Beijing’s National Aquatics Center, more known as the Water Cube, is now the home to Asia’s largest water park. Now ordinary people can swim, splash, and slide in the pools that once hosted Olympic athletes.
Beijing Water Cube Water Park
A lazy river, wave pool, spa area, and thirteen water slides and rides that include Bullet Bowl, Speed Slide and Tornado, are all featured in the water park.
Beijing Water Cube
The world-famous Bejing Water Cube hosted the aquatics event of the 2008 Summer Olympics. It was there that two dozen of world records were set and where Michael Phelps won eight gold medals. Now 50 percent of the Water Cube has been successfully converted into a water park.
With a price tag of around US$51 million, the water park took nearly a year to be completed. The “Happy Magic Water Cube, Beijing Water Cube Water Park” (the English translation of its name) opened to the public in August 8, the second anniversary of the 2008 Olympics. The Water Cube is located next to the famous Bird’s Nest.
According to the official news agency of Xinhua, the amusement park was created to bring in new interest and to draw tourist to the often ghost town–like Olympic grounds.
The park occupies about half of the 12,000–square meter complex. According to the state media, it is also the largest aquatic amusement park in Asia.
Inside the Water Cube
Visitors can rent a locker for RMB 100 to store their bags and clothing. The lockers are located alongside the showers and changing rooms on the ground floor. When visitors return the rubber bracelets that open the lockers, RMB 80 will given back to them.
Visitors travel more than a thousand mile to enjoy the new park. Friends Jessie Zhang and Sherry Xie of Yunnan said that it is the first time that they have seen a place like this. “It’s exciting and amazing,” says Xie, 20.
There were also foreign visitors including siblings Mia and Taylor Croonquist from Seattle, Washington. The siblings were fond of the Aqueloop slide, which features a 40-foot free fall drop. “It never gets old,” Mia Croonquist, 13, says. “It whips you around a corner and then you are doused with water. It’s awesome.” Her brother, 28, added, “Back in Seattle, we used to jump off bridges. It feels like that. A dead free fall before the water hits you.”
To keep the visitors safe, there are at least sixty life guards on duty.
To get there,
Address: Water Cube Water Park, Olympic Park, No. 11 Tianchen Donglu, Chaoyang District 朝阳奥林匹克公园天辰东路11号水立方嬉水乐园
Taxi from Central Beijing: Around RMB 30
Subway: Line 8 to Olympic Park or Olympic Sports Center Stops
Price: Adults RMB 200, children RMB 160
Opening hours: 10:00 a.m.–9:30 p.m. daily