Just when I thought I had seen almost everything in Tsim Sha Tsui, I read about the Signal Hill Signal Tower and realised that I have no idea where it is. The Signal Tower sits in a small park and its entrance is at Minden Row. It is very close to the Middle Road Children’s Playground. However, the two parks are not contiguous and one cannot walk to the other without first exiting to the street.
It is easy to miss, and it usually is very quiet with only very few visitors exploring this gem of history. We went there on a sunny Saturday, and explored this quiet corner and its history.
The Edwardian-style Signal Tower was built in 1907 by the Hong Kong Observatory to signal accurate time to the mariners and the public. There was a ball on top of a mast on top the Signal Tower, and from 1908 to 1920, the time ball at Signal Tower dropped once daily at 1pm to the foot of the mast. From 1920 onwards, the time ball dropped twice a day at 10 am and 4 pm until 1933.
The copper ball and mast have been removed, but the Signal Tower still exists today. It is open from 9-11am and 4-6pm and it is free to visit. You just have to walk uphill to reach the bottom of the red brick tower and then, once inside, climb two narrow stair cases to reach the top floors.
Once inside and atop the second floor, you’ll have a nice viewpoint over the surrounding area, the small park and pagoda as well as little bits of the harbour.
Afterwards we relaxed a bit in the park – it was quiet when we went, but I could imagine some Tai-Chi or yoga practitioners during the early/late hours of the day.
Signal Tower Signal Hill
Minden Row, Tsim Sha Tsui