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Yau Ma Tei

Yau Ma Tei (or 油蔴地) , also spelled as Yaumatei, Yau Ma Ti, Yaumati or Yau-ma-Tee, is an area in the Yau Tsim Mong district, in the south of the Kowloon peninsula in Hong Kong, China. Dundas Street is its north border with Mong Kok and Austin Road south border with Tsim Sha Tsui. To its west is Victoria Harbour and its east the hilly region of Ho Man Tin.

The southern Yau Ma Tei is traditionally known as Kwun Chung. After the completion of MTR Jordan Station, people become used to name the area around the station as Jordan instead of Kwun Chung.

History

Yau Ma Tei was a village in Kowloon. It was mentioned that a Chinese burial ground was assigned at a mile northeast of a village of Yau-ma-Tee at 2 December 1871 .

The name of Yau Ma Tei has not yet been found in historic documents prior to British rule. However, Kwun Chung was mentioned in many historic document. Kwun Chung was a river valley with village and cultivation. On the hill south near the coast was Kwun Chung Fort built by Chinese (Qing) official Lin Tse-hsu to defend against British. During the Battle of Kwun Chung in 1839, the fort, together with Tsim Sha Tsui Fort successfully kept British from Kowloon. The fort with the hill was demolished for development during early British rule of Kowloon.

Prior to the ceding of Kowloon to British in 1860, Yau Ma Tei was a beach and a bay gathering many Tanka fishermen. Its water remains an harbour for fishermen after several times of reclamation by Hong Kong Government. Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter became an exotic water area where restaurants on boats offered dishes of indigenous seafood. These typhoon shelter dishes remain famous to this day and are even offered on land. The typhoon shelter not only hosted fishermen, it was a port in Hong Kong. Numerous piers were built along its shore.

Ferry Point in the southern part of Yau Ma Tei was a transportation hub where many commuters took ferries to and fro to Hong Kong Island. The service was offered by Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry.

Inland, the reclamation became the residential area for the ever-increasing Chinese population, with retail shops on the street level. Shanghai Street was the main street before being replaced by Nathan Road.

Along Waterloo Road, is the Fruit Market which is a century old fruit market and its adjacent Yaumati Theatre was once the largest theatre in Kowloon. The Kwong Wah Hospital was the first hospital on the Kowloon peninsula established in 1911. YMCA headquarters and its hostel in Hong Kong are also located on that road.

Yau Ma Tei Police Station is an important historical building in the area.

Public health

Kwong Wah Hospital, run by charity Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, is the first major hospital in the area. Historically, there was a small pox hospital (油蔴地痘局) at the hill northeast of Kwong Wah Hospital. Founded by Hong Kong Government, Queen Elizabeth Hospital is another major hospital in the area.

Aging population

Aging Population is a serious problem in Hong Kong. This is also a serious problem in Yau Ma Tei. Yau Ma Tei has been developed in 1960-1970. Now it became a area mostly for elderly. That's why Aging Population problem is serious in Yau Ma Tei.

Having cinema in a district is very important because people watch film in cinema. At the same time more people watch films in cinema, more people visit that area. In 1960-1970, there were 7 cinemas in Yau Ma Tei. So Yau Ma Tei was a crowded place at that time. During this 30-40 years, new towns were developed. The cinemas moved away. And Yau Ma Tei became an area with a lot of elderly. Most of the elderly were the one who worked in 1960-1970 in Yau Ma Tei.

There are advantages and disadvantages for Aging Population. Elderly can have more communication with the shop keeper. People can have more communication. This is the advantage. For disadvantages, as some of the elderly can't walk well. Shops may need to install facilities such as lift and skidproof plastic tape on the side of stairs. Shops need to pay for it. Less teenagers and young people visit the district so the development of the district slow down.

Sightseeing

The district is mainly an area of mixed residential and retail. Every night there is a market selling many different kinds of products including clothes, decorations, VCD and toys in Temple Street, a street in the area where the famous Tin Hau Temple was built in 1876. The Temple is at Public Square Street. The square, known as Yung Shue Tau, was a night market.

Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Museum in Kwong Wah Hospital, displaying the history of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals and its relation with Hong Kong people, is also located in Yau Ma Tei.

Transport

Nathan Road goes north-south across the heart of Yau Ma Tei. Most of buses routes via Nathan Road to the destinations in North Kowloon and New Territories. Trains of MTR shuttle beneath the road. Yau Ma Tei is served by Tsuen Wan and Kwun Tong lines on the MTR metro system, at a single station with the same name, Yau Ma Tei MTR Station. The station is the terminus of Kwun Tong Line.

Education

The Wah Yan College, Kowloon is located in Yau Ma Tei. It's a boys' school. The Methodist College is located in Yau Ma Tei. It's an EMI school for both boys and girls.

Footnotes

See also

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