financial Hub
Hong Kong is a true International hub. People from all diversity backgrounds and walks of life come to Hong Kong to work, live, and visit. You can meet some very interesting people here and it is not a cliquey society at all. There are not many places in the world where you can go out alone and end up being welcomed in like a long lost friend by strangers who you have just met. Professionals from the technology and finance industries gather here by troves, so you always end up interacting with a lot of cool, smart, extremely driven people here. Diversity is something we pride ourselves on in Hong Kong. The city offers tremendous variety in terms of who you can rub shoulders with - Hong Kong local Chinese, Mainland Chinese, Expat Westerners, Taiwanese, Koreans, Japanese, Filipinos, Indians, Thais, Investment bankers, artists, entertainers, entrepreneurs, students, developers, and more. The eclectic mix of people of all races, age, social backgrounds is just phenomenal, a true melting pot of life stories, personalities and talent.
Shopping is one of the most loved hobbies for anyone who sets foot in to Hong Kong. The high concentration of shopping options can turn anyone in to a shopaholic. The ability to find everything and anything you need cannot be said for most cities in the world, but Hong Kong is a rare creature like that. Hong Kong shopping caters to all different tastes and preferences, from big luxury brands, mid-range retailers to tiny street stalls dotting the city. You can shop for fashion, tech, appliances, children’s goods, luxury items, gadgets, toys, shoes, sports apparel, all sorts of knick knacks and everything in between.
Hong Kong is a foodie paradise. There are all kinds of different cuisines in Hong Kong due to the mix of ethnicities living here. The options for food and beverage are limitless, from budget, trendy to super upscale fine dining, all can be found in Hong Kong. If you live in Hong Kong or are visiting, you’d better be ready to unbutton those pants and prepare to eat. We are famous for food here and not just Hong Kong style food or Chinese food. There’s everything you can possibly imagine and crave for - Spanish tapas, Italian pasta & pizza, American burgers, ribs & fries, Argentinian steakhouses, Peruvian, Japanese-Peruvian fusion, Dim sum, Chinese hot pot, Szechuan, Mongolian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, British pubs, New York style pizzerias, Mexican, Japanese, sushi, teppanyaki, shabu-shabu, ramen, robatayaki, Korean, Asian fusion, Thai, Malaysian, cakeries, bakeries, trendy concept bars, Turkish, Lebanese, Indian, Hawaiian, French fare, crêperie, burger joints, German, Seafood, Michelin-starred restaurants, diners, coffee shops, cafeteria-style bistros, restaurants with a view, wine bars, whiskey bars, gin bars…we could go on and on. The food and beverage scene is very vibrant and you are never at a loss for options. As a matter of fact, the only problem you would have is too many options. Now that’s not something to complain about is it?
The local eateries are world-renowned, with enough dim sum to last you a life time. Think - egg yolk tarts, pineapple buns, egg custards, milk tea, char siu bao (sweet BBQ prok buns) - and the list keeps on going. The local eateries in Hong Kong are known around the world, and lucky you, you get to live in this city where everything is right at your finger tips!
Eating is a national sport here, and we pride ourselves on that! We like to start planning the next meal as we are eating our current one, because we are proud Hong Kongers!
Fun Weather Changes
Clear blue skies, bright blasting sun, cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms, misty fog, lighting storms, hail storms, typhoon 1, 3 and 10, amber rainstorm, red rainstorm and black rainstorm, mudslides - Hong Kong is truly vivid and animated in the weather department. Some of greatest weather photography have been taken in Hong Kong, thanks to the ever-changing weather conditions. You can hate it or you can love it, but we find that life is better when we choose to look at the silver lining. Rather than focus on how much you hate something, shift your focus to the hopeful side of a situation. What might seem gloomy on the surface can actually have some pretty fantastic and positive aspects to it.
We Have Our Very Own Las Vegas
Few places in the world can match Hong Kong in its offer of the good life, so never mind the complaints and start praising it for what it is worth. We have our own and better version of Las Vegas. What other country can claim that? Just a short 45-minute ferry ride and we are able to arrive in to Macau, the special administrative region that boasts of world-class Casinos like the Venetian, and the Wynn. Did you know that Macau takes in at least 7 times more revenue than Las Vegas? Macau’s gambling industry literally dwarf’s Vegas, cementing it as the undisputed champion of the gambling world. That is a lot of cash. But Macau has more to offer than just gambling and casinos.
Macau has a unique history that resonates throughout the region. It’s distinctive style can be seen everywhere, from its Portuguese-influenced architectures, colonial touches, city design, street names, and fusion Portuguese-Chinese cuisines (Macanese fare), this mini mecca bursts with character and flavor. Macau is home to more than just mega-casinos, it is also home to colonial villages and stunning landscape that tell the stories of an older era.
A City Built On Freedom
Hong Kong is one of if not the freest city in the world. It is also the freest place under China territory. Every person who lives here is able to enjoy basic freedom and human rights than some of the most advanced democracies. Living in Hong Kong, you will find yourself surrounded by frequent protests, highlighted vibrantly by an unforgiving tabloid press, and even banned books about China’s leaders are sold publicly. An article in South China Morning Post describes this quality about Hong Kong very accurate:
Residents are acutely aware of protest power and ever ready to exercise it, whether it’s over the death of a stray dog hit by a train or electoral reform. Where else can you block main roads in the city centre for 79 straight days in the name of civil disobedience, while not only expecting the police to tolerate you but also protect you while you break the law?
If such things happened in other countries, the situation would have escalated violently but Hong Kong protects us even when we groan and moan about its injustice. Hong Kong’s energy is unrivalled and infectious. Let’s put its infectious personality to good use. Instead of infecting our community with depressing and negative thoughts, we need to spread it with praise, gratitude and love.
Let’s count our blessings to be able to live in one of the greatest cities in the world. We live in a truly special place.
These are all the reasons why we love our city!
Thank you Hong Kong.
If we have piqued your interest in finding a new home in Hong Kong, do feel welcome to contact our team at Engel & Volkers for more detailed information and viewings of the luxury homes for sale and rental. Engel & Voelkers are the leading experts in featuring real estate properties in the best areas of Hong Kong. We assure you that you will find your ideal dream home with our help.