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'.

Japanese tunnel above Wong Nai Chung valley

Our visits to the old Japanese wartime tunnels around Hong Kong don't usually make it to the front page of Gwulo, but this is a special one.

First there's  Read more »

72 years ago: Hong Kong's wartime diaries

Late November, 1941.

72 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. Read more »

Photos from last night's talk

Thank you to everyone who attended last night's talk, and to CAB for a well-organised event (and excellent food!).

Here are the photos I showed. If you'd like a closer look at any of them, just click the photo and you'll be taken to a version you can zoom in on.

If you enjoy photos and stories of old Hong Kong, please click this link to subscribe: http://gwulo.com/subscribe. We'll send you a new photo and story roughly once a week.

Regards, David

Who, What, When & Where? Read more »

1920s View of Central from the Harbour

Where: We're looking at Connaught Road in Central, which ran along the seafront at that time. Here's the old Star Ferry Pier, at the end of Ice House Street:

The photographer may well have taken this photo from one of the Star Ferries.

Gwulo talk: More photographs of old Hong Kong and the tales they tell

When: Wednesday, 20th November at 7pm

Where: Harold Smyth room, St. John's Cathedral

Details and booking: http://www.cab.org.hk/Old_Hong_Kong.png

Across Connaught Road from the pier, and on the left as we look at it, is Queen's Building, where the Mandarin Hotel stands today:

Give yourself a pat on the back

Earlier this evening, Gwulo received an award from AIA Hong Kong, a Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. It was presented at this year's Honors and Awards Reception, and reads:

The American Institute of Architects Hong Kong Chapter in accordance with its Chapter Bylaws confers an AIA Hong Kong Citation to Gwulo.com in recognition of distinguished achievement in the Chapter's region for collecting, researching and sharing thousands of historic photographs of our buildings, relics, neighbourhoods and people, now preserved in the interactive website, Gwulo.com, thereby raising public awareness and appreciation for the physical and cultural heritage of Hong Kong.

Thank you to AIA Hong Kong for this citation, it is greatly appreciated.

The citation recognises the work of everyone who has contributed photos, facts, questions, and stories to Gwulo.com. Thank you, and well done!

Best regards, David

1926 Submarines and HMS Titania

When / Where: A note on the back of the photo answers both questions -

H.M.S. "Titania"
Hongkong 1926 

Gwulo talk: More photographs of old Hong Kong and the tales they tell

When: Wednesday, 20th November at 7pm

Where: Harold Smyth room, St. John's Cathedral

Details and booking: http://www.cab.org.hk/Old_Hong_Kong.png

What: If you think this looks like mother duck with her ducklings, you're not far off the mark. HMS Titania, the ship on the right, was a

1920s Kennedy Town

Where: The landmarks in this photo are Green Island and its lighthouse:

Both are still with us today:

So we're looking out to the west from Hong Kong island, over Kennedy Town and beyond.

Birthday buildings in 2013

Do you recognise the building [1] in this email I received:

Hi All

Shot through taxi window... Does anybody know if there has been/will be a centenary 'celebration' of this building this year? If so, I've missed it.

PB [2]

It turns out that the '1913' marks the date of a renovation, not the date it was first built, but it got me thinking... which other buildings deserve a birthday card this year, and how far back can we go?

50 years old

This photo of the Mandarin Hotel was taken soon after it opened:

c.1917 View over Happy Valley and Causeway Bay

Where: This view looks east from the hill above the cemeteries in Happy Valley. The wooded slopes on the left are Morrison Hill, when it was still a hill! Across to their right is an open area used for sports grounds, then right again we can see the edge of the race-track.

Across the middle of the photo run more wooded hillsides - Leighton Hill on the right, and on the left the hill where Jardine Matheson had several grand buildings. Then above that is the old typhoon shelter, today the site of Victoria Park. Read more »

CPS project 3rd update: Prison and punishment

I'm searching for old photos (or sketches, paintings, etc) to illustrate the history of the Central Police Station (CPS) site (click here for details of the project). In this update I'll look at what punishments were given to convicted criminals, and the prison buildings on the CPS site.


If you'd been caught by the police and found guilty by the magistrate, you coud expect to receive some combination of the following punishments: Read more »

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