'It's hit us that the British are really leaving'
Government House was the scene of frenzied activity from early yesterday - at least as far as the crowds of people outside were concerned.
Hundreds made their way there throughout the day to take photographs. As the number swelled, nine police officers on guard struggled to keep control.
Visitor Martin Chan wanted to record a momentous day in history. He said: 'Today is unforgettable. I feel great.' One woman, Mrs Ma, had gone with her brother and teenage daughter for a souvenir photograph.
She said: 'We should be glad about the handover because we are Chinese. But we hope the Chinese Government will be as good to us as the British have been.' Britons Toni Marsland and Sarah Wilson were up at 5 am to watch the Union flag being raised at dawn for the last time.
Sarah said: 'Until now it was a big party, but it's hit us that the British are really leaving.'