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13 Hong Kong Living Hacks For Expats

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many expats consider Hong Kong as their second home after a few short years. With its fast-paced development and ever-changing multiculturalism, the city envelopes just about everyone in its cozy nooks and irresistible neighbourhood vibe. Of course, there are the equally cosmopolitan people who make up the concrete jungle, making Hong Kong a unique and fabulous place to live! In spite of all the spectacular qualities that help settle people down before they can say permanent resident, there is a slight learning curve for new Kongers, especially if they’ve traversed from faraway lands to be here. With a high ratio of expats in our community, we put together a handful of tips that we’ve found helpful. Want to speed things up even more? All Garagers are invited to join our FREE session: “It’s Not All About ‘La’ – Cantonese Basics” next tomorrow (26 April) from 2 – 3:30 pm. Learn conversational and business phrases to make your Hong Kong adventure a more didactical one! Email[email protected]to reserve your spot!


  1. With some of the most efficient transportation systems in the world, Hong Kong is definitely not a difficult city to navigate by any standard. But if you must hail a cab (and haven’t attended our Cantonese Basics class yet) be sure to downloadHong Kong Taxi Translator, which is great for communicating with the driver.
  1. Citymapperis by far the best app for figuring out public transportation, and is seriously precise in predicting your ETA. You can consider yourself a real Konger once you've mastered mini bus routes.
  1. There areMTR Fare Savers in stations throughout the city to provide you with discounts for your next trip. A no brainer for saving some cash, since all you need to do is swipe your card on the reader.
  1. Many convenience stores like 711 and Circle K provide sockets for you to charge your phone, so it’s always worth a try when you’re desperate for power. Also, many information desks in shopping malls will also let you plug it in.
  1. Forget Disney World,Ocean Parkis actually the happiest place on earth because you getFREE entry on your birthdayalong with half price for a friend. Really doesn’t get better than that.
  1. Hong Kong has been criticized for lacking culture, which is absurd. There are a number ofgreat museums throughout the city, of which admission to all museums are FREE on Wednesdays(excluding special exhibitions).
  1. Sometimes, when you have to go when you have to go. MTR stations have washrooms for staff, and if you or the little one is desperate, you can ask them to make an exception. If you’ve been sticky situations before, make sure to downloadToilet Rushfor the entire list of public washrooms throughout the city.
  1. Gym memberships can get really pricey in large cities, and Hong Kong is no exception. There are a number of decent and extremely affordable publicsports centresthroughout the city for you to get fit on a budget (tryone hour of fitness equipment use for HKD 14)!
  1. ATMs in Hong Kong always have absurd lines, so cut out the hassle of queuing up by getting cash back at a convenience store or supermarket using your EPS card. The maximum you can take out is HKD 500.
  1. Before purchasing your ferry ticket to Macau at the counter, be sure to check out the travel agencies in Shun Tak Centre, as they often have discounts up to 20%.
  1. While Hong Kong can be a very expensive city to live, the city does allocate a lot of resources into creatingFREE public spacesfor people to enjoy sporting, family, and other recreational activities. Check out the full listhere!
  1. Most supermarkets like ParknShop, Wellcome, and Taste provide markdowns for perishable foods after 9 pm, which can be useful for days when you work late.
  1. With so many amazing Asian cities just a short flight away, it’s easy to understand why Kongers travel so much! And you can even do so on a budget.Cathay Pacific Fanfares have great deals for weekend trips
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