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Cool pools in Beijing
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Beijing's temperature can soar above 40 C in summer so what better way to beat the blistering heat than to take a cool dip?

Beijing makes up for its lack of beaches, or rivers and lakes for swimming, with scores of swimming pools.

Merry Water World, occupying 266,800 sq m, is probably king of the more than 50 water parks in Beijing. You can not only cool down with a day-long soak but also pump up the adrenaline with scores of thrill rides, roller-coaster slides, wave pools and chutes.

The most popular is the wicked Mega Dragon, whose water spray jet gives the giant U-shaped slide a frictionless surface on which rubber slides glide effortlessly to the bottom. Thrill seekers cannot ask for more out of this awesome ride as they plunge 11 m to the bottom, almost vertically.

And along the way, at the half-way point, find yourself swirling around in mid air at 50 km/h, in a gravity-defying stunt.

The water world's newest attraction, with a Rocky Mountain theme, features two new slides. While speed fanatics will love the enclosed slide, the River Rapid is bound to delight kids.

In the northeast section of the park, the light-hearted McDull movie series is screened on a huge water screen, which is actually a sheet of water flowing over a flat rock structure.

"It's a great idea to play a cartoon movie here. My kid often swims from another pool slide to the screen water, trying to catch McDull," chuckles a mom as she watches her 6-year-old son trying to hug the cartoon character. "You can watch a movie while enjoying a dip. It's a really cool idea."

Another attraction for children comes with an elaborate pirate theme. Kids who like to play little buccaneers can set sail on their very own aquatic adventure.

98 yuan on weekdays, 60 yuan for kids under 1.4 m, free entrance for kids under 1.2 m; 138 yuan on weekends.

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