Tag Archives : History & Abandoned HK


HISTORY – A New Kowloon Walled City 15-min Documentary & Book 3

Diana Jou and Lara Day of the Wall Street Journal have produced a new 15-minute documentary about the Kowloon Walled City. Once the densest place on Earth, the colourful, maze-like hotbed of of ‘crime, grime, commerce and hope’ was torn down 20 years ago…

Below are shots from ‘City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City‘ – a photobook by Greg Girard and Ian Lambot.

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The duo are planning an expanded, follow-up edition…


PHOTOGRAPHY – The Ghost Villages of Yung Shue Au & Sam A Tsuen

Yung Shue Au 榕樹凹, translated as ‘Banyan Pass’, is located just outside of Starling Islet within Plover Cove Country Park.

As with many villages in the area, the population dwindled during the 50s, 60s and 70s as the residents left for the city and for Europe, leaving the buildings to be slowly digested by nature.


PHOTOGRAPHY – The Half-Submerged Cargo Ship Currently Abandoned off Cheung Chau 7

A half-submerged Vietnamese freighter is currently sat glumly off the coast of Cheung Chau after running aground last month.

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A HK URBEX team explored the stricken Sunrise Orient last week…

It was shot with a GoPro HERO 3+ (head), HERO 1 (selfie stick) and a HERO 2 mounted on the DJI Phantom 2…


PHOTOGRAPHY – The Semi-Abandoned Hakka Walled Village of Lai Chi Wo 5

Deep within Plover Cove country park in the north-eastern fringe of Hong Kong lies the semi-abandoned Hakka Walled Village of Lai Chi Wo 荔枝窩.

It is surrounded by forests, mangroves and remains home to many plants, trees and insects which are unique to the protected ‘GeoPark’ region.

Over 100 years ago, Lai Chi Wo remained a poor village. A Feng Shui expert recommended that a wall be built around the village to retain wealth and ward off bad luck.


PHOTOGRAPHY – The Creepy Abandoned Holiday Resort of Broken Dreams, Pt.1 3

In 2006, a Wanchai bar owner leased a plot of land in the isolated, abandoned village of Tai She Wan 大蛇灣 (Snake Bay).

Inaccessible by road, it was hoped the secluded ‘Club Captain Bear’ would be a magnet for water sports fans…

The experiment failed and the newly refurbished buildings and swimming pool were left to decay.

Environmental activists, such as Paul Zimmerman, have been campaigning against the construction waste and state of the site.


HISTORY – A Brief Visual History of The Peninsula Hotel 2

The Peninsula celebrates its 85 year anniversary this year, which is commemorated with a light show this weekend…

The hotel opened in 1928 and aimed to be “the finest hotel east of Suez“…

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1927 – the year of completion, via Gwulo.com

The building itself was completed a year earlier but was used temporarily by British military authorities.


HISTORY – The Bustling Hong Kong of 1947: Historical Photos from Mark Kauffman

Mark Kauffman was an award winning photographer for Life Magazine. At 17, he was the youngest person to ever shoot a cover for the publication, where he remained as a staff photographer for 30 years. He died in 1994.

The crystal-clear shots below were taken by Kauffman in 1947, two years after the Japanese occupation of HK ended. They depict busy streets, the cricket club, the statue of Queen Victoria awaiting re-installation after retrieval from Japan and some more recognisable scenes such as trams and bamboo scaffolding.

Normality returned very quickly to post-war HK, though it was also a period in which Britain realised it could no longer run its colonies as it once did. Restrictions on Chinese people using certain beaches or owning assets on The Peak were dropped as immigration from China boomed…

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HISTORY – An Elephant in Kowloon: Photos from Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park 7

Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park was opened by businessman Cheung Kwan in 1949.

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via Simon Lee

It was located on the west shore of Lai Chi Kok Bay near Sham Shui Po, covered 1.6 million sq ft, and was said to be the first modern large-scale theme park in southern China.

via BBS forum


HISTORY – Colourised & Restored Photos of Hong Kong 150 Years Ago

John Thomson‘s photographs of Hong Kong, taken between 1868 and 1872, are to be exhibited at the Maritime Museum from this Saturday. The Scotsman captured scenes and people of the young colony during the Qing Dynasty, less than 30 years after the British took the island. Read more about the collection from Christopher DeWolf at the WSJ, or visit the Maritime Museum before February 26th, tickets are HK$30. Scroll down for more images.

Click for a high-res version

Below are some restored and colourised versions of Thomson’s work shared exclusively with the blog by Chris Whitehouse. He has been working on the images with Jordan Lloyd.

City Hall and Wardley House. Restoration: Jordan Lloyd. Copyright: Wellcome Trust.