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: 2019, week 26

A look at what's been added / updated at Please click on the photos or the blue links for more information - and please leave a comment if you can add any new details.


Summer holidays!

Sorry for the double dose of newsletters - we're getting ready to head to the UK for our summer holidays, so I wanted to send these out before we leave this evening.

While we're away, you can see what contributors are adding to Gwulo by checking the "Recent posts" page. There are also a couple of exhibitions in Hong Kong over the summer that look interesting:

Or if you fancy some holiday reading:

  • Bob Tatz has published his memoir, "Lost in the Battle for Hong Kong". Brian Edgar writes that it's "The real Empire of the Sun", and continues "I’m sure many readers will be moved by the way in which that scared and abandoned orphan boy eventually found fulfilment in work, love and parenthood."
  • Another valuable addition to the records about WW2 Hong Kong is "The First Shall Be Last". It's a thick book, over 600 pages long, with the bulk of the content coming from John Charter's diary of events during the fighting and through the long internment at Stanley. Every new diary we read gives new viewpoints on events, but this diary also stands out for the level of detail recorded. John writes well, making it an easy read as well as an informative one.






Sugar & Oil: Dutch Hong Kong in the 1920s

This story starts with a photo album I bought a few years ago. It originally belonged to Mr Antony Bosje, a Dutch man living in Hong Kong in the 1920s. Here he is:

c.1925 Antony Bosje


What was Hong Kong's Dutch community like in the 1920s?

Charcoal kiln on Jat's Incline [????- ]

Walking down Jat's Incline this morning, I noticed a small section of the hillside had collapsed after the recent rainy weather.

Collapse - close view


The steep drop in the top section looked similar to the collapsed entrances of Japanese wartime tunnels, so I climbed up expecting to see a tunnel disappearing into the hillside. But what I found looked more like a

New on Gwulo: 2019, week 25

A look at what's been added / updated at Please click on the photos or the blue links for more information - and please leave a comment if you can add any new details.


Dates for your diary

This Thursday, 20th June - Gwulo talk #1. I'll show photos from my first book and tell their stories at the JC Cube theatre in Tai Kwun. Click for details and booking.

Sunday, 23rd June. A visit to the remains of the Taikoo aerial ropeway.






1950s Hong Kong - 1,000+ photos from the 367 Association

Here are a few highlights from the 1,000+ photos of 1950s Hong Kong that have recently been added to Gwulo. You can find out more about where they came from at the bottom of the page.


City scenes

Fire., by  Albert Hunt (1958-59) 


Case Shop and family
Case Shop and family, by Gordon Bell (1953-54)


Rickshaw fully loaded.
Rickshaw fully loaded., by David Green (1960-61)


Cheero Club.
Cheero Club., by Ted Ball (1953-57)


e Chow Stalls Alan Parr.
e Chow Stalls Alan Parr., by Alan Parr (1960-61)


Wan Chai. Gloucester Road quay, China Fleet Club.JPG
Wan Chai. Gloucester Road quay, China Fleet Club.JPG, by Andrew Suddaby (1957-58)


Five rickshaws in rain.
Five rickshaws in rain., by Malcolm Trousdale (1951-53)


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