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Outdoor swimming in October

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If you want to pretend it's summer again, what better way than taking a dip in an outdoor pool? And if you want to see some of the craziest people in Kunming, what better way than checking out the crowd that swims in an unheated pool in late October? The Jin Xing swimming pool, near the Beijing Lu Carrefour, is open daily from 6:30 am until 7:00 pm.

When we visited yesterday afternoon, several swimmers did laps while others lounged on the sunny deck. A fellow swimmer told us the water temperature was 14 degrees Celsius (57 Fahrenheit). The water is more than a little chilly; it'll take your breath away when you first jump in, and you will still feel a chill after swimming several hundred meters. Most heated pools maintain a temperature between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius.

If you think better of it after testing the icy water, you can still get a workout. A small poolside gym features a handful of weightlifting machines. And if all else fails, it's a good place to sunbathe when the weather allows.

The Jin Xing Swimming Pool (金星游泳池) is off of Beijing Lu, just north of Carrefour. Walking north, take a right turn immediately after the bridge, and then take the first left onto Jinxing Lu. You will see a red and blue sign that says 金星游泳池 with an arrow pointing to the right. Admission is 12 yuan.

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