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Where To Live In Hong Kong As An Expat


by Michell Brawner


Overview of Expat Living in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a vibrant and bustling city that attracts expatriates from all over the world. With its unique blend of East and West, it offers a rich cultural experience, incredible food scene, and unmatched economic opportunities. Whether you’re relocating for work or seeking a new adventure, Hong Kong has a lot to offer expats.


One of the main appeals of living in Hong Kong as an expat is the city’s efficient transportation system. With its extensive network of buses, trams, and MTR (Mass Transit Railway), getting around is a breeze. This makes commuting to work or exploring the city’s diverse neighborhoods incredibly convenient.


When it comes to accommodation, there are plenty of housing options available to expats in Hong Kong. The Central and Western districts are popular choices for professionals due to their proximity to the financial center and bustling nightlife. Wan Chai and Causeway Bay offer a mix of residential and commercial areas, making them ideal for those who want to live close to shopping and entertainment districts. The Mid-Levels district, located on the hillsides of Victoria Peak, offers stunning views and a quieter residential environment.


For expats who prefer a beach lifestyle, the Repulse Bay and Southside districts are perfect choices. These areas boast beautiful beaches, waterfront promenades, and a more relaxed pace of life compared to the city center. On the other hand, the New Territories district offers a greener and suburban environment, with more spacious accommodations and a closer connection to nature.


For those looking to escape the urban jungle, Lantau Island provides a tranquil oasis just a short ferry ride away from the city. With its lush greenery, hiking trails, and the iconic Big Buddha, expats can enjoy a more laid-back lifestyle while still having easy access to the city center.


Aside from its diverse neighborhoods, Hong Kong offers a myriad of cultural experiences for expats to enjoy. From exploring traditional street markets and temples to attending international arts festivals and world-class exhibitions, there is always something exciting happening in the city.


Furthermore, Hong Kong’s culinary scene is unparalleled. Expats can indulge in a wide variety of cuisines, ranging from local Cantonese dim sum to international gourmet fare. The city boasts numerous Michelin-starred restaurants, trendy cafes, and street food stalls that are sure to tantalize anyone’s taste buds.


Overall, living as an expat in Hong Kong is an exciting and enriching experience. The city’s unique blend of modernity and tradition, coupled with its vibrant energy and diverse neighborhoods, make it a top choice for those seeking a cosmopolitan lifestyle.


Central and Western Districts

The Central and Western Districts of Hong Kong are at the heart of the city’s financial and business hub. This area is home to the iconic Central district, which houses many international banks, prestigious offices, and luxury shopping malls.


Living in the Central and Western Districts offers expats the convenience of being surrounded by an array of amenities. From high-end restaurants and trendy bars to world-class art galleries and designer boutiques, there is always something to explore and indulge in.


One of the key advantages of living in this area is the accessibility to both business and leisure. expats working in the Central district can walk to their offices, saving commuting time and expenses. Additionally, the district is well-connected to the rest of the city through the MTR system, making it easy to explore other neighborhoods and attractions.


Despite the high cost of living, the Central and Western Districts offer a range of housing options to suit different preferences and budgets. For those seeking luxury living, there are upscale high-rise apartments and serviced residences with stunning views of Victoria Harbour. Expats looking for a more traditional local ambiance can find charming low-rise buildings and heritage houses in the Mid-Levels area.


Living in the Central and Western Districts also means being close to the city’s cultural landmarks and recreational spots. The area is home to Victoria Park, a popular green space for outdoor activities, and the famous Peak Tram, which takes visitors to the top of Victoria Peak for breathtaking views of the city skyline.


Furthermore, expats can immerse themselves in the local culture by visiting the nearby Sheung Wan district. This area is known for its traditional Chinese medicine shops, antique stores, and vibrant street markets.


The Central and Western Districts offer a dynamic and fast-paced lifestyle, making it an ideal choice for expats who thrive in an urban environment. The combination of business opportunities, world-class amenities, and cultural attractions make this area a prime location for expat living in Hong Kong.


