Moving to a new city is always exciting – finding and moving into a new apartment (agreed that is challenging here in Hong Kong as well as exciting!), trying out new restaurants and bars; and of course nothing quite tops the thrill of being somewhere unfamiliar and simply exploring.
But the one challenge everyone faces when moving to a new city is that there is nobody you can really call a ‘friend’ upon arrival. Who has time for socializing in the first few weeks when you’re trying to get all the important stuff ready, like buying furniture for the new digs, starting a new job and getting to grips with the local culture?
Fret not as Hong Kong is known for convenience and efficiency – in the making friends department too. Remember, the transient nature and population of Hong Kong means that everyone, at some point, has been in the same boat. It’s a very welcoming place.
So where do you go to meet your new ‘crowd’? There are more options that Lan Kwai Fong!
An obvious place to start I know but you do spend most of the day with these people and some of my closest friends are the people I work with. Chat to colleagues in the pantry or arrange a lunch date with someone on another team – they will always know of a new restaurant in and around where you work that you may never heard of!
As everyone knows one of my passions is netball; I’ve been playing since I was a gangly teenager. I have now joined the HKFC Netball team and it has been a great way for me to make more friends and even some business connections. It doesn’t have to be netball, I used to also play hockey for the Kowloon Cricket Club – there are all sorts of clubs to join – rugby, football, hockey, dragon boating, dodgeball and so many more.
Join the PTA
Obviously only if you have children otherwise you will be considered a wierdo! As you all may know, Callum has recently started at a new school, Harrow International and I am starting to meet some great friends there
Join a charity
Hong Kong has some fantastic charities who are always looking for help. Mother’s Choice and Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre to name a few but the list is endless. Check out HK Magazine’s list to find one that would be best suited for you.
Hong Kong clubs
Hong Kong has many types of clubs. And joining them is a great way to expand your circle of friends but some can be challenging to get into. The chances are you’ll end up knowing someone who is a member at some of the clubs with all the facilities. Some of my best friends are from the Kowloon Cricket Club where I was fortunate enough to have been a member growing up. There are also social clubs like The Australian Association and American Women’s Association – don’t worry you can be any nationality!
There are many ways to meet new people in Hong Kong – Chu San believes that one of the reasons I love doing what I do is because I continually get a inflow of new friends moving to Hong Kong so all jokes aside, being a real estate agent is a great way to meet new friends! Seriously though, these five tips would be my starting point. Go out and explore, find your friends and fall in love with Hong Kong.
Have a great weekend.
Great article! Thanks for the shout out for AWA. It really helped me both make friends and get up to speed in Hong Kong.