History in the Heart of Hong Kong
If you are seeking some culture and space away from the bustling shopping streets of Hong Kong, then Kowloon Walled City Park offers a tranquil escape in an area steeped in history.
Prior to demolition in 1993, Kowloon Walled City was one of the most densely populated places on earth. It was originally a military fort, and then remained a Chinese enclave after the New Territories were leased to Britain in 1898, and until its demolition had a rather colourful history full of tales of crime, triads and prostitution.
Now a visit to Kowloon Walled City Park feels like stepping back in time with the eight different areas modelled on Jiangnan Gardens from the Qing Dynasty. Some of the history of the Walled City has been preserved in the names of the beautiful paths and pavilions as well as stones and old wells that are on display. There are water features and numerous different gardens including one of statues of the Chinese zodiac, a chess garden and garden of the four seasons. At the heart of the garden is a fully restored Yamen and there are fascinating displays about the Walled City itself: first-hand accounts, photos and architectural renderings, historical explanations for you to really understand the history behind this unique area.
The park is great fun for younger visitors too with the ponds, old cannons, narrow pathways and gardens providing plenty to spark their imaginations. There is also a playground on the entrance to the park at Junction Road which is perfect for the kids to run around and burn off some energy before wandering to the more refined and tranquil gardens.
It is easy to spend hours just walking and exploring the pathways, beautiful architecture and remaining artefacts from the Walled City and the creation of the park has ensured that one of Hong Kong’s most interesting and historical areas will be preserved and enjoyed for years to come.
How to get there: MTR to Lok Fu (Kwun Tong Line). Take Exit B and then walk through Lok Fu Plaza and south on Junction Road until turning left at Tung Tau Tsuen Rd, the corner of the park