Haiphong Road [????- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Haiphong Road [????- ]

Photos that show this place


Courtesy of my friend Charles Kemp. Kowloon Park (former site of Whitfield Barracks) is on the left.

An interesting find by moddsey regarding Haiphong Road

Haiphong Road is one of the few roads in Hong Kong not named after Chinese or British cities, counties or provinces. Instead, it was named after a northern Vietnamese port in 1909, when dozens of streets in Kowloon were renamed after cities that had close commercial ties with Hong Kong. Before then, it was known as Elgin Road after Lord Elgin - the British plenipotentiary who officially received Kowloon from Qing officials in Beijing in 1860. He in turn handed Kowloon over to Governor Robinson of Hong Kong. Five years later, when Tsim Sha Tsui was still what its name means - a sharp sandy spit - two roads were laid out on the peninsula: Nathan Road (originally called Robinson Road after the governor), and Elgin Road (now Haiphong Road), the shorter road leading off it.

The roads were the government's first attempt at infrastructure in this new addition to the colony. For almost a century Haiphong Road had grass verges and was hardly used, servicing only the army battalions stationed in the Whitfield Barracks (now located in Kowloon Park) and the traditional Chinese hamlets scattered around the area. It wasn't until the 1960s that the road began to bustle the way it does today, with pedestrians strolling between Nathan Road and the large shopping arcades that sprouted along the west end of Canton Road.