Article by Tammy Moss
As someone who grew up 5 minutes away from the beach, being away from the water for long periods of time stresses me out. Luckily I have colleagues who understand this and, as soon as the water park opened, took me to satisfy my itch (and probably to shut me up).
Xi’an has outdone itself on this water park. Lewa Adventure World started as just a theme park, but last year I noticed they were building a water park next door. One huge factor that might influence your decision to go is that it is far. Very far. Unless you are in possession of a car or a similar wheeled vehicle, you will need to take the subway down to YunDong GongYuan, and then get on a 30 minute free-shuttle bus. On coming out of the subway station, you will be bombarded with the typical ‘taxi’, ‘taxi’ hails but ignore them, walk past, and head for the blue bus. It will take you straight there. From TiYuChang it took us about one hour in total.
Price-wise you might think it’s a little expensive. Your entrance fee is going to set you back 190RMB. On top of this there are a couple of hidden charges. You’ll need to pay for your locker, 50RMB, and one of the rides has a sneaky 20RMB charge. Food is as expected inside the park. You have your typical Xi’anese food and, let’s say, less-than-authentic Western food, so you can snack on your roujiamo and liangpi or chow down on a hot dog and fries.
Personally, I don’t feel the need to take my phone into the water with me, so I had to wear a pre-deposited wristband and pay for my food and drinks with this. If you are less inclined to be without your phone for the day you can pay for things with Wechat Wallet or Alipay.
The rides themselves are good. There is a good mix of thrill-seeker rides and tame rides. I will suggest going in a group of 4 – or at least even numbers. As a threesome, my friends and I had to borrow a stranger for a few of the rides, as you are required to ride as a foursome. It isn’t the end of the world, just a bit of an inconvenience each time.
They have the typical lazy river, rubber dingy rides, plunge pools, trap door rides etc. There’s a wave pool that sends out two degrees of waves throughout the day, every two hours if I remember correctly. You are required to wear a buoyancy aid, which might bring your cool factor down, but believe me you WILL need it. The large waves are definitely large. You WILL be thrown away from your friends and crash into other people. If you are not a strong swimmer, it is probably best to avoid the larger waves and stay with the smaller ones.
The water itself was perfectly clear, and a great temperature. I was there in 38-degree heat, so the water was lovely and refreshing. However, I think that as we move into the summer vacation, the park is going to get pretty busy. I was lucky enough to only queue between 5-20 minutes for a ride, but my companions told me that last time they went they were often waiting for up to 2 hours.
A word of advice to any foreign ladies. If you choose to wear a bikini, be prepared for a lot of stares and whispers of horror that your skin is no longer that sought-after white.
Overall, if you – like me – miss being in the water and want a day out of the city, go here. It’s a lovely way to relax and just enjoy the sun.
Tammy Moss gathers no moss because she’s a rolling stone.