The Kowloon Peninsula is an urban area to the north of Hong Kong Island. It's one of the busiest and most special areas of the city, and home to some of the area's most important places of interest:
What to see in Kowloon
- Tsim Sha Tsui: the best place for views of Hong Kong harbour and to watch the Symphony of Lights, the light and sound show that illuminates the city's most iconic buildings.
- Wong Tai Sin Temple: one of Hong Kong's best known temples.
- Hong Kong Museum of History: the best place to learn all about the city's history in an entertaining way.
- Kowloon Park: one of Hong Kong's biggest parks.
- Temple Street Night Market
- Ladies Market
- Hong Kong Bird Market
- Hong Kong Flower Market
Walled city of Kowloon
The walled city of Kowloon was originally created as a guard post against pirates during the Song Dynasty who ruled between 960 and 1279. In the 19th century the defensive fortress was the only part of Hong Kong not to pass into British hands, but after the Qing dynasty ended its rule in 1912, Kowloon was ceded like the rest of the city.
After World War II and the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, the area became a haven for crime. Without police and governance, the population soared and by the 1980s the lawless city was home to more than 35,000 inhabitants. Kowloon fell under the control of triads, buildings were piled up on top of each other and the city was known for its opium dens, gambling parlours, brothels and counterfeit factories.
In the mid-1970s, a series of successful police raids meant the authorities gradually began to take control and drug use and violent crime lowered. As part of the 1984 Joint Declaration between China and Britain, plans were laid for the city's demolition.
After inspiring films and games, the walled city was demolished and the Kowloon Walled City Park was built in its place, opening in 1995.