Cover Imagine how these abandoned Hong Kong sites once looked like back in the day with this article (Photo: Courtesy of Leisure Photography)

Travel back in time at these abandoned Hong Kong sites

Hong Kong is a city that’s constantly changing. With change, however, some things get left behind. Frozen in time, many of Hong Kong’s buildings, schools, cinemas and even hospitals have been abandoned for years—some awaiting revitalisation or demolition, while others gather dust as their fate remains unknown. 

In recent years, the city’s adrenaline junkies have been uncovering these abandoned spots, documenting and sharing photos of these forgotten places with like-minded friends and thrill-seekers. While the following photos are fun to look at, many of these locations are private property, or potentially dangerous due to the lack of maintenance. To protect the sites from being broken into or vandalised, the exact addresses are kept a secret. Want to learn more? We're listing a few of Hong Kong’s most popular abandoned buildings below. 

See also: 10 Unexpectedly Revitalised Historic Sites in Hong Kong: Now and Then

Carrick

Built in 1887, the Carrick is the oldest surviving European house on the Peak. The two-storey house is currently listed as a Grade I Historic Building and was originally named ‘Stonyhurst’ by its first owner, senior counsel John Joseph Francis. The house has since been renamed Glen Iris, and now, Carrick. 

While the Peak is seen as one of Hong Kong’s most desirable neighbourhoods now, the Carrick was built at a time when the Peak could barely house more than a few homes, and when the Mid-levels were struggling to attract residents. After Francis's death in 1901, the address has changed owners a number of times and gone through several remodels. The current owners of the Carrick are Juli May Limited.

Peng Chau Theatre

If you’ve ever visited Peng Chau, you might’ve walked by the island’s defunct cinema without knowing it. Peng Chau Theatre opened to the public on Chinese New Year Eve of 1978 but closed in the late 1980s due to the decline of the population on Peng Chau. 

The cinema had a seating capacity of 499 people, featuring rows of burgundy leather seats and dramatic curtains around the screening stage. 

See also: Island Guide: What To Eat, See And Do In Peng Chau

Television Tycoon’s Villa

Although this villa is now covered in graffiti, you can still see reminiscents of its former days at every corner of the house. Built in 1971, the house belonged to a film and television tycoon who had to regularly entertain guests in the film industry. 

The villa spans over eight thousand square feet, with a two thousand square feet cinema and an outdoor swimming pool ready to entertain. Inside the house, odd Chanel shoes, crystal chandeliers, plush sofas and entertainment rooms remain, leaving you to picture what this villa may have looked like once upon a time. 

Chi Yan School

A few steps away from the beach, Chi Yan School in Peng Chau was founded in 1930. Funded by local Peng Chau businesses and residents, the classrooms were reconstructed in 1939 which helped bring in more students. In the beginning, the school only had about 20 students, however, at its peak, there were about 400 students enrolled, with the majority of them being boys due to the influence of feudalism.

Shaw House

Shaw House in Clearwater Bay is the former home of the former film production company, Shaw Brother. Opened in 1961 as Movietown, the site was the largest Chinese filmmaking studio in the world. With 15 stages, two permanent sets, high-tech film equipment as well as apartment blocks to house Shaw Actors, Shaw House was the talk of the town back in the day.

Some of the most notable films made at the site included The Magnificent Concubine, The Love Eterne as well as other kung-fu genre films such as Five Finger of Death, which was made in the 1970s. Shaw has since relocated to Tseung Kwan O, leaving its old home empty since 2003. 

Sham Shui Po Tong Lau

Sitting above the bustling streets of Sham Shui Po, this corner tong lau building has made headlines over the years due to threats of demolition. As one of the remaining three corner buildings built in tong lau style, this three-storey building was built in 1933 but has since been abandoned. While there hasn’t been news on whether the building has been saved from the wrecking ball, we’ll drop by for a visit to get a few last looks just in case.

See also: The Best Cafes And Coffee Shops In Sham Shui Po

1960s Mid-levels Mansion

Built in 1964, this deserted mansion exudes the personality of its former owner—just take a look at the penny decorated toilet. Decked out in warm brown hues, the house used to be decorated with lush carpets and wallpaper. However, most of the wallpaper and carpet have been removed since. Rumoured to be formerly owned by a Hong Kong Executive Council member from a banking family, the house has since been sold in 2020 to an unknown buyer.  

See also: You Can Now Tour Shek Kip Mei’s Historic Underground Reservoir Online

Abandoned Youth Hostel

Surrounded by lush nature, this spot used to be a youth hostel once upon a time. With a gorgeous white spiral staircase that brings you up to the gable roof, there's still remnants of the building's previous life with the male and female dormitory signs.