Tag Archives : History & Abandoned HK


HISTORY – The Day a Cargo Ship Washed up on Cheung Chau Beach 13

In September, 1983, a Cypriot freighter called ‘City of Lobito’ beached on Cheung Chau island after being washed ashore by Typhoon Ellen. The 6000-tonne cargo ship narrowly avoided smashing into newly built beachside apartments (by just 30 metres).

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via uwants.com

Islanders took care of the 21 Filipino crew members until they were repatriated. The shipping company went bankrupt.

via uwants.com


PHOTOGRAPHY – Glitch the Matrix: Old & New Hong Kong Blended Together 13

Photoshop whizz willieraipan has produced a series of pictures which unite old and new Hong Kong. Previously the blog showcased ‘HK Man’s’ efforts to contrast yesterday’s city with modern scenes captured from the same spot.

Willieraipan takes this one step further by cleverly blending HK Man’s vintage and contemporary photos, making it seem as if there is a ‘glitch in the matrix’…


HISTORY – 1000+ ‘Before and After’ Photos of Old & New Hong Kong 34

‘HK Man’ has copiled an impressive Flickr collection of over 1000 ‘before & after’ photos of old and new Hong Kong. Each photo of bygone HK is contrasted with a more recent one…

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…Reassuringly, some scenes – like the trams – never change…


HISTORY – A Brief Visual History of Hong Kong’s Old Airport, Kai Tak 52

Heralded as the sixth most dangerous in the world, Kai Tak served as Hong Kong’s airport from 1925 till 1998.

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Courtesy Daryl Chapman, flickr.com/photos/darylchapman

Landings over densely populated Kowloon were spectacular and involved a complicated last-minute manoeuvre known in the piloting community as a ‘Hong Kong turn’ or ‘checkerboard turn’, after the checkerboard reference point above Kowloon Tsai Park (still visible now – click for some eerie close-up shots).

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In 1925, Kai Tai was a simple grass-strip airfield which served the British RAF and enthusiasts from the Hong Kong Aviation Club (which still exists today).


HISTORY – A Brief Visual History of The Peak Tram 3

It has been 126 years since the Peak Tram opened in Hong Kong though, technically, it is not even a tram but a ‘cable-hauled funicular railway’. Below is a brief, visual history of one of the city’s most iconic treasures…

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Click to enlarge, via richardwonghk6 on Flickr

The son of Queen Victoria, Alfred, became, the first royal visitor to make a ritual trip to The Peak in 1869. It was noted how His Highness expressed “surprise that the wealthy merchant princes of the colony had not yet availed themselves of the opportunity of the presence in the vicinity of their city of a position offering so bracing a climate, in the hottest time of the year.” Quite.

The ‘Rush to The Peak’ had commenced with Hong Kong’s population rising to 173,475 by 1883. Several dozen of the city’s elite families were now living on The Peak and it was also home to The Peak Hotel. The area remained accessible only by horse or sedan chair. (One local eccentric, E R Belilios, preferred to travel the winding paths by camel, though none of these options were comfortable, especially in HK’s heat).

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Thus, Peak Hotel owner and Scotsman Alexander Findlay Smith, planned to open up the area with a new tram system to connect Victoria Gap to Murray Barracks…


PHOTOGRAPHY – Fan Ho, Part II: Street Scenes in Dreamy Colour 1954-2004 13

Legendary photographer Fan Ho has been capturing Hong Kong on film for many years and is arguably one of China’s most highly acclaimed photographers. Below are some rarer colour shots.

Click here for Hong Wrong’s previous entry documenting the city’s boom years.

Since 1956, he has won over 280 awards from various exhibitions and competitions around the world.


HISTORY – Evolution of the Hong Kong Skyline – a Visual History 20

Below is a brief visual history of how the Hong Kong skyline developed over the decades.

Pre-1869 painting of Hong Kong harbour

Pre-1869 painting via RGS-IBG image / E. L. Watling

1880s – Beginning with a rare shot of the harbour from the 19th century – the same decade in which the Star Ferry became operational.

 Hong Kong harbour

via New York Times

 Hong Kong harbour

1890, click to enlarge

1900s – Next, a quaint postcard from 1906 (via gwulo.com)…

 Hong Kong harbour

via gwulo.com

1910s – The CBD, gradually creeping up The Peak, was then named Victoria City. There was no light show back then (but click here for a photo of the harbour at night, some 106 years ago!)…


HISTORY – How Hong Kong Was Made: Iconic Buildings Under Construction 9

Completed in 1972, Jardine House was the tallest in Asia, built on reclaimed land under the agreement that no other building would obstruct its views. With 52 floors, it was constructed with a metal frame and a curtain wall and round windows – a design which earned it the nickname “House of a Thousand Arseholes.”…

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via Sing Tao