Hong Kong Living M
New Arrivals' Guide
WHERE TO PLAY, WHERE TO EAT, WHAT TO DO
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Hong Kong Living 2 4 7
Editorâ€™s letter and Contributors Seven things I wish Iâ€™d known Trailing Spouse
Settling in checklist Neighbourhood guide
New Arrivals' Guide 2018
Education 16 18
How to get a school place School listings
Join one of Hong Kong's best clubs and make new friends
Body and Soul
Public vs. private healthcare system Fitness and where to work out
Home 34 36
Find the perfect home Fill your home with wonderful things
Wine and dine
The best dining spots in the city Hong Kong snack guide
Travelling with your best friend plus where to adopt
Learn the lingo
Useful numbers and local lingo
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who’s in charge? Editorial firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Gemma Shaw
Contributing Editor Nicole Slater
Sub-Editor Kay Ross
Senior Consulting Editor Carolynne Dear
Design email@example.com Graphic Designer Sonia Khatwani
Photographer & Videographer Julianne Dionisio
Sales & Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Director Hilda Chan
Sales & Marketing Executive Isamonia Chui
Sales & Marketing Executive Corrie Tang
Sales & Marketing Executive Johnny Wong
Accounting Assistant Operations Manager Charles Lau
Welcome to the 2018 edition of the New Arrivals’ Guide. It is said that there are five stages that every expat will experience: 1. the exciting honeymoon period, 2. the “admin’”stage (sorting bank accounts, visas, finding a home), 3. missing home and dealing with culture shock, 4. acceptance and adapting, and 5. feeling completely at home. Three years ago my boyfriend was offered a job in Hong Kong, and within three weeks we had packed up our life in London and were on a one-way flight. Since then we’ve moved back to the UK (we were stuck at stage 3), to Vietnam and then Singapore (we missed stage 1) and finally back to Hong Kong (we’re now at stage 5). Hong Kong is a fabulous place to call home. It’s a unique blend of East meets West, a surprising contrast of city and beach life and a land of opportunities. There is so much I wish I’d known when I first landed, so this guide should help you to transition effortlessly through to a life you love in Hong Kong. Check out our neighbourhood guide (page 10) for the lowdown on where to live. If you have kids, our Education Editor, Amelia, offers an insight into the confusing Hong Kong education system (page 16), and when it’s time to relax, check out our roundup of the hottest restaurants in the city (page 38). If you have an expat story or a question I’d love to hear from you. Email me at email@example.com
Publisher Tom Hilditch firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact us Admin: 3568 3722 | Editorial: 2776 2773 Advertising: 2776 2772 Published by Fast Media Ltd, LG1 Kai Wong Commercial Building, 222 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong Printer Apex Print Limited, 11-13 Dai Kwai Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, Tai Po, Hong Kong
HONG KONG hongkongliving.com Hong Kong New Arrivals Guide is published by Hong Kong Living Ltd. This magazine is published on the understanding that the publishers, advertisers, contributors and their employees are not responsible for the results of any actions, errors and omissions taken on the basis of information contained in this publication. The publisher, advertisers, contributors and their employees expressly disclaim all and any liability to any person, whether a reader of this publication or not, in respect of any action or omission by this publication. Hong Kong New Arrivals Guide cannot be held responsible for any errors or inaccuracies provided by advertisers or contributors. The views herein are not necessarily shared by the staff or the pubisher. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.
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Louise Hill ...created our front cover. A creative graphic designer and artist, her love for Asia shines through in her highly detailed, colourful and vibrant prints. Order her prints at louise-hilldesign.com and they’ll be delivered to your door.
Amelia Sewell ...is the Education Editor for Hong Kong Living. Moving from London four years ago, she has a background in education consultancy, specialising in UK boarding schools. With a love of P.G. Wodehouse and a hatred of celery, she lives in Mid-levels with her husband and toddler, neither of whom laughs at her jokes.
Thanks to... Anna Schulteisz, Adele Brunner, Jeramy Lee, Graham Uden
Carolynne Dear … is a freelance writer and the Editor of Expat Parent magazine. She has four children who are members of a variety of different Hong Kong schools and sports clubs, and when she’s not providing a door-to-door taxi service she can be found scaling Hong Kong’s peaks and running half-marathons.
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I wish I'd known...… “Cantonese”
“How busy it is here – people warn you but it’s still a shock”
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“To always take a shawl with me during summer – the air-conditioning is ridiculously cold!”
“Expect the unexpected when eating local food – red-bean lollies exist here!”
“How beautiful Mainland China is – take a train ride to Yangshuo, stunning!”
“How expensive furniture is – it’s better to ship from your home country”
“To carry an umbrella throughout the summer months – you never know when it will downpour”
"To not throw away winter clothes – it gets pretty cold in January”
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IT ALL STARTED AT THE DENTIST’S...
Carolynne Dear, Editor of Expat Parent, on the call that changed her family's life forever
The Call” comes through while I’m at the dentist, breastfeeding the baby, trying vainly to stop the toddler from sweeping all the magazines off the reception coffee table, and overseeing the pre-schooler stutter through her reader. The rambunctious seven-year-old is snuggly ensconced in the dentist’s chair watching Ice Age while I am being told earnestly that she needs a filling. “Oh my goodness, I make sure she brushes her teeth every day!” I protest weakly, hooking the phone under my ear as I swap the baby to the other side. It’s my husband on the line. “Seriously, this is not a good time,” I mutter, trying to smile winningly and confidently at the dentist – I am a mother who knows what she’s doing, not a rubbish mummy who forgets to wash and clean her children (not every day, anyway). “John’s resigned,” comes the hushed reply. “What, Hong Kong John?” “Yes, I’ve been offered his job.” “Oh my god, that’s great,” I’m mentally calculating whether the promotion and subsequent pay-rise will be enough to pay for a new kitchen. “Hang on a minute, but Hong Kong John’s based in… Hong Kong?” “Um, yes…” The penny, or perhaps the dollar, drops. In my mind, I travel back in time to a hard-won few days off to visit to a friend in Singapore the year before – the maid, the driver, the spotless apartment, the swimming pool, the beautifully cooked dinners, the immaculately ironed laundry, the cocktails, the fancy restaurants, the fun… I think of my own home: the breakfast detritus still on the table, the dishwasher unloaded, the Cheerios stuck to the walls, the overflowing washing basket. I won’t go on. “Sign the contract!” I squeak. “Have they sent it through? Sign it! Get it sent though now!” “Why don’t we sit down and talk about it over the weekend?,” suggests my level-headed husband. “Sign. The. Contract. Now.” I demand through gritted teeth as the toddler sends the receptionist’s latte flying. Three weeks later and the house is packed up, the furniture is either sold, given away, donated to charity or left on the nature strip, six one-way business-class tickets have been purchased and we’re on our way. Now, I realise we would be landing at Chek Lap Kok late at night, so of course it would be dark, but I still entertain elaborate visions
of swimming pools and cocktails and elegant waiters serving me afternoon tea on arrival. Meanwhile, back on board CX100, the toddler has vomited up the Chuppa Chup kindly given to her by the air stewardess, and the rambunctious seven-year-old has locked herself in the bathroom. (Note to self: Never, ever travel with kids in business class again). But what I hadn’t bargained for on arrival was the typhoon. Or the rain. We are whisked to our serviced apartment in the pitch black, water streaming down the windscreen and lightning bolts streaking across the sky. We tumble out at Parkview and are taken to our rooms. A cot sits in the master bedroom (oh joy, sharing a bedroom with an insomniac nine-month-old is always such fun) and there is only one other room. The rambunctious seven-year-old, the preschooler and the toddler will have to share the one other bed. What follows are the toughest, funniest, most exhausting weeks of my life as we settle into Hong Kong life. My husband disappears off to work the following day and doesn’t return until midnight due to a mysteriously-labelled “black” rainstorm (or possibly he discovered the Captain’s Bar; no doubt I’ll never know the truth), I am introduced to heaps of lovely ladies who all genuinely seem to want to have lunch or dinner with me (all suggestions are followed up with an emailed invitation the following day, something that rarely happens back “home”; “I can fit in a quick coffee in six weeks’ time” tends to be the depressing norm), and what’s more, I actually go to all those lunches and dinners. And the fun has never really ended. In the ensuing eight years, we’ve climbed mountains, kayaked the South China Sea, entered half-marathons, gone to places we never would have anticipated visiting, made – and lost – a ton of friends, had posh brunches in hotels and enjoyed not-so-posh barbecues on boats and beaches. We’ve haggled in markets, investigated temples, stuffed ourselves with dim sum and drunk our own bodyweight in fancy French champagne. We’ve entertained guests from out of town, shown newbies around, celebrated landmark birthdays and anniversaries, and enjoyed the longest of lunches. In short, we’ve had a ball. Hong Kong grabs you like that. It’s often not the easiest of places – I dream of the day the supermarket duopoly is smashed and an enormous, gleaming, competitively priced Carrefour or Sainsbury’s opens up
somewhere on the plains of Yuen Long – and some days it can be hot and sweaty, and frustratingly you don’t achieve anything on your “to-do” list. But mostly it’s fun, and ridiculous, and extreme, and fast-paced, and alive. Which is why we hope to be here for many more years to come. Oh, and the dentists are pretty good, too.
Visa 101 IMMIGRATION AND VISAS Although it depends on the passport you hold, most people are allowed to land and stay in Hong Kong as a visa-free visitor from seven to 180 days. Working visa: Unless you have a Hong Kong “Right of Abode” or “Right to Land”, you will need a visa to work in Hong Kong. Having your company sponsor and issue your visa (and any dependent visas for your family) before you arrive is the most efficient way of sorting this out. You are not legally entitled to work without a visa but you can land and then set about getting one. Expect the visa process to take around six to eight weeks. Dependent visa and trailing spouses: Unless your spouse has a job in Hong Kong and a visa in his/her own right, dependent visas are a must for your spouse and children under the age of 18 to be able to live full time in Hong Kong. Holding a dependent visa allows your spouse to find a job and work without being tied to one sponsoring company.
