1920s At the harbour's edge
When: None of the men show any sign of wearing their hair in the braided queue, so the photo was taken later than 1911.
There's a man on the right who may help us:
He's moving too quickly to see him very clearly, but we can make out his straw boater and light-coloured shoes. I found this description of when the straw boater was in fashion:
"The popularity of the boater reached its height during the period 1880-1930, though it was already in decline by the end of the First World War, after which it was eclipsed by the panama and the trilby." 
An internet search didn't show any sign of light-coloured shoes as fashionable in the 1910s, but they were in the 1920s and 30s. 
I think this photo was more likely to be from the 1920s than the 1930s - we'll have to look at where we are to explain why.
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Thanks for helping, David
Where: Definitely on the north shore of Hong Kong island, as we can see Lion Rock just to the right of the funnel. Yesterday I took a photo of the skyline for comparison, as seen from Kennedy Town:
We're clearly on the seafront but we can't see any tram lines in the road, which suggests somewhere along Connaught Road. If that's right, the clue I think points to the 1920s is the rough ground in the bottom-left corner of the photo. It suggests the ground hadn't been built on yet, but by the end of the 1920s all the new plots along the reclamation had been filled in with new buildings.
Then where along Connaught Road?
At the far left is the entrance to a pier. Unfortunately the edge of the photo isn't very clear, but it might still give us a clue:
For more clues, let's turn to...
What: Can anyone recognise the ship in the background? It is flying three flags altogether, and though the one on the right isn't clear, we can make out some details of the left and centre flags:
The left flag looks like the Red Ensign, which makes this a British ship. Does the second flag give you any ideas about the shipping company?
The other question I have about the ship is whether it is moored parallel to the seafront, or at right-angles to it. I've gone back and for between the two. I ended up highlighting the ship and the pier:
I think the ship is moored at the pier, and the pier is at right-angles to the seafront. It must just be the camera angle that has me confused. (I'd also wondered if the ship was sailing to or from the pier, and so was at an angle to it. But the ship can't be moving as there isn't any smoke from its funnel, so I gave up on that idea.)
Who: Many of the men in the crowd are rickshaw-pullers, watching for potential customers.
I'm not sure if the customers are coming from the big ship in the background though. The men are looking down at the smaller boats along the harbour wall. I think they're hoping for customers from those smaller boats. (We can't see much of the smaller boats, but we know they're there from their masts.)
I've ended up with more guesses than facts this week! Please leave a comment below if you can spot any good clues to firm up what we know about the photo.
Photo ref: ED004
Also on Gwulo.com this week:
- A history of the Straw Boater: http://tragicocomedia.com/2011/05/04/loved-and-loathed-the-straw-boater-...
- Mens' shoes in the 1920s and 30s: http://www.vintagedancer.com/1920s/mens-1920s-and-1930s-shoes-styles/