Eleven years ago today, Hong Kong went from being the coolest colony in an outdated empire to being rechristened a special administrative region - sort of like a prodigal son trying to fit back into an old Chinese household where there are still doilies on the furniture. While we all remember the iconic picture of Prince Charles and then president Jiang Zemin standing at attention as the flags changed, there were also lots of other events happening that day. We asked a few long-time Hongkongers to reminisce and think back to what they did on June 30-July 1, 1997. Yolanda Tang Choy Yee-lin, director of Central Weddings 'I was employed by Christian Dior at that time and had to organise a party with the Hong Kong Cancer Fund at Cafe Deco, so in other words I was working. It was a mega event, and a rather fabulous night. There were a great crowd, beautiful colours, lots of fireworks, entertainment and champagne, but since I was working I had to be responsible for the show, press, guests, etc. It is something that I'll always remember. The '97 Dior collection was inspired by an eccentric Chinese theme, so it was the perfect wardrobe to bring in on July 1. There were no headaches caused by the rain, but a lot of people who went out on boats in the harbour wanted to come [in at the] last minute because of the rain, and that was difficult to manage.' Susan Sng, PR agent 'It was so long ago, but I remember all my kids and I went out really early in the morning to queue up and buy the commemorative stamps. We bought up anything related to the handover at that time. Everything was China, China, China. My mum came over from Singapore, and we were all decked out in Shanghai Tang clothing and went to dinner at the China Club.' Robert Chua Wah-peng, Interactive Television Channel founder 'One thing I remember is there was so much rain. I was invited as one of the guests at the handover ceremony at the Convention Centre. I was very honoured to attend that. A lot of people also went to Tamar for the British part of the ceremony, which was smaller in scale. And it was outside, so a lot of people ended up wet. The thing that stood out most was the playing of the Chinese national anthem. I remember the first time I came to Hong Kong back in 1967, China never even entered my mind at all even though it was right next door. Anyway, as a patriotic overseas Chinese, to hear the anthem that first time was special for me. Afterwards, I rushed over to join my wife and some friends at a party at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. It went on until quite late. I stayed until 3am. Others were there until the morning, but that was late enough for me.' Nick Willsher, entertainment consultant 'After being away for about four years, I landed back in Hong Kong on the eve of the handover. All I had was about HK$500 with me and a one-year internship programme with the Mandarin Oriental hotel starting on July 3. I did not really know anyone any more so I went out that night to Kowloon, where I heard some parties were happening. I heard there were some big DJs at Hitec [Hong Kong International Trade and Exhibition Centre], but it was a bit too expensive for me so I headed out to this place called Bar City in Tsim Sha Tsui in the light rain and heat. It was totally packed, and in the corner of one of the rooms was a small TV where I saw the handover take place live. Around me, people had mixed feelings: some were cheering and others more interested in the party going on around them. The event was set to go on all night, but I really was not used to the heat, so I headed home to get ready for my one-year internship under China rule.' Scott Thompson, co-director of Carat Jewellery 'My evening was spent at the Grand Hyatt, and I was joined by a number of close friends who I grew up with here in Hong Kong. Being like any other 25 year-old at the time, any excuse to celebrate something was good enough. I remember it was raining almost as much as it is now, and that put a damper on what should have been a great celebration. I really don't think any of my friends cared much either way that the United Kingdom was handing Hong Kong back. I've always wondered how the British would feel if the Chinese had occupied the Isle of Wight the past 100 years. The most important thing I remember on that day was that it was peaceful and seamless, and that's why Hong Kong is now stronger than ever.'