British expats in Hong Kong blamed for debauchery in former British colony

Published:  2 Jan at 6 PM
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Hong Kong’s world reputation as a gateway to the treasures of the Orient was formed almost two centuries ago, but recent reports suggest it’s now dedicated to sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll due to the influence and activities of British expats.

Some 30,000 Brits now call the island archipelago their home, and are being accused of bringing with them the worst, not the best of Britain. A slightly less than serious-minded British tabloid newspaper describes the British contingent as a ‘hard-partying bunch’ enjoying life to the full in a city awash with dirty money, drugs and what used to be called ladies of the night. However Hong Kong’s been described over the years, it’s now being referred to as one of the planet’s vice capitals.

The vast majority of British expats on the island are younger, middle-class graduates attracted by high salaries and a chance to jump-start their careers in finance or trade. Culture shock comes as standard and it’s hardly surprising that a few new arrivals get sucked into a scene which, at least at first, seems like the 1960s gone crazy. For a few, alcohol, sex and drugs may well prove fatal at worst and at best may result in their being quietly told to go back where they came from. One expat professional described the city as an ‘Adult Disneyland with no laws’ – far from its original purpose of trade and finance.

Another young expat quoted in the newspaper article told reporters his days are filled with meetings with investment bankers, lawyers and senior managers and often end with clients being wined and dined at expensive restaurants. The follow-up in Hong Kong’s dark side is expected to impress important clients, much as it used to in Hong Kong’s early days over 150 years ago. The red light districts have changed and the girls are now from outside China, but the drugs are as easily available as they were in the mid-19th century and their effects on young, newly wealthy expats can be devastating.
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