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Removalists – Relocating to Hong Kong – A Guide For Children
Corporate relocations often involve children and the change for the entire family can be difficult initially. The removalists who have well prepared programs for children help to overcome the fear that they sometimes feel when moving to a new country.
Preparing your children for their new home is an important step to successfully start your new life. Moving to Hong Kong can be a unique and exciting time, but for your children you may need to answer an endless stream of questions before you arrive. You will understand your children asking where is Hong Kong, what is the weather, can I talk to people, how can I go around and what can I do, what can I eat. Here’s a quick reference to help you along the way:
Hong Kong – Where is it?
Located off the coast of China, it is about halfway around the world for children from the United States or Europe. It has four main areas:
- Hong Kong Island
- The New Territories
- The Outlying Islands (about 230 small islands)
How is the weather?
Hong Kong has a subtropical environment which means it is hot and humid most of the year. That is why it is green and lush. Summer starts at the beginning of April and is the hottest, but also the rainiest time of the year. Make sure you have an umbrella handy and most stores, houses and restaurants have an umbrella for you.
During the summer or early autumn, you can experience a typhoon – a strong and windy tropical storm, like a hurricane. When this happens, everyone leaves school and work and stays home to wait out the storm. Autumn is usually cool, dry and sunny. Most tourists come to Hong Kong at this time. In November it can be quite cold as winter sets in. Bring your warm sweaters and coats!
Excuse me, what did you say?
People in Hong Kong speak Cantonese, a major Chinese language. However, because it was a British territory, many also spoke English. To learn Cantonese can be easy and difficult at the same time. It’s easy because all the words are short words like “won”, “hong” or “sup”. It’s difficult because there are nine different ways to raise or lower your voice to convey a different meaning. For example, a few meanings of the word “goh” are aunt, mushroom, drum and ancient.
How will I go?
Hong Kong is crowded and this makes public transport the best way to get around. You can take trams, trains and taxis. Double decker buses and ferries are great to ride. You can also take a giant staircase for some of the crowded areas.
Places to visit
You will never get bored and here are some of the attractions to enjoy:
- Visit Victoria Peak by taking a tram to the top – the highest point in Hong Kong. It is a steep rise of 1,300 feet and once at the top, you will have a perfect view of the entire city. It also has nature trails to take a walk, or you can shop or have something to eat.
- Ocean Park is a wonderful park with pandas, sea lions and dolphins in the aquarium. If you are brave enough, go on the roller coaster and the Abyss!
- Repulse Bay is the most famous beach in Hong Kong. It has large, sandy areas and gentle waves. It can be crowded, but there are 40 other beaches for you to visit.
What should I do?
In Hong Kong, you can do many things that you do in your home country. There are many country parks for walking and sunbathing at the beach. Along the many trails, you usually see fantastic views, but also animals native to Hong Kong.
- Shopping is always a great pastime and the malls and markets are great. The most famous market is the Stanley Market where you can buy almost anything and for a good price too. The Jade Market is excellent for buying rings and bracelets and in the Women’s Market you can get cheap clothes.
- Many children learn martial arts such as judo or karate during their time in Hong Kong. Since they originate in Asia, you are taught by highly qualified instructors and you can even compete in tournaments. Some kids find it fun just to watch.
- Hong Kong has many exciting and colorful festivals. Chinese New Year is at the end of January or the beginning of February and you have some school days. Red lanterns are hanging in the doorways. Lion dances are held and children receive “lai see” packets which are small red envelopes filled with money. Chinese New Year is also famous for its fireworks. Legend has it that loud noises and the color red drive away scary monsters.
- In June, people fill the beaches to see the Dragon Boat Festival. This is a very exciting race. The long, narrow boats are decorated with dragon heads and tails. The crew of each boat row as fast as possible to the beat of the drums.
- The Moon Festival celebrates the harvest of the year and is also called the Mid-Autumn Festival. Hundreds of thousands of people gather at night to honor the full moon. They carry candle-lit lanterns in many shapes and colors and eat mooncakes that appear to have a moon in them.
What is there to eat?
You can enjoy many new foods in Hong Kong. You can start with Dim Sum or “small hearts”. They are small packages of food that you eat with chopsticks. Each packet is different and delicious and you will probably want to dip them in soy sauce or sweet and sour sauce. Fried candied apples and bananas are really tasty. The fruit is wrapped in dough and fried, and then dipped in sugar syrup. It is then brought to your table and dipped in ice water so that the sugar hardens like candy.
No matter where you come from, chances are you will find restaurants that serve food from your home country. This includes some of your favorites like McDonald’s, Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Go to an adventure country with lots of things to see and do. Before you know it, you have a lot of new friends and have done a lot of things that you can tell your friends back home. Your international removalists if they have a good children’s program can help you with many questions about Hong Kong, especially to keep your children aware of where they are going and what they can do.
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