Wan Chai District

The Wan Chai district is a vibrant and dynamic neighborhood located on the northern shore of Hong Kong Island. It is known for its lively atmosphere, diverse dining scene, and a mix of commercial and residential spaces.


Wan Chai is a popular choice for expats due to its central location and well-developed infrastructure. Its close proximity to the business district makes it convenient for professionals working in the area. Additionally, the district is well-connected to other parts of the city through the MTR and various bus routes, making commuting a breeze.


One of the main draws of Wan Chai is its eclectic dining scene. Expats can find a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and bars catering to different tastes and budgets. From traditional Cantonese eateries to international cuisines, there is something to satisfy every palate. Wan Chai is also home to the famous street market on Spring Garden Lane, with local food stalls offering a variety of delicious snacks and street food.


Moreover, Wan Chai offers a mix of residential options for expats. The district features high-rise apartments, serviced residences, and older walk-up buildings. The variety of housing choices allows expats to find a home that suits their preferences and budgets. The areas close to the waterfront, such as Ship Street and Star Street, are known for their upscale residential complexes with stunning views of Victoria Harbour.


Aside from its culinary delights, Wan Chai is also a cultural hotspot. It is home to the Hong Kong Arts Centre, which hosts various art exhibitions, performances, and film screenings. The district also hosts the annual Hong Kong International Art Fair, attracting both local and international artists and collectors.


For those seeking outdoor activities and green spaces, Wan Chai offers several parks and promenades along the Victoria Harbour waterfront. Expats can enjoy jogging or cycling along the Wan Chai waterfront promenade, or simply relax in one of the picturesque parks like Southorn Playground or Victoria Park.


Overall, Wan Chai district offers expats a vibrant and diverse living experience. Its central location, bustling dining scene, cultural attractions, and the blend of commercial and residential spaces make it an exciting place to call home in Hong Kong.


Causeway Bay District

Causeway Bay is a bustling and vibrant district located on the eastern side of Hong Kong Island. It is known as one of the city’s premier shopping and entertainment destinations, making it a popular choice for expats seeking a vibrant and dynamic lifestyle.


One of the main draws of Causeway Bay is its remarkable shopping scene. The district is home to numerous shopping malls, luxury boutiques, department stores, and trendy fashion outlets that cater to all tastes and budgets. Expats can spend hours exploring iconic shopping centers such as Times Square, Hysan Place, and Lee Gardens, which offer a wide range of international brands and local designers.


In addition to shopping, Causeway Bay is also known for its diverse dining options. Expats can find a plethora of restaurants and eateries serving various cuisines, from authentic local street food to international gourmet delights. The district is particularly famous for its local cha chaan tengs (Hong Kong-style tea houses), where one can enjoy classic Hong Kong comfort food.


Living in Causeway Bay offers expats the convenience of having everything at their doorstep. The district is well-connected to the rest of the city through the MTR system, making it easy to navigate Hong Kong and explore other neighborhoods. Commuting to work or enjoying leisure activities is hassle-free due to the excellent public transportation network.


For expats who enjoy outdoor activities, Causeway Bay offers several nearby parks and green spaces to unwind. Victoria Park, one of Hong Kong’s largest parks, is just a short walk away. It provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, with jogging trails, sports facilities, and even a swimming pool.


Additionally, Causeway Bay is a vibrant entertainment district with a lively nightlife scene. Expats can find plenty of bars, clubs, and live music venues to enjoy evenings out. The district also hosts various cultural events and street performances, adding to the lively atmosphere.


Overall, Causeway Bay offers expats a vibrant and dynamic living experience. With its world-class shopping, diverse dining options, excellent connectivity, and exciting entertainment scene, it is a district that truly encapsulates the energetic spirit of Hong Kong.


Mid-Levels District

The Mid-Levels district is a prestigious residential area situated on the hillsides of Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island. Known for its stunning views of the city and a tranquil atmosphere, it is a sought-after location for expats looking for a serene and upscale living experience.


Living in the Mid-Levels district offers expats a unique blend of nature and urban convenience. The area is abundant with lush greenery, hiking trails, and parks, providing residents with ample opportunities for outdoor activities and a peaceful escape from the city bustle. The popular Victoria Peak is just a short distance away, offering panoramic views that are simply breathtaking.


The district is renowned for its low-rise and mid-rise residential buildings, giving it a more spacious and residential ambiance compared to other parts of Hong Kong. Expats can find a range of accommodation options in the Mid-Levels, including luxurious apartments with top-notch facilities and private gardens.


In addition to its natural beauty, the Mid-Levels district also offers a convenient and well-connected location. It is situated in close proximity to the Central business district, making it a suitable choice for professionals seeking a short commute to work. The Mid-Levels Escalator, the longest covered outdoor escalator system in the world, connects the district to the Central area, providing easy access to shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.


The Mid-Levels district is not just revered for its scenic beauty but also for its proximity to renowned schools and educational institutions. Several prestigious international schools are located in the area, making it an attractive choice for expat families looking for quality education options for their children.


Within the neighborhood, expats can also find a variety of amenities, including supermarkets, boutique shops, and local markets. High Street is a popular area for dining, with its wide range of restaurants offering diverse cuisines to suit all tastes.


Overall, the Mid-Levels district offers expats a serene and high-end living experience with stunning views, spacious accommodations, and access to nature. It is a neighborhood that combines the best of both worlds – a peaceful retreat amidst the beauty of Hong Kong’s natural landscapes, while still being conveniently connected to the city’s vibrant amenities.


Repulse Bay District

The Repulse Bay district is a picturesque and affluent residential area located on the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. Known for its stunning beach, upscale residences, and laid-back atmosphere, it is a coveted destination for expats seeking a beachside lifestyle.


The main attraction of the Repulse Bay district is, of course, its eponymous beach. With its crescent-shaped sandy shores and clear blue waters, it is a popular spot for sunbathing, swimming, and various water activities. Expats can enjoy a day of relaxation by the beach, or take a stroll along the promenade to soak in the beautiful coastal scenery.


Living in the Repulse Bay district offers expats the opportunity to reside in luxurious and spacious accommodations. The area is known for its high-end residential developments, including luxury apartments and detached houses. Many of these properties offer stunning sea views, private gardens, and access to exclusive facilities such as swimming pools, fitness centers, and tennis courts.


Despite its tranquil ambiance, the Repulse Bay district provides convenient access to various amenities. The Repulse Bay shopping arcade houses a range of high-end boutique shops, gourmet restaurants, and specialty stores. Expats can enjoy both international cuisine and local delicacies while taking in the serene atmosphere of the area.


In addition to its beach and retail offerings, the Repulse Bay district also boasts several recreational facilities. The nearby country parks and hiking trails provide opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore and enjoy nature. The nearby Deep Water Bay Golf Club is a haven for golf lovers looking to tee off amidst a scenic backdrop.


The Repulse Bay district also offers excellent educational options for expat families. Several prestigious international schools are within close proximity, making it a desirable location for families looking for quality education for their children.


Public transportation in the area is well-developed, providing easy access to other parts of Hong Kong. Buses and taxis serve the area, and a short drive or bus ride connects the Repulse Bay district to the Central business district.


Overall, the Repulse Bay district offers expats a serene and luxurious beachside living experience. With its stunning beach, high-end residences, and access to nature and amenities, it is a highly desirable destination for those seeking a tranquil and idyllic lifestyle in Hong Kong.


Southside District

The Southside district in Hong Kong offers expats a peaceful and suburban living experience, away from the bustling city center. Located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island, this area is known for its beautiful beaches, expansive green spaces, and a more laid-back lifestyle.


