Hong Kong Kombis | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Hong Kong Kombis

Hi there,

My family have been regular visitors to Hong Kong for around forty years and myself since the eighties as a child travelling with them, so I've been a Hongaphile for quite some time! I also have a keen interest in(OK, obsession with) early VW Kombi vans, esp. 60s and 70s models and was wondering if anyone has any info and/or photos of the vans' presence in Hong Kong at that time. I'm particularly interested in early Kombis used as service vehicles for hotels and the airport.(old Kai Tak of course) I've managed to stumble upon a few old photos by googling and it appears that they were used at the airport- found a pic of one parked on the runway being used to assist a JAL plane in some way! I believe that some of the hotels used them in some capacity also. If anyone can shed some light, maybe if you worked at a hotel that had them or you had just seen them around, some info would be greatly appreciated.


Lisa B



the former shatin heights hotel had two light blue ones in the 60/70s which were used as shuttles for guests.  my friend neil remembers being taken to school in one when his family was staying there as they waited for a government flat.

the peninsula used them for baggage to and from kaitaik whilst their patrons were driven in style in one of the rolls at their disposition. i remember seeing a photo on flickr of the dichotomy between the two extremes of transport at the front door of the pen :)

i have attached a link to a postcard on facebook where you can see the vans from afar


Thanks for that info Vanessa:)

1960s Jordan Road

1960s Jordan Road








1960s Carlton Hotel

1960s Carlton Hotel









No picture but I seem to recall HK ambulance service used VW van in the 60's.

I was not aware that the Pen ever used them , but is not the car actually a Jaguar limousine (Mark. VII or VIII )

Well I was just about to post the following link to see if anyone knew where this photo was taken. Lo and behold you have provided the answer, thanks Venessa!!!


Hope the link works else let me know.

Best wishes

Greg Bradley

Greg, unfortunately I can't see the photo you linked to without a Geni login. Maybe Geni has some way to make a photo publicly visible?

Otherwise you could post it somwhere public like Flickr, or you're very welcome to upload it to gwulo.com.

Regards, David

OK Will give it a go soon! Many Thanks



VW Kombis at the Repulse Bay Hotel:


And a Kombi in the distance:

1950s Junction of Carnarvon Road and Prat Avenue


I can confirm that Vanessa was right,the Peninsula Hotel did use them in the 60s.

I've just come across a picture of one in an old Kai Tak book.Jardine's also used them at the airport.

As the hotel had a Jardine Airways counter,hotel guests bags would have been loaded into the vans there.


I used to ride in an VW transporter type 1 bus to school.

VW_Transporter_Type1_schoolbus.jpg, by Peter Kwong


This is correct - it is not a Roller.  My interest is that it is Number 3285 and my father's car was 2284.  This was in the early 50's.

Hello Lisa,

Here is a ca. 1956 of such a Kombi:


Kind regards,