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'.

2021-02-27 i-Cable interview

i-Cable invited me on to their Wish TV programme (小事大意義) to talk about old Hong Kong photos, the Gwulo website, and one of the site's most touching stories.

The video starts at the Peak, using old photos to show how the famous view has changed over the years. Then we visit my home to look at how I work with the photos, before heading outdoors again to look at changes in Wanchai.

The second section switches gear to to talk about Gwulo's wartime diaries project, and in particular R. E. Jones's diary. Long-term readers will remember his daughter Rae contacted Gwulo, and read her father's diary here for the first time. Rae joins the video to talk about her experiences, ending by telling us how the diary helped her to understand, and finally to forgive, her father.

The dialogue is mostly in English, but the introduction and several voiceovers are in Cantonese. I've included translations to English below, courtesy of the reporter, Lam Lam Chu (朱琳琳). I've also posted links to the photos and stories mentioned, in case you'd like to take a closer look at anything we covered.

A big thank you to Lam Lam and to the cameraman, Jay (柳志輝), for all their good work:

(e-mail subscribers: if you can't see the video, please click here to view it in your browser)


Translations, and links to further information

  • 00:01 [Translation]

    There are many skyscrapers next to Victoria Harbour. But do you believe that

New on Gwulo: 2021, week 8

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






Gwulo in 2021

It's time for the annual round up of what happened on the Gwulo website in 2020, and a look ahead to some big changes planned for 2021.



2020 Review

1. How did the website grow in 2020?

I'm happy to see there was steady growth throughout the year, plus occasional bursts of new visitors from events like the Apple Daily interview.

In more detail...


1.1 Contributors

A strong community of contributors is essental for a site like to Gwulo to thrive.

Looking at the number of people posting comments to Gwulo, it increased from 413 people in 2019 to 549 in 2020. That's a good sign, showing new contributors joining us to record Hong Kong's history.

Here are the most active commenters in 2020:

New on Gwulo: 2021, week 6

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






Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Cow and people on street


A curious scene

This is the only photo I have in my collection with a 'Year Of The Ox' theme. I'm still trying to work out what was happening when the photographer took it.

Obviously there's a cow walking across the scene, but how do the two men with the shoulder pole and basket fit into the story?

Are they part of the


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