The name Kowloon was known as the nine dragons represented by eight peaks, including a Chinese emperor. They are named as Kowloon Peak, Tung Shan, Tate's Cairn, Temple Hill, Unicorn Ridge, Lion Rock, Beacon Hill, Crow's Nest and Emperor Bing. South of Boundary Street part with Stonecutters Island of Kowloon remained largely undeveloped, and Qing China ceded it to the UK.
The Kowloon Peninsula served as the destination for escape during China's dynastic times. In 1287, Emperor Bing, the last emperor of the Song dynasty, took refuge in the Kowloon peninsula. In the 17th century, many followers of the emperor took shelter in the Kowloon peninsula.
Historically, Kowloon Peninsula refers to the ceded territories of Kowloon in 1860 as part of the Convention of Peking. Still, geographically it covers the entire Kowloon south of the mountain ranges of Lion Rock, Kowloon Peak and other hills. The Kowloon Peninsula had a population of 800 when it was ceded to the British empire in 1860.
Within New Kowloon, the Kowloon Walled City used to be located. In 1993, Kowloon Walled City was demolished.
The architectural side of Kowloon was not very much developed compared to Hong Kong Island. It started developing on a large scale in the early 20th century with the Kowloon-Canton Railway and the Kowloon Wharf. West Kowloon was known as the Royal Navy dockyard, and now it is used as a typhoon shelter which can be reached by Star Ferry boat.
After World War II, Kowloon became highly congested due to the refugees from the People's Republic of China gave way to housing estates mixed with commercial and residential areas.
In 1911 the population grew over 7,300, most of them were Hakka. In 1937, the population of Kowloon grew drastically due to Japan's invasion of China, and by the end of 1939, around 750,000 refugees immigrated to Kowloon and nearby areas.