Considered the gateway to China and the Far East, Hong Kong offers a mix of British colonial history with a rich Chinese culture and tradition. As one of the world’s busiest business centres, it is an ideal destination for shopping and for enjoying a thriving nightlife.
On July 1, 1997, after more than a century of British rule, Hong Kong reverted to China, becoming a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. Under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, Hong Kong is guaranteed a high degree of autonomy, with the exceptions of foreign and defense affairs. Hong Kong, under this law, will maintain its capitalist system for 50 years.
Hong Kong is ideally positioned at the centre of rapidly developing East Asia. With a total area of 1104 square kilometres, it covers Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories. Hong Kong was a British colony from 1842, until its sovereignty was transferred to the PRC in 1997. Hong Kong has one of the world’s most liberal economies and is a major international centre of finance and trade. Hong Kong is a major international and regional aviation centre. The Hong Kong International Airport, one of the busiest in the world, is served by major international airlines. Hong Kong’s population was about 6.9 million in 2005. About 96% of Hong Kong’s population is Chinese, the majority of which are Cantonese. Chinese and English are the official languages.
Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate, with hot, humid summers and cool, dry winters. Winter lasts from January to March, the coldest month being February, when the temperature averages 57°F (14°C) and the city gets cooled by strong, cold winds that blow in from the north. In summer the wind blows from the south, bringing in warm, humid air and a rainy season that extends from spring through summer. Temperatures in summer climb to a maximum of around 82°F (28°C)
Magical Hong Kong
Victoria Harbour is one of Hong Kong’s greatest assets, a jewel that people marvel at, no matter how many times they visit the city. People come from all over the world to see and admire it.
Travel up to The Peak or visit the Avenue of Stars along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade for spectacular harbour views and to catch the magnificent A Symphony of Lights, featuring 33 of Hong Kong’s skyscrapers in a stunning multimedia extravaganza.
There is no better way to capture the magic of the harbour than by taking a night-time cruise aboard a ferry where you’ll be able to enjoy A Symphony of Lights, the stunning multimedia show featuring 33 Hong Kong skyscrapers in a dazzling extravaganza.
Victoria Harbour bustles with activity day and night. To experience the energy take a ride on the Star Ferry, a harbour cruise or a ride in a traditional Chinese junk.
Working in Hong Kong
Most Western executives who work in Hong Kong will notice several changes to their working environment. It’s worth stating the obvious at this point – if you are here you probably have some special attributes; a particular business skill, the ability to generate revenue, or knowledge of a specialist commercial area. You are probably being well rewarded for that and your employer is going to expect to get a good return on their investment.
The cost of living and accommodation
The cost of living in Hong Kong is much cheaper than London, personal taxation set at around 15%, however, accommodation is comparatively expensive. Hong Kong apartments can be small. Rental prices range enormously according to the location, the floor, age/condition and whether there is a maid’s room or facilities, e.g. swimming pool, gym and security. A family let in a predominantly non-European area like North Point, Tai Koo, Olympic or South Horizons (Aberdeen) will be cheaper than in a more mixed area like Happy Valley. Try Pok Fu Lam if you want better value on the island, or Discovery Bay on Lantau island if you want a more family friendly environment. Areas like Mid levels (near Central) and Repulse Bay tend to be expensive with lots of corporate lets. Lamma Island and Mui Wo on Lantau offer a more ‘alternative’ living environment whilst Sai Kung and Tai Po will suit those wanting a larger property and a long drive to Hong Kong Island.
It is also worth noting that the Groups that Christian Bassett work with in Hong Kong offer excellent additional perks: competitive basic salaries, profit-related bonus and commission schemes, joining and leaving air fares, free annual air ticket home, full health insurance, generous uniform and various discounts.