Gwulo in 2016

Happy New Year!

We reached a new milestone in 2015 - Gwulo now has over 20,000 pages about old Hong Kong, including over 10,000 photos!

I'll go into the numbers in more detail below, and also talk about the plans for the year ahead. But first, a big thank you to everyone who contributed over the year, and helped us reach that milestone. I hope you've all had a good break over Christmas, and are looking forward to the New Year.

Best regards, David

2015 Review

How did the plans for 2015 turn out?

Cool-weather walk #2: High West

This walk has three tunnels, great views, and lots of steps. One to keep for Boxing Day in case you need to walk off the effects of too much Christmas pudding!

Here's the map we'll use. It's part of the Hong Kong island map from the government's Countryside Series:

Map of High West

Pokfield Road Bus Terminus

We'll start off at the Pokfield Road Bus Terminus (marked "A" on the map). Ready for steps?


You'll come to what looks like a flat path with stone slabs.

Pokfulam Conduit

It is actually the old

Birthday Buildings in 2015

It's nearly the end of the year, and I've just realised I haven't done a birthday list yet. We'll fix that pronto, starting with buildings that celebrated their 50th birthday this year...


50-year-old buildings:

Prince's Building is an easy one that everyone can recognise. It's still under construction in the centre of this c.1964 photo:

CityHall & Mandarin Hotel

But by 1966 it's all finished and gleaming white:

A very modern Central

I guess some readers will also recognise the

74 years ago: Hong Kong's wartime diaries

December, 1941.

74 years ago tensions were high as war with Japan seemed inevitable. On December 8th, those fears were confirmed when Japanese planes attacked Kai Tak, and Japanese soldiers crossed the border into the New Territories. The fighting continued until the British surrendered on Christmas Day.

The end of the fighting marked the beginning of the Japanese occupation, a time of great hardship for Hong Kong's residents. They would have to endure for three years and eight months, until the Japanese surrendered in August 1945, and Hong Kong was liberated shortly afterwards.

What was it like?

Let the people who lived through these times tell you themselves.

We've collected several wartime diaries, and split them into their day-by-day accounts. Each day we send out an email message containing all the diary entries written on that day, 74 years ago.

How to sign up to receive the daily messages?

Please click here to subscribe.

You'll be taken to another screen marked Feedburner (they're the company we use to send out the daily email messages) and asked to enter your email address. Once you've completed that screen, you'll be sent an email message, asking you to confirm your subscription. Click the link in that message and your subscription is activated. Then each day you'll receive an email message with today's diary entries.

It's free of charge, your details stay private, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

What do the daily messages look like?

Here are sample extracts from the messages you'll receive:

  • 30 Nov 1941: "Topper says we are as near war now as we have ever been, that Japan with her militarist Govt. can't very well back down now."
  • 1 Dec 1941: "Government advising further evacuation.  Only hope seems to be that Japs now say they will keep on talks with USA in hope that USA will change viewpoint - that isn't thought likely."
  • 7 Dec 1941: "There must be something in the wind, G.H.Q. staff are preparing to move into Battle HQ, a huge underground structure just behind the Garrison Sgts. Mess."
Extract from Barbara Anslow's Diary
Extract from Barbara Anslow's Diary: "war had been declared"
  • 8 Dec 1941: "I started my birthday with a war. Kowloon bombed about 8AM."
  • 10 Dec 1941: "Sid has been wounded.  Bullet through shoulder.  He told Hospital to phone Mum at the Jockey Club and she went to see him."
  • 13 Dec 1941: "We hear rumours that

Cool weather? Head for the hills!

We've just had our first few days of cool weather this winter, and cool weather means it's time to get out hiking!

If you're out and about and you see anything unusual, please leave a comment or a photo to tell us what you've found. It's always good to hear about new things to explore. I'll give some more tips on how to share your discoveries below, but first a small find from Friday morning's walk.

I'd started off with

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