Kowloon

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Kowloon
九龍
Location within
Hong Kong Hong Kong
Area
 • Land47 km2 (18 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Total2,019,533
 • Density43,033/km2 (111,450/sq mi)
Time zoneHong Kong Time (UTC+8)
 
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"Kowloon" is a transliteration of 九龍. For other transliterations, see 九龍 (disambiguation).
Kowloon
九龍
Location within
Hong Kong Hong Kong
Area
 • Land47 km2 (18 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Total2,019,533
 • Density43,033/km2 (111,450/sq mi)
Time zoneHong Kong Time (UTC+8)
Kowloon
Traditional Chinese九龍
Literal meaningNine dragons

Kowloon (/ˌkˈln/; traditional Chinese: 九龍; jyutping: gau2lung4;hakka: giu3lung2) is an urban area in Hong Kong comprising the Kowloon Peninsula and New Kowloon. It is bordered by the Lei Yue Mun strait in the east, Mei Foo Sun Chuen and Stonecutter's Island in the west, the mountain range including Tate's Cairn and Lion Rock in the north, and Victoria Harbour in the south. It had a population of 2,019,533 and a population density of 43,033/km2 in 2006. Kowloon is located north of Hong Kong Island and south of the mainland part of the New Territories. The peninsula's area is approximately 47 km2 or 18.1 mi2. Together with Hong Kong Island, it contains 48 percent of Hong Kong's total population.

The systematic transcription Kau Lung or Kau-lung was often used in derived place names before World War II, for example Kau-lung Bay instead of Kowloon Bay. Other spellings include Kauloong and Kawloong.[1]

History[edit]

Kowloon in 1915
Victoria Harbour and Kowloon at night, from Victoria Peak
High-rise buildings and former quarry in East Kowloon
Kowloon (including New Kowloon) is an area bounded north by a mountain range. Lion Rock in the middle is one of its peaks

The name Kowloon stems from the nine dragons, a term which refers to eight mountains and a Chinese emperor: Kowloon Peak, Tung Shan, Tate's Cairn, Temple Hill, Unicorn Ridge, Lion Rock, Beacon Hill, Crow's Nest and Emperor Bing (Song Dynasty).[2]

The part of Kowloon south of Boundary Street, together with Stonecutters Island, was ceded by Qing China to the United Kingdom under the Convention of Peking of 1860. For many years the area remained largely undeveloped, used by the British mainly for tiger-hunting expeditions.[citation needed]

The part of Kowloon north of Boundary Street (New Kowloon) was leased by the British as part of the New Territories in 1898 for 99 years. Within New Kowloon is Kowloon City, which refers to an area where the Kowloon Walled City used to be located. The Kowloon Walled City itself was demolished in 1993. The same area was called 官富場 (Pinyin: Guanfuchang) during the Song Dynasty.

Statutorily, "Kowloon" is used to refer to the area south of Boundary Street and the Stonecutters Island. "New Kowloon" has also remained part of the New Territories.

In modern day culture, however, New Kowloon is often not regarded as part of the New Territories, but as an integral part of the Kowloon urban area on both sides of Boundary Street. For tax purposes, New Kowloon is not considered part of Kowloon and is part of the New Territories, as is reflected in the statutes. Properties in New Kowloon are subject to payment of land leases, as in the New Territories.

Large-scale development of Kowloon began in the early 20th century, with the construction of the Kowloon-Canton Railway and the Kowloon Wharf, but because of Kowloon's close proximity to Kai Tak Airport, building construction was limited by flight paths. As a result, compared to Hong Kong Island, Kowloon has a much lower skyline.[2] After World War II, Kowloon became extremely congested when slums for refugees from the newly established People's Republic of China gave way to public housing estates, mixed with private residential, commercial and industrial areas.

West Kowloon was once home to a dockyard for the Royal Navy. The area has been reclaimed and is now the site of several developments.

Administration[edit]

Kowloon comprises the following districts:

Politics[edit]

Kowloon covers two geographical constituencies for the Legislative Council of Hong Kong:

City landscape[edit]

Kowloon Peninsula panorama
Kowloon side panorama taken from Hong Kong Island.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kowloon Ferry Station, Hong Kong." (photo). University of Washington Libraries. Accessed June 2011.
  2. ^ a b Fallon, Steve. (2006) Hong Kong and Macau. Lonely Planet Publishing. ISBN 981-258-246-0

External links[edit]

Media related to Kowloon and Kowloon West at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 22°19′N 114°11′E / 22.317°N 114.183°E / 22.317; 114.183