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[Offbeat]: Dino Beach

Yes, but is it any good or what? Tripping out to Dino Beach -- home of Asia's largest wave pool, some slides, things shooting water at you...
2011-07-27 12:43:27

"Offbeat" is a SmartShanghai column about stuff to look at or do in Shanghai that's interesting or weird (relatively, of course), that doesn't fit anywhere else. It appears weekly, monthly, or maybe even annually, when we're not busy working on other superfluous column ideas.


It takes one week of the heat and we all think we’re on holiday. Nonchalant to the incoming sticky depths of Shanghai’s summer, our minds are full of motorcycle side cars, roof terraces, and Dino Beach.

Hell Yeah! Dino Beach! Waterpark awesomeness! Let’s go this weekend.

But no. We probably won’t go because (a) we’re thinking of that wavepool video from Japan and (b) a dude you know went last year and brushed up against a floating turd.

Well, last week we proper did go and here’s the perspective: Rammed? A little but that’s part of the fun. Turds? No, but whatever you do -- don’t use the changing rooms.

As a method of crowd control, weekend prices are cranked to the max. 200rmb is just enough for a day’s worth of pools, slides, Asia’s biggest wave machine and rich lovestruck boyfriends with more money than sense pushing their girlfriends around on inflatables.

The penny will drop when you’re about to slap down 50rmb for a locker and 60rmb to borrow a rubber ring. Look around. This is echelon. Shanghai’s lucrative. Imagine how many people (and who) would be here if it was half the price. It’s best to reconcile the constant outpouring as an exclusivity tax.

So bring a lot of cash and cherish the rubber ring. Get the one-man one instead of the two-man (because it gets you on a couple more slides) and prepare for a bunch of lagoons, water-based climbing apparatus shooting water all over the place and a holy trifecta of aqua hilarity.

1) The Lazy River: Encircles the park, gently bobbing along through caves, waterfalls, and whatnot. They periodically turn on the wave machine and if you’re lucky, at one point you’ll get smashed against a slightly padded wall like a doomed galleon. “Lazy” maybe doesn’t translate well into Chinese so expect to get overtaken by those galloping lovestruck boyfriends.

2) Two Slide Towers: One side is either twisty tunnels on rings or spray-in-every-orifice down the power slide. On the other tower you get to bomb down on a wedge of foam board. The lifeguards are satisfactorily mercenary so things are safe but slow, however we did spot a couple expensive looking ladies on the jumbo slide in their high heels.

3) The Beach and Wave Pool: They’ve imported the sand from Sanya. Whatever. It’s a fairly good stretch of beach on which to wait for the wave-machine klaxon to go off. Then it’s half an hour of human tsunami. As it powers up into full swing you’re battling through wave after wave of hysterical couples, dogs, children, dinghies, lifeguards, rings.

Everybody is cheering. It’s amazing. Go now.


Dino Beach is at 78 XinZhen Rd, near Gudai Rd. Minhang.

Tickets are cheaper during the week and bring plenty of cash for deposits on keys, rings etc. No food or drink is allowed in the park so your pasta salad will be waiting for you in a fridge by the x-ray machine at the entrance.