Canadians Moving to Hong Kong! Need some advice!

Posted by Aleksandra7 3 yrs ago

My husband and I have the chance to teach abroad in Hong Kong. We are from Calgary, Canada and love the outdoors. We have been looking at Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay as potential areas to live since we'd prefer to live outside the city if possible. My husband will have to make the commute to the city to work at his school which google maps is telling us is a 1 hour commute. We are okay with this if it means getting to live somewhere more relaxing and closer to hiking trails and beaches.

1) I am wondering if someone with more experience with these areas could answer a few questions:
What are the best forums/websites for finding rental properties. We have been using and Are there better ones out there for finding a property?

2) Has anyone had difficulty with the living conditions or, would have advice on what to make sure we have in our rental space? For example, air conditioning, laundry, internet access?

3) Are there any big differences between Sai Kung and Clearwater?

4) Are there other locations besides these two that are maybe not as popular but are hidden gems and worth looking into?

Hoping to hear from someone soon!

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Ed 3 yrs ago
In terms of locations if you don't mind a commute ... and want access to beaches, hiking, biking.... you might have a look at Lamma Island

Far more relaxing to take the ferry into HK than bus/subway from Kowloon (assuming work is on HK island)

Functioning ACs and fast reliable internet should not present problems

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Ed 3 yrs ago
Here's a project on another outlying island that might be of interest

You definitely get more space for your rental dollar on these islands.... also the air is generally much cleaner and nature is at your door step.

If you want a night out in the city from time to time and stay out past the ferry... you can always take a hotel room for a very reasonable cost....

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Ed 3 yrs ago

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Aleksandra7 3 yrs ago
Thank you so much, Ed! I will check this out tonight!

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RichardNewburn 3 yrs ago
In all honesty traffic to Sai Kung is pretty bad. especially after 5:00 pm and weekends. I have friends who live out there and they love it though, even with the commute.
Be prepared for snakes close by, especially if you are living in village. Dogs can be a problem in the villages too.

I used to live in Sui Sai Wan on the east end of HK Island, literally walked out of the estate ( Island Resort) and were hiking on a mountain trail in minutes. Now live in Kennedy Town, ALL the amenities you could want, MTR, buses, Mini buses, great restaurants and trails all close by. When you get here, take your time to look around and explore the different areas, assuming the school will put you up in a hotel for a week(which is normal practice)

Good luck and welcome to HK

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RichardNewburn 3 yrs ago
Estate agents are everywhere here. They tend to work in specific areas, rarely city wide.

I recently used

Olay Chan at RicoCorp +852 6199 2007
Helena Cheng at Centaline +852 6828 0008
Teddy Lam +852 9460 4182
Wendy Chui +852 93830132

All of them use whats app, thats the easiest way to contact them.

They are on HK Island, but can refer you to co-workers in the Sai Kung area

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Ed 3 yrs ago
Not a bad idea to use a serviced apartment until you get a feel for the city and commit to a long term lease

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Aleksandra7 3 yrs ago
Do we need to have a water filter? Or can you safely drink the water.

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Ed 3 yrs ago
I'd recommend bottled water...

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CWB-HK 3 yrs ago
Hi Aleks

Congrats on the BIG move - FYI, we are Canadians living in HK for over 21 years now. We have been living in the Clear Water Bay area for more than half that time and have some investment properties in the area. Great place to enjoy the fresh air, the trails, the beaches, etc. Traffic and development has increased during this time but still manageable. Sai Kung is a totally different story. We tend not to go down there due to the traffic and the amount of people/homes compared to CWB.

1) Property Agents - there are quite a few in this area; most of them have access to the same properties on the market - look up Home Plus, Sunshine Property, iLand, Dream House, etc. They deal in both SK & CWB. PM for personal references. Personal note - there are Village houses and Villas in these area; villas are more 'organised' and tend to have 24 hr security and facilities. Village houses depending on area and village can be quite 'interesting'.

2) All rooms should be equipped with its own Air Conditioning unit; Internet speeds avail in some Villas are optic fibre and reach 10G; most villages are still using telephone wire for connection at 6-7mbps internet although the main telephone/internet service provider has plans to lay down optic for the area in 5-10 years time. Water is safe to wash and brush with; best use filter for drinking/cooking.

3) CWB - more tranquil and quiet; the main road leading in from Silverstrand to the Tai Au Mun (and Beaches) is quiet after 8pm; even on weekends it is an enjoyable, stress free drive in and out

4) HK has many hidden gems - just depends if you're up for it ... the islands are an option but comes with it the ferry rides, walk - hike up, etc. Note rent here is one of the highest in the world - and don't expect much in terms of extravagances for the money paid. A 1,000 sqft CWB villa will run around HKD35 - 40K - around CAD6K - 6.5K+; a 1 floor Village House approx CAD2.5K-3K. Duplex at CAD5K-6K and whole 2100sqft Village at around CAD6K-9K.

Good Luck with the move and search - one thing positive is the weather in HK these past few months. Nice blue skies and humidity has been low. Past years we only experienced a total of 2-3 weeks of clear skies on average per year. Plus no snow here!!!! All the best

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