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'.

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

1930s Royal Dragons, Lions, Tigers and ... a centipede

1937 Dragon dance as part of KGVI coronation celebrations

When: At first glance this looks very similar to photo #4 in the Gwulo book:

Procession inches along a crowded street


We identified that was taken in May 1935, showing part the celebrations for King George V's silver jubilee. However the photo of the dragon was sold with the title

What's new on Gwulo

I've missed the last few weeks' "What's new", while I've been working on the book launch. The last set of book orders went off to the Post Office for mailing this afternoon, so let's get back to the usual routine and see what's new on the site.

A quick invitation first: Please join us for Gwulo Christmas drinks tomorrow evening, Tuesday 12th.

Now on to what's new:


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