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YOUR ARRIVAL CHECKLIST
Everything you need to know to settle in Hong Kong
Internet When it comes to a home Internet service, check who services your address. PCCW is the most widely available and therefore also the most pricey; other Internet providers such as Hong Kong Broadband (HKBN) and i-cable are cheaper and reliable, but might not be available for your building.
Banking It is said that Hong Kong has more banks per square mile than any other city in the world. Most banks offer the same type of generic services such as current, savings, time deposit and payroll accounts. Credit and debit cards are widely used. Cheques are not often accepted in high-street shops and supermarkets, but can be used to pay for utilities and to settle bills with smaller companies or individuals. HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citibank, Hang Seng and Bank of China are the most popular banks in Hong Kong and are therefore the ones with the most branches and ATMs.
Bank note As a general rule, you’ll need the following to open an account: Photo by: Graham Uden
ynamic Hong Kong, with its iconic, skyscraper-studded skyline, continues to lure expats to its shores. As one of Asia’s most vibrant shopping and business hubs, it epitomises urban hustle and bustle and yet, even on the Island, you’re never far away from a sandy beach or a green hiking trail. We appreciate that the city can also be overwhelming for newcomers, so here are a few admin essentials to help you get started on the Hong Kong chapter of your life.
Hong Kong ID Card Everyone in Hong Kong aged 11 or over is required to hold a Hong Kong ID card. If you’re planning to stay for longer than six months, an application must be made within 30 days of landing. Online appointments are recommended before you go in person to the Immigration Office. Details of the process and the five locations where applications are processed can be found on the Immigration Department’s website: immd.gov.hk Remember to take: • Passport • Valid visa • Completed application form You should keep your ID on you, as Hong Kong police have the authority to stop and demand identity checks from anyone at any time.
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Did you know Heung Gong in Cantonese means “fragrant harbour”.
• • • •
Cards are fitted with a smart chip and can be used as a library card. Once your fingerprint has been registered to the chip, you can also use your HKID for quick immigration access via the e-Channel in and out of Hong Kong International Airport and Macau.
Mobile networks The cheapest way to stay connected in Hong Kong is to buy a local SIM card. You’ll need a phone that is unlocked. Your home network will be able to tell you whether your device is locked, and if so it only takes a simple trip to a mobilephone shop to unlock it. You can buy a SIM card from any mobile-phone shop or pop into a 7-Eleven. You will need to top it up with vouchers when your credit runs out. All networks come with English-language instructions for registration. Once you’re more settled, move onto a tariff with one of Hong Kong’s major networks. The biggest is China Mobile, followed by 3, CSL, PCCW Mobile and SmartTone Vodafone.
Your official ID, such as your passport or HKID Card. Proof of address, such as a utility bill, a bank statement or a mobile phone bill. Proof of your home address, if you don’t have a Hong Kong address. A valid visa.
You might also need to show your work contract or an official letter confirming your employment. If you’re a student, you’ll need an official letter from your university or education institution in Hong Kong, confirming your registration as a full-time student.
Did you know You might incur a service charge if you use an ATM belonging to a different bank to your own, although some have reciprocal terms, i.e., HSBC cardholders can use Hang Seng ATMs and vice versa at no charge. Alternatively, join a bank linked to Jetco (Joint Electronic Teller Services), which allows users access to the ATMs of all member banks. Just look out for the Jetco logo.
All Hongkongers know this...
EPS (Easy Pay System): Your bank card essentially acts as a debit card with no handling fees. Simply pay for purchases at participating retailers and restaurants displaying the EPS logo, and your account will be instantly debited.
• This Hong Kong essential is a debit-style card most commonly used for public transport, car parking and vending machines but also for buying things like groceries, coffees and settling bills.
Autopay: Also known as “giro transfer” aor “direct debit”, it essentially authorises your bank to automatically pay regular accounts for rent, electricity, gas, telephone and subscriptions.
• Cards can be applied for and topped up most commonly at MTR stations, branches of 7-Eleven and Starbucks. Or apply for auto top-up so you never run out of credit.
Currency Hong Kong dollar
Language English and Cantonese; Mandarin is becoming more widely spoken Weather Subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers and frequent rain. Winter is cool and dry. Time GMT +7 (+8 in winter months) Electricity 220 volts 50 hz. Three-pin UK-style plugs are most common International dialling code: +852
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Location, Location, Location Find your perfect spot on the island
Did you know? The two white semi-circles on the MTR logo symbolise HK Island and the Kowloon peninsula, while the vertical line represents the MTR service that connects them.
Did you know? The number four is considered unlucky in Chinese culture, so many property landlords omit it from floors and flats. Conversely, the number eight symbolises good fortune.
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Ilustration by: Anna Schulteisz
Photo by: Graham Uden
MID-LEVELS This indefinite district is sandwiched between Central and The Peak and stretches from Admiralty to Sheung Wan. Not as exclusive or as expensive as The Peak, it is popular with young professionals and expat families alike. With its dense clusters of high-end tower blocks and complexes, many of which have club-style facilities, Mid-levels is a fantastic residential option if you want walking access to Hong Kong’s main business and entertainment hubs. The area is spitting distance from shops, bars, restaurants and healthcare services and is served by taxis, buses, minibuses and “The Escalator”, an 800-metre moving stairway that runs down the spine of Mid-levels––the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world. To help commuters, it travels until 10am and upwards for the rest of the day. Upsides: the Bowen Road pedestrian trail; close proximity to the CBD, malls and nightlife; endless choices for wining and dining; no need for a car; the aviary in Hong Kong Park. Downsides: Noise and light pollution; endless construction; densely clustered apartment blocks.
MTR • The MTR (Mass Transit Railway) is Hong Kong’s most popular and most efficient method of public transport, connecting Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories and Lantau Island. • The Airport Express line links Chek Lap Kok airport with Central. It is the fastest way to get to and from the airport, taking 21 minutes to Kowloon Station and 24 minutes to Hong Kong Station (Central). • An in-town check-in service is available for most major airlines, which means you can check in your luggage and collect your boarding pass at Hong Kong and Kowloon stations between 90 minutes and one full day before your flight departure. mtr.com.hk
Golf carts • Believe it or not, the humble DB golf cart costs more than a luxury car. In 2011 (according to an article in the South China Morning Post newspaper), the price of a golf cart exceeded $2 million. The number of electric-powered vehicles in circulation has been capped at 490 and they cost about $8,000-$9,000 a month to rent.
Ilustration by: Anna Schulteisz
neighbourhood DISCOVERY BAY There is nowhere that divides Hong Kong’s residential opinions than Discovery Bay (aka Disco Bay or DB). Some say safe; others, more scathingly, say Stepford. Whatever your take on it, the self-contained community on Lantau Island is clean and quiet, and attracts expats for its low-rise, resort-style living, lack of cars (they are banned) and close-knit community. The Plaza Centre is its hub, with supermarkets and shops plus an increasing number of good cafés, restaurants and watering holes to keep residents happy. Kindergartens and a couple of through-schools such as Discovery Bay International School and Discovery Bay College cater for the kids, although some travel to Hong Kong Island for their education. With the complete absence of cars, residents tend to walk or cycle around, use the shuttle-bus service or invest in a golf cart, whose numbers are restricted and which are eye-wateringly expensive. Getting to and from DB is either via a 24-hour ferry service to Central that takes less than 30 minutes, or by bus or taxi via the North Lantau tunnel. Close proximity to the airport in Chek Lap Kok makes it a popular choice with airline staff. Upsides: it’s safe, clean and quiet; fabulous beaches and good hiking; easy airport access; resort-style living. Downsides: golf-cart rental prices; expensive delivery charges; a bit of a trek to cinemas and shops.
Insider tip Bear in mind that flats with the spectacular harbour views are north-facing, which means less sun in the flat.
The tramway line was opened in 1904 and operates only on the northern side of Hong Kong Island. It has the largest double-deck tram fleet in the world, and is Hong Kong’s cheapest mode of transport. Trams run between Kennedy Town in the west and Shau Kei Wan in the east every day from 6am till midnight. The entry to a tram is at the rear; the exit is at the front. You pay by cash or Octopus when you exit the tram. No change is given. 24-hour Customer Service Hotline (Trams): 2548 7102.
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Living in Hong Kong: Minimise the culture shock. In collaboration with Crown Relocations
elocation to Hong Kong, aside from moving your belongings to new apartment, means moving from one culture to another. It’s a big change with new professional and personal circles, new school, different climate and food. The Norwegian sociologist Sverre Lysgaard has identified four stages that most expatriates go through when they arrive in a new culture. Stage 1: Honeymoon Phase In this stage, you only see the “bright side” of the new culture. Hong Kong offers a variety of new flavors, colours and places. You are optimistic and excited about new opportunities and experiences, from enjoying a new dish at a yum cha restaurant to joining a social networking event in Central to relaxing on the Repulse Bay Beach. Stage 2: Crisis Phase or Culture Shock You might notice that some rules, habits or behavior you were used to, don’t work in Hong Kong. Common stressors, such as crowds on the street or noise at the MTR stations, may affect you negatively. At times, you may feel homesick or lonely. Stage 3: Recovery After a while, you can identify the local cues and know where to get your favourite groceries from. You got used to the hot and humid climate. You found it much easier to navigate through the local culture, knowing all dos and don’ts. Stage 4: Adaptation You can now consider yourself integrated into the local culture. You feel at home (or at least, at your second home). You’ve expanded your social network and enjoy plenty of activities.
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Follow these tips to achieve smoother transition into life in Hong Kong: •
Research before you arrive – gather information about broad topics.
Practise empathy – put yourself in someone else’s shoes; step back and reflect.
Learn from interacting – you’ll soon learn how friendly and open local people can be.
Be flexible and persistent – after all, locals won’t change for you.
Avoid assumptions – verify and double-check; things are not always what they seem.
Be non-judgmental – you’re stepping into new culture that has no reflection in your past experiences.
Build a support network – meet locals and other expats, join social events, follow expat forums.
Learn the language – learn basic phrases in Cantonese or Mandarin and do not be discouraged if you’re being corrected.
Be realistic – allow yourself time to adjust; being fully immersed in a new society takes time.
Transitioning and adapting to a new culture takes time and patience. In the end everything will work out and will have more positive outcomes than you think!
Crown provides transportation, destination and immigration services, as well as family support, to assist people relocating internationally or domestically Crown’s Intercultural and Language Training programs help families adjust and adapt to local environment and thrive in Hong Kong. Go knowing email@example.com crownrelo.com.hk
Taxis • Hong Kong taxis are a convenient and relatively inexpensive way of point-to point travel throughout the city. • Red taxis operate in urban areas (except the southern side of Lantau Island and Tung Chung Road); green taxis operate only in the New Territories; blue taxis are only on Lantau Island. • There are minimal extra charges for each piece of luggage in the taxi boot, if you book a taxi by phone, and for transporting animals.
SOUTHSIDE AND STANLEY As its name suggests, this area stretches along the coastline on the southside of Hong Kong Island, encompassing Aberdeen, Wong Chuk Hang, Shouson Hill, Deepwater Bay, Repulse Bay, South Bay, Chung Hom Kok and Stanley. It is a mecca for expats particularly those with young families as the plethora of beaches and trails offer plenty of outdoor activities and a more relaxed way of life — yet it is still fairly close to the city. Accommodation tends to be less dense and more low-rise, with the opportunity for houses if you have the budget. There is an abundance of international schools,
kids’ activities, medical services and shops/ restaurants in Repulse Bay and Stanley, all served by public transport - although the nearest MTR stop is at Ocean Park. Upsides: home to Hong Kong Island’s best beaches; the promenade from Deepwater Bay to South Bay; restaurants, cafés and facilities at the pulse and in Stanley; all the benefits of suburban living with all the excitement of the city nearby; villagey feel particularly in Stanley. Downsides: property is pricey; the singlecarriage road means congestion at peak times; often crowded with tourists at weekends.
• Passengers have to cover the harbour tunnel toll, as well as the driver’s return toll. Look out for cross-harbour taxi stands, where drivers will accept oneway tunnel fee if you catch them on their way across the harbour to clock off. USEFUL NUMBERS Transport Complaints Unit Hotline: 2889 9999 Lost & Found 24-hr Hotline for Property Lost in Taxis: 1872 920 Transport Department, General Enquiries: 2804 2600 TAXI CANTONESE Joon Jaw = Turn left Joon Yau = Turn right Chek Hoy = Go straight ahead Lee Dou Ting = Stop here
A 30-minute boat ride from Central, Lamma is the antithesis of Hong Kong’s urban hustle and bustle. It is the territory’s third-largest island and did have a bit of a reputation for being a hippie haven — although thanks to a fast-speed ferry service its villages are now home to people from all walks of life, not just the artists, writers and other creative folk that it historically attracted. Property tends to be more reasonable than in other parts of Hong Kong and there are no cars, making it super-safe for kids. There is a local kindy and primary school, but most children tend to go to the Island for schooling. Lamma is also popular with daytrippers at weekends, who flock to the seafood restaurants, but most residents take to the hills or relax on one of the many beaches for their slice of R&R.
Ilustration by: Anna Schulteisz
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neighbourhood SAI KUNG Many families wanting a bit more bang for their buck (as far as property is concerned) make the move to Sai Kung. Located in the New Territories, it is super-chilled, has a great community feel and is a thriving town with independent shops as well as a couple of chains. This is really where you can experience Hong Kong’s great outdoors, with everything from spectacular hiking in the Sai Kung Country Park and golfing at the Kau Sai Chau public course to kayaking in the Geopark and paragliding from the dizzy heights of Ma On Shan, Hong Kong’s highest peak. There are also public tennis and squash courts and a public swimming pool. Cafés, bars and restaurants in Sai Kung Square and the surrounding streets will tick all boxes if you’re more into wining and dining. Upsides: cheaper housing; MacLehose trail 2; Sai Kung Country Park; sampan to Tai Long Wan; Long Ke beach; Sharp Peak climb; seafood lunch at Yau Lei; Sai Kung Old Town. Downsides: the rush-hour commute; a car is recommended, particularly if you have young children; weekend tourists.
Sheung Luk stream, Sai Kung
Ilustration by: Anna Schulteisz
Peak Tram Running from Garden Road, Central, to the Peak and back, the iconic Peak Tram commenced operations on 30 May, 1888, when a trip in first class cost 30 cents a seat. It is now a must-ride for anyone new to the city, offering fabulous views of Hong Kong and beyond on a clear day.
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If you’re after Hong Kong’s most exclusive address, look no further than Victoria Peak (aka The Peak), which has been top of the desirable housing list since colonial times. The territory’s highest residential area, it offers deluxe low-rise living, cooler temperatures, some gorgeous walks and trails, and stunning views over Hong Kong... but it comes at a price and many properties up here are among the most expensive in Asia. As well as as shops, cafés and restaurants in the Galleria, there are a couple of kindergartens (Woodland Preschool and Highgate House), the ESF Peak School (primary), the German-Swiss School (through school) and the private Matilda Hospital, but a quick commute by car, bus, taxi or the Peak Tram will get you down to Central in minutes, particularly outside of rush hour. Upsides: the Peak Café; various walks, including the Morning Trail and the Victoria Peak loop along Lugard and Harlech Roads. Downsides: the fabulous views can often be shrouded in fog; crowds of sightseers at weekends; the humidity.
i r o t i r Ter
g n u iK
Mini Buses • Bus routes cover almost all areas of Hong Kong, except the outlying islands. • On-board payment is only by Octopus card or cash, but change isn’t given.
Discovery Bay am Fu L k o P
Clearwa ter Bay
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HOW TO GET A SCHOOL PLACE Amelia Sewell, Education Editor for Hong Kong Living, explains the Hong Kong school system
Hong Kong Academy Primary students
ong Kong regularly features high on education barometers as a leading city in which to be schooled. But the system behind the hype is not a straightforward one, so it’s important to get a grasp of a few things before your search for a school can begin.
Local vs International Broadly speaking, schools in Hong Kong fall into two camps: local schools and international schools. The criterion for this segregation is that local schools teach the Hong Kong curriculum, predominantly in Cantonese. They are also largely free or heavily subsidised. Meanwhile, international schools can teach any of the global curricula (IB, A Levels, HSC, Le Bac etc). The dominant language at international school is English, however where English is not the mother tongue, they usually have two streams: one taught in the native language and
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the other taught in English. And in case you didn’t already know, you will soon find out that international schools are the opposite of free – they are in fact notoriously expensive.
ESF Beneath the international schools umbrella is a subgroup called English Schools Foundation, more commonly known as ESF. As there are nearly 20 ESF schools catering for 12,000 students, this is an acronym that any schoolhunting parent in Hong Kong will hear repeatedly. Strictly speaking, the schools under the ESF banner are not international schools, but that is essentially just a technicality. They offer a combination of English and international curricula, so from the perspective of the type of education a child receives it’s easiest to look on them as international.
Time and research It's no secret that school places in Hong Kong are hot property. Therefore the two things that will help you most when selecting a school for
your child are time and research. The more time you give yourself, the greater your chance of being offered a place at your preferred school. But if time is not something you possess, you will have to rely on research. In most cases, this means making a long list of possible schools and then calling them directly in order to understand whether they have space and what their admission criteria are. It is important that your list is long because most people’s first choices are also the most popular ones.
Location, location, location One area you definitely need to spend some time considering is where you plan to live in relation to where your children might go to school. Geographically, Hong Kong is fairly small, but that doesn’t mean it is always convenient to get around. If you’re planning to live on Lamma, nipping to Harrow for a parent-teacher day might not be easy. As accommodation is often easier to arrange than schooling, it could be advisable to secure school places before settling on where to live.
schools Visiting the schools
The older, the easier – possibly
Once some possible places are located, the next step is to go and visit. Choosing a school is a personal process – so while word of mouth can be helpful, it is unwise to rely on hearsay alone; go and visit the schools to get to know them in relation to your own family and priorities.
Generally, places are easier to find for older children. This is partly because teenagers in Hong Kong often head off to boarding school in other countries. In addition to this, many families choose to leave Hong Kong once their children are a little older, as the pull of being closer to family grows. So those with older children may find the process slightly easier.
Seeking advice While it’s not always wise to rely on hearsay, if you have questions about schools there are some helpful Facebook groups where you can pick the brains of the more experienced. The main one is called Hong Kong Schools, and there are also a number of nationality-based groups (e.g., British Mums in HK) where you can post questions for those who have previously made the same move as you.
In the know •
Many schools, such as the ESF schools, base their Primary One admissions on the calendar year ( children born from January to December) Others such as Kellett go by the academic year (children born from September to August).
Kindergarten education is not mandatory in Hong Kong, so you can always opt out.
Most ESF and international schools offer Mandarin as part of the weekly curriculum.
Many international schools (French International, German Swiss and Chinese International) offer bilingual as well as English streams. Kiangsu Chekiang International uses Mandarin as its main language of instruction.
New school, new places Similarly, the selection process can possibly be shortened if you are willing to consider schools that are just opening in Hong Kong, because logic dictates that their admissions list will be newer and therefore not as many people will be signed up for them than for schools that have been around for longer.
