Tai Po Market 1956. | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Tai Po Market 1956.

Tai Po Market 1956.

Please see the following comments for a full description of the scene. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to identifying this part of Tai Po Market - Kwong Fuk Road looking towards On Fu Road.   Andrew

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Sunday, January 1, 1956


I googled 南園酒家 which pops out an image of the restaurant's menu (presumably from 1920s), indicating it was located at Wellington Street. This picture doesn't look like Wellington Street though.

I thought it was Beacon Hill in the background, but on second look, it doesn't seem to match.

I thought it was Beacon Hill too! Would it be Beacon Hill but looking from Sha Tin?

I don't think so, Beacon Hill doesn't really have a peak, more of a gentle curve.

I wonder if it is Tai Mo Shan?

Hi There,

One of Mr Cheng Po Hung's book (香港華洋行業百年──飲食與娛樂篇) had mentioned there was a 南園 in Tai Po.  In view of all those overhead cables, could this be the one in Tai Po instead?


Hi Andrew,

is this photo in a series of photos? If so, what is the ones before and after it?


Thanks &Best Regards,


I think T has hit the nail on the head, the ridge in the background is Tai To Yan in Lam Tsuen. So I think this is most likely Tai Po Market somewhere looking west.


I've looked at my 1953 photos of Tai Po and there aren't that many buildings that extended to 3 floors back then, just a couple of larger blocks where the Luk Heung resettlement estate now stands. Of course, if this is 1956 then more buildings could have been built in the meantime.


Hi Everyone

The images in Ted's folder do not indicate any chronological order, but as we now know that two of his photographs were taken at or very near Taipo (the beached sampan and the one of the causeway) it is reasonable to assume that this one was also taken at the same time and is of Taipo, not as he mislabelled it 'Hong Kong Central 1956' some 50 years later!  Unfortunately, I cannot confirm Taipo as I never went to Taipo in 1958 - just Taipo Market which I remember well and have documented in my own 1957-8 gallery and in later years with comparison photographs.  I don't think that this image is of Taipo Market so I tend to go along with the suggestion that it is likely to be Taipo.  If there is general agreement I'll change the title to Taipo, or Taipo Market.  The ball's in your court! Andrew

This is bringing back memories. I can confirm without reservation that the photograph is indeed that of Tai Po Market, where I grew up. The basket-ball playing area is where the Golden Palace Cinema 金都戲院 was going to be located (built late1956, opened in April 1957, closed in late 1960s). The main road was called Tai Po Road until the name was changed to Kwong Fuk Road some time in the 1950's (probably owing to postal confusion with the Kowloon section of the same road).  I can remember the basket-ball playing area was used a few times by Christian missionaries holding open gospel meetings in the evenings.  The restaurant 'Southern Garden' 南園酒家 on the corner of On Fu Road later became 'Four Happiness Tea House' 四喜茶樓 probably in 1957 or 1958.  This is a very rare picture indeed as I've been scouring the internet for years without ever seeing this until now!

WOW.  No sooner had I loaded that last comment than that of pepepeterleo appeared.  So, it is Taipo Market after all, but I cannot recall which part it shows from my own wanderings there in 1957/8. Is everyone happy with a change in the title?  Andrew.

great stuff! many thanks to pepepeterleo. So does that mean we are looking On Fu Rd cutting across in front of the restaurant on the corner? If so, is this the current location?

Tai Po or Tai Po Market = either will do for the title. The latter just more specific to the older part of town where this was taken.

Hi Andrew

I'm an avid follower of your 1958/59 TPM uploads. As you were taking the pictures, you must have been on On Fu Road yourself and might have seen the cinema 'Golden Palace' at the end of On Fu Road as it'd already been built by then. Can I safely assume that this one particular TPM photograph, taken before the cinema was built, wasn't taken by you?  For me, it is a wonderful piece of visual treasure of the past (same goes for your other TPM uploads). May I ask if there were other photographs of TPM in the collection as well? 

Pepe Peter

Hello Pepe Peter,

So pleased to hear that you have enjoyed my own old photographs from 1958.  Have you been able to track down the 'then and now images' that I took in Taipo Market in the early 2000s?  I think that they are somewhere on Gwulo.  No, the only photographs that Ted took are the ones that I have now uploaded.  It is possible that other members of the 367 Association (who all served in the R.A.F. between 1945 and 1962, mainly at Little Sai Wan) also visited Taipo Market but I cannot recall seeing any over the years when I was putting together the 367 photographic archive.  However, as I go through the remaining 90 or so folders on my computer, I might find something that fits the bill.  Keep looking.  Best wishes, Andrew

Hi Phil

Yes, the vista is towards On Fu Road whilst the camera holder was standing on Kwong Fuk Road just beyond the two huge trees along the road. Just realised, although it's obvious to me, it may not be obvious to other people, owing to the camera angle, that On Fu Road is between the restaurant and the basket-ball play area.  

After reading Pepe Peter's clear description of the area, is it the same restaurant at the edge of this photo, just with new windows to close in the 1st-floor balcony:

Golden Palace Theatre (Tai Po) - Front Corner
Golden Palace Theatre (Tai Po) - Front Corner, by |OldTimer

Hi there, Couldn't really read the shop front, but the shape of two of the characters appeared to shape like ""四喜" to me. That read from right to left though. Likely a match. T

David, I think that I'm starting to get my bearings. At the far end of this street, On Fu Road, is a large tree that looks very much like the one on a photograph that I took in 1958.  It is well into my 1957-8 gallery with a title 'New Territories: Tai Po Market' and a comment 'On Fu road from Wai Yan street'. Sorry, I cannot remember how to copy that image here.  Andrew


Hi Andrew

On Fu Road

This is a 1958 picture you took of your colleagues walking along On Fu Road, towards the direction of the TPM railway station. The Golden Palace cinema would have been behind you to your left.   

Hi Peter.  Yes, many thanks for finding both the 1958 photograph and also the one I took at the same place in 2006.  In 2006 I made a point of visiting as many of the 1958 locations as possible and I was very pleased to find most of the Taipo Market ones in 2006.  Have you been able to find them all?  If not, access the 1958 images and with a bit of luck that will lead to the 2006 ones.  One of these days, if David is interested, I could upload a lot more from 2000,01,02,03, 04, 05, 06.  The difficulty we all face is just how old do photographs need to be to acquire any historical significance.  Best wishes, Andrew