Kowloon Walled City Park
Experience historic sites, traditional architecture and stunning gardens in the peaceful Kowloon Walled City Park. In one of the most significant landmarks in Hong Kong, visitors can see ancient relics, visit the celebrated Yamen building and spend a quiet hour or two just beyond the never-ending bustle of Kowloon.
Since the fortification of a signal post on this site in 1668, this site has been the focal point of land disputes between the British and the Chinese. Though damaged in 1945 by the Japanese and later degraded to slums, this site was reconstructed in 1995 using many of city’s original designs and unearthed relics. Today, explore this parks eight distinct sections, which cover more than 6 acres (2.4-hectares) and were all influenced by the Jiangnan garden style from the early Qing Dynasty.
Start your visit at the Yamen building, the only original building from the Walled City still standing. This central construction, divided into three rows of houses, is built in the architectural style of southern China and currently houses the park’s office and a small museum. Look out for the “Almshouse” inscription above the front door, which signifies that the building was once used to care for the elderly.
Tour the gardens and visit the Old South Gate, the former main gate to the city, where you can see authentic signs from the 19th century. Take a relaxing walk through the park’s expansive network of paths and see peaceful ponds, magnolias and sculpted bonsai trees. Each path bears the original name of a street in the ancient Walled City.
Enjoy the stunning sea-vessel inspired architecture of the Mountain View Pavilion, with traditional sweeping roofs and wooden decks. From here you can look out onto the Garden of the Chinese Zodiac, where each of the 12 zodiac animals face in different directions.
Kowloon Walled City Park is a bit out of the city but can be accessed using frequent buses that service the area. It is open every day until late and is free to enter.