Money, money, money
There is no uniform terminology between the schools – different schools refer to the same things by different names. So what is known as Year 1 in one place could be known as Kindergarten at another school, and may also moonlight as K3 or Prep somewhere else. It is therefore crucial to understand the terminology of each school so that you’re applying for the correct year.
And lastly, a word on debentures. There is much to get your head around when moving to Hong Kong, and not the least of these is the financial structuring of the international schools. In other countries, debentures are associated with sports stadiums and finance houses; in Hong Kong, they are likely to be a major factor in whether or not you choose a certain school for your child. As with other issues, research is key.
American International School Primary students
New Arrivals' Guide | 17
SEARCH FOR A SCHOOL We simplify the process for you
18 | New Arrivals' Guide
schools Curriculum: Inquiry-based, Reggio Emilia 2803 2638, fairchild.academy
Sai Kung Montessori Established: 2017 Location: Sai Kung Ages: Two-and-a-half to six years Curriculum: Montessori method 5369 8587, saikungmontessori.com
Mount Kelly International Pre-school Established: 2017 Location: Kowloon Ages: Three to five years Curriculum: UK Early Years Foundation Stage 2110 1978, mountkelly.com.hk
SKIP (Sai Kung Pre-School) Established: 1988 Location: Sai Kung Ages: One to five years Curriculum: UK Early Years Foundation Stage 2791 7354, skip.edu.hk
Southside Kindergarten Mulberry House
Kindergartens Anfield International Kindergarten Established: 1999 Location: Kowloon Tong Ages: One to six years Curriculum: UK Early Years Foundation Stage (British National Curriculum) 2794 3668, anfield.com.hk
Discovery Montessori School Established: 2010 Locations: Discovery Bay, Central Ages: Two to six years Curriculum: Montessori method 2987 1201, childrenworks.net
ESF International Kindergartens Established: 1984 Locations: Tsing Yi (Lantau), Abacus (Clearwater Bay), Hillside (Happy Valley), Wu Kai Sha (Ma On Shan) Ages: Two to four years Curriculum: IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) 2574 2351, esfkindergartens.org.hk
Parkview International Preschool Established: 1989 Location: Parkview, Tai Tam Ages: One to six years Curriculum: IB PYP 2812 6023, pips.edu.hk
Malvern College Pre-school Hong Kong
Established: 2000 Location: Repulse Bay Ages: Two to five years old Curriculum: UK Early Years Foundation Stage 2592 7527, southside.edu.hk
Established: 2017 Location: Southwest Kowloon Ages: Two to five years Curriculum: UK Early Years Foundation Stage, complemented by the Reggio Emilia philosophy 3898 4668, malvernpreschool.hk
Mills International Pre-school Established: 2013 Location: Yau Tong Ages: Twelve months to five years Curriculum: UK Early Years Foundation Stage 2717 6336, millsinternational.edu.hk
Highgate House Established: 1992 Locations: The Peak, Tai Tam Ages: Birth to six years Curriculum: Steiner Waldorf 2849 6336, highgatehouse.edu.hk
Fairchild Kindergarten Established: 2017 Location: Sai Ying Pun Ages: Two to six years Curriculum: Inquiry-based, Reggio Emilia 2898 1611, fairchild.edu.hk
Fairchild Junior Academy Established: 2016 Location: Tin Hau Ages: Six months to four years
Southside Kindergarten â€œSouthside Kindergarten has created a homely school environment. The teachers are highly qualified native English speakers. Their afternoon Extended Day programme, in association with Sylvan Learning Center, is the perfect bridge between kindergarten and primary school.â€? - Parent
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schools ESF Peak School Established: 1911 Location: The Peak Ages: Five to 11 years Curriculum: PYP 2849 7211, ps.edu.hk
Shrewsbury International School Established: August 2018 Location: Tseung Kwan O Ages: Three to 11 years Curriculum: UK National Curriculum 2840 1500, shrewsbury.hk
HKCA Po Leung Kuk School Established: 2017 Location: Tin Hau Ages: Six to nine years (growing up to 11 years) Curriculum: PYP 2807 1770, plkis.edu.hk
International Montessori School American International School
Primary schools ESF Bradbury School Established: 1992 Location: Stubbs Road Ages: Five to 11 years Curriculum: PYP 2574 8249, bradbury.edu.hk
ESF Clearwater Bay School Established: 1992 Location: Clearwater Bay Ages: Five to 11 years Curriculum: PYP 2358 3221, cwbs.edu.hk ESF Quarry Bay School Established: 1924 Location: Quarry Bay Ages: Five to 11 years Curriculum: PYP 2711 1280, qbs.edu.hk
ESF Sha Tin Junior School Established: 1988 Location: Fo Tan, Sha Tin Ages: Five to 11 years Curriculum: PYP 2692 2721, sjs.edu.hk
ESF Beacon Hill School Established: 1967 Location: Kowloon Tong Ages: Five to 11 years Curriculum: PYP 2336 5221, beaconhill.edu.hk
20 | New Arrivals' Guide
ESF Kennedy School Established: 1961 Location: Pok Fu Lam Ages: Five to 11 years Curriculum: PYP 2579 5600, kennedy.edu.hk
ESF Glenealy School Established: 1959 Location: Mid-levels Ages: Five to 11 years Curriculum: PYP 2522 1919, glenealy.edu.hk
ESF Kowloon Junior School Established: 1902 Location: Ho Man Tin Ages: Five to 11 years Curriculum: PYP 3765 8700, kjs.edu.hk
Established: 2002 Locations: Mid-levels, Ap Lei Chau, Shau Kei Wan Ages: Two to 12 years Curriculum: Montessori Dual-language Programmes 2772 2468, ims.edu.hk
Discovery Montessori Academy Established: 2016 Location: Discovery Bay Ages: Six to 12 years Curriculum: Montessori method 2987 1201, childrenworks.net
Spanish International School Established: 2017 Location: Tai Po Ages: Three to six years currently, but due to expand to accommodate all primary and secondary years Curriculum: UK National Curriculum 3955 1588, spis.com.hk
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Secondary schools ESF King George V School Established: 1894 Location: Ho Man Tin Ages: 11 to 18 years Curriculum: IB Middle Years Program (MYP); IB Diploma/BTEC 2711 3029, kgv.edu.hk
ESF Sha Tin College Established: 1982 Location: Fo Tan, Sha Tin Ages: 11 to 18 years Curriculum: MYP; IB Diploma 2699 1811, shatincollege.edu.hk
ESF South Island School Established: 1977 Location: Aberdeen Ages: 11 to 18 years Curriculum: MYP; IB Diploma/BTEC 2555 9313, sis.edu.hk
Hong Kong Academy
Discovery Bay International School
Malvern College Hong Kong
Established: 1983 Location: Discovery Bay Ages: Three to 18 years Curriculum: UK National Curriculum 2987 7331, dbis.edu.hk
Established: August 2018 Location: Adjacent to Science Park, Sha Tin Ages: Five to 13 years Curriculum: International Curriculum 3898 4688, malverncollege.org.hk
Established: 2017 Location: Aberdeen Ages: Five to 18 years Curriculum: Bilingual (Mandarin and English) curriculum; IB and A-levels offered 3998 6300, hanacademy.edu.hk
Established: 2014 Location: Lam Tin Ages: Three to 18 years Curriculum: UK National Curriculum 3958 1488, nordangliaeducation.com
American International School Hong Kong
Harrow International School Hong Kong
Established: 1986 Location: Kowloon Tong Ages: Five to 18 years Curriculum: US Common Core Curriculum 2336 3812, ais.edu.hk
Established: 2012 Location: Gold Coast Ages: Five to 18 years Curriculum: UK National Curriculum 2824 9099, harrowschool.hk
Established: 2017 Location: Ho Man Tin Ages: Three to 12 years (growing to 18 years) Curriculum: Common Core; AERO; IBDP 2500 8688, sais.edu.hk
Australian International School
Hong Kong Academy
Established: 1986 Location: Kowloon Tong Ages: Five to 18 years Curriculum: Australian curriculum; NSW HSC; IBDP 2304 6078, ais.edu.hk
Established: 2000 Location: Sai Kung Ages: Five to 18 years Curriculum: PYP, MYP, IBDP 2655 1111, hkacademy.edu.hk
ESF West Island School Established: 1991 Location: Pok Fu Lam Ages: 11 to 18 years Curriculum: MYP; IB Diploma/BTEC 2819 1962, wis.edu.hk
(Primary through to Secondary)
Canadian International School
The Independent Schools Foundation Academy
Established: 1991 Location: Aberdeen Ages: Five to 18 years Curriculum: IB and Ontario Secondary School Diploma 2525 7088, cdnis.edu.hk
Established: 2003 Location: Pok Fu Lam Ages: Eight months to 18 years Curriculum: The ISF Academy Bilingual Immersion Curriculum; MYP; IBDP 2202 2028, academy.isf.edu.hk
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Stamford American School
ESF Discovery College Established: 2008 Location: Discovery Bay Ages: Five to 18 years Curriculum: PYP, MYP, IBDP 3969 1000, discovery.edu.hk
When free time beckons, keep your kids occupied and happy with all sorts of fun things to do Asia-Pacific Soccer School
Red Shoe Dance Company
Asia-Pacific Soccer School runs football classes throughout Hong Kong, offering Kinder Kick programmes for the under-fours, and moving up to all-level training for kids aged five to 13 years, as well as girls-only training sessions. There are also selective squad programmes for talented players, with the opportunity to play in the Hong Kong Junior Football League and the HK Football Association Henderson League. apsoccer.hk
Red Shoe Dance runs ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical and hip hop classes. The school offers RAD ballet and ADAPT jazz examinations as well as performance opportunities, competitions and overseas training camps. Little ones can begin at age three and there are also pre-professional intensive training programmes for older students interested in a career in dance. redshoedance.com
Minisport HK are an enthusiastic group of sports educators that teach children aged 1.5 to 7 years multiple sports through schools, clubs and private residences around Hong Kong. Minisport coach over 400 children per week and offer holiday sport camps and children’s parties. sportsclassesforkidshk.com
Established in 1999, Faust runs drama workshops for children aged three to 18 at various venues. It introduces children to the world of theatre and creativity through fun, lively sessions, developing performance skills, theatre knowledge, teamwork, individual expression and confidence. Classes are open to everybody, with no previous drama experience needed. It also organises productions at Hong Kong theatres during the year. faustworld.com.hk
Hong Kong Basketball Academy Shoot some hoops with the HKBA, which runs weekly sessions for boys and girls of all ages (from under-eights to 19 years) and levels. Introductory classes teach the fundamentals of basketball including teamwork and sportsmanship in a fun, safe environment, while further down the line, competitive players get to test their skills in the Premier League programme. Holiday camps and one-to-one training also available. hkbaallday.com
Anastassia’s Art House Learn to draw, paint and sculpt with the crème de la crème at Anastassia’s Art House, an awardwinning Russian art academy with locations in Sai Kung, Repulse Bay and Happy Valley. Qualified specialists are flown in from around the world, promoting globalised, multicultural, artistic training. arthouse-hk.com
Rugby for kids Mini-rugby for both girls and boys is huge in Hong Kong and is a great way for sporty kids and their parents to get involved in a club or community. Most clubs run minis training sessions on Sunday mornings and go head-to-head against other teams in their age group at monthly tournaments. The season runs from late August to the beginning of April, typically culminating with the HK Rugby Sevens, at which these budding rugby stars play showcase games at the HK Stadium and take part in a March Past lap of honour. People either choose a rugby club in their area (e.g., Sai Kung Stingrays, HKU Sandy Bay) or join the rugby section of a members-only club (e.g., Hong Kong Football Club). Little ones (U5s-U8s) start by learning touch rugby and graduate to full contact when they reach U9s.
