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China Travel Guide: Beijing
Beijing Water Supply Museum


Beijing Museum of Water Supply (Museum of Beijing Tap Water)

Most 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 museum of water supply

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 subscribers rose.

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 District

(Source: China Internet Information  Center,



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