Why You Should Live in The New Territories
When choosing to live in Hong Kong, people are often confused about which area to call home. We've written about Kowloon, but one area that doesn't get a lot of love, and really should is the New Territories. Let's have a look at why the New Territories is a great option when choosing a place to live in Hong Kong.
So, why should you live in the New Territories? Most people choose to live in the New Territories simply because it's the quieter, cheaper and greener side of Hong Kong.
That's three good reasons right there, but let's explore them a little and see what it truly means to live in the New Territories.
Some Peace and Quiet
Living in a city can be tough, especially one as noisy as Hong Kong. The noise will likely be one of the first things that hits you when you land. Endless roadworks are going on; buildings erected, traffic swerving this way and that, as well as the general hustle and bustle of the city humming away.
The New Territories offers some relief from the endless noise pollution, which will more than likely be welcome to those of you used to quieter environments. Instead of the constant assault on your ears, the New Territories switches this awful soundtrack to a more pleasant one. The New Territories soundtrack features birds, people laughing and having fun and a more relaxed "hum" serving as the background to your daily life.
Save Money by Living Big
People often site "saving money" as a reason for moving out to the New Territories, and the highest cost on anyone's books here is rent. So it does make sense to seek out cheaper abodes. Plus, in the New Territories, you might be able to get a village house for the price of your rather small flat in Hong Kong Island/Kowloon.
Living all the way out in the New Territories, some people are concerned with getting to work but fear not. If you work in Kowloon or Hong Kong Island, you can still get to work at a reasonable time. Of course, you will have to budget time and become familiar with the area you choose to live in.
An excellent way to figure out of long your journey will take from the New Territories to your place of work is to use Google Maps. It's also a good idea to temper that with local bus and train timetables. For buses, you can look at the KMB website as well as City Bus. The MTR website is also a useful resource for calculating the time your journey will take.
What's also cool about the New Territories is that if you have the budget, a lot of the better apartment complexes have shuttle buses to various locations. For example, if you choose to live on the Gold Coast, there is a shuttle bus that will get you to Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon in a good 30-40 minutes.
Living With Nature
The New Territories is greener, too. It's really easy to overlook how much greener it is. When people hear about it, they are generally perplexed that Hong Kong has "green" in its vocabulary. After all, isn't Hong Kong just skyscrapers and shiny cars?
Well, No, it's not. Once you step foot in the New territories, you quickly realise how different it is from the rest of Hong Kong. The New Territories starts for most as soon as you cross through the Lion Rock tunnel and enter Tai Wai.
When you exit the tunnel or come out of the MTR station at Tai Wai, you'll notice how much more of the sky you can see. Trees become more plentiful, and you realise how much more spacious it seems as skyscrapers aren't taking up the entirety of your peripheral vision.
Nature starts to become more plentiful the further into the belly of the new territories you go. It becomes even more beautiful when you greet the Shing Mun River, where each year, Dragon boats race up and down on during the dragon boat festival to rapturous cheers and applause.
With the beautiful scenery comes the even more beautiful and varied wildlife. Wild boars, snakes and monkeys are just some of the wildlife you will encounter in your time living in the New Territories. Not to mention the wild cows roaming around long after their masters have shut shop. It's quite a wonder to behold, especially if the only wildlife you've seen before are cats and dogs.
A Bustling Expat Community
The New Territories is one of the lesser-explored areas for most expats. So, it's no wonder expats tend to avoid it as they worry if the community will be right for them or not. Expat communities offer amenities you are familiar with back home, and somewhat negate the language barrier. Although in Hong Kong, English is pretty widespread. Some areas in the New Territories are well-known for being expat-friendly, and some districts are developing with expats in mind. Let's have a look at a few below.
The area known as Tseung Kwan O is developing into a rather attractive prospect for expats to live in. There has been a sharp rise in the number of International Schools in the area, and given it's proximity to Sai Kung means many expats are now choosing to call Tseung Kwan O home.
The Gold Coast that sits on the west side of the New Territories is also a great option to call home if you are looking for an international community, which many note is great for young families as roadside pollution is lower than that of the inner city, you have excellent access to international schools and if you are looking to get more bang for your buck in terms of square feet, this might not be a bad place to call home.
The last gem here, and probably the most well-known is Sai Kung. Sai Kung has a well-rooted expat community with tons of options for pretty much everything "expat" related. Sai Kung will more than likely be on the more pricey end as the majority of expats living there have driven the prices of apartments in the area somewhat skyward.
Q1: Is it safe to live in Hong Kong?
A1: Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world. Expats living here for 10-20 years are enamoured with how safe Hong Kong is.
Q2: Is Hong Kong a good place to live?
A2: Hong Kong is one of the best places in the world to live in. For its size, it is wonderfully complexed and offers so much diversity within a short footprint.
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