One of the main attractions of the Southside district is its stunning beaches. Repulse Bay, Deep Water Bay, and Stanley Beach are popular choices for residents and visitors alike. Expats can soak up the sun, enjoy water sports, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the sandy shores. These beaches also offer a variety of dining options, from seaside seafood restaurants to beachside cafes, providing a relaxing culinary experience with a view.


In addition to its beaches, the Southside district is home to several lush parks and nature reserves. Aberdeen Country Park and Tai Tam Country Park offer tranquil hiking trails and scenic spots, perfect for those seeking outdoor activities and a connection to nature. The Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy in Sai Kung is an excellent facility for golf enthusiasts and those interested in tennis.


The Southside district is known for its spacious and family-friendly housing options. Expats can find a range of accommodations, from houses with gardens to high-end apartments with expansive sea views. The area is particularly popular among families due to its proximity to reputable international schools and the abundance of child-friendly facilities.


Living in the Southside district also offers a sense of community and a slower pace of life compared to the city center. There are various local markets and shops where residents can do their daily grocery shopping or find unique goods. The Stanley Market, in particular, is a popular destination for shopping, dining, and enjoying the waterfront promenade.


In terms of commuting, the Southside district is well-connected to other areas of Hong Kong through buses and taxis. Additionally, the South Island Line of the MTR, which connects to Admiralty and the rest of Hong Kong Island, provides convenient transportation options for residents.


Overall, the Southside district offers expats a tranquil and family-friendly living experience. With its beautiful beaches, abundant green spaces, and a slower pace of life, it is an ideal choice for those seeking a more relaxed and suburban lifestyle in Hong Kong.


New Territories District

The New Territories district in Hong Kong offers expats a more spacious and suburban living experience compared to the urban areas of the city. Located in the northern part of Hong Kong, this district features a mix of residential neighborhoods, countryside landscapes, and cultural attractions.


One of the main benefits of living in the New Territories is the abundance of open space and greenery. Expats can enjoy the tranquility of country parks, such as Tai Mo Shan and Plover Cove, which offer hiking trails, waterfalls, and panoramic views of the surrounding nature. The district is also home to numerous scenic beaches, such as Sai Kung and Clear Water Bay, where residents can relax, swim, and enjoy water sports.


The New Territories is known for its larger and more affordable housing options. Expats can find spacious apartments, townhouses, and village houses that offer a higher living space to accommodate families. Additionally, certain areas have modern residential developments with amenities such as clubhouses, swimming pools, and sports facilities.


Living in the New Territories provides residents with a closer connection to traditional Chinese culture and heritage. The district is dotted with ancient temples, such as the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery and Man Mo Temple, offering a glimpse into the city’s rich history. Traditional marketplaces and villages, such as Tai Po Market and Yuen Long, allow expats to experience the local lifestyle and sample authentic cuisine.


Despite its suburban ambiance, the New Territories district is well-connected to the rest of Hong Kong. The MTR system extends to various parts of the New Territories, providing convenient transportation options. Buses and minibusses are also available, offering easy access to different neighborhoods and neighboring cities.


Furthermore, the New Territories district offers excellent educational opportunities. The district is home to several international schools that provide a high standard of education for expat children. This, coupled with the abundance of recreational facilities, parks, and sports clubs, makes it an attractive destination for families.


The New Territories also boasts a variety of shopping and entertainment options. Large shopping malls, such as Citygate Outlets and Ma On Shan Plaza, offer a wide range of retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment facilities. There are also local markets, such as the Gold Coast Piazza Market and Tai Po Market, where residents can explore and buy fresh produce and unique items.


Overall, the New Territories district offers expats a tranquil and spacious living experience with a closer connection to nature, cultural heritage, and more affordable housing options. It is a desirable choice for those seeking a suburban lifestyle while still enjoying the convenience of modern amenities.


