Gwulo: Old Hong Kong


Welcome to, and over 30,000 pages about old Hong Kong.

If it's your first visit, you might like to use the search box at the top of the page to find what you're looking for, check out the latest old photos, or just scroll down to browse through recent articles.

I hope you'll join in too, and share your questions and knowledge with us. Most pages let you leave a comment, it's easy to upload a photo, and the Forum is waiting for you to post a new message.

Finally, if you're interested in Hong Kong history, please stay in touch by signing up for Gwulo's free weekly newsletter.

Kind regards,


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

New on Gwulo: 2021, week 2

A look at what's new on the Gwulo website ...



  • 2021 started with an interview by the Apple Daily newspaper, chatting about running Gwulo, collecting old photos, and whether it's possible to making a living out of it! Here's the video of the interview:

    Than here's the accompanying Chinese article, plus a copy translated into English by Google Translate. The article introduced Gwulo to many new readers - if that includes you, welcome to Gwulo!
  • Animal visitors: IDJ has posted newspaper clippings about sightings of tigers, more tigersand whales in Hong Kong in 1936.
  • Notes & photos of the 1927 Typhoon
  • Klaus found several Pathe films of Hong Kong scenes from 1968.
  • Older readers may remember The Railway Tavern in Tai Wai:
    The Railway Tavern, Tai Wai - Exterior
    The Railway Tavern, Tai Wai - Exterior, by Chinarail

    While younger readers may remember riding on this miniature railway:
    Shek-Kong-Airfield-Carnival-Miniature railway
    Shek-Kong-Airfield-Carnival-Miniature railway, by Chinarail

    Peter Crush, a.k.a. Chinarail, was the owner of both, and tells us some of their stories.




Hong Kong’s criminal women

With the recent publication of Women, Crime and the Courts: Hong Kong 1841-1941, I hoped author Patricia O’Sullivan would share some of the book’s themes and stories with us, and also tell us a bit about how the book came to be. Patricia kindly agreed, giving us Gwulo’s first newsletter for 2021:

How it all began … 

I suppose that it was the cantankerous Amy Gillan that started it all. Not one of the gory chopper murderers or callous kidnappers, but a disturbed Western woman bawling out ‘doctored’ hymns and shooting off obscene poison pen letters that became my Case No. 1. 

1907-09-20 HKT p.2 Amy Gillan
1907-09-20 Hongkong Telegraph, page 2


I had been following

Birthday Buildings in 2020

We'll all be happy to see the end of 2020, but there's one last task I need to do - prepare this year's lists of birthday buildings:

50-year-old buildings:

You know it wasn't a very exciting year for new buildings when the highlight is a multi-storey car park ...

Hong Kong  -   Leaving   -   24 June 1971
Hong Kong - Leaving - 24 June 1971, by Ladycliff


Or maybe 1970 had a more interesting building that just hasn't been added to Gwulo yet? If you know of any, please create a page for them, and they'll automatically be added to the list above.


75-year-old buildings:

The places on this list frame the main event of 1945, the Japanese surrender and the end of the war.

The two projects built by the Japanese armed forces in Hong Kong date to

New on Gwulo: 2020, week 52

This is the last "New on Gwulo" roundup for 2020, but I've got one more newsletter to send out before the end of the year. Until then I hope you're enjoying the holiday break, even if so many of the usual Christmas activities are on hold this year.

Best wishes,




  • We first heard about this Austin 7 last year, when its current owner was trying to learn more about its time in Hong Kong (the car started life in the UK, spent several years in Hong Kong and then the USA, and is now back in the UK). Here's the full story, which ends with the car looking very smart after its recent restoration:
    Austin 7 Car used in Hong Kong  (1960's)   Restored (1)
    Austin 7 Car used in Hong Kong (1960's) Restored (1), by Chinarail

  • H Lo has found three old pavilions in the undergrowth on the hillside above the old Tiger Balm Gardens (see the pages for the upper, middle, and lower pavilions). Does anyone remember visiting them and / or have close-up photos of them when they were in better shape?
    IMG_20201218_TaiHangPavilion1.jpg, by H.Lo





Crowd in the Happy Valley Grandstand

Crowd in the Happy Valley Grandstand

Where: The note on the back of the photo reads "HK, Racecourse", so we're looking at the grandstand in Happy Valley.


Who: The star of the scene is this man in the centre, as all


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