Anastassia's Art House
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Photo by Graham Uden
Aberdeen Boat Club
Join the Club
Check out Hong Kong’s membership scene and make new friends
embership clubs have existed in Hong Kong since colonial times, and many are still alive and kicking today. Whether you’re into sport, sailing or wining and dining, you’re sure to find one that rings your particular bell. A lot of the larger, more popular clubs have attractive recreational facilities, but they also tend to be accompanied by a lengthy waiting list for places and come at a hefty price. Alternatively, there are smaller ones with fewer facilities that offer a host of activities and the opportunity to meet and network with like-minded people.
Facilities: A lawn, swimming pool, putting green, health club, basketball, tennis, squash, snooker, bowling alley, golf simulator, teens’ room and jungle gym as well as six F&B outlets. 188 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Deep Water Bay, 2870 6500, countryclub.hk
Options that won’t break the bank Helena May A welcoming club for women (and associate males) of all nationalities and walks of life, the Helena May offers accommodation, dining facilities, a large English-language library and social and cultural activities. 35 Garden Road, Central, 2522 6766, helenamay.com
Victoria Recreation Club With two clubhouses set against beautiful natural backdrops in Deep Water Bay and Tai Mong Tsai in Sai Kung, the VRC focuses on boating of all descriptions and open-water swimming. victoriarecreationclub.com.hk
Hong Kong Country Club
The American Club
Opened in 1962 to break down social barriers between residents of all nationalities and races, the Hong Kong Country Club has a membership system that still reflects this cosmopolitan approach, with applications dependant on openings in the relevant nationality quota.
Founded in 1925, this member-owned club offers a small taste of home to Americans (apparently the burgers are particularly good), though there are membership options for nonUS citizens as well. Facilities: Restaurants, tennis courts, squash
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Hong Kong Social Clubs - Meet people, make friends •
American Women’s Association awa.org.hk
Australian Association of Hong Kong ozhongkong.com
Jewish Women’s Association jwa.org.hk
Italian Women’s Association iwa.org.hk
Royal Geographical Society rgshk.org.hk
courts, indoor/outdoor multi-purpose courts, rock-climbing wall, swimming pool, playzone and teen hangout, spa, ballroom and private box at Happy Valley racecourse. Floor 48-49, Two Exchange Square, Central 2842 7400, americanclubhk.com
The Hong Kong Club Established in 1846, the Hong Kong Club was set up by British merchants and civil servants as an exclusive gentlemen’s club. Its members were, and are still to this day, among the most influential people in the city,
St George's Society stgeorgeshk.com
The HK St Andrew’s Society standrewshk.org
Hong Kong Golf Club Established in Happy Valley in 1889 by “13 golfing enthusiasts”, the Hong Kong Golf Club dropped the “Royal” from its name in 1996, ahead of the handover. This exclusive golf club has been the home of the Hong Kong Open since 1959, and the waiting list to join is said to be about 20 years. Facilities: Nine-hole golf course (Deep Water Bay), three 18-hole golf courses (Fanling), coaching, pro shop, practice range, gym, pool, sauna and mahjong room. 19 Island Rd, Deep Water Bay, 2812 7070, hkgolfclub.org
Ladies Recreation Club When Louisa Coxon and friends wrote a letter to the acting colonial secretary asking for “a small piece of land for the purpose of health and recreation” in 1883, little did they know it would become one of the most sought-after sports and recreation clubs in Hong Kong. And on prime real estate too. Membership is open to women, men and children of all nationalities. Facilities: Tennis, badminton and squash courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools with diving boards, library, fitness centre, fivestar spa, food and beverage outlets, and ten-pin bowling. 10 Old Peak Road, Hong Kong, 3199 3500, irc.com.hk
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clubs including government officials and senior local businessmen. Facilities: A bowling alley bar, extensive library, cards room, billiards room, fitness centre, squash courts, function rooms, restaurants including a grill and a garden lounge, a barber’s shop and race box. 1 Jackson Rd, Central, 2978 9500, thehongkongclub.hk
Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) Known as the most famous press club in the world, FFC Hong Kong has a rich past, dating back to 1943. It is housed in a beautiful colonial building in Central and is still an important media hub that provides a neutral platform for an impressive selection of local and international speakers across a range of topics. Facilities: Main bar, lounge, verandah restaurant, jazz bar, Chinese restaurant, private dining rooms, health club and quiet workroom. 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, 2521 1511, fcchk.org
The Foreign Correspondents' Club
The place to wow guests, engage with
thought leaders, or pass out in a comfy chair. Gin Tonic… just $24.
- Tom Hilditch, publisher and FCC member
Hong Kong Football Club
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club
Sports and recreation are the lifeblood of the HKFC and its fantastic facilities make it one of the best sports clubs in the region. While football (soccer) and rugby continue to be core sports, other sports include netball, field hockey, tennis, lawn bowls and squash, and also offers a good range of leisure facilities. Facilities: Rugby/football pitch, indoor/outdoor lawn bowls, tennis and squash courts, sports hall, snooker, tenpin bowling alley, swimming pool, golf simulator, fitness centre, bars and restaurants, a library, meeting rooms and children’s playrooms. 3 Sports Rd, Happy Valley, 2830 9500, hkfc.com.hk
Founded in 1890, this is one of the largest yacht clubs in the world. It was the only Hong Kong club that kept the “Royal” in its title posthandover, although its Chinese name is simply the Hong Kong Yacht Club. Unsurprisingly, membership is contingent on an interest in rowing or sailing. Facilities: Sailing, rowing, dragon-boating, moorings, berths (Shelter Cove), restaurants; Kellett Island has four restaurants, a swimming pool, bowling alley, squash courts and hardstands. Hung Hing Road, Kellett Island, Causeway Bay, 2832 2817, rhkyc.org.hk
Aberdeen Marina Club Aberdeen Marina Club is one of the most polished clubs in Hong Kong. It offers seven restaurants, an amazing children’s playroom and laser-tag zone, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and various racquet sports, as well as its own ice-skating rink. Facilities: In addition to the above, wet/dry berths, 10 banqueting venues, fitness centre, bowling alley, tennis, squash and badminton courts, a mahjong/games room, golf simulator, table tennis, snooker, spa and beauty salon. 8 Shum Wan Road, Aberdeen, 2555 8321, aberdeenmarinaclub.com
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Hebe Haven Yacht Club This friendly Sai Kung-based club is ideal for enthusiasts of boating, yacht-racing and watersports, offering easy access to some of Hong Kong’s best sailing waters and beaches. It actively promotes youth sailing at its Sail Training Centre and runs regular sailing courses for adults too. The club has a busy racing calendar, notably hosting an annual 24-hour charity dinghy race and Hong Kong’s biggest summer regatta, the Typhoon Series. Facilities: Marina with fully serviced alongside berths, swing moorings, hardstand and rack space and other boatyard facilities, indoor and alfresco wining and dining, event space. Pak Sha Wan, Sai Kung, 2719 9682, hhyc.org.hk
clubs Kowloon Cricket Club Originally formed as a cricket club in 1904, Kowloon Cricket Club (KCC) now offers other competitive sports such as football, lawn bowls, tennis, squash and field hockey. Ever-popular cricket still takes centre stage, and the club often hosts international teams playing in the Hong Kong World Cricket Sixes as well as other major fixtures. Facilities: Grass cricket pitch, outdoor pool, tenpin bowling alley, children’s playground, squash and tennis courts, fitness centre, food and beverage outlets and horse-racing boxes at Happy Valley and Sha Tin. 10 Cox’s Road Kowloon, 3473 7000, kcc.org.hk
Aberdeen Boat Club
Hong Kong Cricket Club
As well as watersports – dinghy and keelboat sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, dragon boating, SUP, fishing and scuba diving – the Aberdeen Boat Club (ABC) offers land-based activities such as golf, karate and yoga. Facilities: Jetty and pontoon moorings, junk, dinghy and keelboat hire, fitness centre, squash court, two heated swimming pools, basketball practice area, table tennis, table football, darts, snooker, library and playground. 20 Shum Wan Rd, Aberdeen, 2552 8182, abclubhk.com
Established in 1851 in Chater Road, Central, the HKCC is the oldest cricket club in Asia. It had a pitch in Chater Gardens until 40 years ago, when it moved to Wong Nai Chung Gap. Facilities: Cricket, rugby, lawn bowls, tennis and squash, netball, spa, snooker, tenpin bowling alley, pool, golf simulator, gym, bridge, dance classes (from ballet to Scottish country), dodgeball and boxes at Happy Valley and Sha Tin racecourses. 137 Wong Nai Chung Gap Rd, Tai Tam, 3511 8678, hkcc.org
Settling in with sport
Keep your children active, in collaboration with Minisport The Minisport programmes allow children to sample multiple sports through small-group classes by following a high-quality coaching programme. They can become well-rounded in sports by taking part in activities that they’re strong at and practising sports they’re less confident in. Minisport’s energetic young coaches teach activities such as football, basketball, tennis, kids yoga and athletics. Each activity teaches children to learn when to lead and when to follow, when to celebrate and when to congratulate. The company also offers half-day and full-day packages, including beach trips, parties and summer camps. Whether it’s a private or a public class, a holiday camp, a birthday party or one of their many one-off events throughout the year, expect colour, excitement and a whole lot of fun for the kids. The programmes are for children between 18 months and nine years old.