Lantau Island

Lantau Island is a scenic and idyllic location in Hong Kong that offers expats a peaceful and slower-paced living experience. Known for its breathtaking natural landscapes, cultural attractions, and close proximity to the airport, Lantau Island is a popular choice for those seeking a serene retreat from the city.


One of the main attractions of Lantau Island is its stunning natural beauty. The island is home to pristine beaches, lush mountains, and expansive hiking trails. Expats can explore the famous Lantau Trail, which takes them through forests, up peaks, and along secluded coastlines, offering breathtaking views at every turn. Popular spots like Cheung Sha Beach and Pui O Beach provide opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports.


In addition to its natural wonders, Lantau Island boasts several cultural and historical landmarks. The iconic Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, is a major draw for visitors and locals alike. Surrounding the Buddha is the Po Lin Monastery, an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. Nearby, the Ngong Ping Village offers a range of shops, restaurants, and cultural exhibits, allowing expats to immerse themselves in the island’s unique heritage.


Living on Lantau Island offers a peaceful and close-knit community atmosphere. Expats can find a range of housing options, from modern apartments to village houses. Areas such as Discovery Bay and Tung Chung offer expat-friendly housing developments with amenities like swimming pools, gyms, and clubhouses. The island also has international schools, providing quality education for families.


Despite its more remote location, Lantau Island has excellent transportation links. The MTR provides convenient access to both the airport and the city center, making it easy for expats to travel for work or leisure. Buses and taxis also serve the island, ensuring residents can reach various parts of Lantau Island with ease.


For shopping and dining, Lantau Island offers a selection of markets, boutiques, and eateries. The Tai O Fishing Village is famous for its seafood market and traditional stilt houses, allowing residents to experience the island’s fishing heritage. In the entertainment district of Tung Chung, expats can find shopping malls, cinemas, and a range of international dining options.


Overall, Lantau Island provides expats with a serene and secluded living experience amidst breathtaking natural landscapes. The island’s cultural attractions, community atmosphere, and convenient transportation options make it an appealing choice for those seeking a peaceful retreat from the city while still enjoying modern amenities and connectivity.



Hong Kong is a diverse and vibrant city that offers expats a multitude of living options. From the bustling neighborhoods of Central and Wan Chai to the tranquil beaches of Repulse Bay and the suburban charm of the New Territories and Lantau Island, Hong Kong has something to offer every expat’s lifestyle preferences.


The city’s efficient transportation system and well-developed infrastructure make it easy for expats to navigate and explore different areas. Whether you’re looking for a cosmopolitan lifestyle in the heart of the business district or a beachside retreat with stunning natural landscapes, Hong Kong has it all.


Each district in Hong Kong has its own unique charm and appeal. Central and Wan Chai offer the convenience of being in the heart of the city, with a lively atmosphere and a plethora of amenities. Causeway Bay is renowned for its vibrant shopping scene and diverse dining options. The Mid-Levels district provides an upscale and serene living experience with stunning city views.


The Southside district offers a more laid-back and suburban lifestyle, with beautiful beaches and ample green spaces. The New Territories district provides spacious accommodations, a strong sense of community, and a closer connection to nature. Lantau Island offers a tranquil retreat with stunning natural beauty and cultural attractions.


Overall, living as an expat in Hong Kong offers a unique blend of East and West, with a rich cultural heritage and unmatched economic opportunities. Whether you’re seeking a fast-paced urban lifestyle or a peaceful suburban retreat, Hong Kong has a neighborhood that will suit your needs.


While considering the different districts, it’s important for expats to consider factors such as housing options, proximity to schools or workplaces, access to amenities, and personal preferences. With careful consideration and exploration of the various neighborhoods in Hong Kong, expats can find their perfect place to call home in this vibrant and cosmopolitan city.


So whether you’re looking to be at the heart of the action in Central, enjoy a beachside lifestyle in Repulse Bay, or embrace the tranquility of Lantau Island, Hong Kong invites expats to experience its myriad of offerings and embark on an exciting chapter of their lives in this dynamic city.