Hong Kong can be cheap, if you are a beggar and you know how to live. If you get here fresh from Lonely Planet, however, wait for difficulties if you want to spend a little. There are people who earn 500 Euros a month and survive in some way (and people who earn five thousand, six thousand, and ten thousand: the rich are still many). But the rents are a hit. Prices go up monstrously from year to year. I saw them, with these eyes, outside the agencies. You can save on the air fare by buying your tickets from airpaz.
(0) General notes
If you want to spend less than 5000 HKD prepared to:
(a) Share the house, and / or
(b) Live in the strait, and / or
(c) Live in unclean neighborhoods, and / or
(d) Live in unclean palaces, and / or
(f) Live in remote and distant places.
The price also varies depending on the conditions (apart from the usual, for example “how far is it from the metro?” Etc.):
(g) Ask: is there an elevator?
(h) Ask: is there a guard at the entrance to the building?
Personally, at the moment I’m living in the conditions listed as a, b, c, d, no elevator. But I pay very little, and the apartment inside is decent. A friend pays 4000 a month for a studio apartment (kitchen, toilet, bedroom, small living room), with right of access to the roof to make us the holidays, in Mong Kok. But there is no elevator. And the apartment is above a brothel, with a coming and going of prostitutes and clients. Of course if you expect things like clean finishes or stairs or live in Central, get ready for prices from the international metropolis. To say, when I was living in Yau Ma Tei I had a small but nice apartment shared with a friend. The toilet had a folding door where I had glued the tag with the word “Lang Kwai Fong”. But do not digress: expenses excluded, were HKD 6500 for the whole apartment, with elevator and all the rest, a nice stay and no dead rats on the stairs.
(1) Where to Look
If you have to stay in Hong Kong for a year or more, you’re in a good position to get yourself a real lease. You can contact the agencies, but there will be a lot to look for. The agencies find them everywhere, and they sprout like mushrooms, seeing the problem of rents. Depending on the neighborhood, the possibility that there are staff members in the agency that speaks English varies from Central (sure!) To Prince Edward (almost impossible, then they call a friend who will be the interpreter). The contract is in Chinese and English, but in the English version it is elegantly written that, in case of differences in the two versions, the English version prevails.
Rental announcements are mainly based on:
Gumtree: This is the main site for these things. There is both the rent of the single apartment (studio flat), and that of the shared room of the apartment. Eye that many vampires seek western blooms (especially students, especially newly arrived) to whom they sublet at too high prices.
Asiaexpat and Geoexpat: mainly have ads for jugglers who do not mind spending 8-10k HKD per month of rent. But it’s worth looking at it, sometimes you find something decent.
It may be worth contacting them if you know how to negotiate well on the price: (852) 6508 0026, firstname.lastname@example.org , they run several apartments scattered around the island, they rent month by month (legal!), including all expenses and the woman of cleaning. The negative side? Eh, they’re vampires.
(1.4) Mrs. Choi
She manages Wontonmeen, that is, several apartments (flat or shared studio) in a building where I lived in Prince Edward. At one time it had really low prices, now less.
(2) For the holidays
If you come to Hong Kong for a short break, then if you want to relax, look for a hotel. If you want an unclean place, go to the Chungking Mansions. I do not recommend couch surfing because there are very few sofas, and a flood of requests.