Saturday, February 13, 2010

Broken (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

Less than three decades ago, the 31,000 square meter (330,000 square foot for those still not in tune with the metric system!) area that has been home to the Kowloon Walled City Park since 1995 was estimated to be home to around 33,000 people. The Kowloon Walled City arose out of -- and was -- a historical anomaly; and was an infamously lawless, densely-populated makeshift city right in the heart of urban Hong Kong controlled more by Triads than either the British colonial or Chinese governments for much of the 20th century.

Little, if anything, remains from that era of the site's history though -- for the area that was Kowloon Walled City was cleared and an early Qing Dynasty-style Kowloon Walled City Park erected in its place during the late 20th century. Surprisingly, however, some relics from an earlier part of its history are to be found within the park's walls.

One of these is an actual building -- the 19th century Yamen (headquarters) of Qing officials (in front of which stand a couple of trees and also a detailed, metal scale model sculpture of the 20th century Kowloon Walled City (See this Photo Hunt entry's upper photo.) Additionally, close by, towards the southeast, lies the ruins of the Old South Gate that include a couple of broken granite plaques with Chinese characters for "South Gate" and "Kowloon (Nine Dragon) Walled City" (the latter interestingly meant to be read from right to left -- as was the case in the olden days -- rather than left to right -- as it is now).

And yes, they may be visually modest but if those walls -- and plaques -- could talk, the tales these particular ones could tell...


candi said...

Very interesting post, and great take on the theme.

Carver said...

You did a great job with the theme. Interesting history and the remaining pieces of the wall are appealing to me. I'd love to have a big pile of them to add to the edging in my garden! I hope you have a great weekend.

I keep going outside to photograph the snow which is falling in the dark night. I know my neighbors think I'm crazy. Most people head indoors at night when it's snowing, I head out with my camera (although I'm protecting my camera as best I can).

Anneke (Mudhooks) said...

Interesting history, indeed!

Photo Cache said...

interesting post. well versed with the theme. happy chinese new year and happy valentine's day.

Brita said...

Great take on the theme and really interesting one at that too.

YTSL said...

Hi Candi --

Thanks for reading as well as looking. :)

Hi Carver --

There aren't many remaining pieces of the wall left... so best that they remain in Hong Kong! ;D

Hi Anneke --

Agreed! :)

Hi Photo Cache --

Seems like you're well versed re what festivals there are to celebrate this weekend... ;)

Hi Brita --

Glad you like what you saw and read here. :)

jams o donnell said...

What a fqascinating post. Thanks for sharing!

Mar said...

Such an interesting post and take on the theme!!

Irene said...

Nice take. Was too busy last week. Thanks for dropping by.

Gattina said...

Very interesting "broken" !

gengen said...

This is a cool entry. Thanks for sharing. happy hunting. Mine is up.

YTSL said...

Hi jams --

My pleasure. Thanks for reading and appreciating. :)

Hi Mar --

Thank you. :)

Hi Irene --

You're less busy this weekend than last???!!! Kung hei fatt choi, more than by the way. :)

Hi Gattina --

Glad you think so. :)

Hi gengen --

Thanks and happy Photohunting to you too. :)

Annie said...

Very interesting and nice photos too. Hope you're having a great weekend!

Bull Rhino said...

I'd heard of that but really didn't know anything about it. Thanks for that very interesting history lesson and nice photos. Great job on the theme.

Thanks for visiting my blog.


luna miranda said...

excellent take on the theme, and very interesting information.

A. said...

The metal scale model is interesting, but so too is what you say about the Chinese characters reading from left to right. I thought all Chinese characters, even now, read right to left. A fascinating post and one that's taught me a lot.

YTSL said...

Hi Annie --

Am having an okay weekend that promises to be even better than usual on account of it being a long and festive one. :)

Hi Bull Rhino --

Thanks for visiting, looking and reading. :)

Hi Luna Miranda --

Am chuffed that you think so. :)

Hi A. --

What can I say? The inner educator in me loves being able to have the Photo Hunt providing her with a transnational pedagogical platform... ;b

Lisa said...

What a great post!

lissa said...

I always feel like a tourist when I visit your blog, there's always something to see, like this week's photohunt - great choice

Randi said...

What an interesting post! This is a great take on the theme!
Happy chinese new year and Happy valentine's day.

Carin said...

Very interesting and thanks for sharing!

jmb said...

Interesting as always YTSL.

Happy weekend, Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day to you YTSL>

Incog & Nito said...

Thanks for the sharing the history, very interesting. Have a great weekend.

Ann said...

Had the underground people in Jackie Chan's movies been to this place and broke the tiles?

We have been havin a jackie Chan festival. Last night we watched, the Metalion.

Happy Chinese New Year.

Colin Campbell said...

As usual, very interesting.

YTSL said...

Hi Lisa --

Thanks! :)

Hi Lissa --

Teehee but also *blushing* happily at your comments. It's all rather pale in comparison to the reality but glad my photos give a sense of the Hong Kong color on offer. ;)

Hi Randi --

Thanks -- thought quite long and hard on how to come up with something interesting for this theme. The ones thus far this year sure have been challenging in the main!

Hi Carin --

You're welcome. :)

Hi jmb --

Thanks for visiting again and again. :)

Hi Incog & Nito --

I wish I had got to visit the actual Walled City. Then I could have shared even more! :b

Hi Ann --

Er... what underground people?? Hope they showed the older (and better) Jackie Chan movies at the festival... :S

Hi Colin --

Glad you think so. :)

CherryPie said...

Very interesting, thank you :-)

EastCoastLife said...

This is an interesting site. I'll certainly go take a look when I'm in HK.

YTSL said...

Hi Cherry Pie --

Thanks for appreciating. :)

Hi EastCoastLife --

Seems like you now have a lot of things you want to do besides eat and shop on your next visit to Hong Kong... ;b

dana said...

Good job for the theme. Love the broken stones! Happy Chinese New Year!

Jerry said...

Interesting post - I enjoyed reading and learning a bit more about the world.

Have a great weekend.

Mrs. Mecomber said...

Truly stunning! Thank you for sharing the history; I'd not heard of this. My son in interested in Asian history and will appreciate reading more about the Walled City.

Happy Chinese New Year! May you have a blessed and prosperous year. :)

YTSL said...

Hi Dana --

Thanks and happy new year of the tiger to you too. :)

Hi Jerry --

The world out there CAN be pretty interesting, can't it? ;b

Hi "Mrs Mecomber" --

Good on your son for his interest in Asian history while living a continent away -- and on the mom for passing along possibly interesting bits of info to him! :b

Susanne said...

So interesting!

Maya said...

A very informative post! Nice job.

YTSL said...

Hi Susanne --

Glad you find it that. :)

Hi Maya --

Thanks! :)