The ol’ swimming hole

In the middle of town, behind a crowded touristy street known as Furong Jie, there’s a quiet spring that the neighborhood has used as a swimming hole for the past 600 years.

A really nice, little old lady sits next to it selling swimwear (Y15-38) and floaties (Y24). I’d noticed during both my visits that all of the swimmers were men. When I asked her whether it was okay for women to swim, she said, “Of course! Lots of women come here to swim. They just work during the day, unlike these lazy guys.”

The public entrance to 王府池子 (the Wang family pool) is a hole in the granite fence. The other side is still used mostly by members of the Zhang family, whose compound is across the way. They’ve lived in this neighborhood for about as long as the Wangs. To get here, turn right at the police stand on Furong Jie and follow the splashing sounds.

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