Salt Industry

Once a major industry in Hong Kong, the salt industry was closely associated with Kwun Tong, and many attribute the name of the district to the industry.  

One theory suggests that Kwun Tong Note got its name from the then high-yielding government-owned salt fields, which were set up in the district by the imperial court of the Southern Song Dynasty. The salt-field area in Kwun Tong even developed into one of the four major salt-field areas in Xin'an County at the time of the Ming Dynasty.

Kwun Tong, together with the period of prosperity which the name carries, inspired us to create a series which focuses on the interaction, connection and mutual influence between communities and people, presenting to you the profound relationship of time, place and people.

On the first Column of the series, the design team has chosen to tell the story of Kwun Tong’s name and use it as an entry point. By depicting the salt industry and the salt workers, we have brought out the close relationship between the community and its participants. We hope that the Column can in turn become a starting point for you to learn more about the beauty and plurality of Kwun Tong and other places in Kowloon East.

Note: The name Kwun Tong is written as “觀塘” in Chinese characters nowadays. In the old times, however, the name was written as “官塘” instead, with “官” and “塘” referring to “the government” and “lakes” (in this case, the lakes mean the salt fields which resemble shallow lakes) respectively. The characters “觀” and “官” share the same pronunciation in both Cantonese and Putonghua.