Date
23 January 2017
Sun Kai-hin has to do the heavy lifting of fruit every day to get supplies for his juice bar. Photo: RTHK
Sun Kai-hin has to do the heavy lifting of fruit every day to get supplies for his juice bar. Photo: RTHK

Moving to Taiwan for a humble dream

Hongkongers who have moved or are planning to move to Taiwan are typically driven by several reasons.

Some have lost faith in the government’s ability to run Hong Kong.

Others are scared by the thought of last year’s tear gas and pepper spray attacks on democracy protesters.

And there are those who are seduced by Taiwan’s brand of democracy or want to escape the chokehold of Hong Kong’s prohibitive living costs.

Sun Kai-hin, 26, belongs to the last category.

He has a humble dream — to raise a family and have his own place and car.

Sun used to teach music in Hong Kong.

Shortly after returning from a two-year work holiday program in Australia, he felt his humble dream was no longer possible in Hong Kong which consistently ranks among the world’s most expensive cities.

He met his Taiwanese girlfriend Michelle in Australia.

Now, Sun is working to realize his Taiwan dream.

“Things changed so much in two years,” Sun told RTHK, referring to the skyrocketing property prices and living costs in Hong Kong.

“I can’t see my future in Hong Kong. I don’t want to slave for 30-40 years on a mortgage.”

In Taiwan, at least there are more options, he said.

For example, with a relatively small capital, one can start a business.

He has been in Taiwan for a year, running his own juice bar in Taipei.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” he said

With a little more han HK$100,000 (US$12,900) to start with, he could only afford a 150 square foot shop and a helper.

From sourcing to hauling and heaving boxes of fruit, Sun has to take care of most things by himself.

What he finds most annoying is confusing and sometimes contradictory advice from different government departments regarding rules and regulations foreigners are supposed to follow in setting up a business.

To keep costs down, he shares a flat with friends. And he keeps a very tight budget.

He is still adjusting to the Taiwan way and his dream of being able to have his own place remains distant.

But at least he has a dream.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RA

With limited capital, Sun Kai-hin could only afford a 150 square foot shop and a helper. Photo: RTHK


EJ Insight writer

EJI Weekly Newsletter