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Chiang Mai is a land-locked city in the northern tip of Thailand. Obviously, swimming in the area requires the use of pools. While it's true that the swimming pools in the region usually require some travel time out of the city, it's worth it to get a little splashy fun in the sun.

1. Centre of the Universe, a private swimming pool located only 500 meters or so from our apartment. Only lap swimmers can use this salt water pool between the hours of 6:30 to 9:00 am and 5:00 to 7:30 pm, and lap swimmers can book a lane in advance for their exclusive use. The rest of the day is open swim for everyone. Besides the large pool, there are also two smaller children's pools. There are adequate beach chairs, along with a bar and restaurant for eating and drinking pleasure.

2. The Seven Hundred Year Stadium features an Olympic sized pool located within this gigantic public sports and recreation center. From the center of Chiang Mai city it took me about 15 minutes to get to the sports complex by car as the complex is located on Irrigation Canal Road, Route 121. There are no beach chairs at this pool so I don't go there for sunbathing. Also, children frequent the pool area in large numbers on the weekends and after school, so those hours are not for those who prefer peace and quiet.

3. The Top North Guesthouse is a hotel that offers the use of its pool to those who aren't registered at the hotel. While this pool is easy to find, it has a tendency toward overcrowding in the afternoons and the beach chairs are limited so tanning is a touch and go prospect. I've noticed it's normal for entire families to share one beach chair, just to have a place to rest their things while swimming.

4. Chiang Mai Hills Hotel and the Orchid Hotel, both located on Huay Kaew Road, allow non-registered visitors to use their pools for a fee, but we visitors need to watch out, because if the hotels are fully booked, and there are a lot of guests using the pools, visitors might not be allowed in to swim or sunbathe on that particular day.

5. The Chiang Mai Land swimming pool is open to the public. It's located on Chiang Mai Land Road off Super Highway Route 1141. This resort charges 50 baht per day for non-residents to use the pool. This includes foreigners and Thais who aren't staying at the resort. This basically amounts to around 500 baht for one year's membership. Residents of the resort, on the other hand, use this pool for free.

6. Kuay Chup Tung Hotel located on Tung Hotel Road, near the Railway Station, has a very old public access swimming pool. This pool has a very small sunbathing area and the hotel prefers to advertise its fine dining restaurant rather than its somewhat dilapidated pool but the facility is available to visitors as well as residents of the hotel.

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