Photos: Kowloon – Walled City (Hongkong’s former ghetto)

This is how Hongkong’s ghetto used to look like:

Hak Nam, City of Darkness, the old Walled City of HongKong’s Kowloon was demolished in 1993 and had a strong reputation beingt a haven for criminals and lowlifes.

It was said that the city was so dense you could walk across the rooftops without ever having to touch the ground.

kowloon walled city

An area 200 by 100 meters of solid building, home to some 35,000 people, not the largest, but certainly one of the densest urban slums in the world.

With that, I found another add to my wishlist of books, though it looks like an expensive one: City of Darkness – Life In Kowloon City

Here’s a set of photos taken by Nick Porcino in 1989 (click for bigger versions):

“I misunderstood which bus to ride and wound up deep in the heart of Kowloon. I ended up spending exactly 24 hours in the area without getting any sleep.”

“Wish I had taken some photos during the night, but the rough environs were making me nervous. Kowloon of course no longer exists as pictured here.”

Before its demolition some movies were filmed in the city – when it was emptied of gangs and crooks – most notably Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Bloodsport:

[youtube KEo6ogAnoZ8]

This entry was posted in Photo, the latest, Video. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Photos: Kowloon – Walled City (Hongkong’s former ghetto)

  1. Sjef says:


  2. flore says:

    Da’s absurd! ik krijg het benauwd, alleen al van het kijken naar de foto’s.

  3. lloyd says:

    I’ve been doing a little research and as far as I understood Kowloon is a district and the Walled City is a part of it, which has been demolished, so there’s basically nothing left from what you see on the photos…

  4. a fan says:

    mss dat ge hem beter hier koopt:, is cheaper dan amazon…

  5. lloyd says:

    Not cheaper I’m afraid, it’s just pounds..

  6. a fan says:

    you sure? the cheapest one at amazon is 69.36 USD right? the one at watermarkpublications is 33.5 GBP. At the current currency (, that makes a difference of 2euros. + at amazon you’ll have to pay shipping costs, which is already included at watermark…

  7. lloyd says:

    damn, you beat me, haha

    still it’s a bit too expensive for me right now, you buy it and give me a shout when you’ve got it, I need to see it! :)

  8. Kolb says:


  9. Pingback: Hello You! – The City of Darkness

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *