Hong Kong Photo Gallery - The Gritty Tai Kok Tsui

Once a poor district, Tai Kok Tsui was once a lower working class residential area mixed with industrial buildings. Today, this part of town is slowly gentrifying with new residential towers, an influx of workers who work at 2 banks' back offices at Olympic station, and plenty of unique 1-outlet restaurants.

The area is divided into 2 parts by an overpass. The western section was almost an island in the late 19th century, connected to Kowloon by a narrow piece of land. This was a village with Hutchison Whampoa's Cosmopolitan Dock behind it.

Sir Robert Hotung, who was a director of the company, bought a lot of property around the dock, eventually swapping it with the government in 1923, and this neighbourhood was developed as a result in a grid style, with streets named after various tree species.

The area thrived after World War II with garment factories and housing for their workers. The dock eventually closed and redeveloped into Cosmopolitan Estate in 1975.

Along some of these side streets is a dynamic assortment of restaurants, small supermarkets, and car repair shops.

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