Searching For Swimming

1Summer’s tropical heat is already pounding Dongguan, and we sent HERE! writers out across the city to scout out places to spend the hot steamy days swimming in comfort.

1. New World Garden 新世界花园 NWGLocation

New World Garden clubhouse, just inside Dongcheng Zhi Road

Price

Monday – Friday Adults RMB 15, Children (under 1.1 meter) RMB 8. Saturday – Sunday Adults RMB 20, Children RMB 10. RMB 360 for 30 times.

Opening Hours

Monday – Friday 9:30 – 21:00 Except Thursdays 9:30 – 20:00

Food & Drinks

Available at nominal prices.

Description

The 25-meter long outdoor pool of New World Garden is the place to head to at any time of the day if you feel like doing a couple of laps, just taking a dip, or relaxing with a drink or a book at the poolside on a lazy summer afternoon. There are plenty of chairs and pool chairs with tables and umbrellas which is convenient and just perfect for an afternoon of relaxation. There are changing rooms with lockers and showers, and there is a life guard on duty at all times. There are pool-side showers as well. The pool can get mildly crowded during the weekend. Shop with towels, goggles, float, swim caps, limited collection of swimsuits and swimming trunks for sale.

—Sooryakala Jeyasooria

2. Dongguan Sports Center 东莞体育馆

sports centerLocation

Tiyu Road, Nancheng

Price

RMB 10 per visit

Opening Hours

15:00 – 21:00

Food & Drinks

Not available

Description

Dongguan’s big gymnasium complex area houses an official Olympic-sized, 50-meter swimming pool. Huge and rectangular, the facilities are a bit outdated, dusty and not particularly good for a family outing, but good for lap swimmers. Dingy changing rooms and old metal, lockers are available for the general public. Showers are also a bit used looking and consist only of open pipes with no shower head. No towels, soap or locks are provided. Plastic chairs and bleacher style seating is available for spectators. Swimming classes are also offered for children, though the entire compound seems to lack any English.

—Gabriel Barbee

3. Dongcheng International Hotel 东城国际酒店

DC internationalLocation

Dongcheng East Road, just north of Dynatown and New World Garden and next to Donghua Hospital

Price

RMB 28 per time. 30 times RMB 488 in one month, 38 times RMB 888 in 90 days and can bring a friend.

Opening Hours

06:30 – 22:00

Food & Drinks

Small drink menu. Food available elsewhere in the hotel.

Description

The best feature of this pool is that no one knows about it. It sits outside on the fifth floor in the ‘Health Centre’ of the hotel and was completely empty on the two occasions we visited. It is shaped like two circles connected by a small opening and therefore is not too suited for swimming lengths and more for lounging. The changing room has a high-end feel to it with stone walls and expensive shower heads. Towels are supplied in the lockers. It is worth noting that there is a comfortable billiards room and separate table tennis room on the same floor as the pool, as well as a gym which is free to use with any bulk pool entry card purchase.

—Nick Jacobs

4. East Town Center 东城中心

East town centerLocation

Located in the old section of East Town Center

Price

Adults RMB 18. Children 1.2 to 1.55 meters RMB 12. Children below 1.2 meter RMB 12. Cards available adults RMB 320, children RMB 240 per month

Opening Hours

Monday – Sunday 14:00 – 21:30

Food & Drinks

Drinks available

Description

This is most definitely a family pool, with a specific small area dedicated for younger children. There are several lifeguards present at peak times and at least one at most other times. This pool is also used by the nearby schools during weekdays, and It can get crowded during the weekend or a holiday day. The big downside is that they are not open until the late afternoons.

—Sooryakala Jeyasooria

5. Royal Lagoon Water World 棕榈谷水城

royal

Location

Near Huying Park and Sofitel Dongguan Royal Lagoon

Price

Monday – Friday RMB 80. Saturday & Sunday RMB 90. Children under 1.2m half price.

Opening Hours

Until Spetember 2, Monday – Friday 13:00 – 21:30. Saturday & Sunday: 11:00 – 21:30

Food & Drinks

Limited snacks, ice cream and drinks, prices are twice as much as outside ones.

Description

Next to Sofitel Dongguan Royal Lagoon, this water park is divided into five zones: leisure pool, wave pool, kid’s pool, spiral slideway and drifting stream. Despite being a water park, the environment overall is tranquil, with tree-covered hillsides surrounding the park. The leisure pool is more suitable for swimming with a depth of 1.6 to 2.5 meters and even has straw-covered shelters over the water. The kids’ pool has a set of colorful short slides and swings in the middle, which attracts people from all ages to play. The changing room, however, is quiet simple and basic without hot water, towels, or hair dryer. There are 40 or so lifeguards scattering around the pools. On sunny weekends, it could be crowd and take half an hour to stand in line waiting for the slide and drift stream.

—Tracy Lu

6. Dynatown 星河传说

dynatown

Location

Center of Dynatown

Price

Adult RMB 25 per time. 10 times RMB 200. 30 times RMB 520 can be used by anyone and at anytime within a year. RMB 420 one month unlimited.

