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: 2020, week 03

Here's a summary of what's new on Gwulo. Please click through to the linked pages to leave a comment if you can add any information.

Upcoming Gwulo Talks

Both of the following talks are open to the public, so it'll be great if you can join us.

Hong Kong, 8 February (Saturday morning) - I'll present talk #3 to the RAS - think of it as the live version of the latest Gwulo book, Volume 3. Details and booking.

London, 28 March (Saturday afternoon) - I'll present talk #5 to the Friends of the RASHKB. This is my newest talk, and this will be the first time I've presented it in the UK. Details will follow in a future newsletter.






Jan 1942 - L T Ride's escape from Japanese-held Hong Kong

78 years ago, four escapees from the Sham Shui Po Prisoner-Of-War camp were cautiously making their way north through the New Territories, hoping to get through Japanese lines to reach Free China. The group was led by Lieut-Colonel L. T. RIDE, and this is his report of the escape.





  • L. T. RIDE,          Lieut-Colonel,   C.O. H.K. Field Ambulance
  • D. W. MORLEY,  Lieut (E),           H.K.R.N.V.R.
  • D. F. DAVIES,     Sub-Lieut,         H.K.R.N.V.R.
  • Y. P. LEE,            L/Cpl.,               H.K.V.D.C. Field Ambulance



No advantage of escaping was taken of the chaos which existed immediately after the surrender, for it was hoped that in my capacity as OC Field Ambulance I would obtain permission from the Japanese to search the hills for the wounded which we knew must still be lying there in numbers.

On the 28th December after three days of futile endeavour, I was given the final official reply:

New on Gwulo: 2020, week 01

Happy New Year! I hope you've enjoyed the recent holidays.

It's been a month since the last roundup of what's new on, so there's lots to catch up on. As always, please click on the photos or the blue links for more information, and please leave a comment if you can add any new details.





Photo (22): Farewell!

The final extract from the new Gwulo book ...


For our last photo, we’ve come full circle and returned to passengers on a liner. We’re on the RMS Empress of Russia in 1928, preparing to leave Hong Kong. In the earlier photos we imagined the tourist’s view from a liner in the harbour, but here we’re clearly

Photo (21): Kowloon City Pier

We re-join the new Gwulo book at the next-to-last photo ...


One of these happy chaps kindly wrote this note on the back of the photo:


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