Living in Hong Kong guide for expats

All the information you need to relocate and live in Hong Kong.

Our selection of articles for expatriation in Hong Kong

Banking in Hong Kong

If you have chosen to move to Hong Kong, you will probably be working there. And if you are, you will have to open a ...

The healthcare system in Hong Kong

When moving to a foreign country, it is natural to have queries regarding that country's healthcare system. Luckily, in the case ...

Finding work in Hong Kong

As one of China's Special Administrative Regions, Hong Kong is without a doubt the country's most developed and ...

Study in Hong Kong

A dynamic, international city and meeting point for different cultures, Hong Kong is also one of the world's leading financial ...

Moving with your pet to Hong Kong

If you are planning a long-term stay in Hong Kong, you may want to bring your pets with you. The process of bringing your pets ...

The Hong Kongese lifestyle

Wondering what life is all about in Hong Kong? A mixture of old traditions, modernism and openness to other cultures, it's a ...

Leisure activities in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is notorious for its fast-paced lifestyle and innate “workaholism”. But, despite that, the city also knows ...

Sports in Hong Kong

Staying fit in Hong Kong will definitely not be a problem (that is, if you manage to get a break from the city's notoriously ...

Phones and internet in Hong Kong

No matter where you are going or for how long, you will want to stay connected. Luckily, staying in touch with friends and family ...

Relocating to Hong Kong

If you have decided to relocate to Hong Kong, take enough time to choose your removal company. This is an ...

How to drive in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a very well-developed transportation system: from ferries to tramways and buses to MTR, getting around the city is ...

Travelling around Hong Kong

Bus, tram, subway, taxi, ferry... Still wondering how to explore Hong Kong? Indeed, you can choose from different means of ...

The tax system in Hong Kong

On moving to Hong Kong, you will probably have queries regarding taxation. While there are a lot of rumours that you ...

Buying a property in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is home to a large number of expats, many of whom call the city their second home. Thus, it comes as no surprise that ...

Accommodation in Hong Kong

The housing market in Hong Kong is somewhat unique. The city's small territory, a large number of inhabitants and an attractive ...

About Hong Kong

Hong Kong is China's biggest and most densely populated special administrative region and one of its most prosperous cities. The city's name is literally translated as 'fragrant harbour' ' a tribute to the once lucrative wood and incense trade in the region. To this day, the city has remained of the world's most important trade centres.

Geography of Hong Kong

Stretching over some 1,100 km², Hong Kong is divided into three major areas, namely the Southern Island (only 10% of the region's territory but its political and economic heart, 80.68 sq km), Kowloon (a large residential area located right opposite Southern Island, 46.94 sq km) and the New Territories (comprising mostly wetlands, parks and mountains and accounting for more than 80% of Hong Kong's total surface area).

In political terms, Hong Kong consists of 18 districts, each of which has its own council. However, these councils do not really have political power.

Population and languages

As China's 5th urban area, Hong Kong is one of the world's most densely populated territories with over 7.37 million people (with the population density of over 7050 people per square kilometre), with Kowloon being the most populated area of the region. Despite the city's large population, Hong Kong's unemployment rate is relatively low at 3.2%.

Hong Kong is one of the most popular expat destinations in Asia with its expat population estimated to have reached over 395,000 people in 2017. Foreign residents come from Malaysia, Japan, US, Britain, Australia, Singapore and Portugal, with Indonesia taking the number one spot in the number of expats residing in the city.

Chinese and English are the two official languages of Hong Kong. However, a southern version of Chinese, Cantonese, is actually spoken by the residents. Hong Kong also uses traditional spelling, as opposed to Simplified Chinesethat is used in Mainland China. English is taught in schools and universities and the bilingual policy also applies to displays, including road traffic signs, subtitles at the cinema hall, etc., thanks to the government's emphasis on the development of English language skills.

Hong Kong's economy

Hong Kong is Mainland China's most prosperous city and one of the world's biggest financial hubs (the city is home to 195 authorised financial institutions and 57 offices of international banks). The city has ranked 23 times in a row as the world's freest economy and, for the second year running, has been named the world's most competitive economy in 2017. The city's economic success relies on fair market competition, the government's minimum intervention policy, support of small businesses, low taxation, favourable geographic position, cultural openness and a number of other factors.

Hong Kong's maritime trade was the first field to experience development, but other fields such as textiles, services and industry have also evolved rapidly.

The city's economy relies, to a large extent, on foreign exchanges as well as tourism which is becoming more and more significant. Its main competitors are, namely, Singapore and Shanghai. Note that Hong Kong's official currency is the Hong Kong dollar (HKD).


Hong Kong experiences a subtropical climate. Winter lasts for two months only, that is from January to February. The weather is rather dry and cloudy, but it barely rains. Temperatures, for their part, range between 13°C and 22°C. Then come spring and summer, from March to October, with warm and humid temperatures ranging between 17°C and 31°C. March to April are generally quite pleasant. However, occasional spells of high humidity and heavy fog can cause delays in air traffic and ferry services. May to August are the months characterised by the highest humidity with more frequent shower and thunderstorms, however, July brings in a dry spell, which can last for several weeks. July through September are often affected by cyclones. Finally, autumn, which lasts from October to December, is considered to be the most pleasant season with a sunny weather and mild temperatures ranging between 15°C and 30°C.


Due to its geographical location, Hong Kong is often affected by tropical typhoons. On average, about 30 cyclones affect the region every year.

Good to know:

The best time to visit Hong Kong is March to April and October through November.

Hong Kong holidays

Hong Kong celebrates similar holidays to Mainland China, however there are a few differences. Office holidays in Hong Kong are generally shorter than those in China and the city also celebrates a lot of traditionally western holidays like Christmas, Boxing Day, Easter and others. Some of the major holidays in Hong Kong include Spring Festival (1st day of the 1st lunar month), Ching Ming Festival (Apri 4th ), Labour Day (May 1st), Dragon Boat Festival (May 30th), The Buddhas Birthday (May 3rd) and others.


Hong Kong's political system consists of a legislative assembly which elects a chief executive or a head of the government. The latter is first named by the Chinese President of the Republic. Hong Kong also has a parliament and a legislative council named LEGCO.

The legal and judiciary system is also different from that of mainland China. In fact, Hong Kong has preserved its common law system as established during the British colonisation period, and it is not answerable to the Chinese national laws.

Cultural diversity

Cultural diversity is one of the main factors attracting foreigners to the region. Having been under British rule from 1841 to 1997, Hong Kong is a vibrant mix of cultures, and its diversity can be experienced in all spheres of life whether in economic, linguistic or religious terms.

Quick Information

Official Languages : Chinese , Chinese , English
Currency : Dollar
Area : 1092 Km2
Population : 6898686
Calling Code : +852
Timezone : Asia/Hong_Kong

Share your Expat Experience in the Guide

As an member you can share your own experience about your expatriation by writing some articles in the Expat Guide.
Formalities, Visas, Work, Bank. Share your tips or your knowledges about the new country where you chose to live, or about your own country.