Working and Living in…Hong Kong
As told to Dawn Morrison
Peter Chow (BSc’70, BScPh’72) says Hong Kong is an ideal place for those who want to work hard in a fast-paced and beautiful international city. Peter is president of the Dalhousie Alumni Hong Kong Chapter. Now retired from the pharmacy business, Peter remains active in property investment as managing director of several private companies. Please note: Hong Kong is made up of three main territories (Hong Kong Island, Kowloon peninsula and outlying islands); this article focuses on the Hong Kong Island.
Best Piece of Advice for Someone Moving to Hong Kong
“I would say always keep an open mind. Hong Kong is a very international city. You won’t have a huge culture shock if you prepare yourself for hard work. It’s not surprising to see people working very long hours here, depending on what field they’re in. But there is time for fun, as well. Stay open minded, try to mingle and meet new people of different ethnic groups, work hard, and you will be rewarded in terms of compensation and opportunity.”
Best Networking Spot
“I feel the best way to network if you are new here and don’t know a soul, is first through the Dalhousie Alumni Hong Kong Chapter (firstname.lastname@example.org). Once you start working, you’ll get to know your colleagues and they’ll have good advice on places you could go. You can also get in touch with the Canadian Consulate General in Hong Kong and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. They will have talks and other events to introduce you to their members.”
Best Volunteer Opportunity
“Volunteers are always welcome. There are many opportunities to work with the elderly, or the homeless and others who are less fortunate. You could help out painting houses of low income people, for example. You could also help out in various charity organizations, such as MSF, UNICEF, OXYFAM, etc.
Best Spot for a Lunch Meeting
“There are all kinds of places in the central area, with a wide range of prices. You can go from an expensive, 5-star hotel, to grabbing a very reasonable lunch — it all depends on the type of business lunch you are having. There are a wide variety of options.”
What’s it like to Live and Work in Hong Kong?
“It’s very busy, but you still have your free time. You can go have a couple of drinks after work with some friends, see the museums, go to the opera. For a large, vibrant city there is also an abundance of beautiful hiking trails, parks and beaches. If you’re tired of Hong Kong, you can visit Macau, China, or some of the surrounding islands.”
Best Place for Friday Night Fun
“Try to find some good, trustworthy friends (although Hong Kong is a safe city, but just like all other big cities, stay alert!). You’re sure to make some friends through the Alumni chapter and the Canadian Consulate General, Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Lan Kwai Fong is home to over 100 bars and restaurants in Central; it’s very popular with young professionals.”
Best place to eat on a dime
“Close to the Central area, Wan Chai has lots to offer, from fresh fish, to varieties of foreign and local food. Go into some local places for won ton noodle soup and dim sum, you can get them just about anywhere.”
Best local delicacy
“Dim sum — it’s a must. My advice is just to watch where the locals eat. Anywhere there’s a lineup, that’s where the best food in terms of quality and price can be found!”
Best neighbourhood for newcomers
“The Wan Chai District, Sheung Wan and the West Point areas of Hong Kong, but my advice would be to contact the Hong Kong Alumni Chapter. We can tailor the information to your questions, and we welcome the chance to help you get connected and settle in.”
For inquiries on Dalhousie’s alumni chapters, please contact Bill Chernin at email@example.com.
Photos: chensiyuan (CC); provided.