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.