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Compared with the administrative Kowloon City District, the Kowloon City area is vaguely bounded south by Prince Edward Road West and Prince Edward Road East, north with Lo Fu Ngam, east with Kai Tak Nullah and west with Kowloon Tsai.
As early as in the Qin dynasty (221 BCE – 206 BCE), Kowloon City was famous for its pearl production. During the Song dynasty (960–1279), Kowloon City was a part of Kwun Fu Cheung (simplified Chinese: 官富场; traditional Chinese: 官富場; pinyin: guān fù chǎng), which was a part of salt yard governed by Chinese officials.
Part of the district was the location of the original Kowloon Walled City, erected during the Qing dynasty. This is now Kowloon Walled City Park. The former Kai Tak International Airport was also located in the district.
Prior to 1998, a strict building height restriction was imposed in Kowloon City to minimize the hazards of air traffic commuting through the Kai Tak Airport. The closure of Kai Tak as a result of the opening of the new Hong Kong International Airport lifted the height restriction, and more high-rise apartments started to appear.
Kowloon City is an old district in Hong Kong; however, it has been transforming into a modern district with a lot of new shops and restaurants over the years. The district is well known for its wide range of cuisine. Other than the traditional Hong Kong-style restaurants that offer local dishes, there are numerous restaurants that offer Southeast Asian dishes like Thai, Vietnamese and Indonesian. Many Thai grocery stores can be found throughout this place, too. Due to the prevalence of Thai restaurants and stores as well as the population of Thai-speaking ethnic Chinese, Kowloon City is also known as "Hong Kong's Little Thailand". It is not only a food paradise for authentic main dishes of many cultures, but also a popular place for both traditional Hong Kong-style and western desserts.
Major roads that serves the area include:
- 1, 1A, 2A, 2D, 3B, 3C, 5, 5C, 6C, 6D, 6F, 7B, 9, 10, 11B, 11D, 11X, 12A, 13D, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 24, 26, 27, 28, 40, 42, 61X, 75X, 85, 85A, 85B, 93K, 95, 98, 98S, 98C, 203E, 213D, 296C, 297, N216, N293
- 796C, 796X, N796
- A22, E22, E23, N23, N26
- Cross Harbour Tunnel
- 101, 106, 107, 108, 111, 113, 115, 116, N121
- 2, 2A, 2M, 13, 25M, 33, 46, 69, 69A, 105, 105S, 110