Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sham Shui Po
Sham Shui Po (深水埗; pinyin: shen1 shui3 bu4, Yale: sam seuí bouh; lit. deep water pier) is one of the 18 districts of Hong Kong. Situated at the northwestern part of the Kowloon Peninsula, Sham Shui Po covers an area of about 10.47 km² with population about 372,200 as of 2000.
As Sham Shui Po was one of the earliest developed districts in Hong Kong, it was once a commercial, industrial and transportation hub of the territory. As of 2003, Sham Shui Po is covered mainly by residential buildings, with public housing estates built on approximately 810,000 m² of land. Factories and warehouses are still being concentrated mainly in Cheung Sha Wan.
Demographics and housing
Sham Shui Po was already a densely populated district in 1950s and 1960s. It is most heavily poverty-stricken, having the lowest median monthly domestic household income among the 18 districts. It has the highest percentage of elderly over 65 years. The percentage of new immigrants is also very high.
Private housing Mei Foo Sun Chuen in Sham Shui Po, which was built in 1966, was Hong Kong's first large-scale private housing estate, comprising 8 phases with a total of 99 blocks.
In July 2003 the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) announced that its first urban renewal project would be to improve the living environment at Po On Road/Wai Wai Road in Sham Shui Po. Covering an area of 2,436 square metres and affecting approximately 500 households, this project will provide 330 residential flats, and some retail units. Government, institutional and community facilities will also be erected for the community. This development will require the HKHS to acquire about 157 properties, costing an estimated HK$240 million. The total development cost of the project is about HK$720 million.
Partly because of the large presence of the low-income group in Sham Shui Po, the area has bred many pro-grassroots politicians. The current chairman of the Sham Shui Po District Council, Mr Tam Kwok-kiu , is a veteran local politician fighting for the interests of public housing tenants for many years.
Sham Shui Po is the stronghold of Tam's political party, the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood. Of the 26 District Councillors in Sham Shui Po, nine belong to his group, including party chief Frederick Fung Kin-kee. Fung was returned to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong in 2000 by direct election in the geographical constituency of Kowloon West, in which Sham Shui Po is the biggest area.
However, Hong Kong's largest pro-government and pro-Beijing party, the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), has gained a foothold in Sham Shui Po too. In 2000, Tsang Yok-sing, the then chairman of DAB and member of the Executive Council, Hong Kong SAR chief executive Tung Chee-hwa's inner cabinet, won a seat in the Legislative Council representing the Kowloon West constituency, which includes Sham Shui Po.
DAB members Chan Wai Ming , representative of So Uk, Fu Shu-wan , a representative of Lei Cheng Uk, and Cheung Man-to , a representative of Nam Cheong Central are District Councillors in Sham Shui Po.
The Democrats have been less successful at canvassing grass-roots support. Pro-Beijing politicans have won favour in Sham Shui Po by organizing such things as free banquets and tours to southern China.
- Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb (李鄭屋漢墓)
- Dragon Centre (西九龍中心)
- Festival Walk (又一城)
- Ap Liu Street (鴨寮街)
The street market in Sham Shui Po is a hotspot for both locals and tourists. For those who are looking for pirated software, the Golden Shopping Centre (黃金商場/高登電腦廣場) is a must-visit place (though the its avaliability here has dropped significantly in recent times, in favour of other near-by centres). Besides software, the shops there also have extensive computer products from accessories like CD-R, to main components like motherboards, RAM, and CPUs, as well as complete systems. It is generally considered one of the cheapest places in Hong Kong (if not the world) to get (or buy parts to build) a high-performance personal computer. For those who are looking for electronics and accessories, the Ap Liu Street market (鴨寮街) may serve well. This open street market provides a wide variety of products at a reasonable price; also, you can sell and buy second hand goods here. The sheer variety of things avaliable at the market is astounding - one shop may sell disco balls, crockery, 1940s-era radios, LPs, torches, and audiophile hi-fi amplifiers (to give just a very narrow example) in various stages of repair. The Hong Kong government promotes Ap Liu Street as Hong Kong's answer to Akihabara (秋葉原) (in Japan), which currently resembles a big, neon-lit electrical goods store.
A Hong Kong computer fair held outdoors in the streets of Sham Shui Po every year attracts many visitors.
The market in Ki Lung Street is also famous for its fresh food and cheap prices. The Hong Kong government rebuilt the market in the early 1990s to a modern air-conditioned market.
At night, large numbers of prostitutes centre on inner streets and old buildings of the district, causing serious crime problems. Black-market labourers from mainland China gather at Ki Lung Street, working illegally for hard labour.
- Cheung Sha Wan
- Lai Chi Kok
- Mei Foo Sun Chuen
There are four railway lines serving Sham Shui Po District:
- Kwun Tong Line: This oldest MTR line's original western terminus is at Shek Kip Mei Estate in this district.
- Tsuen Wan Line: Stopping at stations Sham Shui Po, Cheung Sha Wan, Lai Chi Kok and Mei Foo.
- Tung Chung Line: Having a stop at Nam Cheong.
- West Rail: Having a terminus at Nam Cheong, its trains also call at Mei Foo. Both stations allow interchange with the MTR.
There are also various bus route serving the district. Most of them are operated by Kowloon Motor Bus, and some by New World First Bus and Citybus. These three companies also jointly operate some routes, most of these crossing the harbour to the Hong Kong Island.
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