Ok, so I haven't been to the Dead Sea in Israel and was thinking,this would be the next best thing, right? Well was I wrong!!!
Weather was warm for late September when we visited with our tour group and the place ( which is basically a theme waterpark) was practically deserted when we arrived at 10am.I expected some kind of natural lake,but if you think it is anything like the Dead Sea you have read about or seen in pictures , you'd be very ,very very disappointed.
Upon entry, the first sight that greeted me was a huge swimming pool with water slides protruding from tongues of giant pirate heads leading into murky brackish waters. When I dipped my toes into the water, it was freezing even though it was a warm day.No prize for guessing why there was not a single soul in the pool!
Then we were given a flimsy towel each together with a locker key affixed to our wristband ,to store our belongings.We were told there were also indoor pools which were heated and a dead sea mud spa which was supposed to do wonders for the complexion. The mud spa however was not included in the entrance fee so if we wanted to do that, we had to pay an extra RMB60 per person.
Well, what were we to do given that the visit was part of our tour package and we were going to be stuck here for the next 3-4 hours.So a few of us decided to enter the indoor pools and try out the mud spa.
The changing rooms were well maintained and clean with shampoos and shower gel all provided with powerful showers.What I found rather inconvenient was this: after having changed into our swimming costume and having locked up our valuables in the lockers provided, we proceeded from the changing room to the mud spa located above the changing rooms..Both the separate men's and women's changing rooms had their own respective direct entry into the pools on the ground floor and to the mud spa above each. Once upstairs at the mud spa, we were then told that we had to make our purchase for the mud spa, and this was after having locked away our wallets and any cash we had with us.What a bother , as it was then necessary to return to the changing room to get your cash out from the lockers.It would have been better if we could purchase the mud spa entry together with the entrance tickets, I thought.
The mud spa was a great disappointment! After paying the RMB60, the lady produced a TIN of MUD , and tried to justify to us after seeing our looks of disappointment on our faces , that the mud came from underground where we were located and the mud and dead sea here were founded by an emperor and frequented by the emperor thousands of years ago. Right..........Then she proceeded to rub the mud all over our face and bodies and directed us to stand under a heater until the mud dried up .This took about 20 mins, after which we were told to shower it off! That's it? What a scam!!!
Lets' proceed to the dead sea pool where it is supposed to be so salty that you would float with no effort at all. I hesitated before getting into the medium sized pool........The greenish yellow water looked suspiciously like excreted bodily fluids and smelt of it too.But I'm here so let's be a sport, I think. In I go. Ok, I'm floating alright without trying to ,and it's heated so it's a comfortable soak but when I tried to swim, the guards started shouting at me. I'm puzzled.Then I noticed an English sign near the end of the pool which states something like " For hygiene purpose, please keep pool clean" but I had no intention of dirtying the pool , whatever that meant ( perhaps too many people had done their business in it?) so why were the attendants flailing their arms and shouting away? It was only after I got out of the pool when I turned my head and saw another sign in Chinese stating ' Do not swim here near to salt water source!" Totally different meanings!!! They should seriously improve their translations.......
There was also a heated current fresh water pool which went around but if you have been to several waterparks, this was no novelty. The other big indoor pool looked very tempting but I reeled in shock as I dipped my toes into the icy waters.
So much for my visit here!
In short, don't even bother coming here as it was not worth the time or money spent! The time could be better spent at other places of interest. The whole place was just a very poorly set up and commercialised gimmick of a tourist trap or perhaps they were targeting locals who had nothing better to do (but I seriously doubt that since there are loads to do in Szechuan)!
We had lunch here though at a restaurant in the park and the food was much better than most of the other restaurants we had eaten at. Their specialty was chicken herbal soup and smoked duck. That is probably the only good thing I can say of this terrible place!
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