History in Kowloon

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Known as Hong Kong, China’s hottest “hip corner” by the young crowd, the history of Kowloon district, which has a population of more than 2 million locals and expats, is steeped in British and Chinese tradition. Unknown to most locals, the term Kowloon means “nine dragons”, a lore from over a hundred years ago when an old Chinese king came into Kowloon and counted nine mountains. The lore states that on each mountain looms a dragon that keeps watch and protects the land from evil spirits. Eight of the peaks – Castle, Tai Mo Shan (the highest one at 1,000m), Tate’s Cairn, Lion Rock, Ma On Shan, Sharp Peak, and, of course, the Kowloon Peak have existed for thousands of years. And the ninth peak? Well, that’s named after the Chinese emperor.

Kowloon City Park

In the district of Kowloon ancient stories loom behind walls and forests waiting to be told. The Kowloon City Park is one such example, being one of the most famous historical attractions in the city. This walled park was built in the 1800s as a defense mechanism for China’s maritime forces, during the British occupation of Hong Kong. 

Kowloon Walled Park

Where Boundary Street meets the Kowloon Walled Park was once under rule of the British in the 1860s; the area was used to hunt tigers and other natural wildlife. In World War II, during Japanese rule, the Walled Park was a huge piece of land used as a fighting base. Following the war, the area was occupied by the the Chinese Triads, and had a high rate of drug abuse.    

After many years of unrest, the Hong Kong government decided to tear down the wall, a lengthy process that was completed in spring of 1994, after which the park was opened to visitors. You can still view historical remnants from the former wall in the park. Currently, the Kowloon Walled Park is known as “New Kowloon District,” and is an essential part of Kowloon history.

More recently, in the late 1990s the famous Hong Kong Science Museum was constructed as well as the Botanic Garden. In late 2004, the Museum of History was added. No matter where you walk through this vibrant city, you’ll find an abundance of history and stories on every corner. Make sure to pick up a guide book from the tourism office in the city center, to enlighten and inform your trip with rich information.

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