Li Yuen Archway (李苑) [c.1937- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Li Yuen Archway (李苑) [c.1937- ]

Current condition: 
In use
Date Place completed: 
c.1937-12-01 (Year is approximate)

Hi There

This is what's left of the gateway of a private estate.  Likely to have a wall surrounding the property. Now being used as a landmark in a public park at the location.


DSCF5348a.jpg, by tngan
DSCF5320a.jpg, by tngan


DSCF5319.JPG, by tngan
DSCF5323.JPG, by tngan

Photos that show this place


Courtesy of Phil:

Introduction of Gateway of Li Yuen

This gateway was the main entrance of Li Yuen, a dwelling house of a Li family. According to the Chinese characters inscribed thereon, it was built in the 26th year of the Republic of China (1937). The house has been demolished in the course of urban development with only this gateway remains.

The inscription on the gateway is the calligraphy of Zhu Ruzhen (1870 - 1943), a renowned scholar and calligrapher during the late Qing and early Republican period. In 1906, Zhu was sent to study law in Japan. He became an official in the Ministry of Punishments after returning to China. He also taught in the Jingshi Law School and took part in drawing up civil and commercial law. In 1933, he became president of the Confucian Academy while he was residing in Hong Kong at the time.

So, could this be the mystery archway in Suziepie's video image?

Hi Phil,

Now you understand why I post the first photo with the red circle highlighting the archway.  But I have to admit it would be extremely difficult to judge.  I was using a 14-45 mm with an APS-C camera (equivalent to 23-69mm in 35mm format) Zoom lens for the shots, not even close to the movie lens in used in the original film in any perspective.  The only likelyhood is for the closer of the hills in the background.  If you refer to the maps, the Archway is tens of metres away from Castle Peak Road.   Don't know if there had been similar estates at that time in the neighbourhood save the Cheung Yuen, where the Miu Fat Monastary now stands.  But part of the boundary of Miu Fat Monastary sits right on Castle Peak Road.........

Hope someone could have old Lam Tei photos for comparison.


ps     Brought a slight better camera with a wider lens earlier (13th Feb 2021)

DSCF3038.JPG, by tngan


I feel you may have hit the nail on the head. The background hills (ridges and position) in your most recent image have close similarity to that seen in Suzie's screen captures. The only problem is the lack of definition in the older images to be 100% certain, but certainly the ridges are similar enough for me to be convinced. I think you have matched the angle quite well. I think the 100% proof would be in finding an image of the garden before it was redeveloped though.


Hi Phil,

Found this blog (in Chinese) and they quoted an aerial photo from library dated 1973.  Not very clear but it seems Li Yuen still exist then.


Hi There,

Got a comparision of the photo from the mentieond block, as well as a partial scanned image of page 163-163 of the Hong Kong in Old Times aerial photos (1964).

The photo in the book has the wall visible, nut the gateway itself is obscured by trees.  The image of the Li Estate is clearly visible in the blog's photo.  The house is substantial with a very big garden.  There seemed to be a square or rectangular pool of sort.  I also wonder if there was a pagoda there.


lamtei_2.jpg, by tngan

Hi There,

I bit more digging.  Found this in HKMS 2.0 (photo # 1964-5249)

Can't see too much in the photo, but I really wonder if there was a tower\pagoda like feature there.  Look at the shadows.


lamtei_liyuen.jpg, by tngan