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: 2018-04

As an experiment I'll split the newsletter and "New on Gwulo" into two separate posts / emails, with the newsletter sent at the weekend and the "New on Gwulo" sent mid-week. I'll use this new format until the end of February, then ask for feedback on whether it is an improvement or not.




Looking for information about:

Memories of:

1930s, The Volunteers

1930s, The Volunteers


Where: This is a distinctive building, so it's an easy one to identify:

VDC Headquarters
VDC Headquarters, by annelisec


It was the headquarters building for the

1910s photos along the tram line

We'll take a tram ride from west to east, looking out at 1910s Hong Kong as we go.

Gwulo outing on 28th Jan: Join us for a guided tour around the historic Jewish Cemetery in Happy Valley. Click for details and registration.

A couple of things to watch for. First, notice how the trams change shape. They start the decade with just a single deck, then later add an open upper deck, and finally acquire a canvas roof. This view catches the first transition from single- to double-deck:

Trams near Arsenal Street

Away from the tramline, the main event of the decade was the First World War. You'll also see several photos of

Gwulo in 2018

Time for the annual round-up of the last year, and a look at the plans for the year ahead.


2017 in numbers


The number of people reading Gwulo grew significantly over the last year.

Here are the website figures first, with the number of people visiting the website rising 29% from 148,000 to 191,000:

c.1904: North Point, St John's, and an unknown school

In the last newsletter for 2017 we'll wrap up a photo we've looked at a couple of times before, then flip it over to see if you can help identify an unknown school.

Here's the photo again, a view looking east from the Peak, taken around 1904:

c.1904 View over Hong Kong Harbour


Today I'll start off in the distance.

Kellett Island


Kellett Island in the centre is an easy landmark to spot.

Looking up at 12 o'clock from the island, we see the


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