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Sung Wong Toi

From Academic Kids

Sung Wong Toi (宋王臺 Sung3 Wong4 Toi4) was an important historic relic in Hong Kong. It was a 45m tall boulder standing on the top of a hill above Kowloon Bay.

The name Sung Wong Toi literally means Terrace of the Sung kings. It is believed to be the memorial of the last two boy emperors of the Southern Song Dynasty, Zhao Shi and Zhao Bing, who temporaily lived in Hong Kong from 1277 to 1279. Zhao Shi died of illness in Hong Kong, while Zhao Bing committed suicide after the naval defeat against the Mongols at the Battle of Yamen.

Note that 王 (pinyin wang, means king) is used instead of usual 皇 (pinyin Huang, means emperor). A most probable reason is that the locals did not want to anger the Yuan rulers. Whether 皇 was used initially but the head was later cut off or 王 was used right at the beginning is unknown.

During the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong in 1941-1945, this boulder became dislodged while the hill was being levelled for an extension of Kai Tak Airport.

Only the part of the boulder displaying its Chinese name, about one-third of its original size, survived the blasting operation. After World War II it was moved to the Sung Wong Toi Park, in the present-day Kowloon City District, a small park especially constructed for it close to the original site.

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