When the sun’s out, many Hong Kongers head to the pool. Not only is it a great way to cool off after a workout, but swimming also offers a range of health benefits, from boosting your cardiovascular endurance to improving your mental health. It’s no wonder that more and more people are starting to swim as part of their fitness regimes.
Whether you want to get your heart racing with some laps or take it easy with a few lengths of the leisure pool, there are plenty of pools to choose from in Hong Kong. The city’s public swimming pools are managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, and many offer Jacuzzis, indoor/outdoor pools, kiddie play areas, monthly swim tickets valid for one month after purchase, and more.
In the 1980s, the Urban Council created a policy to build fun pools with special free-form designs and water toys. These were designed to attract more young swimmers and change the perception of swimming from a sport to a leisure activity.
The pools, which are usually open year-round, have a variety of facilities, including slides and other attractions. Some are even surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful scenery.
Some of the pools have lifeguards, while others do not. In 2004 the LCSD slashed the number of lifeguards, leading to a series of strikes by the HK Swimming Professionals Union. The resulting staff shortage has led to the closure of some pools and parts of others, such as toddler pools, to divert resources.
A popular destination for families is the Hammer Hill Road pool. The pirate ship and water cannons make this a fun place for kids to hang out, and the indoor and outdoor pools are spacious. There are also a range of water slides, fountains, and games to keep the kids entertained.
Another top spot for families is the Kowloon Park pool. It has three outdoor leisure pools complete with waterfalls and rocks, and the indoor complex features an Olympic-sized main pool and two teaching and training pools. The pool is usually open to both locals and visitors, though it closes for maintenance between October and November.
While most of the hk pools are located in city centres, there are a few that are out in the countryside. The Ma On Shan pool, for example, is a beautiful place to spend the day swimming and relaxing with family. It has four giant slides, including the world’s highest speed slide, and there are plenty of other water features for the kids to enjoy.
If you’re looking for a pool that’s a little bit more luxurious, try the rooftop pool at the InterContinental Hong Kong. This is one of the highest outdoor pools in the world, and it boasts stunning views of the city. There’s also a smaller Jacuzzi pool, deck chairs for sunbathing, and high-speed Internet access, so you can work while you’re floating in the water.