Sport and outdoor activities are the perfect way to help your kids settle down into Hong Kong life. They’ll meet new friends and see familiar faces on a regular basis.
Visit sportsclassesforkidshk.com for more sporty details
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health & wellness
Hong Kong is blessed with excellent healthcare facilities and, especially if you’re prepared to pay, you can usually get appointments at your convenience.
Adventist Hospital, Happy Valley: Stubbs Road, 3651 8888, hkah.org.hk Canossa (Caritas), Mid-levels: 2522 2181, canossahospital.org.hk HK Baptist Hospital, Sha Tin: 2339 8888, hkbh.org.hk HK Sanitorium and Hospital, Happy Valley: 2572 0211, hksh-hospital.com Matilda International Hospital, The Peak: 2849 0111, matilda.org St Teresa’s, Ho Man Tin: 2200 3434, sth.org.hk Union Hospital, Tai Wai: 2608 3388, union.org
• The clue is in the title: private hospital means private, semi-private or shared rooms with a maximum of four people. • One-on-one support from nurses. • Luxury amenities on hand such as slippers, etc. • English is spoken in all private hospitals. • International food served.
• Public hospitals are the best place for emergencies. • They are larger and have more clinical expertise and equipment on hand to help. • Registration is quick, and Hong Kong ID Card holders pay very low rates per day for treatment. • Low costs for appointments and medication. • A public hospital can’t turn you away. • Doctors are usually very experienced and deal with emergencies frequently.
Details of all public hospitals can be found on the government website: ha.org.hk Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital, Sandy Bay: 2817 7111 Queen Elizabeth, Kowloon: 3506 8888 Queen Mary, Pok Fu Lam: 2255 3838 Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern, Chai Wan: 2595 7920 Prince of Wales, Sha Tin: 3505 2211 Ruttonjee, Wan Chai: 2291 2000 Tseung Kwan O: 2208 0111
28 | New Arrivals' Guide
• Going private isn’t cheap so check that your insurance covers your costs. • You have to reserve your hospital place with a down payment as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. • Private hospitals aren’t equipped for emergencies so they will transfer patients to the nearest public hospital.
• Strict appointment times and a long wait to see an obstetrician. • Patients who don’t have emergencies or time-sensitive illnesses may have appointments rescheduled. • You aren’t guaranteed to see the same doctor. • Rooms contain numerous beds (between 3 and 10). • Only canteen-style Chinese food is served. • Some medical staff might not speak English.
health & wellness
Homeopaths & Naturopaths Take a more natural path to healing IMI (Integrated Medicine Institute): 2523 7121, imi.com.hk Balance Health: 2530 3315, balancehealth.com.hk HK Integrative Medical Practice: 2523 8044, drsusanjamieson.com
Physiotherapy Fix those aches and pains Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy Centre: 2530 0073, sportsandspinal.hk
Byrne Hickman: 2526 7533, byrne-hickman.com Physio Central: 2801 4801, physio-central.com
Chiropody Put your best foot forward Karlyn Harfoot: 2877 1683, harfoot.com
Dentists Most dental practices have specialised orthodontic services Bayley & Jackson: 2526 1061, bjdental.com Diestel & Partners: 2522 2099,
diestelandpartners.com Smile Clinic: 2537 7028 Smith & Jain: 2526 2383, smithandjaindentists.com The Dental Network: 2719 6700, thedentalnetwork.com.hk
Opticians High-street opticians offer routine eye tests and a good range of spectacles and sunglasses Glasstique and Puyi Optical: 2700 8833, puyi.com HK Ophthalmic Associates (not just a shop selling glasses; also for more serious issues): 2526 6198,eyehealth.com.hk Lens Crafters: 2343 8223, lenscrafters.com.hk
Midwives & Ante-natal classes Rent-A-Mum These Western childcare specialists offer a range of services, including ad-hoc day and evening babysitting, maternity placements and troubleshooting, and permanent daycare. rent-a-mum.com Annerley The lovely team of midwives at Annerley will give you invaluable help and advice through pregnancy, birth and beyond. A menu of classes and workshops is offered, including ante-natal sessions, breastfeeding clinics, postnatal depression support and post-natal home visits. annerley.com.hk Matilda Hospital Popular among expectant Hong Kong mamas, the Matilda Hospital runs five-week ante-natal courses offering advice on pregnancy health, natural and C-section births, pain relief, postnatal depression and much more. matilda.org
Having a baby
GPs As well as family medicine, these internationally accredited clinics have practices across Hong Kong and also offer a huge range of medical services such as physiotherapy, pre- and post-natal care, travel health and psychiatry. • Owens, Trodd and Partners (OTP): 2155 9055, otandp.com • Quality HealthCare Medical Services: 8301 8301, qhms.com
“I delivered my first two sons at the Matilda as I was lucky to have insurance. Both births were straightforward and I really valued the luxurious environment and personal care. During my third pregnancy, I was hospitalised (at the Matilda) with complications at 18 weeks, and at 24 weeks I was transferred as an emergency to the public Queen Mary Hospital. There, I was on a ward with eight people and everything felt more institutionalised, but once I got a few creature comforts in place (such as my own pillows from home), I got used to it. The nurses were kind and when my daughter was born four weeks later, weighing 1kg, everyone was amazing. The care she received in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit was fantastic – it cost less per day than the hospital car park – and she would never have survived without the dedication of the medical team.” – Adele Brunner
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health & wellness
Whether you want to join a gym or go for a swim, Hong Kong offers lots of ways to get in shape.
ApeFit These “animal-inspired” group workouts combine cardio, strength and core exercises into 60-minute sessions with yoga stretches to finish. All levels welcome; held at various outdoor locations across Hong Kong. facebook.com/apefithk XYZ Indoor spin cycling in the dark? XYZ’s classes offer an intense workout with pumping music and strobe lights, free from any distractions from the outside world. youarexyz.com
Outdoor fitness Outdoor Fitness This fun and friendly Sai Kung-based company will whip you into shape with outdoor bootcamp/ TRX classes. Sessions are held during the week and on Saturday, and include a bootcamp for beginners. AquaFit and BoxFit classes also offered. outdoorfitness.hk Primal Fit Outdoor boot camps utilising bodyweight exercises are designed to build muscle, burn calories and increase your cardio fitness as well as improve your flexibility and core strength. Classes are every day at Tamar and Sun Yat Sen Parks, and on Lamma Island; private and one-onone sessions also available. primalfit.com.hk Tritons Triathlon Club While the club doesn’t organise official coaching, it encourages members of all levels to get together for weekly swims, cycle rides and runs, and to compete in races under the Tritons flag. tritonstriathlon.com
Indoor fitness Flex These stretch specialists offer barre, Xtend Barre, yoga and Pilates as well as TRX, HIIT and pre/ postnatal workouts. flexhk.com CrossFit Typhoon Bring your fitness to the next level with CrossFit Typhoon’s CrossFit, CrossFit Lite or bootcamp sessions. The classes work towards improving your strength, speed, agility and power, among other fitness domains, with cardio, weights and stretching. crossfittyphoon.com
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Fit Eat In Think you have no time to train? Fit Eat In offers intense lunchtime classes every weekday at Hong Kong Park, Admiralty, and Sun Yat Sen Park, Sheung Wan. The sessions comprise 30 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training and then a nutritious organic meal from Supafood to go. Basic levels of fitness required. fiteatin.com
One Pilates Studio Private and group classes offered on mats or using Led reformers. The studio also runs gyrotonic sessions, which incorporate movement principles from yoga, dance, gymnastics, swimming and t'ai chi and a specially designed wooden machine. onepilatesstudio.com Pure Yoga Aerial, ashtanga, hot, hatha and yin are only a fraction of the classes offered by Pure Yoga. All levels welcome; locations and classes across HK. pure-yoga.com
Bamboo Yoga A yoga studio that specialises in outdoor yoga, including Aerial Yoga workshops on the beach, where you can learn to fly over the ocean with bamboo tripods. bamboo-yoga.com Warrior Academy Warrior Academy is a 7,000 square foot space close to Sai Ying Pun. The gym offers a huge range of classes and specialises martial arts including Muay Thai, Western boxing, Thai sword fighting. They also have their own wholesome cafe, The Elephas. warrioracademyhk.com
health & wellness
FIVE EVENTS TO GET FIT FOR Show off your muscles at these challenging yet fun events Green Power Large-scale hiking race along the Hong Kong Trail. Choose a 10km, 25km or 50km route. greenpower.org.hk
Oxfam Trailwalker (aka the MacLehose) Teams of four race to complete the 100km MacLehose Trail within 48 hours. oxfamtrailwalker.org.hk
Clean Half This is a 15km open water swim from Stanley to Deep Water Bay. Do it solo, with a friend or in a team of five. openwaterasia.com
Spartan Race It is designed to take you out of your comfort zone and includes a cross-country obstacle course. Muddy, challenging and fun. spartanrace.hk
Standard Chartered Marathon This international event starts on Kowloon side and winds its way into the New Territories and across to Hong Kong Island. 10k, half or full marathon; 3km and 10km wheelchair races; youth dash and family run. hkmarathon.com
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home & living
HOME & LIVING
Find your perfect home and fill it with fabulous things
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home & living
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home & living
LEASING A HOME
Estate agents •
What to expect when you decide to rent in Hong Kong DO
Find a good estate agent and brief him/her fully on your needs, your priorities and where you’re prepared to compromise.
