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What are the shopping options like in Hong Kong?

seven local experts

From buying a car to purchasing groceries to following the latest fashion trends, here's what seven local experts had to say about shopping in Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong is very convenient in terms of getting around. Go down your apartment building, grocery stores, malls and just everything you’ll need is there. No point getting your own car. Apartments are small compared to other countries so you can see how expensive this city is.

Helena, says: 2023

An octopus card is key to navigating Hong Kong, so obtaining one should be a priority upon arriving in the city. It can be easily purchased at any Mass Transit Railway or MTR station. While it is more commonly as a transportation payment method for the train or buses, an octopus card can be used for more than that. It is one of the more popular payment options in the city, widely used in shops and restaurants. It can even facilitate immediate fund transfers between users and vendors without going through a bank by binding the octopus card to a debit or credit account. Hong Kong residents even use their octopus cards to pay for utility and mobile phone bills by visiting a 7-11. Octopus cards can be personalized, enabling functions for certain users. While there are more common functions such as elderly or student discounts, more unique features have been gradually built into octopus cards as well. For example, newer housing estates have allowed residents to register their octopus cards as a form of building entry authorization, eliminating the need for residents to carry a separate entry card or key fob to enter their homes.

People moving to Hong Kong should learn colloquial Cantonese. With effective communication using Cantonese, they can shop in wet markets and buy exotic products from stalls. They can also taste delicious food in traditional Chinese restaurants if they know the names of the dishes. They can also communicate with their colleagues more effectively if they master colloquial Cantonese.

Someone moving to Hong Kong should know about the living condition. Hong Kong is very crowded, most people live in high rise building. You may hear your neighbor shouting at their kids, singing in the shower etc. The rental price is also very expensive, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is HK$12,000!

Hong Kong is an amazing city. It has everything to offer. Food from all over the world, shopping, beautiful scenery, an efficient public transportation system, amazing hiking trails, skyscrapers, a happening nightlife, lovely beaches, the best parks. Such variety that life is never boring. Perfect for an obsessive photographer like myself. I particularly love the weather since I’m from the UK and it’s always cold!

Most people in Hong Kong are bilingual, in that they are able to converse in both Cantonese and English, either relatively well or fluently. However, it would be handy to carry a translator app just in case. There are a multitude of shops and restaurants which would cater to most people’s interests and tastes, especially if they have money to burn. and that, there are areas which are more off the beaten track for the more adventurous as well.

Hong Kong is far more expensive than you think. Even looking up “price of living” online can lead you to underestimating how much you’ll spend moving here, renting an apartment, and buying the essentials.

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