Opening Hours

14:00 – 20:00

Food & Drinks

Not available

Description

Dynatown has an indoor and an outdoor pool next to each other. The indoor pool is made for swimming lengths with a standard rectangular design. It is around 25m long and goes from 1.4 to 1.6m deep. At one end there is a door which opens to a pathway that leads to Dynatown’s outdoor pool. This pool is more suited for relaxing in, with a beautiful wide staircase that descends into a square pool and a shallow area (0.9m) marked off as a children’s pool. There are poolside lights for the nighttime and chairs to recline in. The locker and shower facilities are adequate. The staff said the pool gets popular in July, when the schools get out for the summer.

—Nick Jacob

7. Number One Garden 湖景壹号庄园

houjie

Location

Across from Hujing Middle School near Henggang Lake, Houjie Town

Price

RMB 50 for adults. Children RMB 30.

Opening Hours

7:00 – 11:00, 16:00 – 21:00

Food & Drinks

Food unavailable, drinks served. Swimmers are allowed to bring food and drink

Description

Situated lakeside in a luxury apartment area in Houjie, Number One Garden features five outdoor scenic pools suited for all levels of skill and enjoyment. The 50-meter long, two-meter deep lap pool suits athletic adults and serious swimmers. The 1.5-meter area caters to the less adept or in the mood for lounging at the reclining chairs and tables with umbrellas. The 0.6 and 0.8 meter deep play areas and a slide and with water sprinklers is for the children. A 0.9 meter deep relaxation area has water jet reclined seats and similar massage-jet chairs. The changing rooms feature electronic key lockers, soap and spotless showers but provide no towels. Arrive at the gate and mention to the guard “swimming” for entry.

—Gabriel Barbee

8. Goodview Hotel Tangxia 塘厦三正半山酒店

goodview

Location

Goodview Hotel, Tangxia Town

Price

Free for in-house guests. RMB 68/adults, half price for children under 1.2 meters.

Opening Hours

8:00 – 22:00, outdoor pool open from May to October

Food & Drinks

Beer and soft drinks, limited snacks such as chicken wings

Description

This is a remarkable pool anywhere in the world. With a total area of 11,500 square meters, it is claimed to be the biggest outdoor swimming pool of all hotels in China, which is believable. A lagoon area turns into a series of water passageways several meters wide, all surrounded by trees, ferns and greenery. Then a channel about 150 meters long with steep, plant-covered sides connects the lagoon to another series of swimming pools attached to the guest rooms. One of the activities is to get an inflatable boat and row through it. The hotel also has an indoor swimming pool (also RMB 68, but separate), which includes hot tubs with massage jets and a “nibbling fish” treatment pool, where for a fee small fish are allowed to nibble at the skin.

—Michael Sanderson

The following hotels don’t offer one-time access, but have membership for serious swimming lovers.

9. Sofitel Dongguan Royal Lagoon 索菲特东莞御景湾酒店

sofitel

Location

Sofitel Dongguan Royal Lagoon, Dongcheng

Price

Free for in-house guests and members. Membership costs. RMB 9,800/person/year for unlimited usage, including swimming pools, gym and discount on other facilities.

Opening Hours

6:00 – 23:00, outdoor 6:00 – 22:30

Food & Drinks

Only water available

Description

The indoor pool is 25 meters long with a constant temperature. The outdoor pool is a nice circular pool with a star-shape island planted with tropical palm trees in the center. A kids’ pool is beside it and plenty of beach chairs are placed around.

10. Hyatt Regency 凯悦酒店

hyatt

Location

Hyatt Regency, Songshan Lake

Price

Free for in-house guests and spa members. Membership costs RMB 15,000/year/person for unlimited usage, or RMB 2,200 for 15 times, including swimming pools, gym and sauna.

Opening Hours

6:00 – 22:30, outdoor 9:00 – 18:00

Food & Drinks

Small food menu includes salad, sandwich, chicken wings and other snacks. Drinks include juice, soft drinks, beer and ice cream.

Description

There are indoor pools and outdoor pools about 50 meters away from each other. The indoor pool is 25 meters long and 1.5-1.7 meters deep with constant temperature of 28 Celsius degree (82.4 Fahrenheit). The outdoor pool is more for lounging with beach chairs and plants scattered around and a six-meter-high slide.

11. Parkview Hotel 柏宁长安国际酒店

parkview

Location

Parkview Hotel, Chang’an Town

Price

Free for in-house guests and members. Membership costs RMB 12,000/person/year for unlimited usage, or RMB 6,880/person for half a year, including swimming pools, gym and sauna.

Opening Hours

Indoor pools 14:00 – 22:00, outdoor pools 7:00 – 19:00

Food & Drinks

Fast food and regular drinks are available

Description

The indoor and outdoor pools are very close together. The indoor pool is quite small in 15 meters long. The outdoor is much bigger and relaxing with beach chairs and a kid’s pool.

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