Cool Pools: Beijing’s Best Summer Wonderlands
As the nation’s heatwave continues, we have a list of the best spots in Beijing to stave off that hot China sun.
1. Baolian Sports Park Swimming Pool
This Haidian sports park has two outdoor pools – a kiddie pool no deeper than 150cm, and a standard 25-meter swimming pool (150-180cm in depth) for adults and bigger kids (RMB 10 per person, free for children under 120cm).
There is also a slightly smaller indoor poor (RMB 30). Entrance to indoor pool includes access to the outdoor pools and warm showers. Daily noon-9pm. 48 Beiwa Xili, Haidian District. (6843 8898)
2. Crab Island’s City Seaview
With a sandy expanse of lounging area adjacent to a wave pool, this is as close Beijing has to a real beach, and a popular spot for weekend relaxation. Daily 9am-8pm. RMB 60, RMB 40 (children between 100- 140cm), free (children under 100cm). Inside Beijing Crab Island Resort, 1 Xiedao Lu, Chaoyang District. (8433 9689/9191)
3. Hongshankou Swimming Pool
The less-visited outdoor pool boasts thinner crowds as well as cleaner and clearer water than other pools around town. Remember to bring your own flip-flops. RMB 10, free (children under 120cm). Daily 9am-8pm. West side of Tianxiu Huayuan, Heishanhu, Haidian District. (6281 8604)
4. Jiaoda Swimming Pool
Jiaotong University’s two outdoor swimming pools serve mainly for swim training and practice. Thus, while there is decidedly less of a carnival atmosphere, this is a good option for keen swimmers in the area for exercise in the open air, or for beginning swimmers. RMB 10.
Daily 4pm-6.30pm. Inside Beijing Jiaotong University, 3 Shangyuancun, Haidian District. (5168 3694)
5. Liulang Swimming Pool
This outdoor pool is one of Beijing’s best-known. Set at the south side of the Summer Palace and next to Kunyu River (昆玉河), it’s an ideal spot for Haidian-based families and water-lovers. Swimming here feels like being in a real lake, but with no safety concerns. Liulang’s two swimming areas, divided by a cute bridge and green plants, are both suitable for adults and children. Open until August 31. RMB 10, free (children under 120cm). Daily 9.30am-9pm. South gate of Summer Palace, Haidian District. (6263 5992)
6. Qingnianhu Park Waterworld
Perhaps the most popular of Beijing’s outdoor swimming pools, Qingnianhu has two sections with four pools in total, each satisfying different visitor demands. Serious swimmers can do laps while the kids have fun splashing around. Open until the end of August. RMB 20 for adults, RMB 15 (children under 130cm). Daily 9am-7pm. Inside Qingnianhu Park, Andingmenwai, Dongcheng District. (8411 6321)
7. Splash Recreation Club
The Sino-Swiss Hotel’s Splash boasts a large outdoor-indoor pool, sand volleyball court, playground, gym, ping-pong tables, a poolside bar and a restaurant. The hotel also has squash and tennis courts as well as a sauna. Less crowded than some outdoor swimming venues, with sun loungers and dependable amenities. Mon-Fri: RMB 50, RMB 30 (kids). Sat-Sun: RMB 130, RMB 65 (kids). Daily 6am-10pm. Sino-Swiss Hotel, 9 Xiao Tianzhu Nanlu, Shunyi District. (6456 5588 ext 1217)
8. Tuanjiehu Park Swimming Pool Outdoor water fun in the city center.
In addition to the swimming area, kids’ play area and sandy beach, Tuanjiehu also has water slides and a wave simulator. The pool is small but does the job. Location makes it easy to visit after a long day at work, and kids love it. RMB 40(weekdays), RMB 50(weekends). Daily 10.30am-8.30pm. Inside Tuanjiehu Park, 16 Tuanjiehu Nanli, Chaoyang District. (8597 4677)
1. Merry Water World
This 35,000-sqm indoor wonderland includes China’s highest indoor slide, a wave simulator, free spa and sauna, and a water screen Chinese cartoon show (daily at 8.30pm), as well as a number of non-water activities such as bowling, tennis, climbing and KTV. RMB 98 (weekdays), RMB 168 (weekends).
Mon-Fri 1.30-10.30pm, Sat-Sun 9.30am-10.30pm. Jinzhan, Dongweilu (Take the Airport Expressway to the Weigou exit. Turn left at the first stoplight, right at the second, and then go straight), Chaoyang District. (8433 0606 ext 5104)
2. Water Cube
Under construction at the time of writing, this iconic host of the 2008 Olympic swimming and diving competitions is scheduled to reopen in mid July. RMB 50 for two hours, RMB 10 per additional hour.
Daily 9.30am-9.30pm. 1 Anding Lu, Yayuncun, Chaoyang District. (5166 9445)
3. Ying Tung Natatorium
This natatorium, previous host to various international and domestic competitions, has a 50m×25m competition pool, a 12m×9m relaxation pool, a 50m×11.5m warm up pool and a 25m×25m diving pool. RMB 50 (unlimited time). Daily 10am-10pm. 1 Anding Lu, Yayuncun, Chaoyang District. (6494 1468)
Beijing International Studies University Natatorium On campus of BISU. Nice water and temperature. RMB 30 for 1.5 hours. Daily 2-10pm. Inside BISU, 1 Dingfuzhuang Nanli, Chaoyang District. (6577 8311)
4. Haidian Natatorium
Has two 25m×16m indoor pools.RMB 25 per time. Daily noon-4pm, 7-11pm. Inside Haidian gymnasium, 12 Yiheyuan Lu, Haidian District. (6264 2626)
Dongdan Natatorium Centrally located facility has a ten-lane indoor pool and a kids’ pool. RMB 40 (unlimited time). Daily 10am-9pm. 2A, Dahua Lu, Dongdan, Dongcheng District. (6523 1241)