The City of Darkness

Blogger’s Note: I originally wrote this blog called “City of Darkness” on November 15th, 2011 after randomly coming across this interesting city. I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested in it, so I procrastinated about publishing it. However, I’ll still post this because it is something I had never heard about and I think it’s good to know what life was like in “The City of Darkness”. I included a video in this post, but the complete documentary videos can be found on YouTube. People who thirst for interesting facts from around the world will appreciate this, just like me. I was just so fascinated by this story, I had to share.

My computer has been acting up lately, so when it’s not acting stubborn, I come online and check mail. I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years! I’ve been sick with a bad cold and cough, but am feeling much better now. This wasn’t exactly how I wanted to spend my 2 week vacation being sick and with a fever, but it is better then working and being sick. I’m already planning on things to do this Spring and even planning a vacation. I saw a great price for a cruise to Bermuda and am hoping I will be able to go on it.

Other than that, I’m determined to read more this year. Right now, I reading a novel considered one of the hardest literatures to understand called “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. I like to challenge my mind and thoughts now and then. The “Forward” of the book was very interesting in analyzing the author and to read some of her journal entries. I understand what she was saying, even though she tended to repeat or even “clarify” her thoughts on paper numerous times which drove me crazy. I could write a whole essay on her just by what I gathered on her thoughts by the forward. The reason why I can understand her way of thinking is because she uses analogies and creates with her words just as an artist or photographer emotes their “reality” by what they write, paint or photograph. Does that make sense? I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the novel. I thought it appropriate to read this book in times that we are living in relations to how the world functions and all the “movers and shakers” within the circling society in this world of motion. Then to balance intellectuality to watching total stupidity (you have to have balance), I thought it would be random to watch “The Bachelor”. They have a lot of crazies on there and it’s so obvious the producers force the bachelor to leave the psychos on there. Nevertheless, a new show I like now is called “The Layover” on the Travel Channel—-love that show! Ok. Enough of a quick update on my life. Hope everyone is doing ok. I’ll be back soon!

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I saw a documentary last night that just blew my mind. You know how most documentaries are raw and show you things that you can’t believe happens? Well, this one blew all other documentaries of living conditions out of the water.

Welcome to the Walled City of Kowloon in Hong Kong. I never knew about this city until yesterday. Even in High School, I never had to study about it. I’m not going to write an essay tonight about this unique community city, but if you ever get a chance, google it.

A quick synopsis of this community once known as the “City of Darkness”. Once considered as the world’s most densely populated place on earth, it no longer exists after April 1994 when it was torn down. When the Walled City of Howloon did exist, it was inhabited by thousands of residents all packed together in an extremely tight space. The city itself was once a military fort.

What I’m still trying to wrap my mind around was the living conditions of the residents. If you take some time to watch the video I include at the bottom, you will understand what I mean. The residents lived in a community where there were no laws. Senior citizens who lived at the 10th floor had to walk up 10 flights of stairs several times a day. If you a “rich” tenant, you were able to tap into the main water pipe, however; if you were not rich you had to walk down to the main water pipe to get your water on a daily basis. The apartments were built on top of each other with no regards to building laws. For all the 50,000 residents, there was one noodle factory (with three workers) and one weaving mill to name just a few businesses. Some of the apartments were built so close together, the tenants never saw light unless they walk through mazes and mazes of allies. If you can imagine Gotham City, this is it. The residents complained of constant water dripping from everywhere. If you lived in an apartment, there was a very good chance you would live with water running down your walls or from the ceiling. The mold situation and closed rooms that had absolute no ventilation must have wreaked havoc on the lungs and immune system. One Social Worker who lived there said she never knew what time of day it was because she never saw the sun from her apartment. Despite the incredible living conditions of the residents, they were hard workers (it was typical to work 12 hours a day 7 days a week) and passed this down to many generations who ended up living in their ancestor’s residence.

I’ve lived in Brazil and have seen Favelas in Rio, but even their living conditions were much better compared to what I saw in the documentary of the Walled City of Kowloon. This documentary has haunted me in my mind of how people could live because they had nowhere else to go. You could find remote villages in the desert, jungle and caves, but they at least had sunshine. Imagine living in the dark all the time?


Small model of all the apartments.

This city does not exist anymore and a park has been put in place of where the city once stood. Many still have good memories of the place while others say it was their worst nightmare. There are many books out that talk about this city that society has forgotten. People who have heard about this place and looked at the photographs come away with a new appreciation of the animalistic way of living these people had to live just to survive.

The 4 part video below is in German with English subtitles. The last part of the video does not include subtitles so I have no idea what they are saying. If you can understand German, please leave a synopsis of what the last video talked about. That would help me and others a lot more in understanding this city. Please let me know what you think of the documentary. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Video credit goes to Tuschan168. It is there you can see the rest of the documentary.

8 thoughts on “The City of Darkness

  1. Holy crap that is crazy! I find how oddly and morbidly fascinated I am at places like this. Need to try and pull up some photos from inside this place while it still stood. crazy. just crazy.

    1. You and me both! I don’t know where and how I come up with these odd places and stories! This place is incredibly fascinating. I spent a good 2-3 hours just researching it on YouTube…I was mesmerized because I have never heard of people living in these dark city conditions and never seeing the sun!

    1. Hey girl! Yes, please research it, especially on YouTube as that is where I was spellbound for several hours just watching the videos of this place. I’m surprised not a lot of people know about this place!

  2. Oi JavaGirl que bom que voçê esta melhor ! Eu nunca ouvir falar deste lugar cidade das Trevas , ou melhor City Kowloon eu ver o video é impressionante sim é um modo sub humano de vida, no video agente percebe que o modo de viver ali era desumano.
    Eu fico aqui pensando comigo mesmo, sobre o regime Comunista tem seu lado cruel .
    No video diz que ali era comandado pela Mafia Chinesa mesmo com o Regime Comunista que é rígido imagine se fosse então em um Regime Democratico.
    Bom JavaGirl legal sua matéria gostei , voçê é nota 1000

    1. Thank you, I’m feeling much better and with more energy! Finishing off my last day of vacation and the weekend is here just in time! I agree. The City of Darkness is also called the “Forgotten City”. It’s a city that just seemed to come straight out of a movie or of another world. I’ve never seen anything like it. If you see the video, you can see that even walking in the dark allies, there is no sunshine and all you can hear is dripping water. Imagine living like that all your life? Never seeing the sun? The rooms were the size of closests. Fascinating community and one that would be interesting to do a study in the psychology of the people who lived there and followed rules not of society.

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