Olympic arena becomes Beijing beach

August 01, 2009 | Posted by Chris

The site of the 2008 Olympic beach volleyball competitions has been converted into a sunbathing area and opens to the public today, according to China Central Television. Located in Chaoyang Park, the arena features 17,000 tons of "Olympic sand" imported from tropical Hainan island and a large lotus-shaped swimming pool. Fountains are strewn throughout the park to ensure that winds do not blow away the sand and guests are able to wash it off themselves, and the pool reportedly uses the same water filtration system as the other, more famous Olympic swimming venue, the Water Cube. The sunbathing grounds can accommodate up to 3,000 visitors per day, but with entrance tickets costing 80 kuai each, most local Beijingers will regard the experience as an expensive luxury.

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