The Hong Kong Water Supplies Department (WSD) will allow visitors to the ex-Sham Shui Po Service Reservoir to enter the premises for free this month. Starting October 31, there will be three free self-guided sessions every day, for which registrations open on October 17.

The self-guided tours will be one-hour long, and will begin at 8.45 am, 11.30 am, and 1 pm. A maximum of 50 people can attend each session. Visitors must have a valid vaccine pass to enter the reservoir and use the LeaveHomeSafe app.

Details about the self-guided tours of the ex-Sham Shui Po Service Reservoir (© Water Supplies Department)

Visitors can listen to an audio guide of the premises by scanning the QR codes of highlight spots to learn about the various features of the structure and the historical development of the fresh water supply system in Kowloon.

The underground reservoir — which was built in 1904 in Woh Choi Shan and known as the Bishop Hill Reservoir — served the residents of Kowloon Tong, Sham Shui Po, and Tai Hang Tung until 1970. It is known for its Romanesque architecture, which can be seen in its trademark semi-circular arches. The WSD began demolition work on the reservoir in 2020, but the process was halted when netizens realised its architectural significance and called for its preservation.

The reservoir was supposed to be demolished in 2020, but was preserved after its architectural significance was discovered (© 香港遺美 Hong Kong Reminiscence via Wiki Commons)

In June 2021, it was accorded Grade I historic status by the Antiquities Advisory Board, after which the WSD opened it up to 90-minute individual and guided tours in December 2021. There is also a virtual tour of the reservoir.

Header image credits: 香港遺美 Hong Kong Reminiscence via Wiki Commons

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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