Hong Kong is one of the most advanced market economies in the world. A thriving financial and commercial centre, it is now an administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. However in many areas Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of independence and its reputation as a commercial and cultural centre attracts many visitors each year. The state’s cinema, cuisine and unique traditions have made it a truly distinctive experience.
The original Kowloon Walled City was founded as a military fort established by China. It became a residential area when it was allotted to Great Britain near the end of the 19th century. After occupation by Japan during the Second World War the zone became a densely populated and a largely lawless area with high levels of narcotic use, prostitution and other illicit activities. The Hong Kong administration declared its intention to demolish and clear the Walled City in 1987 and after relocation of its residents the procedure was finished in 1994. The Walled City Park was then created in the vacant area.
The Walled City Park was laid out in a manner reminiscent of the Jiangnan style of the Qing Dynasty. A highly skilled task force of Chinese artisans was employed to complete the task in accordance with the classical tradition.
The ’Yamen’, or regional government headquarters is the only building that remains of the Walled City. The central point of the park, the Yamen retains its original granite and brick construction, with a classical Chinese tiled roof. The Yamen is bordered by flowered paths and Chinese pavilions, named after Walled City lanes and buildings.
The remains of the Old South Gate have been the entrance to the Walled City for many decades and have been preserved for its historical interest. The Mountain View Pavilion has been designed to resemble a harboured boat, with its suggestively upswept roof corners. On display is a rickshaw, a common sight in Hong Kong in years past. In close proximity is the Chinese Zodiac Garden with its stone sculptures of the Zodiac symbols. Not to be missed are the Floral Walks, each named after the flowers they display or the shapes and patterns they portray.
If you desire a place to rest and relax from your exertions, the Chess Garden with its porcelain and pebble stone layout and pink granite tables is the ideal location. Visitors should also take in the ‘Garden of Four Seasons’, with its bonsai and rock displays.
If you require a comfortable Hong Kong hotel, the Cosmopolitan Hotel would be a perfect choice. An attractive four star hotel, the establishment promises hospitality and facilities of a premier standard. A hotel in Wan Chai Hong Kong that will satisfy the most discerning traveller, Cosmopolitan Hotel is a class apart.