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My husband is negotiating the details for his new Asia Pacific role based in Hong Kong. We have 3 children 9,6 & 5 who will be attending the Australian School and he will be based at central but traveling extensively. We currently live in Sydney on the harbour and close to the beach with a 2 year old labradoodle dog. I really only know HK island from friends who lived in repulse bay but from looking at other forums have noticed others recommend Clearwater bay or central. We spend most of our time at the beach and outdoors in Sydney so being close to beach and parks would be great it looks like we will have about 350k per month for rent. I am coming for a week to do a can we do this move and am keen to get advice from other expats of the following so I am well prepared before arriving.

- good locations for a family to live on our housing allowance that works for the children's schooling and my husbands work when in HK should we be asking for more for rent it seems very generous but we currently live in a large 5 bedroom Sydney harbour home with lots of space for all.
- should we bring our dog she is a mini so small dog but we have a large yard at home and she is exercised at dog parks or beaches daily.
- We are excited about the opportunity and would love to feel like we are experiencing HK so not sure living in the NEw Territories will give us the excitement the island or Kowloon will give us but Kowloon Tong from websites looks very built up and I'm not sure the mid levels parts of the island are very family friendly would the peak work what other areas should we consider?
- Could we live in repulse bay and still have the children at the Australian school or would it be too long the school bus doesn't come to the south of HK island could I drive them realistically each day?
- We can use a relocation company is there a relocation expert who is recommended who could do the leg work for me to make my week more effective.
- What are the things I should consider from others that have done this that will make the transition smoother, the compromises we will need to make and what things will help my children settle in.

I hope you can help with advice

Kind regards
 

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Hello
I'm a native HongKonger, I hope I can help you
I guess you can live in Residence Bel-Air, Hong Kong is very crowded, so can't give you a lots of space. You can search in the internet 'Residence Bel-Air', I guess it's suitable for you, and school bus are via this place, so don't worry about it. I don't know about the relocation company, but you can find the Yan Yan Mover, I guess this company can help you
=)
 

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for 25,000 hkd we got a three floor(3 bathooms) and a roof terrace in a small village near Clearwaterbay 1 km from little palm beach(perfect for swimming, sailing... there is a sailing club on the beach at the left hand side of the beach, there is my friend frank lee, who would happily lend you a cannoe, show you the best bits to go snorkeling. .......Hell if he likes you, he´ll cook you lunch and give you a beer or a coke.... he´s a real good guy that way

If you like scuba diving, then contact my other mate, Ginger Ayres who is among the best qualified diving instructors in asia you can reach him at HONG KONG DIVING & SNORKELLING - SCUBA / SKIN DIVING WITH MARINE DIVERS - BSAC PREMIER DIVE CENTRE or arrange to meet at the United Services Recronational club in Kowloon (tell him Willie sent you)

The USRC is one of the best and cheapest clubs in HK( tennis ,squash courts, pools lawn bowls, two resturants, three bars,gym and sauna, along with accomadation rooms andn is close to Canton road.

Schools... I can´t give a personal opinion as I don´t have kids, but four of my good friends were teachers( one was the headmaster, sadly departed now) at King George V, which has a good reputation as an international school.

Dogs.... have a look at the avatar.... this is flossie(she got her name when we rescued her, washed her several times took her to the vet, at which point he had a thermometer up her bum and I thought if he held her upright she would be a candy floss

serious side of dog ownship... rabies jabs,,tick repellant and "Heartguard" for heartworm. Try to dicourage the habit my neighbours dog had , of dragging in a large and very irritated cobra.


Also, as a dog owner, I would advise against mid levels or the peak and go for a more open space.
 

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Hi Banks5,

I grew up in Hong Kong in the mid 80's to the late '90's and can highly recommend the experience both as a kid growing up and as a adult.

Back then the Australian School wasn't around so everyone went to Boundary School (Primary) and King George V (secondary). I have heard very good reports about the Australian School so I think you should be okay there. The school is in Kowloon Tong so it would be quicker and easier to live in Clearwater Bay/Sai Kung then on the island. The other positive is that on the island you will find it more difficult than CWB to find a house with a yard for your dog.

There is a large expat community in CWB/Sai Kung with plenty of outdoor activities including the CWB Golf and Country Club and the **** Haven Yacht Club to name a few.

If you have any questions please let me know.

Cheers,

Brett
 

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I have spent time in HK in Kowloon as a kid. There were lots of fun things to do as a kid. Some things that I like to do were:

- catch the ferry across Victoria Harbour
- explore the markets (Lady Market, Bird market, flower market, sneaker street etc...)
- catch the tram on HK island all the way to the last stop
- visit Sheung Wan and seeing all the dried foods & medicine on the street

There are also some good parenting websites such as Little Steps Asia and Sassy Mama which lists kids activities that could be useful.

The locals speak Cantonese but a lot of people can speak English. If you have the opportunity, getting your kids to learn Chinese (Mandarin) would be beneficial.
 

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kid

I have spent time in HK in Kowloon as a kid. There were lots of fun things to do as a kid. Some things that I like to do were:

- catch the ferry across Victoria Harbour
- explore the markets (Lady Market, Bird market, flower market, sneaker street etc...)
- catch the tram on HK island all the way to the last stop
- visit Sheung Wan and seeing all the dried foods & medicine on the street

There are also some good parenting websites such as Little Steps Asia and Sassy Mama which lists kids activities that could be useful.

The locals speak Cantonese but a lot of people can speak English. If you have the opportunity, getting your kids to learn Chinese (Mandarin) would be beneficial.
At what age did you do that alone? How about sports, riding a bike, fishing you did that alone?
 

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JWilliamson,

you would be quite surprised how early kids can get around Hong Kong by themselves.

Growing up I can remember from the age of about 11/12 we were catching buses/taxis by ourselves to go play tennis/squash, visit friends and visit the various markets. After living there for over 10 years not once did I find myself in a situation that I was concerned about.

Cheers

Brett
 

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Hi Banks 5

As a HK resident of 17 years, I'd say Repulse Bay to Kowloon Tong for the AIS is not realistic. You'd go crazy after a while. You could drive, but traffic will be hellish.

I'd agree that Clearwater Bay would be your best bet. If you really have $350k for rent (wondering if something went wrong with the conversion there!), you'd be able to rent a three storey village house with a garden and a pool.

I can provide a reference for a field consultant to help with orientation, etc. I do school placements and you seem to have that all covered!

All the best.
 

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hi

My husband is negotiating the details for his new Asia Pacific role based in Hong Kong. We have 3 children 9,6 & 5 who will be attending the Australian School and he will be based at central but traveling extensively. We currently live in Sydney on the harbour and close to the beach with a 2 year old labradoodle dog. I really only know HK island from friends who lived in repulse bay but from looking at other forums have noticed others recommend Clearwater bay or central. We spend most of our time at the beach and outdoors in Sydney so being close to beach and parks would be great it looks like we will have about 350k per month for rent. I am coming for a week to do a can we do this move and am keen to get advice from other expats of the following so I am well prepared before arriving.

- good locations for a family to live on our housing allowance that works for the children's schooling and my husbands work when in HK should we be asking for more for rent it seems very generous but we currently live in a large 5 bedroom Sydney harbour home with lots of space for all.
- should we bring our dog she is a mini so small dog but we have a large yard at home and she is exercised at dog parks or beaches daily.
- We are excited about the opportunity and would love to feel like we are experiencing HK so not sure living in the NEw Territories will give us the excitement the island or Kowloon will give us but Kowloon Tong from websites looks very built up and I'm not sure the mid levels parts of the island are very family friendly would the peak work what other areas should we consider?
- Could we live in repulse bay and still have the children at the Australian school or would it be too long the school bus doesn't come to the south of HK island could I drive them realistically each day?
- We can use a relocation company is there a relocation expert who is recommended who could do the leg work for me to make my week more effective.
- What are the things I should consider from others that have done this that will make the transition smoother, the compromises we will need to make and what things will help my children settle in.

I hope you can help with advice

Kind regards
i think kowloon tong is the place for australian school. you can go sai kung or deep water bay,for 30 min, drive to school,
 

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Kowloon Tong has a nice huge Australian school and the neighborhood actually has real houses with yards but you have to be more then a rich person to be able to afford one. The Australian school (Australian International School) is affordable.
 

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Many ex-pats report problems/difficulty locating suitable schooling for their kids. There is on-going arguments (some of it political) about whether there is a problem or not. Have you actually been in touch with the school you intend enrolling your kids in? The influx of mainlanders coming into HK for medical treatments, education, investment in property all have an impact on life here for a lot of people (not every one though). Don't want to be pessimistic, but it pays to be aware of what you are stepping into. Have you also considered cost of medical insurance/accident insurance in your expenses? Don't forget to check out your tax obligations.
 
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