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17 Shocking Photos of China’s Lawless Kowloon Walled City

Take a look at what life was like within the Walled City of Kowloon.

From the 1950s to 1994, the walled city of Kowloon has been a place of both mystery and chaos. With a population of 33,000 people in a tiny 6.4-acre plot of land (imagine a tiny city that’s denser than New York City), the hubbub of the place has always piqued the curiosity of both locals and foreigners alike.

Surprisingly enough, despite the dense population and the questionable sanitation and laws, the city was quite self-sustaining with their own establishments such as restaurants and even healthcare facilities.

Back in the 1980s Canadian photographer Greg Girard decided to travel to this windowless world and photograph life within the walled city. Here are some of the photos from his experience.

At the time, Hong Kong was under British rule, but according to a clause in an 1842 treaty, China still owned the property on which Kowloon was built. This was never formally settled, leading Kowloon to fend for itself.

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Source: Greg Girard
The teetering walls of Kowloon was a point of interest for Greg Girard, and so he spent four years in and out of the city while he captured daily life within the walls.

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Source: Greg Girard
Residents stacked rooms on top of one another for more living space, making the city rise up despite the safety concerns.

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Source: Greg Girard
Virtually no sunlight could pierce through the stacked blocks, making it look like nighttime all the time.

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Source: Greg Girard
To escape the stuffiness and darkness on the ground, roofs became a place to bask in the sunlight. However, it’s nowhere near safe.

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Source: Greg Girard
To save up on space, schools and salons were converted into strip clubs and gambling halls in the evening. Opium was also widely trafficked.

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Source: Greg Girard
This is Wong Cheung Mi, one of Kowloon’s resident dentists who couldn’t practice outside of Kowloon.

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Source: Greg Girard
Her prices were relatively cheap, leading to many working-class citizens to her clinic to receive affordable healthcare.

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Source: Greg Girard
There were numerous in-house manufacturers in the Walled City, such as dog-meat butchers, entrepreneurs, and noodle makers.

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Source: Greg Girard
Hui Tuy Choy has run his noodle factory since 1965, health, fire, and labor codes be damned.

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Source: Greg Girard
There were no laws governing health or safety in Kowloon.

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Source: Greg Girard
Hong Kong’s government preferred to turn a blind eye, so law enforcement only ever intervened when there was a serious crime.

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Source: Greg Girard
The only law that was strictly enforced was that the Walled City can’t be higher than 14 stories. This was to ensure that low-flying aircraft can pass through to the nearby runway.

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Source: Greg Girard
Despite the chaos and lack of strictly enforced laws, the residents of Kowloon were all bound by a sense of togetherness from having no other community.

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Source: Greg Girard
Despite the chaos and lack of strictly enforced laws, the residents of Kowloon were all bound by a sense of togetherness from having no other community.

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Source: Greg Girard
In 1990, the residents learned that the city was to be knocked down.

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Source: Greg Girard
The city was eventually torn down in 1994 and a park was built in its place.

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Source: Greg Girard

Travel

13 Awesome Borders from Around the World

Some countries just have picture-perfect borders!

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Border control is a serious issue in most political territories. Well, with all those attempts at human smuggling, that is kind of expected, right? So to avoid such kinds of things, some countries have rigorous processes in place for those who wish to cross their borders. Some even have heavily guarded walls, complete with massive tanks and armed soldiers.

However, for certain countries, this does not seem to be the case. Some have forests and waterfalls instead of weapons, while others have simple signage instead of walls.

Below is a list of 13 awesome borders from around the world:

1. France and Germany

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11 Embarassing Architecture Projects from Around the World

These 11 works of architecture may be big and expensive, but they’re nowhere near as useful!

Just because they're big and expensive, doesn't make them more appealing. In fact, these so-called white elephants are more of an eyesore - a reflection of poorly spent funds that could have been allotted elsewhere.

Below, we'll list down some of the most infamous over-budget architectural projects that were better off left as a blueprint.

1. Olympic Stadium – Montreal, Canada


Olympic stadiums as ostentatious displays that rarely stand the test of time. This 1976 stadium was fraught with complications and delays, ending with leaving the country with a debt of C$1.16 billion.

2. Palace of the Parliament – Bucharest, Romania

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It's the 3rd largest building in the world, with a floor area of 365,000 square meters. It costs more than $6 million per year to heat and light, despite the fact that it's 70% empty. Why? It's the brainchild of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who demanded 40,000 people to evacuate the area so he could build his palace over their land....

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This Disturbingly Beautiful Chapel is Adorned with Thousands of Skeletons

If you love all things macabre, you’ll definitely love the Sedlec Chapel in the Czech Republic!

There's something morbidly fascinating about death. People have always been curious about what happens after we die - do we get to pass through the pearly gates? Do we get reincarnated? Do we spend an eternity of nothingness? Despite never really knowing what happens, we are still all a little curious, to the point that even symbols of death are fascinating to us.

A chapel in the Czech Republic is the perfect place to ponder on life and death, with its decor composed primarily of human skeletons, a long-standing symbol of death.

The Sedlec Ossuary, also known as the Bone Church, was created in the 1200s when the abbot of Sedlec monastery brought back some holy soil from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It's said that the abbot spread this soil across the Sedlec cemetery, which then became the new burial ground of Bohemia.

In the 1400s, upwards of 30,000 people have been buried in the cemetery. Many of these burials were caused by the plague of 1318 and the Hussite wars....

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