Welcome to Gwulo.com, 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'.

1950s "A suburb view in Hong Kong"

1950s "A suburb view in Hong Kong"

When: This comes from the same set as the recent photo of the YMCA and the Peninsula Hotel in TST, and should be taken around the same time in the 1950s. There's a personal connection between the two photos, which we'll look at in the "Who:" below.


What: Over at the right of the photo, there looks to be a "San Miguel" sign on the

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Best wishes to you and your family in the year of the rooster.

Trademark - "Cock Brand"


This rooster comes from a 1930s application to register it as a trademark. He was to be used "in respect of Raisins, rolled oats, canned sardines, canned abalone and pearl barley". Quite a versatile fellow!

I like looking at the old trademark designs. Some are simple but effective, like this design for

1924 Seventeen years with the Hong Kong Canton & Macao Steamboat Company

Book / Document: 

This week's newsletter is an extract from Captain Thomas Pritchard's memoirs. He wrote them, and drew the sketches, while interned by the Japanese in Stanley Camp. Sadly he died in the Camp in 1944, but a friend kept the document safe, and delivered it to Captain Pritchard's family in North Wales after the war. If you're interested in ships and the sea, I recommend you read the full memoir, which starts with him working on sailing ships in the 1890s.

In June 1924 I joined the Hong Kong Canton & Macao Steamboat Company River Steamer but considered to be the best (one of the best) Company on the coast - home leave every five years, the wages similar to B.&.Swires ((Butterfield & Swires)), safe navigation money, etc to the Captains. There were five steamers two on the Hong Kong Macao run and three on the Hong Kong, Canton run, running in conjunction with the B.& S. Co. In fact B. & S. controlled it and their Superintendent supervised the ships. I joined the Paddle Steamer Honam to commence with, an old Steamer but she could travel about 16 knots. I was 2nd Officer but the ships were well kept and good food, bed linen, towels etc. - in fact - as good as being in a 1st. Class Hotel.

S.S. Honam. Hongkong , Canton & Macao Steamers (advertisement)
s.s. Honam, by Chinarail


It did not take me long until

1950s YMCA & The Peninsula Hotel

1950s YMCA & Peninsula Hotel

Where: This is the view across Salisbury Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, looking at the YMCA [1] and the Peninsula Hotel [2]. They've been neighbours for ninety years.

When: The photo comes from a small set that was sold to tourists. Looking at some of the other photos in the set, they were taken in the early- to mid-1950s.

What: The YMCA is the older of the two buildings:


It opened in

Gwulo in 2017

As we start the New Year, let's look back at how we did in 2016, then talk about plans for Gwulo in 2017.

You'll see that the site has continued to grow over the last twelve months. We finished 2016 with over 3,000 subscribers, 27,000 pages, and 1,290,000 page views! Thank you to everyone who contributed to make that happen.

Best regards, David


2016 Review - progress against plans

Last years plans were split into three groups:


Subscribe to Gwulo: Old Hong Kong RSS