It may look like a bid to make the Guinness Book of Records
as the world's most crowded swimming pool - but this is just another day at the local swimming pool in Daying County, Sichuan, China.
With temperatures soaring this summer, thousands have turned up at the pool cool down, cramming themselves into the indoor floating swimming "lake" known as China's Dead Sea.
No, we didn't know China had a Dead Sea either.
The pool, which covers an area of 30,000 sq metres, is believed to be China's largest indoor water park - and this summer it has seen more than a million visitors, according to its owners.
This salt lake has a salinity of 22 per cent, meaning swimmers float freely on the surface, just like the Dead Sea in the Middle East. Which rather begs the obvious question: why do they all need rubber rings?
- Lie down on the concrete
OK, so there aren't any beds left - but that doesn't stop you lying down on the concrete, does it? And the closer you can lie to someone else's bed, the better. Think of it as being a bit like getting a seat in a bar – the best way to clear space is to stand uncomfortably close to someone who is sat down. They'll move just to get away from you.</p>
- Play football
It doesn't matter if you're hopeless at football. In fact, in this situation, a lack of skill is a bonus. All you need to do is have a kickabout at the pool's edge. When the ball starts 'accidentally' firing into someone's newspaper or<br />
knocking a drink out of a fellow holiday maker's hand, people will want to get away from you.</p>
- High impact bombing
The secret to this is identifying the spot where the sun beds are closest to the pool. That's where you need to go in – and the bigger the splash, the better your chances. Tuck those knees up, keep as close to the edge of the pool as possible and prepare to displace water.</p>
- Find the 'pool closed' sign
Every resort has to close its pool every now and again – usually for cleaning. If you can find that sign and pop next to the pool the night before, then there will be a lot of disappointed faces in the early morning sun lounger rush. Again, a little staff bribery may be useful to both find the sign and ensure it<br />
- Practical jokes
Before you leave, invest in some lifelike plastic animals, such as spiders, snakes, scorpions and cockroaches. Then, when people are in the pool, slip one under their towels and listen out for the shrieks when they return...</p>
- Get the water pistols out
Enough said. Spraying everyone around you may make you a few enemies, but it's worth it just to get the pool to yourself.</p>
- Bring the kids!
A pesky child playing 'imaginative' games is one of the best ways to clear yourself a space. Encourage your brood to play a game which involves lots of shouting and running around and generally being a complete nuisance. Easy!</p>
- Invest in a cocktail
You need a companion for this. Buy a cocktail each from the bar, then wander around the pool bragging loudly. 'I can't believe they're giving away free cocktails on for the next hour!' Cue the sudden rush from pool to bar, et<br />
voila, unoccupied sun beds.</p>
- Get your guitar out
OK, so it's a nuisance to pack, but oh, so worth it. Can you think of anything more annoying than that hippy bloke who strums away singing bad James Blunt songs? You'll find one on every holiday - but if you get in there first and crack on with a few out-of-tune versions of 'You're Beautiful', your fellow holidaymakers will soon realise that they'd prefer to be lying on the beach.</p>
- Don't get a room!
For this one, you need a willing and amorous cohort. Simply position yourselves in a prominent spot, so that as many people as possible can get a good view, and then start slobbering all over each other. Hey presto! Everyone has disappeared in disgust and you get the pick of the sunloungers</p>
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