Popular Districts For Expats on Hong Kong Island – Part 1

It’s easy to think of Hong Kong as being mostly high rise buildings and shops. For many tourists who visit our shores, they often don’t get to see the vast range of unique districts we have and the diverse mix of people who live here.

The neighbourhoods on Hong Kong Island all have something special to offer and are loaded with a true “east meets west” vibe. The inner city and close to city suburbs appeal so much to new arrivals particularly for young professionals who like to get a taste of all the exciting elements combined for living and working in Hong Kong.

The Mid Levels

Living in the buzzing Mid Levels is all about complete ease and convenience. It’s right in the centre of a mind-boggling array of restaurants, bars, supermarkets, boutiques, foot and body massage salons, and hair, nail and beauty clinics. And yet for those committed to fitness and healthy pursuits, the close proximity in as little and ten minutes, gives you access to a number of hiking trails winding up to the Peak and beyond.

This vibrant area is mostly made up of high rise residential apartment complex’s which can offer their residents incredible views of the city, Victoria Harbor and lush green open space. Most of these buildings in particular the newer luxury developments offer clubhouse facilities such as resort style swimming pools, fitness gyms, childrens play areas, tennis courts, BBQ and entertaining facilities.

The Mid Levels escalator gives residents one of the fastest routes to Central and other excellent public transport links, including 24 hour taxis, and the MTR and Airport Express.

The Peak

Prices for buying and renting are among the highest in the city at the Peak, making it the “area of choice” for diplomats, chief executives and high wealth families. On a clear day The Peak rewards residents with phenomenal panoramic views of the city and harbour from lush green and leafy surrounds. This is where to live if you value privacy, tranquility and peace from a natural environment, yet still be in such close proximity to Central, Admiralty and Wanchai.

The Peak is the start to many famous hiking trails, and home to the tropical oasis - Victoria Peak Gardens at the summit. Being a suitable district for families, The Peak Galleria shopping complex has coffee shops, restaurants and a supermarket for day to day needs and there is the landmark Peak Tram which is an exciting way up and one of Hong Kong’s major tourist attractions.

Sheung Wan

This district has character in bucket loads, authentic to the colonial era with the old Hong Kong style buildings having medicine and dry food shops below and residential apartments above. Some of these have been beautifully renovated and offer much higher ceilings and larger rooms. It can be challenging finding apartments if you require more than 2 bedrooms, as mostly these are studio or one bedroom walk-ups. This aspect however makes Sheung Wan very popular with professional singles and couples who want all the convenience of inner city living, and yet prefer a quieter neighbourhood than that of the busier mid levels/Soho area close by.

The prices to buy or rent can also be a little more reasonable in the walk ups which is another reason this suburb has become so popular. A number of design and advertising companies have taken office space here being only a short walk from bustling Queen’s Road, and all of Central’s convenience and transport links (Sheung Wan also has a MTR station) Many of the shared work space companies have set up here such as The Hive and We Works filling the area during the daytime with a wide mix of people.

Ultra hip boutiques and bars rub shoulders with daytime lunch outlets and restaurants, old-established businesses like printing presses, and new concept stores. And then after hours, Sheung Wan converts back to a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood.