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Lifestyle: Hong Kong versus Singapore

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 11:48 am

zzm9980 wrote:+1

It's hard to convey emotional or personal preference towards something in a list of pros and cons. Experience you just can't quantify.


If you could, no Asian would want to move to Australia/UK/US. :roll:

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Postby Sergei82 » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 12:20 pm

Lets wait for another year or two and see. Manpower tightening has just begun here. Exodus of expats from SG will cause an influx to HK, so they will also tighten. By that time maybe we will realize that its still fine in SG.

Unless my company starts massively laying off people... :)

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 4:08 pm

Having lived in HK for eight years, split evenly either side of the handover I've seen the change to it becoming more Chinese, and I mean Mainland but I still go every single 3-months for work and still enjoy it.

Overall the tax rates are similar, and better as a couple. I still buy my laptops, cameras and electronics in HK saving maybe even 20-30% and shopping in the supermarket is cheaper than here with more choice. There is no alcohol taxes now in HK and still no sales tax!

I used to live out in the country park, not the city, so the air was fresher, there was more space, it was more relaxed and I could park my car at the house for free all the while paying the equivalent of S$1k for 700sqft.

You have to realise that the calculation of sqft is done a bit different here as in HK so I think my 750sqft place there was of a fairly similar size to someplace I stayed here trying to pass itself off as a 1000sqft.

I'm not a huge fan of the crowds, the humidity in the summer and the squash on the MTR/Buses during rush hour but of the island and missing the tunnel roads, traffic is often better there than here where I now regularly park on the PIE or BKE. A good thing is the odd day off during typhoon season but really, even then the weather is not so bad ;)

With kids, I agree that SG is better but my chances of retiring back to HK are higher than both staying here or heading back to Europe.
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Postby v4jr4 » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 5:09 pm

I guess I'll focus on the place to stay first. Based on some links provided by Google, I get some places with range 10-15K HKD (400-500 sqft), which look good (according to the pictures, at least).

Additionally, according to the BBC documentation about working in HK (search "BBC working lives Hong Kong" in youtube), rent is about 1200US$ per month, Sheung Wan area.

The searching process will continue :D

ScoobyDoes wrote:I used to live out in the country park, not the city, so the air was fresher, there was more space, it was more relaxed and I could park my car at the house for free all the while paying the equivalent of S$1k for 700sqft.


How about riding a ferry?
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Postby nutnut » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 5:26 pm

I would be interested in hearing about the commute to and from the city from the areas you lived. Are you happy to say where you lived in regards to the location and how long your commute was by MTR/car/bus?
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Postby v4jr4 » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 5:31 pm

nutnut wrote:I would be interested in hearing about the commute to and from the city from the areas you lived. Are you happy to say where you lived in regards to the location and how long your commute was by MTR/car/bus?


I heard that the buses in HK are not that "friendly", and the MTR can be packed as well. Still, as long as it's safer than Jakarta, I'll say yes.
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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 6:55 pm

v4jr4 wrote:
nutnut wrote:I would be interested in hearing about the commute to and from the city from the areas you lived. Are you happy to say where you lived in regards to the location and how long your commute was by MTR/car/bus?


I heard that the buses in HK are not that "friendly", and the MTR can be packed as well. Still, as long as it's safer than Jakarta, I'll say yes.



Funny, I keep reading all these articles in the local birdcage liner about how Singapore is trying to make their system more like HK because it's seen as superior. Honestly I only ride MTR and Airport Express though, never the busses.

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Fri, 16 Nov 2012 9:24 am

nutnut wrote:I would be interested in hearing about the commute to and from the city from the areas you lived. Are you happy to say where you lived in regards to the location and how long your commute was by MTR/car/bus?


For me it was a little different.......living and working in the New Territories.

Initially I was living and working in Kowloon and just spent 15-20min walking to work. Once I changed company we were out in the New Territories so it was a great chance to live out there too, and even by car I was about 15min away from the office. The bus would take 30-45min though since it couldn't take the bypasses.

If I needed to get into the heart of Kowloon/TST on public transport I suppose it would be about 45-60min away, which for me is fine.

There are thousands of expats living out on the islands and taking the ferry to Central every day so whilst I've not done it, the benefits must outweigh the disadvantages.
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Postby v4jr4 » Fri, 16 Nov 2012 9:47 am

zzm9980 wrote:
v4jr4 wrote:
nutnut wrote:I would be interested in hearing about the commute to and from the city from the areas you lived. Are you happy to say where you lived in regards to the location and how long your commute was by MTR/car/bus?


I heard that the buses in HK are not that "friendly", and the MTR can be packed as well. Still, as long as it's safer than Jakarta, I'll say yes.



Funny, I keep reading all these articles in the local birdcage liner about how Singapore is trying to make their system more like HK because it's seen as superior. Honestly I only ride MTR and Airport Express though, never the busses.


