How to live your best life as an English teacher in Hong Kong

Living in Hong Kong is a fantastic opportunity, and it’s essential to make the most of the city while working there as a teacher. There is a lot of fun to be had on your days off, and it’s crucial that you find your home among the skyscrapers. Here is my guide to having a fantastic lifestyle in Hong Kong.

Finding the right accommodation in Hong Kong

Some employers will organise accommodation for you, which can be a great option if you are not familiar with Hong Kong. Again, this is an excellent question to ask during an interview. Even if an employer doesn’t offer accommodation, they should provide some support in finding your perfect Hong Kong home.

If you are looking for your own home in Hong Kong, it’s important to consider if you want to share an apartment or get your own place. Hong Kong rents are expensive, so most people share one with other teachers or expats, where you will have your own room and share communal areas. If you are moving to Hong Kong as a couple to teach, you may decide to get your own studio or one-bedroom apartment and share the cost of the rent.

In terms of finding a place to live, I would recommend looking at Facebook groups that advertise places to live, such as Hong Kong Rent Apartment or Rent, Buy and Sell Property in Hong Kong. Also, some people decide to find a temporary place to live when they land in Hong Kong and go along to a local estate agent (Don’t worry, they will speak English).

Again, if you still have more questions about finding somewhere to live, I would recommend asking on the Hong Kong Expats Facebook group, which can be useful for any advice you’re looking for about living and working in Hong Kong.

What do a lot of teachers in Hong Kong get up to with their free-time?

There are many popular activities that English teachers like to get up to while living in the city. With the many mountains that surround Hong Kong, hiking is a popular pass time with countless trails with varying levels of difficulty to choose from.

Also, there are many beautiful beaches and smaller islands such as Lamma island that are worth exploring and are perfect for a relaxing weekend. For teachers full of energy, many enjoy going on Junk boat trips which are usually day-long boat parties or visit one of Hong Kong’s theme parks, Ocean Park and Disneyland!

If you fancy a day trip beyond Hong Kong, you can cross the border into Mainland China to the buzzing city of Shenzhen, which is dubbed as China’s Silicon Valley. Also, you could take an hour ferry to Macau, the gambling hub of Asia (Yes it’s just like Las Vegas!) with a Portuguese influence from the region’s colonial heritage.

Also Read: 10 things you shouldn’t miss while teaching in Hong Kong

How to meet people with similar interests in Hong Kong?

If you play a specific sport or enjoy a particular activity; I would highly recommend downloading the app Meet up. Many teachers use it in Hong Kong to find other people in the city who enjoy the same hobbies.

There is a wide range of activities, such as board games or book clubs. You can download the Meet Up app from the app store or google play. Also, it is worth asking on the Hong Kong Expats Facebook group about how to join activities as many people do this!

Finding the best food Hong Kong has to offer

Hong Kong is well known for its food, and especially Dim Sum! There are so many options for Dim Sum, and it can be hard to find the best. However, one place I would recommend trying is Tim Ho Wan as it’s the world’s cheapest Michelin-star restaurant. The food is delicious and also good value for money!

While living in Hong Kong, one of my favourite lunch spots was Bafang. They are a chain across the city that offer the best dumplings (in my opinion) and are reasonably priced as well.

If you fancy having a go at cooking your own local food, a visit to one of the many wet markets is a must! They offer everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to meat. It’s the best way to appreciate how the locals live and cook their food. Beyond the local food, Hong Kong offers a variety of cuisines from across the world, including Mexican, to Vietnamese and pizza! Some of the best areas to find international cuisine in Hong Kong are Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui and Soho.

Shopping in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise where many people will travel from across Asia to indulge in a shopping spree! Hong Kong’s shopping ranges from market stools to popular shops like H&M and high-end designer brands, so something for everyone’s budget.

One benefit of shopping in Hong Kong is that everything is tax-free! which makes many items cheaper than they would be at home. I had to replace both my laptop and phone while I was working in the city, but it was considerable cheaper buying the same products in Hong Kong than back in the UK.

Causeway Bay is a popular shopping area for everyday stores and designer brands. Whereas Mong-Kok is ideal for the budget shopper looking for a bargain in the famous Ladies Market.

How’s Hong Kong’s nightlife?

Hong Kong has an abundance of bars and clubs, so perfect for any teacher who enjoys the nightlife scene. The most popular nightlife can be found in Lai Kwai Fong (or more commonly known as LKF) and Soho close to central. However, there are still many bars and clubs in Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui, so it’s worth visiting these areas too!

For the female teachers, make sure to find out which bars are having ladies night during the week as you will get free drinks and entry! Aside from the clubs, other popular activities at night include races on a Wednesday night at Happy Valley, The Symphony of lights across the harbour and the Temple Street market in Kowloon.

Conclusion: As you can see, there is a lot to get up to in your spare time in Hong Kong, giving you plenty of opportunities to have a great lifestyle while you are working as an English Teacher in the city!

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This article was originally published on November 9, 2020 and was last updated on January 6, 2021.

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