- "Kowloon" is a transliteration of 九龍. For other transliterations, see 九龍 (disambiguation).
Kowloon as viewed from Hong Kong Island
|Nickname(s): Dragon City|
Location within Hong Kong
|• Land||47 km2 (18 sq mi)|
|• Total||2,108,419 (2.1 million)|
|• Density||43,033/km2 (111,450/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Hong Kong Time (UTC+8)|
|Literal meaning||Nine dragons|
Kowloon (//; Chinese: 九龍; Jyutping: gau2lung4; Hakka: Giu3lung2) is an area in Hong Kong comprising the Kowloon Peninsula and New Kowloon. It is bordered by the Lei Yue Mun strait to the east, Mei Foo Sun Chuen and Stonecutter's Island to the west, a mountain range, including Tate's Cairn and Lion Rock to the north, and Victoria Harbour to the south. It had a population of 2,019,533 and a population density of 43,033/km2 in 2006. The peninsula's area is approximately 47 km2 (18 sq mi). Together with Hong Kong Island, they contain 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.
The name Kowloon stems from the term Nine Dragons, 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 of Song. 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. The part of Kowloon north of Boundary Street (New Kowloon) was leased by the British as part of the New Territories under the 1898 Second Convention of Peking for 99 years. Within New Kowloon is Kowloon City, which refers to an area of Hong Kong where the Kowloon Walled City used to be located. The Kowloon Walled City itself was demolished in 1993. The same area was called Guanfuchang (官富場) during the Song dynasty (960–1279). 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. After World War II, Kowloon became extremely congested when slums for refugees from the newly established China gave way to public housing estates, mixed with private residential, commercial and industrial areas.
94.2% of Kowloon's residents are of Chinese ethnicity. The largest ethnic minority groups are Indonesians (1.8%), Filipinos (1.5%), Indians (0.5%), Nepalese (0.4%), and Whites (0.3%)., 86% of Kowloon's residents use Cantonese as their usual language, while 2.3% use English and 1.2% use Mandarin.
Kowloon comprises the following localities of Hong Kong; note that this list may not be complete:
- Tsim Sha Tsui
- Kwun Chung
- Yau Ma Tei
- Mong Kok
- Prince Edward
- West Kowloon
- Tai Kok Tsui
- Sham Shui Po
- Cheung Sha Wan
- Lai Chi Kok
- Shek Kip Mei
- Kowloon Tong
- Kowloon City
- Kai Tak
- To Kwa Wan
- Ma Tau Wai
- Hung Hom
- Ho Man Tin
- Wong Tai Sin
- San Po Kong
- Hammer Hill
- Ngau Chi Wan
- Tsz Wan Shan
- Diamond Hill
- Kowloon Bay
- Ngau Tau Kok
- Kwun Tong
- Sau Mau Ping
- Lam Tin
- Yau Tong
- Tiu Keng Leng
- Cha Kwo Ling
- Lei Yue Mun
Kowloon comprises the following districts:
Kowloon covers two geographical constituencies for the Legislative Council of Hong Kong:
- Kowloon East includes Wong Tai Sin and Kwun Tong.
- Kowloon West includes Yau Tsim Mong, Sham Shui Po and Kowloon City.
High-rise buildings near Lai Chi Kok, in northwest Kowloon
Yau Ma Tei Police Station at Public Square Street
- "Kowloon Ferry Station, Hong Kong." (photo). University of Washington Libraries. Accessed June 2011.
- Fallon, Steve. (2006) Hong Kong and Macau. Lonely Planet Publishing. ISBN 981-258-246-0
- 10,000 Chinese Numbers. Lulu.com. p. 207. ISBN 9780557006212.
- District Profiles, Hong Kong Census, 2011, retrieved 27 September 2013
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Kowloon.|