Welcome to Gwulo

Here you'll find over 50,000 pages about old Hong Kong to explore, including over 30,000 photos. The content is added by a friendly community of people who enjoy sharing what we know about Hong Kong's history, and you are very welcome to join us.

Kind regards, David

P.S. To receive more old Hong Kong photos and stories, please sign up for our free weekly newsletter.

New on Gwulo: 2024, week 04

Submitted by David on Sun, 01/28/2024 - 12:00

What's new and updated on the Gwulo website:



Updates on the new Gwulo book

Some good news with Volume 5 is that airmail services are working well again. The last few overseas orders have gone to customers in Australia, UK, and the US, and all have arrived in under two weeks. The last few years have seen all sorts of headaches with overseas mail, so it is great to see shipping times get back to their pre-Covid standards.

Thank you to two of those overseas readers for their reviews. Patricia O'Sullivan has posted her review of Volume 5 to her website, and also lets us know her favourite photo in the book. For the record, my favourite is this one at the bottom of page 21:

1920s Wandering Shoemaker


Thanks also to new reader jenchou, who dived in with a purchase of the full set of five books:

The existence of the 5 volumes of Old Hong Kong Photos and The Tales They Tell came to my attention on Facebook via the Hong Kong - The Past page. I jumped on the website and ordered the books less than a week ago and they were delivered this morning!! So speedy and the books arrived in impeccable condition.

Each book and the photos are most beautifully produced to the highest quality. They worth every single penny!  In the fast changing world and the Hong Kong I knew disappearing fast, to have a glimpse into the old Hong Kong before I was even born keeps Hong Kong alive in my heart.

Closer to home, Hong Kong readers can now find Volume 5 at these additional bookstores:

  • Art & Culture Outreach Books, in Causeway Bay
  • SUP Retail (Hong Kong) Limited, better known by the names of its bookstores: Joint Publishing / Chung Hwa Book Co. / The Commercial Press. They also run an online bookstore, My Book One


And finally, thanks to Jill Fell who has reported the first mistake in Volume 5. If you've noticed any other mistakes, please could you add a comment for each mistake with details? Then I can be sure to get them all corrected when it is time for a reprint.



1958 Jan Jan's Map of Hong Kong

Submitted by David on Mon, 01/08/2024 - 21:29
NB: This is a hand-drawn commercial map and, as described below, its layout isn't always accurate. It is still a good source to see what was in Hong Kong in 1958, but don't rely on it to pinpoint the location of a building, street, etc. - please use one of the government maps for that instead.
Jan Jan's Map of Hong Kong, 1958

I've just finished adding this 1958 copy of Jan Jan's Map of Hong Kong to the maps on Gwulo. You can see it as an overlay by selecting the new '1958 HK' layer on any of Gwulo's maps, or go straight to it by clicking one of the links below:

New on Gwulo: 2023, week 52

Submitted by David on Sun, 12/31/2023 - 06:00

What's new and updated on the Gwulo website:



Update on the new Gwulo book

On 19 December, the printer delivered all 1,000 copies of the new Volume 5. Hurrah!

Volume 5 delivered

That was three days earlier than expected, which meant we could mail out all the pre-orders before Christmas.

All local pre-orders placed before Christmas should have arrived by now - if yours hasn't, please let me know.

I've heard from overseas customers that their pre-orders have also started arriving. If you placed a pre-order from overseas before Christmas, and it hasn't arrived by 10 January, please let me know.

I took a quick look through a copy of the new book before we got busy with mailing, and I'm very happy with how it looks. Next there was the nervous wait, wondering how readers will react. Happily the first feedback was positive - thank you to Bob Bunker:

I ordered a couple of copies for Christmas for our sons... The books arrived just in time for me to sneak a look before gift wrapping - couldn't put it down... David's ability to find these photos, and his in depth analysis of what is going on is amazing, along with the deft way he weaves the stories that lie behind them... Can thoroughly recommend...!

To anyone who has enjoyed Volume 5, please could you take a moment to leave a rating or a review over on Goodreads or Amazon?

As well as trips to the post office, I've also been out delivering to bookstores, so Volume 5 is now in stock at: Bookazine, Hong Kong Book Centre, Hong Kong Reader, Kelly & WalshLion's Ink Bookstore, St John's Cathedral Bookstore, and Vibe.

You can still order Volume 5 online from Gwulo, and I'm also going to keep running the offer of 15% off when you order the full set of volumes 1-5. The five-volume set was a popular choice among the pre-orders.

One last request: if you have had any problems placing an order via the Gwulo website, please could you let me know? Yesterday I noticed that the 'add to cart' button on the page for Volume 5 wasn't working. It's fixed now, but if there are any other problems lurking out there, please let me know.