Don’t expect to find a replica of what you had back home. Particularly if you wish to live on Hong Kong Island and close to the city centre, the majority of Hong Kong rentals tend to be apartments, with a smaller living space and limited storage. Cast your net wider (Southside, Shek O and Stanley) to find a house, although it will still cost you top dollar. Cast it further (New Territories and the Outlying Islands) and you should be able to find something larger and cheaper.
Ask friends and acquaintances for personal recommendations. There are also plenty of social media sites (Hong Kong Moms, AsiaXpat, Bayside Villagers, to name a few) whose members will be only too happy to give you the lowdown. Do your own research. Walk round the neighbourhood you’re considering at different times of day and work out travelling time to work and school. A standard tenancy agreement is a two-year lease with a break clause after one year. Two months’ termination notice is usually required. Consider a serviced apartment if you’re only here for the short term. A good option is Castle One by V (castleonehk.com) or The Repulse Bay serviced apartments (therepulsebay.com). Ask if your rent is inclusive or exclusive of management fees, government rent and property rates. Most rental properties are inclusive of these costs but some agents marketing more expensive homes quote the exclusive price to make them seem not as pricey. Act quickly and sign on the dotted line once you’ve found a suitable property. Good places go fast.
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Don’t compare your rent/square footage ratio with what you’re used to paying back home or you’ll cry. Hong Kong accommodation is eye-wateringly expensive, often for very little space, so brace yourself.
Jones Lang LaSalle 2846 2000, jll.com.hk •
Knight Frank 2840 1177, knightfrank.com.hk
OKAY.com 2102 0888, okay.com
Savills 2842 4283, savills.com.hk
Sunshine Property Consultant 2866 6640, sunshineproperty.hk
Relocation Agents •
Don’t sign any agency forms before you look at the property. Some agents will use these forms to make a claim on your commission even if you don’t end up renting through them.
Inside r tip
Chill out Ambi Climate is the world’s first AI-
Engel & Voelkers 2561 3616, engelvoelkers.com
Crown Relocation 2636 8399, crownrelo.com
Other interior shops worth a visit:
powered air conditioner accessory.
Atelier Lane: atelierlane.com
The device combines data from
your A/C remotes, feedback from you and real-
Bowerbird Home: bowerbird-home.com
time outdoor weather sensors to adjust your
air-conditioners and ensure your home is at an
Lane Crawford: lanecrawford.com.hk
optimal temperature. ambiclimate.com
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home & living
ong Kong hasn’t always been the easiest for finding stylish and affordable furniture and accessories, but it’s getting better. Along with IKEA, Zara Home and a wealth of top-end Italian shops, there are lots of smaller, midrange stores, offering a good choice to suit all budgets, needs and tastes.
One-stop furniture shopping While there are furniture stores to be had in all major retail areas and malls, Horizon Plaza, housed in a converted factory building in Ap Lei Chau (in between Aberdeen and Wong Chuk Hang), is a good starting point for furniture and home accessories. There is no rhyme or reason as to how shops are arranged in this notoriously labyrinthine treasure trove, so grab an invaluable shopping guide from the lobby on arrival, and let us take you to a few of our faves. horizonplazahk.com
HORIZON PLAZA’S TOP FOUR Indigo Living As well as a vast and stylish selection of home furnishings to buy online and in its stores, Indigo Living offers flexible furniture rental solutions, from single pieces to kitting out an entire home. Choose from it’s recommended rental packages or create your own. Rental available from one month to two years. Indigo also offers a full range of interior services including home styling and renovation. 6/F. indigo-living.com
TREE TREE’s flagship store occupies the entire 28th floor and is packed with reclaimed and recycled timber furniture, colourful chairs and stylish accessories. There’s a tailor-made service, a cool kids’ range, and vintage and modern styles to choose from. They’ve also done up a lovely cafe serving drinks and food to take away, and a play area for your little ones. A godsend for tired families. 28/F. tree.com.hk
Survival tips for Horizon Plaza 1. 2. 3. 4.
Give yourself plenty of time – there are no quick trips to Horizon Plaza. Don’t take the kids. Disaster waiting to happen. Try to avoid weekends, when shops are busier. Take the stairs to avoid lengthy waits. There are two lifts servicing odd and even floors, plus service lifts. Toilets alternate between men’s and women’s on each floor. If you find a toilet is locked, ask for a key from one of the stores. You can get your parking validated with expenditure, but it’s probably easier to take the MTR – alight at South Horizons station, and the Plaza is a 10-minute walk from Exit A. There’s a taxi stand right outside the mall for your journey home.
Shenzhen Calling If you’re feeling adventurous, get a visa and head over the border to the Lo Wu Commercial Building in Shenzhen to get soft furnishings made there. We recommend Candy Bedding for towels, cushions and bed linen (shop 89A-100A in the fabric market, 5th floor) and ShenZhen BaoShiHeng Curtain & Cloth Decoration Shop (shop 3066) for cushions and curtains. Both will courier your purchases.
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HD Buttercup Hailing from the US, HD Buttercup’s collection of furniture, floor coverings and accessories is all curated in Los Angeles. Shop a range of styles – from California coastal to luxe living – directly from the floor, including items from select premium “manutailors” Timothy Oulton and Sonder Living. 2/F. facebook.com/ HDButtercupHK
The Red Cabinet A fixture in Hong Kong’s interior scene since 1997, The Red Cabinet has a philosophy to offer beautiful products with longevity at sensible prices. Their experienced team scour provinces throughout China to find beautifully finished one-of-a-kind pieces that blend effortlessly into modern-day interiors. red-cabinet.com.hk
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wine & dine
The best restaurants across the city
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wine & dine
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wine & dine
Along with its sophisticated decor and delicious food, Sevva has an awesome terrace with jaw-dropping views of the cityscape around it. Go for sundowners created by the in-house mixologist and tapas-style plates, or treat yourself to an entire evening of wining and dining. sevva.hk
Best view o Centra f l
Best r fo place s kid FRITES
The kids’ play areas at all FRITES locations are a big pull for families in Hong Kong. Enjoy beer and mussels while the kids run wild. A dedicated children’s menu caters for all. frites.hk
The Salted Pig
The Salted Pig offers hearty family-style dining with a menu that’s best known for its porkladen classics and generous portions served in a casual, fun style. Sit back and relax with your friends and family over a hearty, porktastic feast! thesaltedpig.com.hk
Best an ari veget
The Grassroots Pantry’s healthy plant-based cuisine uses sustainable, organic and locally sourced ingredients. Its large menu offers raw, vegan, Buddhist-friendly, gluten- and nut-free options that are beautifully presented and taste delicious. Reasonable set menus make this chic eaterie a popular lunching spot. grassrootspantry.com
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Best t r comfo food
wine & dine
Dim Sum Guide
Best burgers Beef & Liberty
Beef & Liberty is well-known for its burgers made from grass-fed Tasmanian beef and its range of craft ales. The Milk Bar offers homemade milkshakes and ice-creams. Brunch options available. beef-liberty.com/hk
Best beach bar
What is dim sum? A style of Chinese cuisine prepared as small bite-sized portions in small steamer baskets or plates, served with Chinese tea. Wash your utensils. When you first sit down you’ll be given a pot of tea and a large bowl - they’re for washing your bowl, spoon and chopsticks before you use them. Start with tea. You’ll be given another pot of tea for drinking with your meal. When you empty the pot, turn the lid upside down or leave it ajar to let the waiter know you want a refill. Make sure to fill up other people’s glasses before your own, and tap the table to thank someone for filling yours. Ordering. At the table you’ll notice a leaflet that is both a menu and an order form. Once you’ve selected the dishes you want, write down how many of a given item you want, in the box next to the item’s name. Pass this leaflet to your server to place your order.
Serving up sophisticated Mediterranean food on the shores of the South China Sea. Cococabana imports produce from France and everything on the menu, including bread and chocolates, is produced in-house. facebook.com/cococabanahk
Best for fireworks Wooloomooloo PRIME As you’d expect from a steakhouse, Wooloomooloo PRIME serves the best cuts from Australia and the US, as well as various seafood options. The floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor terrace offer spectacular views of Tsim Sha Tsui and the surrounding Victoria Harbour, perfect for unobstructed views of the fireworks at New Year. wooloo-mooloo.com
Utensils. Chopsticks and a spoon are the norm, but don’t feel bad about asking for a fork if you need one. Don’t poke your chopsticks into your food and don’t leave them sticking straight up in a bowl of rice when you’re not using them. Instead, lay them horizontally on the edge of the plate. Share and enjoy! As with most smallplates dining experiences, the more people you have and the more dishes you order, the better the experience will be for everyone. Bring people, and be prepared to share.
