Gwulo.com is for everyone that is interested in old Hong Kong.

If it's your first visit, you might like to start with one of the popular articles listed on the right, or just scroll down to browse through recent articles.

I hope you'll join in too, and ask a question or share your knowledge. Most pages let you leave a comment, and there's always the Forum where you can post a new message.

Enjoy the site,


PS 'Gwu lo' is roughly how '古老' sounds in Cantonese. It means 'ancient' or 'old-fashioned'.

1920s Caine Road

Where: A couple of religious buildings pin down the photo's location. First we can see Read more »

WW2 volunteer nurses, part 1: The Nursing Detachment of the HKVDC, aka the VADs

This article from the Hong Kong Volunteer & Ex-POW Association of NSW introduces the first of two groups of volunteer nurses that served in Hong Kong during WW2.

Nursing Detachment, Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps, 1941 (from the Centenary Number of The Volunteer)

According to the 1934-1935 Year Book of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps (HKVDC) the Nursing Detachment was

1950s photos from military service in Hong Kong

The 1950s saw many British servicemen spend time here in Hong Kong. They had much better access to affordable photography than earlier visitors, so we're lucky to have a good selection of photos from those years:

Nancy Griffiths, Wren, 1949-1952

Nancy served with the Naval Unit of the Hong Kong Defence Force, and was also an accomplished markswoman.

Nancy and friends:


Click here to see more photos of Nancy and her husband Bill, or click here to read more about Nancy.

Howell Green, RASC, 1952-4

Howell served in the water transport division of the Royal Army Service Corps. To help us understand his photos, he has included extracts from letters he wrote home at the time. Here's a sample from Christmas 1953:

No doubt you will have heard about the tragic fire we have had here…a fire started in a village, Shek Kip Mei just a mile or so north of our camp, comprising of wooden shacks.   Within four hours 10,000 shacks were destroyed and 60,000 Chinese were homeless and during those four hours I was in the middle of it.

Click here to read more from Howell.

Military Intelligence, 1954/5

Pauline has sent in photos that her husband took in Hong Kong when he was stationed here. He was working in Military Intelligence, so there isn't much from work but there are plenty of interesting photos from around town and on his countryside hikes.

Alexandra House under construction:

Films shot in Hong Kong

A couple from the archives:

Love is a many splendored thing

This film is a great way to see Hong Kong in the 1950s. Here are some stills from it:

Garden Road & Billy Tingle

A couple from the archives:

c.1900 Garden Road

The view from The Club Germania. Click here to read more about this photo.


Billy Tingle

Were you a Billy Tingler? Click here to read about Billy's background, and comments from some of the many people whose lives he touchedRead more »

Happy Birthdays

I wanted a Birthday-themed photo for this week, and remembered this one:

It's definitely a party of some sort, check out the bottles of pop and cake-shop food:

But the other photo that came with it shows such a

1969 Heading to the beach to cool off

When: A hot summer's day in 1969 [1]. 

Who: The man on the left looks a bit over-dressed, but the others are ready for the beach:

I guess they've just got off a bus. The Aberdeen tunnel wouldn't open until 1982, so how did buses get here from the north of the island? Did they take the coast road via Pok Fu Lam, or drive over Wong Nai Chung gap?

Birthday Buildings in 2014

Looking through Gwulo's list of buildings, how many have a major birthday this year? Lets start with those that have made it to 50 ...

50 years old

Not very exciting, is it? The best-known building on the list is a carpark!

You can see it on the left edge of this 1979 photo of TST. It's about about half way down, next to the golden-coloured Sheraton Hotel:

If you have any sentimental attachment to this carpark (!), you'd better visit soon. The site goes up for auction at the end of this month.

75 years old

Views along the tram line in the 1930s


Join us on a tram-ride through 1930s Hong Kong:

You can click on any of the titles or photos above to visit that photo's page. Many have larger copies of the photo, and additional information about the view.

Thank you to everyone who uploaded the photos shown above. If you have any other views along the tramline from the 1930s, please can you upload them for us to see? Here's how to upload a photo: http://gwulo.com/node/2076

Regards, David

Also on Gwulo.com this week:

Fergus MacDermot is uploading his grandmother's memoir of growing up in Wei Hai Wei and Hong Kong in the early 20th century: 

The Beatles in Hong Kong - 8th June, 1964

The Beatles in Hong Kong - 8th June, 1964

John Lennon

Paul McCartney

George Harrison


President Hotel, Nathan Road

The Beatles signed this for Wes Epae, 50 years ago on the 8th of June, 1964. 

Wes was a Read more »

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