people would not expect to find a museum dedicated
to tap water, much less seek one out. Perhaps, the
only one in the world, Beijing's Museum of Tap Water
is on a mission to educate the public about the
history of tap water in China.
Situated in the Qingshui Yuan apartment complex, the
Museum of Tap Water educates visitors about China's
90-year water treatment history using old relics,
equipment, pictures, maps, and detailed captions.
However, the place is not English-friendly, with
English captions only appearing on some of the
equipment displayed outside the museum building. The
museum sits on the site of the original water plan,
with the original intake pavilion from 1908 still in
good condition, as well as the chimney to the steam
engine room, which was built in the 1920s.
Beijing's tap water history began in 1908, with the
founding of the Jingshi Tap Water Co.. Empress Cixi
ordered construction of the water plant and city
pipelines to create a more effective way to fight
fires that plagued Beijing.
However, it wasn't easy to sell water. Locals were
skeptical of the tap water, and opted to continue
using well water, which was less safe. In response,
the water plant embarked on an advertising campaign,
posting flyers all over the city explaining how safe
tap water really was. Later on, tap water
The museum recounts the progress in creating the
city's tap water over the years, using photos,
models, maps, and equipment to illustrate the story.
The Museum of Tap Water is one of the most offbeat
attractions in Beijing, though not likely to be on a
tourist's list of things to see. For those who have
exhausted visiting the list of Beijing's top sites,
or who are looking for particularly unique
attractions, walk north from Dongzhimen subway
station to find this one-of-a-kind place.
Address: No. 6 Dongzhimen Beidajie, Dongcheng
(Source: China Internet Information Center,