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Moving out of the expat bubble – a step closer to localisation.

Ishali Patel from our Hong Kong office shares her thoughts on leaving the Western district of town to move to Sai Wan Ho in the Eastern District, and why she’s fallen in love with this area.

About the author

Ishali Patel

+852 3752 8885

Sai Wan Ho’s population is mainly local Hong Kong with reasonably large Japanese and Korean populations. This is due to the location of the Korean International school in the area.  At first, it was quite daunting, not being able to communicate with store owners and restaurant staff but through these teething problems, I have really fallen in love with the area and I am much closer to feeling like Hong Kong is becoming home.

Some of the best things about Sai Wan Ho are:

Amazing food

The area is full of incredible local restaurants, serving up amazing dishes at low prices.  Some of these restaurants have survived decades and are fiercely proud of their well-earned reputation.

One of these, On Lee Noodle Soup, makes their own, unique soy sauce noodles and fish cakes fresh every day. They marinate their beef brisket for at least 24 hours, before cooking and combining all of these in a bowl filled with their famous soup base. Don’t bother asking for the recipe though – it is a secret the family guard with their lives!





The famous Tai On building houses dozens of stalls serving some of Hong Kong’s best street food.

 One of the most traditional street food specialities in Hong Kong are fish balls or yu daan (魚蛋). These are shaped out of homemade “fish paste” (fresh fish pounded until it reaches a bouncy, springy consistency plus salt and pepper and other spices), that are then dropped into boiling water until cooked and ready to eat.  The ones that we tasted were speared onto wooden skewers and then dipped in a delicious satay sauce.




As a drink, one of the stalls sells the famous “bubble tea”, a milky tea or coffee with spherical pieces of tapioca at the bottom.  This is served with a jumbo straw so the tapioca can be slurped along with the rest of the drink.

This stall takes great pride in satisfied customers and personalises your drink to your specific requirements.  As an example, one can choose ones drink to be 100%/75%/50%/25% or 0% sweet – talk about customisation!




For dessert,  we sampled another HK staple, egg waffles or gai daan jai  (鷄蛋仔). Made out of an eggy leavened batter cooked between two hot griddles indented with small round cells, they are best served hot and often eaten with condensed milk and butter smeared all over. The name in Chinese literally translates to “little chicken egg” due to their egg-like appearance.





Rich cultural history

Sai Wan Ho and its neighbouring area, Shau Kei Wan were traditionally home to the fisherman community of Hong Kong.  Both Tam Kung and Tin Hau are deities associated with the ocean and are considered the guardians of the fishermen community, ensuring their safety and success while at sea.

These deities are so important that to this day that they still have their own festivals each year, the Tam Kung festival in April/May and the Tin Hau festival in March/April.

On these days in particular, locals will flock to the Tam Kung and Tin Hau temples which are focal points in the community to pay respects to the deities and pray for health, wealth and good fortune.








These are just some of the reasons that I love living in Sai Wan Ho.  As a bonus, the sea front is only a few minutes walk, with a lovely promenade. A stroll along that is the perfect way to relax after a hard days work!

You might also be interested in… Expatriate tax. | 英美海外居民個人所得稅業務

We know how both systems work from the inside, out. Talk to us about how best to manage your income, reduce liability and pay the correct local tax. We’ve had the pleasure of supporting many internationally mobile workers through pivotal stages in their lives from our London office. Buzzacott’s Hong Kong team looks after US and UK nationals living across Southeast Asia.

  • UK tax advice
  • US tax returns for UK-residing American citizens
  • UK tax returns for non-UK residents with UK source income
  • UK tax advice about UK statutory residency rules
  • Pre-departure/arrival planning, including assignment structuring
  • Inheritance tax advice

Help with US tax services

  • Residence and domicile issues
  • US & UK Tax return compliance
  • Cross-border trust and estate tax 
  • Dual US/UK qualified charities 
  • FATCA/CRS advice 
  • International Pension & Tax Reporting & Advice 
  • Mixed Fund Analysis 
  • US/UK Divorce Tax Advice 
  • US/UK Share Schemes Tax Advice 
  • Expatriation
  • US residents in Hong Kong 

Global Mobility

We work hand-in-hand with our Global Mobility team who can advise you on managing an international workforce. And you’re welcome to share your queries with Buzzacott’s other specialists, from HR to financial planning. Thanks to our membership of the PrimeGlobal international association, we can also connect you with trusted experts worldwide who deliver the same quality of service you expect from us.


我們清楚了解英、美兩地的稅制。這當中包括如何妥善管理個人收入,減少稅務和繳交正確的稅額。我們倫敦辦事處擁有豐富的經驗,為海外工作者 在人生不同的階段,提供適合他們的支援。 Buzzacott的香港團隊 (link to HK SITE) 負責維顧生活在東南亞的美國和英國國民。
















我們與全球流動團隊 攜手合作,為您提供管理國際勞動力的諮詢。不論人力資源  或財務策劃  的問題,都歡迎您與Buzzacott的專家聯絡。而作為  國際協會的會員,我們還可以為您提供全球值得信賴的專家,提供與您期望一致的服務質素。