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Saturday, 11/1/2014

How can you avoid noisy neighbours

POSTED BY twomoewyears (6 yrs ago)

One of the tough things about living in Hong Kong for me was living in apartments and having to put up with neighbours dogs, TVs, slammed gates, karaoke, dish washing with the windows open (at midnight!), etc.

I don't even mind living in a shoebox, but how can you guarantee a quiet life?

I've known people with 100k apartments up the Peak who had noisy neighbours, so it's not about money or kind of area.

Any suggestions?

#1 POSTED BY twomoewyears (6 yrs ago)

Thanks for your reply. It's certainly not an easy question to answer! I had this issue in most of the places I lived in in HK.

I'm enjoying the peace and quiet of Australia, but the strong HKD is tempting me back and the issue of noise is a big one.

I'm even considering one of those one story, old village houses. The kind that often house live=out domestic helpers. I think detached living is the best bet!

I'd love to hear any other ideas people may have!

#2 POSTED BY Patrick Yiu (6 yrs ago)

I used to live in a detached village house in Tai Po, dead quiet during weekdays night, but occasional daytime dog barking is unavoidable.

#3 POSTED BY twomoewyears (6 yrs ago)

Thaks lads. It seems it's a really common problem in HK.

Patrick, you give me hope with your comment. Can't you visit the place to check for dogs before signing a contract?

Beerboy. Are your neighbours locals or expats?

#4 POSTED BY twomoewyears (6 yrs ago)

Thanks Island hopper. The best place I live was a top floor flat with empty neighbours. But all good things come to an end! The downside was that it was like livin in an oven......

Do you actually have experience of using noise blocking fittings?

#5 POSTED BY ldavy (6 yrs ago)

There's nothing you can do to guarantee quiet living. You can visit the apartment/house every day for a year and find it lovely and peaceful, then the day after you move in the Neighbours From Hell will arrive.

I lived in a nice little house in Sai Kung and it was perfect for a year, then people moved in upstairs with a noisy dog which they kept on the roof ........

#6 POSTED BY Goo (6 yrs ago)

Some section of the residential noise ordnance actually says it's illegal to play a musical instrument if it disturbs others, at any time (PM me if you want the actual law in Eng and Chinese). But does that mean anything? Ordinarily the police are there to enforce the laws but I don't think they do for that particular one.

Just to vent... someone in the flat a floor up and completely across the building chops something at all hours of the day and night, and the vibrations travel through the cement walls and can be heard across about 5 floors. It's deafening. But no one has ever complained, even if it happens hourly all day on Sunday! One of the joys of Hong Kong I guess.

#7 POSTED BY twomoewyears (6 yrs ago)

Goo. Sound like Mah Jong!

Actually I thought I had an 'issue' with noise when I was in HK. It seems to be a common issue for the expat community. I'm worrried about returning to HK!

Maybe DB has got something going for it after all!

#8 POSTED BY cd (6 yrs ago)

We've lived in 5 places in HK, only had a noise issue in 2 of them, both the flats. one due to refurbishment of several flats in the block (so we moved out) and one due to traffic noise as it was in Jordan. The 3 houses we have lived in have never had a problem with noise, in fact don't see or hear my heighbours for days on end.

#9 POSTED BY Patrick Yiu (6 yrs ago)

I think dog barking in village houses is unavoidable. To a certain degree, some low density villages do have less dogs than the others.

Pick a detached house if you can, upstairs neighor is the only source, choose top floor if don't mind the heat from the roof.

DB is a quiet place if you're away from the plaza. Phase 2 is probably the best area in DB in terms of noise level.

Some expats used to live in a city like NYC, some come from outskirt/suburban area, they have different endurance level of noise. If twomoewyears is really sensitive about noise, DB is certainly a good choice.

#10 POSTED BY ldavy (6 yrs ago)

Unless you live in a flat in DB and your upstairs neighbour plays the piano at all hours, or leaves their dog unattended and it barks, or decides to completely renovate their flat .....

#11 POSTED BY twomoewyears (6 yrs ago)

Thanks everyone. Keep the advice coming!

Actually, I couldn't live in DB. Too expensive for me, too isolated (in Sai Kung I just had to wait 2 mins for a minibus then if necessary 2 mins for an MTR.) One of the great pluses for me in living in HK is the convenience. If I were to live IN hk permanently that would be a different matter.

The big worry about living in the sticks is that you find yourself with noisy neighbours AND you're isolated. That's the ultimate nightmare!

I'm still thinking that a very old one story 'granny flat' in the NT with NO neighbours and not near a barking dog is the answer. And it would probably cost about 3K/month! Not sure how bad it would be inside :) But at least it would be quiet....

#12 POSTED BY Patrick Yiu (6 yrs ago)

HK$3K per month? Have you been away for a long time?

#13 POSTED BY twomoewyears (6 yrs ago)

Just a year. It may be a bit more than that but the kind of place I'm talking about probably doesn't have windows! I'm talking rock bottom of the market. But if it's quiet I'll be happy :)

#14 POSTED BY twomoewyears (6 yrs ago)

I was living in a 650sf sea view flat in Sai Kung town centre. I was paying 6k for that. My agenet there tells me that the market is moving slowly and any increases over the last 2 or more years will have been cancelled out by the looming recession/property downturn.

So, 3-4k isn't entirely out of the question. Not that I need it to be so low.

#15 POSTED BY talllatte (6 yrs ago)

I don't think it is possible in HK to be left in peace. Even if you do your research and you move into a nice quiet place you have no guarantee that the next people to move into the area aren't noisy or have dogs.

I've just moved after 6 years in a lovely quiet place. Last year new neighbours moved in with the most annoying yappy dog on the planet. The poor thing is chained up day and night by the entrance outside and the noise carries for miles. Since they moved in everyon ein my household has suffered migraines through lack of proper sleep.


As a renter we can up and leave. I feel most sorry for the poor souls opposite us in their $20m detatched villas who also had their luxury living ruined.


#16 POSTED BY twomoewyears (6 yrs ago)

My solution could well work. You have to think out of the box. Literally. An old one floor detached granny flat. They are all over NT and around Sai Kung often house Philipinas, so they must be cheap.

You won't be able to show off to your friends. Agents will think you are crazy. But if you really want peace then that's a real possiblity. And you can spend alternate weekends in a hotel with the savings to add a bit of spice to your life....

#17 POSTED BY Cucaracha (6 yrs ago)

I've been in Hong Kong for over 15 years and confess I have never had noisy neighbors in any of the 4 apartments I have lived -- in Mid-Levels and Pokfulam. In most of my apartments I would say the majority of my neighbors were locals. There is a common thread in all my apartments, however. They were all in 30+ year old buildings, thus they all had very thick walls. They were also all in buildings with 2 apartments per floor only.

In my present apartment, I have 4 children living above me. Yes, they do occasionally bounce balls on the floor or run from one end of the apartment to the other, but after a maximum of 15-20 minutes, they always run out of steam and are once again silent little creatures. I can hear one of them right now... tapping something on the floor. It will stop shortly -- it always does.

Good luck in your search for a quiet place. Perhaps finding a large (2700+ sf) apartment in an old building is the secret.

#18 POSTED BY wildhogs (4 yrs ago)

i think noise in unavoidable in the city. soundprof your appartment or soundproof your ears! :)


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