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“Just a park” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Kowloon Walled City Park

Kowloon Walled City Park
Tung Tau Tsuen, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
852 2716 9962
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Ranked #34 of 394 Attractions in Hong Kong
4.0 of 5 stars 159 Reviews
Type: Parks, Outdoors
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Cambridge, United Kingdom
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668 reviews 668 reviews
394 attraction reviews
Reviews in 111 cities Reviews in 111 cities
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“Just a park”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

We visited KWCP because the Walled City itself was such an iconic place. Looking at pictures of what was once there, it is hard to believe it ever existed. The park that now occupies the spot is a nice space, but holds little for tourists. The Yamen that was at the centre has been preserved, but they could have preserved a whole lot more. When they demolished KWC, they also demolished the Tin Hau temple that was there (a real pity). The Yamen also houses a few pictures, but it would be so much better if they turn it into a proper museum about KWC. The bronze model is nice, as it the cross section, but it seems like a missed opportunity.

Anyway, the park is nice enough - a good place for locals to sit and chat to each other, but they could have made it so much more.

Visited January 2014
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Hong Kong, China
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“Also known as the Kowloon Walled City Park”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

The Kowloon Walled City is an interesting (free) attraction that is the location of two interesting eras of local history. While not normally regarded as an an important attraction in Hong Kong, it does make for nice place to visit for those that have made the rounds and are looking for other interesting places to see during their time in the city. History buffs or those with historical ties to Hong Kong will greatly appreciate the Kowloon Walled City Park.

Historical records indicate that the area was a salt trading outpost during the Song Dynasty between the 10th to 12th century. However, the area was left unused until a strategic signal station was erected here in 1668. A small fort was then constructed in 1810, housing a small garrison of around 30 troops.

With the presence of the British and other foreign powers in the area, the importance of a military and maritime presence became apparent to the Qing officials. As such, a walled garrison city was constructed between 1846-1847 with watchtowers, four city gates covering the 6.5 acre area. Between 1848 and 1898 the military presence doubled as a show of presence and to counter and check British influence in the area.

However, things quickly changed upon the leasing of the New Territories to Britian in 1898. During the following year, the Qing officials and solders stationed at the fort were expelled by British troops. The fortified city was left ungoverned and quickly feel into a lawless and seedy environment, which suffered rapid deterioration.

During much of the 20th century, the Walled City remained beyond the reach of the law and fostering all manner of illicit and illegal activities ranging from drug trafficking, prostitution, unlicensed dentistry. After WWII, the population of the Walled City expanded rapidly with unlicensed and unauthorised high-rise buildings put up to accommodate its residents. Imagines of the old Walled City during these decades are legendary, showing shoddy building structures, tight quarters and the dark and narrow alleyways that weaved like a labyrinth through the old city.

After decades of neglect and misuse, the Hong Kong authorities announced plans to evict the residents of the Walled City and demolish the city in 1987. The demolition finally occurred in 1993-1994. At the time of the evictions, there were 33,000 people living in over 500 buildings, many as high as 16 stories, crammed into Walled City. It was reported that only 3 operating lifts existed within the city at the time of demolition.

After the area was demolished, it was quickly converted into the Kowloon Walled City Park and opened to the public in 1995. The garden was laid out in a Jiangnan garden style of the early Qing Dynasty and shows few traces of the original fortified garrison or the shanty-city which occupied this space just 20 years ago. Instead, there are pavilions, foot paths, small ponds and streams and well-kept garden areas. It is a tranquil environment, a stark contrast to what would have been seen and experienced here in the past.

There do remain a few historical markers of the old Walled City that you can see. The foundations of the South Gate to the city is exposed and available for you to see. Also, original signs of the old fort, written in Chinese characters, were unearthed during the demolition and are on display near the Old South Gate.

Further, the Yamen building, being the only surviving structure from the Fortified garrison of the 19th century, remains in tact and is used as an exhibition area. Here you can find information about the history of the Kowloon Walled City through the decades as well as 4 exhibition rooms, which offer some experiences of the people that would have lived and worked in the Walled City in the years preceding its demolition.

Overall, the Kowloon Walled City Park is a nice area with a historically rich past. Unfortunately, its location is not particularly convenient, making it somewhat difficult to combine with other attractions in Kowloon. However, it's an intriguing place and worth consideration, particularly for those having been to HK before and looking for lesser known places around the city to visit.

Hint: The easiest way to visit the Kowloon Walled City Park is via Lok Fu MTR (exit B). Make your way to Junction Road and follow the signs. It is a 12-15 minute walk.

Hint: There is a 18th century temple, Hau Wong Temple located on Junction Road between the MTR station and the Kowloon Walled City that is worth visit. Also, from the Lok Fu MTR station, you are only one stop away from the famous Wong Tai Sin Temple and two stops away from the excellent Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Gardens.

Visited November 2013
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Burgess Hill, United Kingdom
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“Lovely park with poignant memories”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

Hard to believe what has gone on before as you walk through this park. There is a brilliant model of what used to be, which shows the dark history of this lovely place and a display of photos showing the reality. Now very tranquil. Over the road by the traffic lights is also a lovely little temple to visit.

Visited November 2013
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“Tranquil wanderings”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

This is another must-do on my Hong Kong itinerary. When we arrived, we were shocked that we were only 2 out of possibly 6 tourists. The few others were local Hong Kongers simply out to enjoy the park.
You can spend hours (or however long you like!) wandering the paths of this park. You can bird-watch, people-watch :-), have a lovely picnic, explore, and learn about the history behind this park. I won't tell you the story...spoilers!
This park is simply gorgeous!

Visited December 2013
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San Francisco, California
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“Very interesting slice of history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

Had a little trouble finding the park from the MTR but it was worth it. The park is pretty, but we were most interested in the historical exhibits describing the walled city. I only wish we had a tour guide so we could learn more. Having seen photos of the walled city prior to its demolition, it was really hard to believe it occupied the site of this small park.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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