In this article, we look at the Hong Kong lifestyle, the subtropical climate, the safety of drinking water and the effects pollution is having on the city.
The Hong Kong lifestyle
Hong Kong is well known for its attitude of ‘work hard, play hard’. While it may have some of the longest working hours in the world1, it also allows access to almost anything at any time of the day or night you need it.
Living in Hong Kong means living in an enabling environment which allows residents access to public transport, public amenities and healthy food2.
The temptation to drive a car is minimized in downtown Hong Kong as there are over 650 foot bridges3, including escalators that are over 800m long. These escalators are the largest outdoor covered escalator system in the world, rising 135 metres through the steep streets of the Mid-Levels in Central with over 78,000 people using it everyday.
Hong Kong is also one of the safest cities in the world4 which can help new expats and residents feel at home and settle in quicker.
If you are an expat who enjoys food then you will mostly likely love living in Hong Kong, as many residents consider food an important past time5. It’s not unusual to eat three to five meals a day or as late as 10pm given the long working hours. Plus the food menu is vast and can range from pork blood cubes, to pig intestines and even chicken feet6, so if you are feeling adventurous why not give these a go?
When you are given a cup of hot water or tea in a restaurant, you use it to clean your chopsticks and/or knife and fork7.
Hong Kong’s climate
The climate in Hong Kong is known to be humid and subtropical. This means that Hong Kong has mostly hot summers from June through to August and dry winters from December to February. Spring is from March to May and is very unpredictable with heavy rain and rising humidity8. Autumn is the most popular time of year for local residents and tourists alike, as it has cool sea breezes and pleasant temperatures of 27º with lots of sunshine9.
Hong Kong does however have the occasional typhoon that threatens the city during the summer months which can result in schools, government offices and other offices closing early10.
The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) issues weather warnings which you can look up online or you can download the app. To find out more click here
Drinking water in Hong Kong is considered safe and the quality of the water does meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, but if you have any doubts or the colour of your water isn’t clear, make sure you boil it first11. If you are still unsure about the tap water, bottled water is extremely popular and available from any supermarket or convenience store.
Did you know?
Hong Kong drinks enough bottled water per year to fill the International Finance Centre (IFC) Tower12.
As an expat arriving in Hong Kong, one of the first things you may notice is the poor visibility and smog that can hang over the city. The three main local factors contributing to the pollution are power plants, vehicles and sea traffic13. The impact of the pollution on Hong Kong has led to a rise in asthma and respiratory infections among residents. The Hong Kong Government14 has stated that the air quality is a concern and that they are undertaking several initiatives to improve it. These include switching to cleaner fuels like Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for all public transport and promoting the use of electric vehicles13.
Hong Kong has a wealth of opportunities for expats and their families. The lifestyle and local environment are there to be discovered if you choose to embrace it. To find out more about Hong Kong read our city guide here
The information provided in this article is designed as a guide and reference point to what you might expect in Hong Kong. Please be sure to check any information with local Hong Kong authorities to ensure information is valid and timely.
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