Kowloon Walled City

Kowloon-Walled-City-at-NightI’m sure I had written a post about the Walled City but I can’t find it and that’s a disgrace.

Kowloon Wall City (KWC) was once the most densely populated place on earth.

At the beginning, KWC was a garrison used by the Chinese government. Once Hong Kong became a British colony the Chinese officials and military left KWC which then became abandoned by the authorities.

It quickly became inhabited by criminals and people avoiding the law.

Since it was a lawless place, people continued building above the buildings in any way possible. Soon all the residential buildings were extremely close to each other and interlinked. There was no road and no sunlight between the different towers. It had become one massive building.

The city housed anybody from triad members, prostitutes, immigrants, children, illegal dentists…It was also home to many tiny food factories who supplied some of the finest restaurants in Hong Kong.

There was no proper sewage or water system and no sunlight.

People gathered on the roof tops to play, exercise and breathe some fresh air.

When the Kai Tak airport was still open, the planes flew very very close to the rooftops of KWC, some passengers say they even saw the TV screens flickering inside some apartments.

This giant squatter camp was a problem and embarrassing to the British, so it was demolished in 1993 and is now a cute memorial park….but the special atmosphere still lingers.

If you have time, take a look at this website and this documentary because Kowloon Walled City was mind blowing.

Amazing website about the City


7 thoughts on “Kowloon Walled City

  1. Is Kowloon District too far to live if you work on Hong Kong island? If I wanted to live in a nice area away from the expensive central area, where would you recommend? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lucretia,

      Thanks for your comment.
      I guess it all depends what you consider far… but a few things to note:
      • Kowloon is very big so the journey to the business district (Central/Wan Chai) can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes.
      • Kowloon is still a city area, it is not the countryside.
      • If you want to be in a greener environment you can look at areas such as Tai Wai/Sha Tin (45 mins to central), South Hong Kong Island (depends on your budget) and some people like Lohas Park.
      • If you like the city feel then Kowloon is a great area. There is everything from posh new builds to old scruffy buildings so just make sure to visit plenty!

      Hope this helps and if you have any other questions don’t hesitate!

  2. Yeah, the website is well put together!

    “Mr. Tang became a heroin addict and did jail time for robbery and drugs. He moved out of the Walled City after converting to Christianity and becoming a pastor.”

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