30 April 2021
What lies below those footbridges connecting the modern shopping malls in Tsuen Wan?
Tsuen Wan, the first new town in Hong Kong, is a place where the old and new co-exist harmoniously. Soon, a mobile map of the district created by iDiscover will provide an interactive exploration of the town’s roots.

The map was created and designed by residents, explained Eric Ho, the founder of Neighbourhood Innovation Lab (NIL), which partnered with iDiscover on the development of the Tsuen Wan map. “When tourists follow the map, they can listen to locals narrating the major attractions.”

Eric explained that while Tsuen Wan has a long history, old buildings now blend with the new architecture. “This is why Tsuen Wan was added to iDiscover, because it highlights the value of co-existence,” he said.

NIL recruited a team of Civic Design Fellows formed by local residents to create the guided tours. The project is also supported by Chinachem Group, which has always believed in integration and co-existence among communities.

Civic Design Fellow Joey Lee is proud of Tsuen Wan’s remaining wet markets for grass-roots families and the captivating Kwong Pan Tin Tsuen. “The village has become a tourist hotspot because of its colourful wall paintings,” she said.

Shek Pik New Village is of particular interest to her. “In 1960, the government planned to build Shek Pik Reservoir and relocated 200 villagers from Shek Pik Valley to these tong lau where they are now surrounded by new buildings,” she said. 

Joey hopes the urban-rural routes will bring the people of Tsuen Wan back to their roots as they come to better understand the town’s history with the iDiscover map, which is scheduled to be launched in the second quarter of 2021.

Tsuen Wan’s historic threads
In the 1970s, textiles were a primary industry in Hong Kong. Today, only traces of the old factories remain. The rustic Maykong Godown warehouse and the sign of Mayar Silk Mills (HK) Ltd factory have sat idle for more than 40 years in Tsuen Wan.