Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong
Kowloon Walled City in Kowloon, Hong Kong was built during the reign of Song Dynasty and was one of the most densely populated settlements on earth. Kowloon Walled City once a military fort became a separate territory in 1898 and its population increased significantly during World War II following the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong.
In 1987, the 6.5 acre Kowloon Walled City was home to 33 000 residents and had high rates of crime, drug use, gambling, and prostitution.
Kowloon Walled City Demolition
The demolition of Kowloon Walled City began in 1993 and was completed in 1994. A shot of the city at night was one of the scenes of the movie “Crime Story” released in 1993 starring Jackie Chan. The movie also includes real scenes of the buildings exploding in the Walled City as around the same time demolition of the city began. In 1995, Kowloon Walled City Park was opened in this site by the Hong Kong Government. The park is one of the major attractions of Hong Kong now.
(“Walled City Night Views (from SW Corner), 1987.” Greg Girard.)
Kowleen Walled City Park Attractions
The park was designed on the basis of Jiangnan garden style of the Qing dynasty. The park contains Eight Floral Walks, the Garden of Four Seasons, Chess Garden, Garden of Chinese Zodiac, the Yamen and the Six Arts Terrace.
Eight Floral Walks are named after eight flowers and trees, like pomegranate path, pine tree path, banana tree path, red leaf path, lotus-flowered magnolia path, bamboo path, crepe myrtle path and fragrant flowers path. Each path displays distinctive color, shape and pattern.
The Garden of Four Seasons in the park features pebble stone courtyard. You can see porcelain plates, artworks, pebbles and beer bottle fragments that symbolize blessings of the God and life. Some of the shrubs in this garden are shaped as dragons and phoenix.
In Chess Garden, four Chinese chessboards designed with pebbles and porcelain can be found. You can play chess on the rosy granite tables, but chess pieces will not be provided. You have to use your own pieces.
In the Garden of Chinese Zodiac you can see the sculptures of 12 Chinese zodiac signs.
The Yamen is a three hall structure located in the center of Kowloon walled City Park. It gives you a glimpse of how the city looked back in the day. You can see photos and relics exhibited in this hall. The Yamen is surrounded by floral paths and traditional Chinese pavilions. You can also find stone tables that speak about the Walled City.
Six Arts Terrace is located outside the Yamen. It is a famous spot for local senior citizens to relax. You can view one of the three cannons in the Walled City from this terrace.
The Walled City Park has an aviary with more than 40 species of birds, including parrots and macaws. Bird Lake in the park is home to around 200 birds, including flamingos, swans and ducks.
How to get to Kowloon Walled City Park
Kowloon Park is located in Tsim Sha Tsuri, which is one of the busiest districts in Hong Kong. Lok FU is the nearest station. The park is a 20 minute walk from the station. From Tsim Sha Tsuri bus terminals, Bus number 1 stops at Tung Tai Tsuen Road just outside the park.