Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Exercise in the Tropics Should be Cool

As I settle in to my new life, I realize one needs to have an exercise routine for a feeling of well being. It is approaching the hot season here in Chiang Mai with temps around 95 degrees by afternoon and still cool enough to sleep without the A/C at night at 66 degrees.  Several of my ex-pat friends play tennis, which can be grueling if not played at first light of day.  Eventually even early morning on a tennis court wouldn't be my idea of fun.

I'm thinking swimming might be a good way to get my body in motion and yet stay cool in the process.  Yesterday I spent the morning investigating the 3 swimming pools nearest my apartment.  The one pictured above seemed the most relaxed atmosphere, but as a private club membership fees are high and the charge for each visit is steep.  There are designated lap swim hours and free swim hours which make it less convenient for spur-of-the-moment swims.  One advantage in my eyes is that this pool uses a salt water purification system which keeps the water fresh and clean without chemicals.

My second pool visit was to the 700 Year Sports Complex.  It is a huge grounds with many sport facilities built as Chiang Mai's 700 year anniversary and for the 1995 South East Asia Games.  It has an Olympic size pool and separate diving pool.  It is very inexpensive for annual membership, but lacks shower facilities and free lockers.  Open 8 AM -8 PM every day makes it ideal for anytime lap or free swims.  The pool is underused, so there are never more than a few people there.  See video and more about the complex here.

The third stop on my pool tour was to the Chiang Mai University pool.  This facility, built in 1967, is on a beautiful 725 acre campus which is well maintained with flowering gardens and interesting architecture.  Use of the pool is also by membership and a small fee for each use.  It has showers, lockers and free swim hours from 10 AM - Noon and 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM.  I am not sure how often it is used for school swim meets or practices such as water polo, but I intend to investigate it further.  This one might be my choice.

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