My friends who went to HK said that buses are pretty "wild", while they didn't say anything much about the MTR, unless it's kinda packed especially after office hour time.
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Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 16 Nov 2012 10:35 am

v4jr4 wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:
v4jr4 wrote:
nutnut wrote:I would be interested in hearing about the commute to and from the city from the areas you lived. Are you happy to say where you lived in regards to the location and how long your commute was by MTR/car/bus?


I heard that the buses in HK are not that "friendly", and the MTR can be packed as well. Still, as long as it's safer than Jakarta, I'll say yes.



Funny, I keep reading all these articles in the local birdcage liner about how Singapore is trying to make their system more like HK because it's seen as superior. Honestly I only ride MTR and Airport Express though, never the busses.


My friends who went to HK said that buses are pretty "wild", while they didn't say anything much about the MTR, unless it's kinda packed especially after office hour time.


I've taken MTR at various times and have never been 'sardine packed' like I have on MRT on certain routes at certain times. I think MTR trains just have more room and run more often.

I think the thing with HK busses is that various private companies run them and they all compete, as opposed to the SMRT/SBS no-compete duopoly.

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Postby nutnut » Fri, 16 Nov 2012 12:51 pm

ScoobyDoes wrote:
nutnut wrote:I would be interested in hearing about the commute to and from the city from the areas you lived. Are you happy to say where you lived in regards to the location and how long your commute was by MTR/car/bus?


For me it was a little different.......living and working in the New Territories.

Initially I was living and working in Kowloon and just spent 15-20min walking to work. Once I changed company we were out in the New Territories so it was a great chance to live out there too, and even by car I was about 15min away from the office. The bus would take 30-45min though since it couldn't take the bypasses.

If I needed to get into the heart of Kowloon/TST on public transport I suppose it would be about 45-60min away, which for me is fine.

There are thousands of expats living out on the islands and taking the ferry to Central every day so whilst I've not done it, the benefits must outweigh the disadvantages.


Yes slightly different from how we would look at it, to be honest, where we live is going to be more based on where we can get the kids to school, then I can commute rather than the kids. I would be working near Central, DB was a consideration, but, I believe both schools there are packed to the gunnels... Sai Kung was an option, just not sure of what a daily commute to the office would be like with no MTR at all out there until 2016 I think (they are extending) New Territories seems cleaner and less built up, Just trying to see what's viable without actually looking hardcore at the moment.

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Postby BillyB » Fri, 16 Nov 2012 1:52 pm

Look into the future and HK will be economically irrelevant; contributing less than 1% to overall China GDP. Plus, it will lose its SAR status and fall back under China control in 2047 - that's very off-putting for many expats.

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Fri, 16 Nov 2012 2:41 pm

BillyB wrote:Look into the future and HK will be economically irrelevant; contributing less than 1% to overall China GDP. Plus, it will lose its SAR status and fall back under China control in 2047 - that's very off-putting for many expats.


Not sure many/any expats look 35yrs down the road like that, so that was just as irrelevent by itself.

Sai Kung was an option, just not sure of what a daily commute to the office would be like with no MTR at all out there until 2016.


See my commuting time for reference ;)

However, if the MTR is heading out there, it will be the end of Sai Kung as it was and is, making it just as pointless as a place to consider though with the added problem of a long commute.

There is maybe a hundred minibuses an hour heading between Sai Kung at the MTR during rush hour, fast and reliable, taking maybe 20min so the rest is the judge on the MTR trip itself and you can get timings from their website.

Schooling would be your bigger issue though and an alternative maybe Hong Lok Yuen but spaces are limited. The ESF schools are packed, as you say, to the gunnels as we applied last year for our little one to join P1 when my EP renewal was rejected here......we are still on their waitlist, not heard a dickie bird but thankfully negotiated a new EP with the MoM here instead.
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Postby Brah » Fri, 16 Nov 2012 6:17 pm

Not to sidetrack this thread, but what about the MRT in Jakarta? Or was that Jakarta in general?

Thanks for starting this thread BTW as I'm getting ready to start telling headhunters to find me a role in HK.

Just hope they include relo from SG as part of a non-expat deal.

v4jr4 wrote:I heard that the buses in HK are not that "friendly", and the MTR can be packed as well. Still, as long as it's safer than Jakarta, I'll say yes.

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Postby v4jr4 » Fri, 16 Nov 2012 6:33 pm

Brah wrote:Not to sidetrack this thread, but what about the MRT in Jakarta? Or was that Jakarta in general?

Thanks for starting this thread BTW as I'm getting ready to start telling headhunters to find me a role there.

Just hope they include relo from SG as part of a non-expat deal.

v4jr4 wrote:I heard that the buses in HK are not that "friendly", and the MTR can be packed as well. Still, as long as it's safer than Jakarta, I'll say yes.


Hard to say. In short, although there are some slight improvements, generally, I can't say Jakarta has MRT. This picture can describe better:
Image

As for the public transport? Generally, it's like this:
Image

Some are better:
Image

And if we're going into pollution level, crime rate, traffic jam, flood . . . *speechless*
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