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'.

Gwulo in 2020

We'll soon be into March, so before we get any farther into 2020 let's take a quick look back at how Gwulo did in 2019, then ahead to the plans for this year:



2019 Review

1. How did the website grow in 2019?

You can see the full numbers at the bottom of the page, but I'm very pleased to report that we added over 4,800 pages. ended 2019 with 38,734 pages, including 23,305 photos.

If you look at the

'Old Misery' in Happy Valley

1880s Happy Valley


Where: This is an easily recognised view, but in case of any doubt there's a pencil note below the photo - "Racetrack at Hong Kong".


What: The circular pond, marked (A) below, first caught my eye as I don't remember ever having seen it before in photos of Happy Valley.

1880s Happy Valley


Pond at Happy Valley


I did have a faint memory of having seen that shape on a map though, and went looking through the maps I'd photographed on visits to the UK's National Archive. Here's the one I had in mind, a

New on Gwulo: 2020, week 05

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.

Gwulo talk on 8th February is postponed

We've postponed my talk to the RAS that was planned for 8th February. We'll announce a new date when the government venues reopen. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, and hope to see you at the talk when it is rescheduled.






1977 Aerial views from the Flying Doctor

Kung Hei Fat Choy! We start the New Year with a guest post from Michael Powell, who takes us on a helicopter trip from Kai Tak over Kowloon to the New Territories:

It's Christmas Eve 1977 and the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Airforce Helicopter HKG 2 is taxiing from RAF Kai Tak prior to take off at Kai Tak Airport. We are on our way to the east side of The New Territories to visit some of the remotest villages to give medical assistance where required.

Flying Doctor Trip. RAF Kai Tak. 24:12:1977 (1).jpeg


Airborne, we can look down at Kai Tak.

Flying Doctor Trip. Kai Tak.  24:12:1977 (2).jpeg


Then we head approximately north over Kowloon City. Dead centre is a white block of flats with redish stripes along its length. That was Block 5, Sunderland Road, RAF Married Quarters and where I lived. Below the block of flats is Kowloon Tsai Park,and just to the right is

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.







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