9th December 2023 – (Hong Kong) A Hong Kong man recently shared on the “Hong Kong Discussion Forum” his decision to sell his property in Hong Kong and relocate to Shenzhen, where he is now able to rent a spacious apartment measuring a thousand square feet for just HK$2,000 per month. Although this change has resulted in a four-hour commute, the improved quality of life he has gained makes it all worthwhile. However, the response from netizens has been mixed, with some stating that the man’s current lifestyle feels like “going on a trip every day to and from work!”
The Hong Kong man’s decision to sell his property and rent in Shenzhen was driven by the realisation that rental accommodation in Shenzhen is considerably cheaper. In Hong Kong, where land is scarce, the cost of living often consumes a significant portion of one’s income. In a recent post on the “Hong Kong Discussion Forum,” a male netizen revealed that he spends only HK$2,000 per month to rent a large unit measuring around a thousand square feet in Shenzhen. He also detailed his daily expenses, stating that he commutes using the high-speed rail, which costs him HK$200 per day. With a 22-day work month, his monthly transportation expenses amount to HK$4,400. The commute time is also quite lengthy, taking approximately two hours one way. He explained that he leaves home at 7am, arrives at his workplace by 9am, finishes work at 6pm, and reaches home by 8pm, resulting in a daily commute time of about four hours!
Despite the extended daily commute, the man is delighted with the trade-off of living in a spacious apartment. He praised the benefits, saying, “Within 40 minutes, there’s a Sam’s Club. Food is half the price compared to Hong Kong. You can get a dessert for HK$18. When I cook, pork costs around HK$10, and vegetables cost HK$1-2. I’ve already saved on transportation expenses!” In fact, this is not the first time the Hong Kong man has praised mainland China. In his earlier posts, he expressed his satisfaction with renting in mainland China, stating, “Renting an apartment in the mainland costs HK$2,000 for a thousand square feet near the high-speed rail station. Then, I take a Didi ride to Sam’s Club and buy steak or hamburger to cook at home. Life is great!” He even shared photos of the food he purchased from Sam’s Club, indicating his high level of contentment with his quality of life.
The man also mentioned his plans to purchase a car in Shenzhen, as he finds driving in mainland China to be highly convenient and cost-effective. The expenses associated with buying a car, maintaining it, securing parking space, fuel, and electricity are all cheaper in mainland China compared to Hong Kong. In mainland China, one can purchase a car for approximately RMB 120,000 to 130,000, and it comes with a lifetime warranty. Additionally, there are no license fees in mainland China, and parking does not incur fines. Moreover, major shopping malls provide two hours of free parking, and subsequent parking fees are only HK$5 per hour. With such affordability, it is no wonder that many people are willing to travel north for their consumption needs, believing that they have the upper hand over Hong Kong.
Netizens’ reactions to the post have been polarized, with many expressing the view that the man’s four-hour daily commute is a waste of time. Some exclaimed, “It feels like going on a trip every day to and from work!” “Four hours of commuting?” “Every hour counts as a cost.” “Hearing about a four-hour daily journey makes me tired.” “Such a daily routine is prone to stomachaches or heart problems.” However, some netizens pointed out that the high-speed rail facilities are quite comprehensive now, equipped with restrooms and charging facilities, and the seats are comfortable. Once aboard the high-speed rail, one can actually rest. Furthermore, with direct high-speed rail access to Hong Kong, it is much better than the constant transfers required in the past, making it an acceptable arrangement. The original poster also responded, stating that he mostly uses commuting time to rest or watch videos on his mobile phone, making the time pass quickly.
Some netizens were astonished by the monthly transportation cost of HK$4,400, stating, “How can you afford HKD 4,400 on transportation expenses?” “HK$2,000 for rent and HK$6,000 for transportation.” However, astute netizens pointed out that the man’s ability to maintain this lifestyle is due to the nature of his employment. If he is working in Hong Kong and earning a higher salary than the average, he may have more disposable income to allocate towards transportation expenses. Others expressed concern about the toll this lifestyle might take on his physical and mental well-being, emphasising the importance of work-life balance.