Friday, June 22, 2018

Outdoor Pools Open in Pyeongtaek July & August

We have already told out about the splash pads that will be opening in August (read that here) but did you know there will be outdoor pools opening up soon as well? These are fab and fun places to connect with the local community while cooling off from the oppressive heat. Remember, these are very Korean outdoor spaces so following local customs is very important and doable. No reason to be scared, but be prepared.

Culture Notes
In order to have the most fun possible, be sure to read the South of Seoul Culture Notes that are embedded in each listing. These are useful tips we have compiled based on the surprises we have experienced. If you have a tip to add to the list just let us know! The more prepared everyone is when they arrive, the more fun we can all experience when integrating into the local culture.

However, with this blog, we are going to take this to the next level and tell you a few more things you need to know in order to have the most fun and relaxed time possible your first day out. Here they are! Our 5 Extra Pro Tips:

1. When you try something new you are going to feel uncomfortable and this will be no exception. However, don't worry about it. Once you get the hang of it that feeling will go away. It's true that people might stare. Foreigners haven't known about these places until now. Not because we aren't welcome, but because information hasn't been available in English. This means all the locals are sitting there wondering, "How did they find this pool out in the countryside?" Don't worry, nobody hates you. Just go about your business of having fun in the sun.

2. It's going to be packed so politely squeeze in. For the best results show up early and stake your space with the cool picnic tents and mats from Daiso or Emart. There aren't that many pools, but there are a lot of people and they like their outdoor supplies. If you are freaked out by this then maybe outdoor pools aren't the right experience for you. That is ok. Know your limits. On the other hand, if you can deal with the experience it can be emotionally uplifting and help you feel more welcome and integrated into the community. We personally love it. We bring all our food, a tent for naps, and splash around like fools.

3. These pools aren't like the ones at home. They are usually waist deep, there aren't diving board or any other type of fanciness. These are old-fashioned, sometimes also just old, outdoor play areas for families to escape the heat. You aren't going to be swimming laps or diving for pennies. They are built for splashing and being silly together. Truly excellent places for kids. Think giant puddles and embrace it.

4. Go check out opening times as a test run. Before you pack up the kids for a pool day do a test run. Go find out for sure the days and times it's open (these can change from year to year). There is also a chance you could get lost going to these pools for the first time, so do a trial run before there are 3 kids in the car screaming they want to be in the pool. We ALWAYS recommend doing a trial run for any adventure.

5. Bring your own snacks and mat/tent to eat them on/in. In Korea food is almost always available but maybe it doesn't match with your dietary requirements or preferences. In order to avoid being hot and hangry, bring snacks. Also bring a mat/tent to lay claim to your dining and napping area.

That's it! Those are all the helpful ideas we can think of right now. Hopefully, these extra tips combined with the tips in the app will empower you to show up prepared for a wet and fun adventure with friends or family. We know we always feel better the more information we have before we try something for the first time. Good luck and happy splashing. With no further ado, here are the outdoor pools we've found for you:

Easiest for Osan Air For Base Access...

Jinwee Countryside
(Kid and Family Focused)

Jinwee Countryside
(Good for adults and kids)

3 Easiest for Camp Humphreys Access...

Anjung Countryside
(Great for adults and kids)

Dunpo, Asan
(Great for adults and families. Very limited space. Maybe need a reservation?)

Asan North Countryside
(The pools is for kids, but the park is for everyone.)

As always, the exact details of each listing is in the South of Seoul app which can be downloaded from Google Play and the Apple App Store.