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, week 49

A summary of what's new and updated on Gwulo:



Memories of:



Gwulo book news

The new Volume 2 books were delivered on Tuesday last week, and I'm happy to see they've turned out well. At first glance this looks like last year's photo:

Happy Birthday Barbara - 100 today!

Today is Barbara Anslow's 100th birthday.  Barbara is a regular contributor to Gwulo, and has generously shared her memories of life in Hong Kong in the 1920s, 30s, 40s, and 50s.


Below I'll look back at some of the major events from Barbara's first century - usually reported in her own words, as she is a keen diarist and letter-writer.

The Best Hotel in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Hotel


This photo shows the view looking south along Pedder Street, across its junction with Des Voeux Road and Chater Road.

It was sold as a postcard, and its title comes from this pencil note on the back.

1901. On the Praya

1901. On the Praya


The people in this photo come from several very different groups.


People on the Praya - 1


On the left is a young, trouserless child in a grubby top, being hurried along by his mum. They look to be

Pre-order the new Gwulo book, get special offers

29th Nov 2018 Update: The pre-launch offer has finished, so normal book pricing now applies. But you can still download the free sample pages from the book, and overseas readers can still order two or more copies delivered to the same address to get free shipping. Click for details.


Four pre-order offers as we get close to the launch of the new Volume 2: special price, free shipping, signed copies, and a free sample.


Special price

The book's list price will be HK$168, but regular readers can pre-order copies on or before 28th November at HK$150.

Please click a "Pre-order ..." link below to pre-order your book(s). Payment can be made online using a Paypal account or a credit card. Readers with a Hong Kong bank account also have the option to pay by bank transfer, or HK$ cheque.


Free shipping

All deliveries to Hong Kong addresses are shipped free of charge.

Overseas orders are very welcome. If you live overseas, you can also get free shipping if you order two or more copies of the book to be delivered to the same address. (Copies of Volume 1 also count, so order two or more copies of any combination of Volumes 1 & 2 and you'll get free international shipping.)

Overseas orders for a single book pay the airmail postage rate. The cost of airmail varies by country, and will be shown to you before you confirm payment for your order.


Signed copy?

If you'd like your copy to be signed, that's easy to arrange. When you've placed your order you'll receive an order confirmation email. Please reply to that with a message "Request signed copy", and I'll take care of it.

The standard signature is "With best wishes, David", but if you'd like something different just let me know.

Gwulo book - Volume 2 - Front cover


Free sample

You'e seen the cover, but if you'd like a look inside please click here to download a PDF sample of pages from the book.



Orders will start shipping as soon as the printed books are delivered from the printer. The printer is expected to deliver the printed books on "the last few days of November, or the first few days of December".

Many overseas customers will want to receive their books in time for Christmas, to give as presents. Based on last year's experience, orders placed on or before 10th of December should arrive before Christmas.

Gwulo book - Volume 2 - Back cover


If anything isn't clear, or if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below, or contact me at




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