10 Cool Hong Kong History Instagram Pages You Should Follow Now
June 21, 2022
From day one of colonial rule in the rocky island of Hong Kong in 1841 to the dusty streets of the city awash with rich history, Hong Kongers absolutely adore their history. In its 181 years of modern life, the city of today still boasts of a rich archive of colonial British, imperial Japanese, and Chinese influence prior.
We located the best 10 Instagram pages for you to enrich yourself with Hong Kong’s deep history and understand what the city, it’s people, and surroundings looked like decades and centuries ago.
Old HK in Colour
OldHKinColour was created in November 2019 by a team of Hong Kong-based historical researchers specialising in colonial cultural history, humanities, and artificial intelligence.
Existing as one of the most popular history-focused Instagram pages in the city with over 120,000 followers, OldHKinColour sources photos from colonial British and imperial Japanese rule, restoring colour and quality of the images of Hong Kong’s streetscapes using machine learning, artificial neural networks, and AI technology.
Hong Kong Historical Shops
With a legion of supporters behind their Instagram page, Hong Kong Historical Shops is unique with its approach to capture the stories of the city's oldest operating trades and the ancient stores that propagate such rich Chinese culture.
Of more than 130 shops profiled and snapped, each store is recorded with a detailed description of the relationship with the shop and its surviving industry, the story of the shop, and its significance to a greater modern Hong Kong culture. The Instagram page mostly catalogues stores founded in 1920s-40s.
Hong Kong Made This
Run by amateur historical-buff, Hong Konger Tarlan Amigh, Hong Kong Made This acts as an online, interactive Instagram journal of the “Made in Hong Kong” artefacts produced and used in the colonial British period.
The Instagram account also documents the dying streetscape trades in Hong Kong synonymous with the Chinese face of the city, such as the neon light making, chestnut roasting, and suit designing businesses dotted around the city.
Hong Kong Corner Houses
This small yet powerful Instagram account aims to document every 1950s/60s corner house existing in Hong Kong, inspired by the late-Michael Wolf, a German photographer who documented Hong Kong’s curving buildings – former tenements located on the junction of two roads – for five years ending in 2010.
Documented in his book “Hong Kong Corner Houses,” the eponymous Instagram aims to reinvigorate a fascination for the most unique facet of Hong Kong architecture, detailing the history of each corner house dotted around the city.
93collectible promotes itself as a page run by Hong Kongers, recording “something once was lost and found”: the various philatelic material of a former colonial day, prints produced in the city prior to the 1997 handover, 1960s/70s/80s Western travel and business ephemera, and “crown colony collectibles.”
Among the admins personal collection, photographed and documented methodically for followers’ ease of reading, is 1960s tourist guides of Hong Kong, pre-1997 government literature, British colonial-themed postcards, souvenirs, decades-old newspaper clippings, and posters.
Vanishing Hong Kong
Vanishing Hong Kong has amassed a dedicated following with the pages systematic research charting the areas and buildings vanished beyond our sight in the city that has modernised rapidly prior to the handover and over the turn of the century.
Similarly with other accounts, Vanishing Hong Kong takes notable streetscape views and locations, comparing how structures, neon signs, street architecture, and colonial design have vanished and morphed into our modern landscape.
Growing followers by the thousands over the pandemic. Select 18 is Hong Kong’s worst kept secret for the exploration of curated colonial Hong Kong antique items, vintage British-Hong Kong memorabilia, and Chinese trinkets.
Whilst items are previewed on Instagram, interested history buffs and buyers should head to the eclectic store located on Sheung Wan’s Upper Lascar Row, also known as Cat Street.
Hong Kong Maper
Hong Kong Maper rifts on the classic approach to documenting the streets of Hong Kong, comparing photographs captured in the city’s colonial period – from 1840s all the way to June 30, 1997 – with the current Google Maps view of a location.
The best way to view a rapidly changing Hong Kong is through the lens of Hong Kong Maper. See how Sheung Wan’s Man Mo Temple shrunk in size due to the dwarfing apartment buildings, how the skyline of Hong Kong Island multiplied in height and width, and where the neon signs and painted store fronts vanished on the city streets.
Old HK in Photo
Simple with its design and approach (the page only links the admins Instagram handle and a Patreon link), Old HK in Photo has one of the largest collections of historical photos on Instagram, often with pictures from today comparing how buildings have changed and landscapes transformed.
Pictures are sourced from readers, archives set up by Hong Kong universities, and from overseas sources. Sites beyond the centres of colonial Hong Kong (Tai Po, Tseun Wan, Shau Kei Wan, Repulse Bay, Sheung Shui, Cheung Chau) are captured, refreshing compared to other Instagram pages which focus primarily on even todays more important sites.
Hong Kong Heritage
Hong Kong Heritage is one of the local Instagram spaces most treasured finds, detailing the rich history of buildings still standing today, but may never fully understand its former colonial, Japanese, and Chinese roots.
With more than 600 dedicated posts to sites across the territory, Hong Kong Heritage digs deep into buildings and structures you may never have seen before or pondered on: abandoned Christian villages, curving Kowloon streets, old Chinese wall structures, and surviving British buildings.
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