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hong kong specialities
HONG KONG SNACKS GUIDE Try some popular local flavours
Curry fish balls
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Char siu bao
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IT’S A DOG’S LIFE
The lowdown on owning pets in Hong Kong
Arriving Importing your pet Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and horses are among the many animals that can be imported into Hong Kong. There are different requirements for each animal, and you will need a special permit from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Entry requirements depend on the animal’s country of origin, and determine whether your pet will need to be quarantined. For further information, visit afcd.gov.hk/english/ quarantine/quarantine.html
Transportation Many airlines ship pets to all parts of the world, in safe, temperature-controlled conditions. Do your research, as prices can vary hugely between airlines — some charge by weight and others by size of the animal. Depending on the airline and the regulations of the destination country, pets will fly as manifested cargo (with the luggage, in a temperature-controlled environment) or in the cabin (with you). Hong Kong government regulations require that all pets coming into Hong Kong must enter as manifested cargo. Airlines must also adhere to strict regulations set out by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) regarding the container the animal is shipped in.
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Animal adoption shelters
There is a lot of paperwork involved with travelling with pets and requirements vary hugely between countries. To travel to the UK, pets must be microchipped and must have a pet passport and rabies vaccinations. Dogs must also have tapeworm treatment. Entering the USA is generally less complicated, with many animals needing just an Export Health Certificate and rabies inoculations. Consult the consulate of the destination country for the most up-to-date legal requirements your pet needs to meet.
Puppy adoption day is held every Sunday afternoon at their Ap Lei Chau store, in collaboration with Hong Kong Dog Rescue. Cat and kitten adoption day is on the third Sunday of the month, in collaboration with Kirsten’s Zoo. wnp.com.hk
Hong Kong Dog Rescue
Taking a pet overseas is expensive, with different charges for each destination and carrier. As well as the cost of the airfare, shipping handlers and travel containers, expect to pay government fees plus charges for a health certificate and vaccinations. Pet relocation companies charge high fees, so if you are brave enough to handle the process by yourself you can save a lot of money, but expect to encounter stressful obstacles along the way.
Health Travelling by air or ship is stressful for animals. On a plane, for example, pets must travel in the cargo hold, where you will be unable to visit and comfort them. Some pets might not be fit enough for this, so consult your vet ahead of
Whiskers N Paws
Shop A, G/F, 5 Wai Fung Street, Ap Lei Chau hongkongdogrescue.com
Hong Kong Paws Foundation hkpaws.org
Sai Kung Stray Friends 151 Tai Lam Wu, Sai Kung saikungstrayfriends.org
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Sai Kung Adopt-a-Pet Centre, 65 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung Mongkok Adopt-a-Pet Centre, 2D, G/F, 6 Peace Avenue, Mongkok
pets time. It is not recommended to ship animals less than eight weeks old in a plane’s cargo hold.
Get professional help Consider employing a pet-relocation service to deal with the paperwork and to ensure your pet is transported safely. Some well-established pet relocation companies in Hong Kong include Pet Movers HK, PetExportVet, Ferndale and International Pet Travel.
Dogs are not allowed on any gazetted beach (this basically means any beach with a lifeguard).
Out and about A dog weighing more than 20kg is considered a large dog and must be kept on a leash not more than two metres long when in a public place. It may be tied in a public place, with the leash being no longer than 1.5 metres.
Adopting vs. Buying
The 852 can be the perfect place to add a furry member to your family, and we are big supporters of adopting rather than buying.
East Island Animal Hospital:
If you choose to go down the adoption route, it’s important to talk to the staff at the shelter. Make sure your new pet meets all the members of your household, and that you have sufficient space and enough time to dedicate to the animal. A Tibetan Mastiff might not be the best choice if you live in a city apartment. If you don’t want your possessions to be chewed or scratched, think about adopting an already house-trained adult animal instead of a puppy or kitten. With adult pets too, what you see is what you get as far as temperament and character are concerned. Hong Kong mongrels are called tong gao, and they are often sweet-tempered, hardy and eager to please. Shelters are full of them, simply because most people prefer the prestige of having pure-breeds.
Pet Relocation “We fostered a kitten while living in Ho Chi Minh, and a few weeks later we relocated with her to Singapore. Pet relocation companies were expensive so I organised her trip myself. It worked out about a tenth of the price compared to using a relocation agent but it was also one of the most stressful things I have ever done. Six months later we moved again from Singapore to Hong Kong, and relocated our cat wth is. For me, she’s worth the effort. I’m not sure my husband would say the same thing!” - Gemma, Managing Editor
Pets Central pets-central.com
Stanley Veterinary Centre stanleyvetcentre.com
Kennels Ferndale Kennels & Cattery ferndalekennels.com
Kennel Van Dego kennelvandego.com
Regulations It is illegal to own an unlicensed dog that is more than five months old. Every dog you own must be inoculated against rabies, microchipped and licensed, which can be done at any vet clinic or the SPCA. A dog licence is valid for three years, and can be renewed by re-vaccinating the dog against rabies. It is also non-transferable, so any change in ownership or address should be reported to the AFCD within five days. Both dogs and cats should be vaccinated as recommended by a registered veterinary surgeon. •
You can be fined if your dog is found fouling in a public place.
You should use specific collection bins for dog waste.
Dogs are allowed in all of Hong Kong’s country parks. Even large dogs are allowed to run freely off the leash within the confines of country park.
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To advertise, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 2776 2772.
2776 2772 email@example.com
GET LISTED! 46 | New Arrivals' Guide
USEFUL NUMBERS EMERGENCY SERVICES Police, ambulance, fire: 999 Fire: 2723 8787 Marine: 2233 7999 CAR MECHANICS Auto Dynamics: 2858 7032 (Southside) Euro Prestige Motors Services: 2771 7557 (North Point) Kwong Hing Motor Works Ltd.: 2791 4884 (Sai Kung) DRY CLEANING Beluga Dry Clean and Laundry: 2873 1484 Mak's Green Dry Clean & Laundry: 2335 5511 Stanley Dry Cleaning and Laundry: 2813 2062 ESTATE AGENTS Jones Lang LaSalle: 2116 8588 Savills (Hong Kong) Limited: 2842 4400 Colliers International: 2828 9888 ELECTRICIANS/ HANDYMEN Dr Fix it All: 2525 0055 Speedy Drainage Cleansing: 3625 6064 Winkle Workshop: 2554 1269 GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS Agriculture & Fisheries (call centre): 1823 Health Department: 2961 8989 Southern District Council: 2814 5800 Sai Kung District Council: 3740 5200 Central & Western District Council: 2852 3549
Canossa Hospital (Caritas), 1 Old Peak Road, Mid-levels, 2522 2181 Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, 40 Stubbs Road, Happy Valley, 3651 8888 Matilda International Hospital, 41 Mount Kellett Road, The Peak, 2849 0111 Prince of Wales Hospital, 30-32 Ngan Shing Street, Sha Tin, 3505 2211 KENNELS Royal Pets: 6314 9887 Dog Dayz: 2987 1597 (Sai Kung) LOCKSMITH Fai Kee Lock and Key Services: 2552 3227 Wing Hung Locksmith: 2893 6795 MAN WITH A VAN Easy Van: 3701 3701 GoGoVan: 3590 3399 PEST CONTROL Asia Pest Control: 2523 8855 Supreme Pest Control: 2814 7211 PHONE DIRECTORY ENQUIRIES English: 1081 Chinese: 1083 Overseas IDD: 10010
POLICE DEPARTMENT Website: police.gov.hk Police hotline: 2527 7177 Stanley Police Station: 3661 1616 Happy Valley Police Station: 3661 1610 Sai Kung Police Station: 3661 1630
HONG KONG TOURISM BOARD Visitor hotline: 2508 1234
POST OFFICE Hong Kong Post hotline: 2921 2222
Private: Gleneagles Hospital, 1 Nam Fung Path, Wong Chuk Hang, 3153 9000
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NANNIES & DOMESTIC HELPERS Naturally Nanny: 9650 4976, naturallynanny.com Rent-a-mum: 2523 4868, rent-a-mum.com HelperChoice: 3461 9944, helperchoice.com
A term similar to “Oh dear”
TRANSPORT Hong Kong International Airport, general enquiries: 2181 8888 MTR Train Service & Airport Express, 24-hour passenger hotline: 2881 8888 Taxis: 2804 2450 Taxi Lost and Found 24-hour hotline: 1872 920 UTILITIES China Light & Power, 24-hour hotline: 2728 8333 Towngas, 24-hour hotline: 2880 6999 Water Supplies Department, customer services hotline: 2824 5000
Tsim Sha Tsui
A term referring to a Caucasian person - the meaning is similar to “Old ghosty”
PLUMBERS Ah Choy Chan: 2555 2030 Ocean Electric and Drainage Works: 2832 9449
HONG KONG OBSERVATORY Website: hko.gov.hk General enquiries: 2926 8200 Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal Enquiries: 1878 200
HOSPITALS Public: Grantham Hospital, 125 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, 2518 2111 Queen Mary Hospital, 102 Pok Fu Lam Road, Pok Fu Lam, 2255 3838 Tung Wah Hospital, 12 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan, 2959 7500 Tseung Kwan O Hospital, 2 Po Ning Lane, Tseung Kwan O, 2208 0111
VETS Pets Central (North Point): 2811 8907, Pets Central (Mong Kok): 2309 2139, Pets Central (Sai Kung): 2792 0833, Pets Central (Tseung Kwan O): 2244 6684 Hong Kong Animal Hospital, Aberdeen: 2553 6003 Home Vet: 9860 5522 Stanley Veterinary Centre: 2813 2030 Sai Kung Animal Hospital: 2792 2206
A style of Chinese cuisine prepared as small bite-sized portions in small steamer baskets or plates, served with Chinese tea
“Please”, “Excuse me” or “Thank you”, depending on the context
an Mai da mm gploeaise Bill/cheque
am Ha yatlzok yowtop please Bus s
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