Arriving in Madrid in July from the Argentinian Winter was like stepping into an oven. I wondered how I would survive the raging temperatures, permanently hovering somewhere around 38-40 degrees Celsius. Even the Spaniards all get out of Madrid in July and August, heading to various locations in the mountains and along the coast.
Then I found this pool:
Known as Centro Natacion M 86 the centre was especially built for Madrid’s World Swimming Championships in 1986. It offers some of the best facilities available in Europe, including seven swimming-pools in total (three indoor and four open-air).
I think the pool in the photo is probably the best swimming pool I have ever been to in terms of swimming lengths, and I end up there most mornings as a start to my working day… In fact, I’m heading there in about half an hour 🙂
I finished my month long CELTA course last weekend and decided to go and lie by the Lotus hotel pool at Kad Suan Kaew shopping center in Chiang Mai. I had intended to sleep and wind down after a hugely stressful month.
One of the great ways to exercise in Chiang Mai is swimming. Most of the year you can swim both in the daytime and in the evening – it is always warm and all the swimming pools I know of are outside. The only time of the year that you may prefer only to swim during the day is the winter (from November to February) when the air temperature may drop to 15 degrees in the evening.
Even for a working woman like myself, I still feel as if I am on holiday all year long when I go to my favorite pool twice a week to swim. The picture below feature my favorite swimming pool. Thomas and I swim here together. It is the pool on the 7th floor in the Lotus Hotel in Central Kad Suen Kaew on Huay Kaew road. The swimming pool which is open from 9-21 costs 100 baht to use per time and with that comes a clean towel (not sour like most laundry in the rainy season they must have the only hot water washing machine in Chiang Mai 🙂 ). In the weekends we like to spend time sunbathing here as well and if you hide yourself you can even sunbath without a top (Scandinavian style).
Another pool you might want to consider is the Olympic size pool in the 700 Years Stadium. The entrance fee is 50 baht, but you have to remember your own towel and padlock for the safe. Be warned that the showers and toilets are a bit dirty. To get to the stadium you drive north on the Canal road for about 4 kilometers (from Huay Kaew road). It is on your left-hand side. The opening hours are 9-20.
A third option is the Duangtawan Hotel (although more expensive). The hotel has a sauna and a big L-shaped pool. The cost for using the pool for one day is 200 baht, but monthly and yearly memberships are also available. The Duangtawan hotel is located on Loi Kroh road just off the night Bazaar..
A cheaper option is the swimming pool at Hillside Plaza and Condo on Huay Kaew road. The pool is fairly small and not really suitable for laps, but it is nice to sunbath there (although topless is not accepted). The entrance fee is 50 baht which includes free refill of ice cold water
Hence you don’t need to stay in an expensive hotel in Chiang Mai to have access to a swimming pool. It’s perfectly affordable and accessible without paying a lot for accommodation. Enjoy 🙂