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Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

Old Jun 4th 2008, 7:48 am
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Default Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

Hi

My employer has has there are various opportunties within our company and that I could choose a location. Though nothing is final, and I have not been to any of the locations, I would like to hear views from local expats who have experience as to what you think offers a good standard of living with a nice work/life balance.

I am married with 3 very young children.

Where would you bring up a family for 2/3 years - HK, Singapore or Sydney...

(Just assume that I would earn an average salary and as a true European very open to different cultures.....)

thanks
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Old Jun 5th 2008, 2:45 am
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Default Re: Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

I'm sure all 3 cities have their merits. I can only speak of Singapore - sure you would enjoy it - good infrastructure, English speaking (more or less ) and good standard of living. Look very carefully at costs though - there is high inflation at the moment and look at schooling - I believe there are long waiting lists for international schools but you would need to look into that. Having just got back from there on a short trip, there are now big fears re food shortages/food rises - Singapore imports all its food.

I'm sure others can comment about HK and Sydney.
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Old Jun 5th 2008, 4:45 am
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Default Re: Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

If your employer is in Maquarie Park (Sydney) , you and your family could live in the Chinese dominated West Ryde/Eastwood area, and experience some of the thrills of Asian culture without compromising a western life style.
A big minus for me would be the nonstop work culture in Hong Kong.
The other advantage of Sydney is, that you don't really need a complicated expat package, you could just so live on a regular wage.
Just my two cents.
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Old Jun 8th 2008, 7:48 am
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Default Re: Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

thanks both of you for your replies......i will continue to do some research.

thanks again...
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Old Jun 10th 2008, 10:36 am
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Default Re: Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

Yes the work culture in HK isn't very supportive of young families, plus the pollution is getting worse. Singapore is very clean but agree with the comment on schools and waiting lists for the good ones. With three young children Singapore and HK lifestyles tend to include domestic helpers which is a real luxury when children are little, but can be hard to give up! Sydney probably offers a more normal life overall. Happy thinking!
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Old Jul 11th 2008, 7:21 am
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Default Re: Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

Having lived in both Sydney and Hong Kong, and spent a fair bit of time in Singapore (and having friends who live there), I would advise Sydney as first choice, followed by Singapore and then Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is great (I've been here 5 years) if you're relatively footloose and don't have young kids. You pay low tax, there's lots (depending on what field you're in) of work opportunities etc. But living accommodation is cramped, pollution is bad and good schools are appparently very hard to get into.

Singapore tends to be favoured over Hong Kong for families that want/need to be in Asia.

But for lifestyle you just can't beat Sydney, particularly if it's a 2-3 year posting (some people find they've had enough after that). Think great weather, weekends on fabulous clean beaches, plenty of nice weekend spots within 3-4 hours' drive, camping, bush walking, day trips up the Blue Mountains or Southern Highlands, Christmas in July (great tradition for those who miss the European Christmas), loads of parks for the kids to play in, ferries on the harbour...

Financially you probably won't do as well as in HK or Singapore, because taxes are pretty steep in Aus (face it, most places' taxes are steep compared to HK and Singapore) but there's a price to everything.

Good luck!
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Old Jul 11th 2008, 8:41 am
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Default Re: Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

The only reason you could think that HK is not good for kids is if you are fool enough to live in Mid-Levels or somewhere like that.
I have 2 kids and it's great, beaches, sailing, mountain biking, hiking etc. Big swimming pools are free, municipal tennis courts etc.
Singapore is great if you like rain and mould and Sydney is miles away!


Actually I'd choose Sydney before HK and HK before Singapore.
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Old Jul 11th 2008, 10:52 am
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Default Re: Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

Originally Posted by Desert Dweller View Post
The only reason you could think that HK is not good for kids is if you are fool enough to live in Mid-Levels or somewhere like that.
I have 2 kids and it's great, beaches, sailing, mountain biking, hiking etc. Big swimming pools are free, municipal tennis courts etc.
Singapore is great if you like rain and mould and Sydney is miles away!


Actually I'd choose Sydney before HK and HK before Singapore.
Never had mold in Singapore, been there years.
Bit harsh on the rain as well
Loved HK years ago but we stayed in the New Territories as I suspect that you did
But the pollution there has got worse.
Money was better in HK.
Never been to Sydney.

We'd return to HK if the opportunity arose but no longer have young kids.

Singapore does us fine.
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Old Jul 11th 2008, 11:19 am
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Default Re: Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

thanks all...a lot to think about :-)
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Old Jul 12th 2008, 5:00 am
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Default Re: Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

Originally Posted by ex reg View Post
Never had mold in Singapore, been there years.
Bit harsh on the rain as well
Loved HK years ago but we stayed in the New Territories as I suspect that you did
But the pollution there has got worse.
Money was better in HK.
Never been to Sydney.

We'd return to HK if the opportunity arose but no longer have young kids.

Singapore does us fine.
We never had mould either. I think you prob just get used to the Singapore weather when you are there - compared with other places, it is very rainy. But you can get to travel to other drier places very easily from Changi.
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Old Jul 26th 2008, 2:57 am
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Default Re: Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

HK would be the most 'different'; Sydney would be the most familiar and S'pore somewhere in between. (I lived in S'pore for 4 years and have only visited the others.)

If having a good-sized house and access to open spaces is important, then Sydney's probably your only choice. But there are lots of positives about all three - that's a nice choice to have!
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Old Nov 13th 2008, 2:41 pm
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Default Re: Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

I've been offered a similar proposition and am in the process of researching..tough decision though!
Where did you end up?
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Old Nov 13th 2008, 11:52 pm
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Default Re: Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

Hi Rob, we've been in Sydney for 6 months after spending 6 years in Singapore. We like both, for different reasons.

Can you tell us a bit more about your circumstances - family, etc.? Would make it easier to make recommendations.
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Old Nov 15th 2008, 7:54 am
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Default Re: Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

if you choose Hong Kong, I would suggest you look for a house in the new territories. Renatal prices around the Sai Kung/Clearwaterbay area are much lower than HK island. It is a bit of a comute if your work is in Central, but with the recently opened mtr link from North Point to Po Lam it's easy. I had a 700sq ft flat in Yau Yat Tsuen, but when Imoved to Clearwaterbay for the same price I had a village house with 3 floors and roof space( 700 sq ft each floor) for less rent
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Old Nov 20th 2008, 1:39 am
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Default Re: Hong Kong, Singapore or Sydney

I think the schools issue in Hong Kong is one you should delve into. When I lived there we had no kids and never gave it much thought, but I do recall others having problems finding a place for their kids in some of the international schools. I would second the comments about it being great if 'footloose' as you really can do quite a bit, but with kids in tow you probably would prefer someplace like Discovery Bay or Stanley, away from the craziness of Midlevels and the business area. English speaking nannys from the Phillipines are pretty common and not very expensive (you just need a bigger house). Will you be on an expat package? That might help quite a bit.

I'd recommend posting the question on the Hong Kong board here: http://www.geoexpat.com/forum/ Far more traffic and responses, and you'll get some really good info on the school issue.

My only other general question is what would be better for you career wise? Is the Hong Kong office more of a 'growth opportunity' for your business as it moves into China, vs. say a 'stable' position that might exist in Australia (I know nothing about your business, but am using something like this as an example to get you thinking about what might be best long term for your work).
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