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.

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Kind regards,


PS 'Gwu lo' is roughly how '古老' sounds in Cantonese. It means 'ancient' or 'old-fashioned'.

Help choose the cover for the second Gwulo book

Update, 26 Oct 2018: And the winner is ...

... the rickshaw cover.

Thank you to everyone who voted. Across Facebook, Gwulo and Twitter there were a total of 200 votes, with 78 for the children cover and 122 for the rickshaw cover.

Whichever photo you preferred, you can take a closer look when you see the book. Both photos are shown there, enlarged as double-page spreads.


The layout of the new book's cover will be very similar to the first book, but this time using a blue colour instead of red.

I've narrowed down the choice of photograph to these two, and would like your help to decide which one to use. Imagine you see the cover on a shelf in a bookstore, or on a website. Which one are you more likely to pick up to take a closer look?

Please leave a comment below with the word children or rickshaw to vote for your choice. (Or if you're reading this in the newsletter, please vote by reply email.) Here they are ...

'Children' cover:

'Children' front cover for Gwulo's Volume 2


'Rickshaw' cover:

'Rickshaw' front cover for Gwulo's Volume 2

Direction slabs along the Gin Drinkers Line

If you go walking in the hills behind Kowloon, you'll likely have seen raised, concrete slabs like these:

GDL direction slab


In this guest post, Rob Weir explains their background, and gives us a map of the 70+ slabs he's found in that area.




The slabs were erected to help British troops find their way around a defensive system of trenches, lookouts and pillboxes, collectively known as the Gin Drinkers Line.

A document in the HKPRO (I think it was part of HKMS 100), dates their construction to late 1941:

New on Gwulo: 2018, week 40

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



Looking for information about:


Gwulo lunch on Thursday, 25th October - all welcome

Annelise has arranged a lunch get-together for Gwulo's readers and contributors.
Click for details.


Memories of:

1928-29: Photos from Warren Swire's fifth visit to Hong Kong

Most of Warren Swire's photographs show buildings and scenery, so this close-up photo of a group of people is a rarity.

N S Brown


We know that the man on the right is N. S. Brown, the Hong Kong manager of Butterfield and Swire. Does anyone recognise the other man and woman? I wonder what was the occasion that made Swire take their photograph?


Buildings around Taikoo

Then we’re back to his standard subject, photos of various properties connected with the Taikoo businesses. Here he’s looking uphill towards Braemar Terrace.

Braemar Terrace


Braemar Terrace was at the edge of Taikoo’s domain, but the next photo shows its heart.

New on Gwulo: 2018, week 38

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



Looking for information about:


Memories of:


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