The Pokfulam Conduit | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

The Pokfulam Conduit

In early Hong Kong, you got your water from wells or streams. The first attempt to provide a more reliable source was the Pokfulam Reservoir, and its associated conduit. The conduit carried water round the island from the reservoir, following the hillside above Pokfulam Road, and ending near the junction of Albany Road and Robinson Road.

There are still plenty of signs of this old water system. Pokfulam reservoir is the most obvious, clear to anyone looking south from the Peak:

1940s Pok Fu Lam Reservoir

And the path of the old conduit above mid-levels is immortalised by the name of the road that was built on top of it:

View Larger Map

Thomas, one of the regular contributors to Gwulo, has been using the 'Places' feature to document other parts of the conduit's route that are still visible. Here they are on a map and list. (If you know of any more, just create a Place and give it the tag Pokfulam Conduit, and it will automatically appear on the map and list below.)


1861 Pofulam (Poke-Felum)

I had the opportunity to walk along the old conduit this weekend on the 2 sections available on the south&west side.

The first was between the HKU residences and the QMH and then the second section from QMH to the area of the landslide. There were a lot of people working on the construction site and it looks like they will fix the area sometime this year.

I am curious though - why is the old conduit not marked on any of the Countryside Series of maps? They are easily reached and not overgrown at all. More people would use the path if they knew about it.

For anyone interested, both south sections are now marked as a footpath on Openstreetmap.


Hi there,

I have checked the Lands Office Maps Service site and confirmed the Pokfulam Conduit is visible in these maps:




Those are sort of maps having survey precision and are available to order in the Maps office around.

Best Regards,


Hmmm.  Yet another example of inconsistencies between reality and Countryside series.  I wonder why they do this.  Countryside series is what hikers and walkers use the most.

Perfectly good trails (the conduit is just one example) are completely missing from the maps while very old and overgrown paths are there.  There must be some logic they are using, but I cant figure it out :-(

Hi there,

A little update concerning the landslide site.  It had been re-opened with the slopes above and below the conduit fixed.  One can now walk straight above HKU and go to the Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre.  

I did not hear any running water in the conduit this time though.  Also part of the condut covers had been totally revamped with modern stone/concrete works.

I am yet to walk the whole length from QMH to Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre.

I am unable to verify if the section of Cheung Po Tsai Ancient Trail above the conduit (Route 12 on my 1970's series of maps which ran around the peak) had also been restored.  Will have to go there again for another look later.

Best Regards,


Hi there,

It would seem sections of the conduit are under maintenance for a while.  I walked the possible length of it (except the sections under the University Hall and Queen Mary Hospital) from Pokfulam towards Conduit Road earlier this month and found sections of the covers (both original granite and latter concrete covers) had been pulled up, exposing the conduit.  Some of such sections looked quite new and was constructed in concrete.

I wonder if there are any of the old 19th Century British brickworks left except for the arches.

Thanks & Best Regards,


Designing Hong Kong are pushing to have the whole conduit given heritage status:

Hi There,

Unable to confirm the fate of the section that used to be behind the old Pathology block of QMH, now demolished and become a big construction site of the whole slope.

As for sections of Bik Shan Trial atop Pokfulam Road, I remember seeing some brick work at the edge when I look up from the Central bound side.  Don't know of those brick work are that old though.


South China Morning Post reports on the conduit, accessible here.

The work commenced in 1876 and was completed in 1877. A covered conduit was built that commenced in the gauge basin just below the old dam (old pokfulam reservoir), followed the contour along the hillside about 500 feet above the sea, and ended at the Albany Service reservoir.


The architecture of Hong Kong's Waterworks: A Historical and Typological Study by Mak Chung Kit, Lawrence (Thesis October 2004, University of Hong Kong) 

A copy can be requested here.