Hong Kong Pros and Cons


Nowhere in the world is perfect. Hong Kong regularly features highly in various rankings in everything from liveabilityease of doing business, Expat surveys to happiness and healthcare. There are Hong Kong pros and cons and some things that are just different!

One person’s ‘Pro’ can be another person’s ‘Con’. Not getting what you ordered due to language difficulties in a restaurant is part of the novelty of life as an expat to some, but for many it’s a frustrating start to a meal. In other words, keep some perspective and a sense of humour and some of the situations that create ‘Cons’ can be less stressful.

Hong Kong Pros and Cons – Pros

The pros are fairly self evident; great outdoors lifestyle, career opportunities, rule of law/lack of crime, accessibility to regional holiday and business destinations, low tax, domestic help, low crime and good education standards. There are 31 reasons listed here.

Hong Kong Pros and Cons – Cons


Roadside air pollution gets trapped in the ‘urban canyons’ between city blocks

Being away from family and friends, small and expensive apartments, work-life balance (mitigated by hiring a domestic helper) in a competitive job market, the difficulty in obtaining ‘affordable’ (ESF) English-language education, particularly for early for Primary years and air pollution are common concerns (check today’s pollution levels here). Thankfully, Hong Kong’s pollution isn’t as bad as that in some mainland cities and we don’t see the type of China media coverage here that was reported by the Daily Mail.

The ‘con’ that makes me laugh sometimes is lack of customer service and the obsessive following of processes, regardless of whether this will achieve the desired outcome. The solution in retail is easy…..breath deeply, speak slowly and calmly ask for their manager; hopefully, but not necessarily, things will get better! The same situation in the workplace is a bit more complex as it involves changing processes to change outcomes. See our Business in Hong Kong page.

One unexpected ‘con’, which also underlines why Hong Kong is such a special experience for the foreign resident is ‘reverse culture shock‘. This is how you feel having lived in Hong Kong and returned home, only to find you have changed. There is a first hand account here. Children brought up overseas are Third Culture Kids and it can have a profound effect on their lives. For those that are about to leave, or have already left Hong Kong, here is a video to remember the city by.

Hong Kong Pros and Cons – Just Different

There are a lot of things in Hong Kong that aren’t a ‘pro’ or a ‘con’, they are just different. This link sums some of them up quite nicely!

60 Signs You Have Lived in Hong Kong for Too Long

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