Tak Sang Pawn Shop (since 1940) at Saigon and Shanghai [1940- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Tak Sang Pawn Shop (since 1940) at Saigon and Shanghai [1940- ]

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Hi there,

If you see the Pawn Shop mentioned above you might consider why it has high fences and walls, making it like a fort.  Hmm.... Not quite.  Last weekend I was in Guangzou and had seen a few much older Pawn Shop buildings in close range.

Those in Guangzhou appeared to be built in the turn of the 20th Century or slightly back in the 19th Century. 

These oldies are more like a fort built by thick brick walls.  They had become monuments of Guangzhou since the 1990's.

Best Regards,


these pawn shops were prolific in china since the tong dynasty.  their secondary raison d'ĂȘtre was to serve as a safe-haven for valuables (a sort of safety deposit in a bank vault).  there is one in macau still standing

The 'A sense of place' book has a photo of a building very similar to the ones Thomas shows above. It has the note:

A solid brick building at the corner of Hollywood Road and Upper Station Street. This building was once a pawn shop, characterized by its rather forbidding aspect including narrow windows with locking metal grills on the upper storey. Pawn shops sometimes performed the function of banks for the local Chinese community, which may have added to the security concerns.