Kowloon Walled City Park

Kowloon Walled City Park (CN:九龍寨城公園) was originally the site of a Qing Dynasty military stronghold housing soldiers and families that, post-WWII, became a city within the city housing at one point over 40,000 people. For years, it was a lawless enclave that was a hub of crime and a darker side of human life, but it was also a place where many Hong Konger’s started life.

That troubled enclave has long gone and in its place nature has taken over with a Chinese style garden which retains remnants of the walled city as a reminder of those times. The garden is quite beautiful and peaceful and a recommended visit.

The park is open from 6:30AM-11PM daily and the exhibitions room opens from 10:00AM-6:00PM daily although it closes every Wednesday. Admission: Free.

Nearby Kowloon Walled City Park

  • Lok Fu Park (樂富公園)
  • Hau Wong Temple (九龍城聯合道侯王廟)
  • Stone Houses Family Garden (石屋家園)

Hotel pick near Kowloon Walled City Park

Regal Oriental Hotel – the 4-star Regal Oriental Hotel features a fitness center, 5 dining options and comfortable rooms with city views. This hotel is quite often superb value for money compared to those closer to Tsim Sha Tsui.

Video: Inside Hong Kong’s Walled City

Wikipedia Says

History

In the middle of 19th century, the Qing Government started to build a walled city, which is surrounded by stone walls in Kowloon Bay. The walled city was initially used for military purposes, where it housed many soldiers and their families. During World War II the stone walls were demolished by the Japanese army while part of them were buried and well preserved under the soil.

After WWII, the population of the city had risen to 41,000 by 1970s. The number of buildings was 503 in 1994. The British colonial government could not manage and control the severe crimes related to drugs, illegal gambling, prostitution and quackery in the 70s. Over and above, domestic factories including textile, candy-making and production of Jook-sing noodles (竹昇麵) were situated in this city. After the agreement of the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984, Britain and China embarked on the discussion of solving these issues in this city, and subsequently announced the demolition of the City on 14 January 1987. Residents were resettled in 1987 and 1989. The demolition began in 1993.

The site was transformed to a park for nearby residents in 1995. Due to its proximity to the Kai Tak Airport, regulation on the height of buildings was strictly enforced, so the park could have a better open view.

Featured facilities

The park consists mainly of eight landscape features: the Yamen (衙府), Old South Gate (南門), Eight Floral Walks (八徑異趣), Garden of Four Seasons (四季同馨 – 廣蔭庭), Garden of Chinese Zodiac (生肖倩影 – 童樂苑), Chess Garden (棋壇比弈遊弈園), Mountain View Pavilion (邀山樓) as well as the Fei Sing Pavilion (魁星半亭) and Guibi Rock (歸璧石).

Yamen
The Yamen (衙府) is located in the centre of the Park and it is the only remaining old Qing building. It was built in 1847 and its interior was dominated by the offices of the Commodore of the Dapeng Brigade (大鵬協府) and the Kowloon Assistant Military Inspectorate (九龍巡檢司衙署). It was designed with three rows and four wings of houses. Its walls and column bases are built from bricks and granite, while the roof is a traditional structure covered with cylindrical and flat tiles. After 1899, the Yamen was used for charitable purposes like home for the elderly named Almshouse. It is now officially classified as a declared monument in Hong Kong. 6 exhibition rooms are housed inside.

Old South Gate
The original site of South Gate (南門) has been designated as a declared monument and all related relics unearthed have been preserved. Flagstone pavement, cornerstones of the buildings, and a drain were discovered. Also, two granite plaques with Chinese characters for “South Gate” and “Kowloon Walled City” were unearthed at the site of the original South Gate when the Walled City was torn down in 1994.

Exhibition

This exhibition was officially opened for public use on 19 April 2009. It consists of one Outdoor Display Area and six Exhibition Rooms inside the Former Yamen.

The Outdoor Display Area is located near the South Gate which shows a tablet and a model of the Kowloon Walled City. The front of the tablet has an introductory article inscribed whereas the back presents the cross-section of the pre-demolished Kowloon Walled City and the depiction of the daily lives of its residents. Behind the tablet stood a bronze miniature model of the Walled City which allowed the visitors touch and have a closer look at the City.

Six exhibition rooms are located inside the Yamen which illustrate the living environment inside the Walled City through interactive imagery and sound.

Guided tour

Guided tours are arranged to provide further information about the history of Kowloon Walled City and the features of the Chinese Garden within the park. Tours are conducted for groups and park visitors for free. The duration of the tour is around 45 minutes with around 30 visitors per tour. Tours also give reference to the park and give detailed explanations of certain exhibits and notice boards.

Source: Wikipedia

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Details

  • Website: www.lcsd.gov.hk
  • EN Address: Tung Tsing Road, Kowloon City, Kowloon
  • Getting There: MTR Lok Fu Station Exit B, then take a taxi to Tung Tau Tsuen Road; or, bus 1 from the Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier Terminus. Get off at Tung Tau Tsuen Road (opposite to the park).

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