On July 1, 1997, a world came to an end, as one of the last outposts of the British empire returned to Chinese rule. No one has depicted that world - the dazzlingly modern, obdurately traditional Crown Colony of Hong Kong - more faithfully, shrewdly, or affectionately than Morris, who in this contemporary classic of travel writing celebrates the city's charm and squalor, unravels the tangle of its history, and gives us an informed glimpse into its future. Combining firsthand reportage with exemplary research, Morris takes us from Hong Kong's clamorous back alleys to the luxurious Happy Valley racecourse, where taipans place their bets between sips of champagne and bird's nest soup. Morris chronicles the exploits of opium traders and pirates, colonists and financiers, and shows how their descendants view the prospect of reunification with the Chinese mainland. What emerges is an epic tableau, vastly informed and pungently evocative.