This week for our family field trip we found ourselves splashing around at Pao Yue Kong Swimming Pool in Aberdeen – or Wong Chuk Hang to be more precise! If you missed last time, we were cycling in Mui Wo, and you can read about our experience here.
This week the intrepid field-trippers were: one mum and dad plus Gracie, aged 3. We were all in need of cooling down on a Sunday afternoon and what better way to do it than jumping in the pool?
You may recall if you’re a regular reader that we’ve also recently visited Kennedy Town Swimming Pool on a family field trip, and although we were impressed with the pool at Kennedy Town, Pao Yue Kong Swimming Pool beats it hands down due to its sheer size. This is a complex of outdoor pools on two different levels, with one huge main pool, and a secondary large pool that’s slightly smaller than the main one. There’s also a diving pool, three teaching pools and two kids pools – one slightly smaller than the other for babies and toddlers – and a larger one for kids up to 11 years.
Hits: the sheer size of Pao Yue Kong pool makes it not too busy at peak times (we went on a Sunday afternoon and we didn’t feel it was overcrowded at all). We loved the mix of pools for kids. There were two teaching pools open when we visited, both less than a metre in depth and a good size for practising swimming. The two kids’ pools have some fish, crocodile, and dolphin shaped-slides for toddlers, plus a bigger tunnel slide for the slightly older and braver kids. Of course you can accompany your little one down the slide, but beware of the pummelling water at the top, banging your head once on board and getting stuck if you’re a little on the large side… that’s hubby, rather than me, I hasten to add! There are various animal models to clamber, sit and climb on, together with water features from the gentle sprinkler action kind to the more powerful jets. We also loved firing the water guns. It’s a cheap family activity with admission costing only $19 for adults and $9 for children from 3-13 at weekends and public holidays ($17/$8 during the week). You can also pay on your trusty Octopus card. Toddlers under the age of 3 swim for free! It’s a great place to meet friends with kids with no stuffy policies about taking guests in at the weekends – unlike most of the private clubs in Hong Kong. If you have older kids, they can burn off some energy swimming lengths of the larger pools or practising their dive moves in the diving pool. There are also sun loungers dotted around if mama gets time off for good behaviour. Finally, it’s easy to get to from Central – we just hopped in a taxi.
Misses: once again, that unpleasant hosing down that you’re subjected to before entering the pool! You’re fired with jets of water from all directions, making it very difficult to dodge… most uncouth if you ask me! No towels. Yes, we forgot ours! Thank goodness it was 33 degrees outside so we could drip-dry! There’s construction work going on in the surrounding area, so beware when crossing the roads, and the pool could possibly be quite noisy at certain times of day.
Need to know before you go: Closed on Tuesdays for cleaning, and if a public holiday falls on a Tuesday the pool will open as usual with the cleaning day moving to Monday. Don’t forget your $5 for the changing room lockers… and towels!
Opening hours: Summer (April to October)
1st Session: 6:30am-12pm
2nd Session: 1pm-6pm
3rd Session: 7pm-10pm
Closes for the year on 1 November 2013 to 31 March 2014.
Age: Suitable for any age!
Pao Yue Kong Swimming Pool, 2 Shum Wan Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong.
Click here for a map.
And just in case, you can print this out for the taxi driver!