In The Garden Of The City Of Darkness – Kowloon Walled City

A prayer wall located in the garden.

A prayer wall located in the garden.

I’ve been eager to write Kowloon Walled City for a while. It was one of the main reasons I wanted to re-visit Hong Kong,

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A photo of the cannons from the gatehouse laying discarded after the Japanese had demolished the gatehouse.

A photo of the cannons from the gatehouse laying discarded after the Japanese had demolished the gatehouse.

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Ahhhh the Cannons!

Ahhhh the Cannons!

 

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The gate to the Bonsai Garden

The gate to the Bonsai Garden

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The Bonsai Garden Dragon

 

 

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The canons, and the historical display

The cannons, and the historical display

The Kowloon Walled City map and model

The Kowloon Walled City map and model

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A closer look at the model

 

 

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Kowloon Walled City – circa 1992

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Side view: Kowloon Walled City.

A snippet from a poster detailing life in Kowloon Walled City

A snippet from a poster detailing life in Kowloon Walled City

 

 


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Some of the children of Kowloon Walled City

 

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Yes, even haircuts.

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A postman walks one of the darkened streets of the city.

 

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city-of-darkness

 

The book can be acquired directly from the author here

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A cross section of the Japanese map

A cross section of the Japanese map. Click to enlarge

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15 thoughts on “In The Garden Of The City Of Darkness – Kowloon Walled City

  1. Absolutely fascinating.

    It makes it even better that the whole place is now a lovely park instead of just being just built over again. You can never have enough parks.

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    • While I agree, it does mean that there’s an expensive reminder of what kind of community used to live here. This would have been a very tight community once, that has been moved. That said, it is a great place to visit.

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  2. The wonderful garden looks like a great tranquil place to sit and think, read, write, relax, and type. I do not know though if I were there I’d want to break the silence or natural sounds of the garden with the clack ding zing of a typewriter.

    I can not even imagine what it would be like to live in such an over crowded place like the walled city.

    I agree with Nick, it is a better place being such a fantastic part rather than being filled with more buildings. The latter would be what happens in the USA.

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    • I think that life in the city would have been so removed from what we are used to, that it would be hard to even imagine. But it would have been a very vibrant community though.

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  3. Incredible, I’d never even heard of it before! Watching the German doco it gives you a picture of what a Dickensian slum must have been like. Restaurant food must have taken a price hike after they demolished the city!

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  4. Thank you. What a fascinating place! A real experiment in no-man’s-land.

    What is reminds me of is actually Edinburgh — another place that was traditionally tightly confined and had to grow both upwards and downwards. You find underground rooms and buildings that were skyscrapers by 18th and 19th century standards.

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  5. wow. those illustrations of the city are fascinating. No wonder William Gibson had a thing for the walled city; it’s like a compressed novel in building form. Or like Wong Kar-wai’s ‘In the Mood for Love’.

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  6. Great write-up, Scott! Would have been fascinating to have visited this Walled City. Kowloon was the setting for one of Robert Ludlum’s Bourne novels. I’ve been curious about Kowloon ever since.

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    • Thanks Teeritz. I’ve found all kinds of videos, stories and photos over the years depicting life in the city.

      Actually, I think you’d really love Kowloon. If you ever get the chance, go visit!

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  7. Pingback: Ghost In The Shell (2017) a primer for the typosphere. | The Filthy Platen

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