Living in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of the most exciting cities in the world with an urban landscape that is breathtaking by day and dazzling at night.
The cost of living in Hong Kong compares to other major cities such as London, Sydney and New York. Hong Kong is an incredibly easy city to navigate and the many forms of transport are excellent value for money. They include taxis, trams, buses and the MTR (an underground train network) as well as, of course, the ferries that cross Victoria Harbour, including the icon of Hong Kong - the Star Ferry. Eating out in a top restaurant or hotel can be expensive and beer and wine can be pricey at these venues; however, there are lots of good restaurants and bars that are really good value for money. There are a variety of supermarkets (local and imported goods) that cater to all budgets as well as the traditional Hong Kong markets.
Hong Kong has a vibrant culture and is truly cosmopolitan; there is a multitude of local and international entertainment on offer. With a variety of performance venues (the Academy for Performing Arts, Asia-World Expo, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre), Hong Kong caters for everyone’s tastes from West End shows to international music artists. There are also top rate sporting venues that offer a great range of sports from horse racing to football, including the highlight of the sporting calendar - the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens! Sports clubs play a major role within Hong Kong’s social scene and are a good way to get to know people.
The year is punctuated with public holidays that illustrate how proud Hong Kong is of its Chinese heritage; they include Chinese New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day that culminates in a stunning fireworks extravaganza over the harbour. However, there are also more understated cultural events such as the mesmerising evening dance of the 67 metre-long ‘Fire Dragon’ made from thousands of incense sticks that takes place in Tai Hang (close to Victoria Park in Causeway Bay) during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
People new to Hong Kong are certainly aware of the skyscraper skyline, but may not be aware that a large proportion of the region is National Park land. Hiking is a popular pastime and there are some incredible walks with breathtaking scenery. There are also a variety of beaches dotted around Hong Kong and once away from the beating pulse of Central, life becomes much more relaxed. An example of this is the outlying island of Cheung Chau that can be reached by a short ferry ride and is characterised by its beach restaurants, easy walking and ban on cars. The Hong Kong Tourism Board (www.discoverhongkong.com) is very helpful in outlining the region’s attractions and events.
The School is a gated community set into the forested hills of the Tai Lam Country Park immediately behind it. The country park covers an area of 54 sq. km and it contains many trails for walking and picnic sites. There is direct access to the MacLehose Trail which, at over 100kms, is the longest trail in Hong Kong. From many parts of the campus, there are stunning views across the sea and towards the hills. The local surrounding area of the School is called the Hong Kong Gold Coast. It contains residential development completed in the early 1990’s, a five-star hotel, a convention centre, a piazza including a shopping mall and numerous restaurants backing onto the Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club and marina, and the 545-metre long Golden Beach. This is the largest public beach in Tuen Mun and the first artificial beach in Hong Kong. Tropical trees and flowers are planted on both sides of a 480-metre long promenade running parallel to it. The Gold Coast area is developing rapidly and the School’s development has had much to do with the influx of people to the area.