My photo
Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Jul 18, 2009

Kowloon Walled City Park

A brief History lesson if you care to know more about background of this place...

In 1898, the New Territories were leased to the British for a term of 99 years. At first, Qing officials still continued to station in the City. In 1899, however, British troops were sent to take over the City, and the Qing officials and soldiers were expelled. The resultant vacuum of civil order from 1899 laid the seeds for the eventual deterioration of the area into a semi-lawless enclave and festering squatter slum.

During the Japanese occupation of 1941-45 the wall was torn down and the stone used to extend the nearby Kai Tak airfield. An idea of the large amount of quarried granite so gained is provided by the wall's dimensions: 15 feet wide and 13 feet high for a gross length of 2,200 feet, plus a supplementary wall which ran Great Wall-style from the northern rampart to the top of the hill which formerly overlooked the garrison.

After the war, high-rise tenements built without authority and completely lacking proper foundations mushroomed cheek by jowl over almost the whole site, and the Walled City with its dank alleyways became a notorious nest of drug divans, criminal hide-outs, vice dens and even cheap, unlicensed dentists.

In 1987, with the agreement of the Chinese authorities, the decision was taken to clear the area and build a park on the site which would incorporate as many remaining features as possible of the original buildings and other features.

This depicts what life inside the wall was like. They had to put lights on the streets at one point since the alleys and roads were covered.

We stopped into a mall before heading to the park. Toys-r-us was having a Rubik's cube competition. Top prize $10,000 HKD
Afterwards we went to the cultural center to buy tickets to Cinderella the Ballet and we found out they were having a televised 24 hour marathon of people playing this traditional Chinese instrument. The sound quality of our camera is not very good it did sound quite nice in person.

Kowloon Walled City Park from outypants on Vimeo.

No comments: