jean claude van damme


Kowloon Walled City - The Ultimate Distopia

Once thought to be the most densely populated place on Earth of Kowloon Walled City was a lawless place with 50,000 people crammed into only a few blocks, and gave science fiction movies and books the ultimate inspiration. The city was a phenomenon with families and businesses living in more than 300 interconnected high-rise buildings, all constructed without contributions from a single architect. After years of ongoing building, the inside of the city became a labyrinth of darkness, with no sunlight ever coming in and water dripping down the walls constantly.

Dating back to the Song Dynasty it served as a watch post for the military to defend the area against pirates before eventually coming under British rule. Eventually it became a heaven for criminals and drug users and was run by the Chinese Triads until 1974.

By the early 1980s this dark city was notorious for brothels, casinos, cocaine parlours and opium dens. It was also famous for food courts which would serve up dog meat and had a number of unscrupulous dentists who could escape prosecution if anything went wrong with their patients.  

The city eventually became the focus of a diplomatic crisis with both Britain and China refusing to take responsibility.

Eventually, over time both the British and Chinese authorities found the city to be increasingly intolerable, despite lower crime rates in later years. The quality of life and sanitary conditions were far behind the rest of Hong Kong and eventually plans were made to demolish the buildings. Many of the residents protested and said they were happy living in the squalid conditions but the government spent $2.7billion Hong Kong dollars in compensation and evacuations started in 1991.