xPat-As you are looking to move to BA I'm tossing about the idea of moving to Hong Kong. I'm from the states as well. I have a friend who just left Bangkok and is moving to Guangzhou. If you have any interest in sharing information I'm interested. I checked about sending you a PM but you haven't enabled that function. Let me know. I can give you my impressions about BA after having been here for five years.
Happy to compare notes. Feel free to e-mail me, hongkongcaller at gmail.
Briefly, we absolutely love everything about Hong Kong except the real estate prices. We live in a 1,400 sf highrise apartment. It has 3 bedrooms in theory, but is equivalent to a 2br apartment in the USA because there are no closets in HK so westerners always end up using their smallest bedroom (and they are small) as a walk in closet. The rent is US$6k per month! We have a friend who lives in a proper house, but not a huge one. I would guess 2000 to maybe 2200 sf max. It's in a very nice neighborhood and has an ocean view. His rent is US$20k/month. No, that's not a typo. A quarter million U.S. dollars a year to rent a decent house here! That would get you a mansion on 20 acres with horse stables most places in the world!
Everything else is great, and reasonably cheap. But one caveat is that the locals almost never make friends with Gweilos (what you call Gringos there). There is no real animosity or anger toward us, but we are and will always be outsiders. Your social network here are other expats, and there are plenty. More white guys like me live in Hong Kong than in San Francisco. The other 6 million people here (locals) are respectful and courteous, but generally don't want to be friends.