Streets of Hong Kong Premium Private Tours--Dispatch #0012: ROOF SQUATTERS OF TO KWA WAN


ROOF TOP SQUATTERS OF TO KWA WAN (All Rights Reserved, WilliamBanzai7, 2018)

I often point out illegal roof top dwellings occupied by so called roof squatters. There are still more than a few old neighborhoods located in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island with older Chinese style walk up tenement buildings occupied on the top floor by roof squatters who are primarily of Mainland Chinese origin (dating back to various social dislocations on the Mainland) as well as refugees from certain South and South East Asian countries. These are people who for a number of technical/legal reasons do not have access to or are not entitled to public housing. There has been a concerted government campaign to eliminate these structures and many have disappeared since 2001. As you can see, many of the rooftops once densely occupied have been cleared.

There was a time dating back to the 1950s when these prominent examples of messy urbanism were ubiquitous on the Hong Kong and Kowloon skyline. The examples you see above are already set to disappear in the very near future as the entire area falls within a planned urban renewal project.

The problem is relocating those who are not fully entitled to obtain the benefit of Hong Kong's social safety net. In any event, these types of impermanent structures have a permanent place in the history and culture of modern day Hong Kong. All of this is covered in further detail on my walking tours.

To view more of my images of Hong Kong and Macau, please visit my Flickr Stream or visit me on Instagram: @williambanzai7.

Hope to see you soon on the Streets of Hong Kong or Macau!


End of Dispatch

(All Rights Reserved WilliamBanzai7)

(All Rights Reserved WilliamBanzai7)

(All Rights Reserved, WilliamBanzai7)

(All Rights Reserved, WilliamBanzai7)


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I am an American of Asian descent from NYC who has spent many years living and working throughout Asia, most recently based from a very old Chinese neighborhood called To Kwa Wan in Old Kowloon for 15 years. I am also a retired international lawyer with strong Asian roots and I have reinvented myself as a professional artist, photographer and street savvy Hong Kong premium tour guide.

I specialize in premium private walking tours with an emphasis on street culture, local history and, for those so inclined, all levels of photography. My private tours are personalized to match your unique interests. Inasmuch as I am a professional photographer, all of the points of interest covered in my repertoire have a very strong visual appeal coupled with a well informed narrative adding dimension and context to your images.

Whether you are into simple travel snapshots, social media image sharing or serious landscape, architectural or urban street photography or just enjoying the Hong Kong experience, I am in a position to maximize your time spent in Hong Kong and its surrounding locales to the fullest.      

Hence, my mission can be encapsulated as follows: To provide all of my clients with an entertaining, deeply informative and street savvy premium travel experience ultimately leading to cherished memories, a portfolio of stunning on-tour photographs, an urge for further investigation and a strong desire to navigate your way back to this wonderfully engaging city.

My premium walking tours are ideal for acclimating and orienting first time visitors to Hong Kong as well as for returning visitors eager for a new experience.

I accept engagements up to one year in advance or, subject to my availability, last minute and/or same day. Families with children are always welcome and children 16 years and under are free of charge. Special needs clients are also welcome.

You can book a tour or send me an inquiry now by going to my Contact/Booking Page.

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