With forecasts calling for temps reaching 38 degrees — that’s 101 for you Fahrenheit folks … and damn hot for everyone else — Shanghai dwellers will be looking for ways to keep cool this coming week. If you don’t want to beat the heat in a large air-conditioned shopping mall, it’s time to find a good place to swim. But what if your apartment doesn’t have a swimming pool?
Shanghai’s municipal swimming pools tend to be overcrowded and under-maintained — read, nasty — they also require a “swimmers card” available upon a cursory medical exam and a 5 RMB fee. If you must, try the East Asia Sports and Recreation Center (but be warned — Shanghaiist has witnessed some patrons confusing the functional difference between showers and urinals). There are also some water parks like Minhang District’s Dino Beach for the brave at heart.
More peacful laps can be found in the city’s better hotels. Most 5-star lodges only permit guests to use the facilities, but some hotels offer day-rates (about 100 RMB) and even annual memberships to their pools. We’ve heard nice things about the Mayfair, City Hotel and Equatorial. Sources close to Shanghaiist recently weekended at the Shanghai Racquet Club, where relatively reasonable rates include access to most facilities — including the pool. There’s a free shuttle to and from Shanghai Center, too.
Though they don’t have any pools you can actually swim in, there are a number of luxurious and lavishly appointed spas that offer a variety of hot and cold tubs. A favorite is Oriental Rome or Dongfang Luoma (1420 Jiangning Rd, 6660-0666), an immense place done up in a gaudy Medici motif. The spa is segregated by gender as you’ll be bathing in the nude. But you can convene with friends of both sexes upstairs in the massage rooms, restaurant, lounge, game area, etc.
If none of the above strike you, you could always make like the Chairman, and go for a hearty — and, yes, nasty — dip in the Yangtze.
Image taken from Stefan Landsberger’s Chinese Propaganda Poster Pages.