Four hills of Kowloon
Traditional Chinese九龍四山
Simplified Chinese九龙四山
Cantonese Yalegáu lùhng sei sāan
Location of the former quarries of the Four hills of Kowloon
High rises of Lam Tin. The village of Cha Kwo Ling is near the shore. The historical quarry is visible on the hill inbetween.
Distant view of the Old Quarry Site Structures in Lei Yue Mun (Kowloon).
Old Quarry Site Structures in Lei Yue Mun (Kowloon).

The Four Hills of Kowloon (Chinese: 九龍四山) are four hills that were historically the site of granite quarries in Kwun Tong District, New Kowloon, Hong Kong.


At the end of the 18th century, Hakka settled into the Cha Kwo Ling area, and quarrying became their main occupation. By that time, the villages of Cha Kwo Ling, Ngau Tau Kok, Sai Tso Wan and Lei Yue Mun were collectively called Sze Shan (四山, "Four Hills").[1] According to a missionary who visited the area in 1844, tens of quarries were in operation along the two miles stretch in eastern Kowloon.[2] In the early 20th century there were said to be more than 10 quarries in the Ngau Tau Kok section of the "Four Hills" alone, each employing 10 to 20 people, all Hakka with origins in the East River area of northeastern Guangdong.[3]

The Qing government appointed a headman for each "hill", in charge of ruling the area and collecting tax. The four headmen were collectively referred to as the Sze Shan Tau Yan (四山頭人, "Headmen of Four Hills"). The four villages also formed the Sze Shan Kung So (四山公所, "Communal Hall of Four Hills"), managing the quarrying business. The headmen system ended before World War II.[4]

The granite blocks extracted from the Four Hills were exported via sailboat, and several piers were built along the coast. The one at Sai Tso Wan was the biggest. Today, only parts of the Lei Yue Mun pier remain.[2]


The Old Quarry Site Structures at Lei Yue Mun (Kowloon) have been listed as Grade III historic buildings.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Civil Engineering and Development Department, "Further Development of Tseung Kwan O. Feasibility Study. Environmental Impact Assessment. Chapter 13" July 2005
  2. ^ a b c Four hills of Kowloon at ProjecTerrae
  3. ^ Hayes, James (June 15, 1994). "Chapter 3: San Po Tsai (Little Daughters-in-Law) and Child Betrothals in the New Territories of Hong Kong from the 1890s to the 1960s". In Jaschok, Maria; Miers, Suzanne (eds.). Women and Chinese patriarchy: submission, servitude, and escape. Zed Books. pp. 52–54. ISBN 978-1856491266.
  4. ^ Antiquities Advisory Board. Historic Building Appraisal: Law Mansion, Nos. 50A, 51 & 51A, Cha Kwo Ling Road, Cha Kwo Ling[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Antiquities Advisory Board. List of new items for grading assessment with assessment results Archived 2020-05-14 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Film Services Offices. Choi Hei Road Park[permanent dead link]

Further reading