Few cities have as frenetic a sense of change as Hong Kong. New restaurants, bars and buildings emerge at breakneck pace, soon to be eclipsed in the hip hangout stakes or demolished to make way for ever bigger, shinier skyscrapers.
That's not to say there isn't some deep-seated reverence for the traditional ways, particularly visible in the teashops and temples of Kowloon and the low rise districts of Hong Kong Island as well. A big and thriving expat community adds to the mix with some shamelessly colonial era antics, partying like it's 1996, pre China handover. This is the ultimate work hard, play hard town, and when the debauchery gets a bit too much (trust me - it eventually will) there are 260-odd other islands, beautiful beaches and all, in the wider Hong Kong archipelago to explore by boat.
So what to do once you're there? Well, eat incredibly well, for a start. Nowhere does dim sum (dumplings, and a kind of Chinese tapas) like Hong Kong. With a supremely discerning audience to cater for, the street eats are universally delicious, but the top end restaurants are also predictably excellent.
Segueing seamlessly from foo, to get the full flavour of Hong Kong we recommend heading to Happy Valley racecourse, where of a Wednesday night 55,000 gambling obsessed locals take punts to the value of a small country's GDP.
A calmer affair is the evening light show when the skyline of Hong Kong and Kowloon goes all Tron as a vast laser and light show illuminates Victoria Harbour. It's best seen from the water, so get yourself invited on a boat for cocktails, or more prosaically, hop aboard a Star Ferry which stops mid journey between island and mainland for a few minutes to take in the show.
Finally, it's time to unleash your inner Saatchi and invest in the piping hot contemporary Oriental art market being driven by the excellent galleries in Hong Kong. If you're just looking, then there is also plenty of street art to discover in Central district's alleys and ladder streets, the steep step streets on the lower slopes of the Peak that dominates Hong Kong Island.