Map of Ultopia & The Peak 15 Dec 1951.JPG | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Map of Ultopia & The Peak 15 Dec 1951.JPG

Map of Ultopia & The Peak  15 Dec 1951.JPG

A fascinating drawing by a chap called Lee Chiu dated 1951. There are some spelling mistakes!

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Saturday, December 15, 1951


That's an unusual one - thanks for posting. Any idea where it originally appeared? I see "Star Taxi" mentioned a couple of times, so wonder if it might have been produced for them.

I have no idea who the map was produced for or when it first appeared but if you Google "Lee Chiu artist HK " some photos of him appear. Maybe he can be contacted for further information?? I think the mention of Star Taxi is not relevant but I could be wrong of course. From my memory taxis of that era were green with a silver star on the side. Later they were painted red with silver roofs.

This map has lots of interesting detail and an unusual title - "Map of Ultopia and The Peak, Roads and House No's". I've not previously come across the word "ultopia", and can't find an online definition for it, so am wondering what it means or if it was a typo. If a typo, then "utopia' seems the most obvious intended word, but isn't relevent in this context. "Central" would seem to be the most appropriate word to have used. As the artist labelled so many places and roads accurately, he must have known the correct name for the district to the north of The Peak, so I wonder why he didn't use "Central" in the title. 

If that is a Chinese translation on the right side of the title, grateful to anyone who could advise how the artist translated the word "Ultopia" into Chinese, i.e. the normal English meaning of the Chinese character used for "ultopia"?

Thanks to Peter for posting a fascinating map.   


A few observations:

- "Map of Ultopia and the Peak" was labelled as 山頂及半山區圖 (Map of the Peak and Mid-Levels), no mention of Central.

- Stubbs Road seems to go all the way to the peak tram station. Peak Road on the map is today's Old Peak Road. Presumably he drew the map before the roads were renamed.

- A spelling mistake is Baker Road, should be Barker.

- La Hacienda is 九層樓. This Chinese name is often mentioned by my mum who worked as an amah in the 50s. I never knew it was La Hacienda. In those days, she had to buy stuffs in Aberdeen and walked her way up to 雞籠環. I didn't understand why she didn't use Old Peak Road to walk up. Now looking at the map, it all made sense.

Thanks nwong. It's strange that the cartographer used Ultopia, or even Utopia, as a name for Mid-Levels.

You are correct about the road name changes. Moddsey's post of 23rd April 2014 at notes that they changed on 1st September 1960.

Yes, evidently the word "Ultopia " is a typographical error and as I mentioned before there are a few typos on the map. However using this word is quite appropriate for in that era (and earlier) both mid-levels and the Peak were pretty exclusive residential areas and many local visitors arrived by Peak Tram at the weekends and walked around the roads looking at the houses and the gardens. For a lot of them it must have seemed utopian so I think the word is very relevant and "Central" is not.

But if anyone can contact the artist, Lee Chiu, maybe more might be revealed!

The unusual word "Utopia" could be " Victoria".  Immediately to the right of the name of the cartographer was the title of " Hong Kong Taxi Drivers Trade Union". This map was very likely made by that trade union for its members to familiarize with the roads and house numbers of Victoria Peak .

House numbers shown are before Road names were included in addresses and must have had the suffix “The Peak”. 

E.g. The number 28 listed on the map on Lugard Road is in a different location from the later and current 28 Lugard Rd.




I concur.

I would guess "Ultopia" was a misspelled "Utopia" as the mid-levels and the Peak were considered exclusive residential areas. It's probably not "Victoria" misspelled because "Victoria" was spelled correctly for "Victoria Hospital" on Barker Road.

明星的士 was written next to "Star Taxi" on the map. A simple google search showed that this was one of five major taxi companies and their green taxis monopolized the taxi market from the piers to the Peak in the 1950s. Apparently only their taxis could be parked at the taxi stands within this area.