HONG KONG: Law in the Jungle

One by one, the fabled fleshpots of Asia—Saigon, Bangkok, Shanghai—are vanishing before the stern puritanism of new nationalistic leaders. A sordid exception was tiny Kowloon City, a kind of Asian casbah six acres in size on the tip of the mainland opposite Hong Kong.

In Kowloon's alleys—some of the widest are only 6 ft. across—prostitutes peer from hundreds of dark doorways, and hordes of emaciated Chinese line up outside tiny, shuttered shops to buy pinches of heroin (at 5¢ a pinch), then squat on a corner to inhale it through rolled paper tubes or matchbox funnels. The dingy restaurants serve...

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