For foreigners seeking new horizons, Hong Kong boasts numerous attractions. With low taxation, an English-speaking population, and efficient transportation and infrastructure, the city welcomes new residents and makes settling in simple. Offering excellent career and business opportunities, as well as a wealth of social and leisure options - brilliant restaurants and nightlife, culture aplenty, and myriad outdoor activities - Hong Kong is a great place to live and work. Asia's world city is also the ideal jumping-off point for travel in the region. In this series, we speak with expats from across the globe who have made Hong Kong their home, and discover the unique attributes that make this city so appealing to newcomers.
In 2008, Jakki Phillips left her home in the British seaside city of Brighton for a holiday in Asia. "Hong Kong was supposed to be the starting point for a month-long trip around the region, but I decided to stay and explore the city instead," she says. "After four weeks I called my boss in the UK and told him I had fallen in love and wasn't coming back. The object of my affection was Hong Kong."
Jakki explains, "I was swept off my feet by the city's beguiling contrasts: incense-filled temples in the shadows of soaring neon skyscrapers, charming old-fashioned trams trundling alongside flashy supercars, fancy fine-dining restaurants overlooking backstreet noodle shops and dim sum canteens, and traditional Chinese medicine stores rubbing shoulders with gleaming luxury shopping malls."
Hong Kong, she says, is "a city of multi-sensory extremes. It can be bright, brash and busy, but hop on a ferry to one of the islands—Hong Kong is made up of 262 of them—and within 40 minutes you can be swimming at a beautiful secluded beach, hiking in the lush green hills or trail-running through bamboo forest. Hong Kong has an energy that fuels my spirit, my imagination and my soul. It's paradise to me. It is home."
Today, Jakki serves as editor-in-chief of a magazine that chronicles Hong Kong high society and luxury living. The position calls for her to explore and critique the best Hong Kong has to offer—particularly, insofar as the city's cultural and culinary highlights go.