Swim here now: Hong Kong's best pools

Hong Kong (CNN)Say "Hong Kong," and "great swimming" isn't exactly the first thing that leaps to mind.

Shopping or dim sum, sure, but swimming pools?
Turns out, along with all its other superlatives, Hong Kong is loaded with picturesque pools.
Including the world's highest pool, a natural infinity pond on a mountainside and an array of public water parks, these are the city's coolest places to cool off.

Hotel pools

The Hotel Indigo's glass-bottomed pool is meant to resemble a pearl inside the mouth of a dragon wrapped around the hotel.
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
The pool at the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is breathtaking, thanks to the view, the altitude and, of course, the swim.
On the 118th floor at 484 meters above the street in the tallest building in Hong Kong, it's the world's highest swimming pool.
The ceiling and walls are made up of 144 LED screens displaying soothing illustrations of tree canopies, coral reefs and other nature scenes.
There's also an outdoor Jacuzzi.

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, International Commerce Center, No.1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong China;

W Hong Kong
If you have only one nice swimsuit, save it for the W Hotel Hong Kong.
On the 76th floor, its swimming pool is Hong Kong's highest rooftop pool.
The hotel's signature WET deck is renowned for stylish and occasionally wild poolside parties in summer.
WET also features a good cocktail bar and a Jacuzzi.

W Hong Kong, No.1 Austin Road West, Kowloon Station, Hong Kong China; +852 3717 2222

Hotel Indigo Hong Kong
One of Hong Kong's unique experiences is swimming in Hotel Indigo's glass-bottom pool.
The pool protrudes from the hotel, allowing people below to see swimmers and the swimmers to do laps while checking out the traffic below.
The pool is small compared to those found in other local hotels, but the Instagram photo op -- taken by a friend below while you swim -- makes up for it.
The pool is open only to Hotel Indigo guests.

Hotel Indigo Hong Kong Island, No.246 Queen's Road East, Hong Kong China; 3926 3888

Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
The Four Seasons gorgeous infinity pool overlooks Victoria Harbor.
Even cooler, the hotel pipes in underwater music, making the swim that much more surreal.
Or annoying, depending on your taste in music.
There's also a lap pool, whirlpool and ice-cold plunge pool on the same scenic deck.
The pool is open only to hotel guests.

Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, No.8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong China; +852 3196 8888

Natural pools

Getting to the natural pool at Sheung Luk requires a bit of effort.
Man Cheung Po infinity pool, Tai O
Hong Kong is home to a breathtaking natural infinity pool.
From the village of Tai O, the hike to the pool at Man Cheung Po (or 10,000 Feet Waterfall) is a popular local outing.
The pool was "naturally" formed when a dam was built in a gorge with a waterfall.
The views of mountaintops and the sea in the distance make the sweaty one-hour trek worth it.

Man Cheung Po's Infinity Pool, southern part of lantau island, Hong Kong China;

Bride's Pool, Tai Mei Tuk
Bride's Pool is a series of pools and waterfalls near Tai Mei Tuk in the New Territories.
Visitors reach the crystal clear pool by hiking the Bride's Pool Nature Trail, a scenic, kid-friendly trail.
A highlight before reaching the 15-meter-high Bride's Pool waterfall is a historic bridge built by locals in 1906.
Picnic tables and barbecue pits are located near the pool.

Tai Mei Tuk Town, Tai Po District, New Territories, Hong Kong China;

Ng Tung Waterfalls, Tai Mo Shan Country Park
Located in Tai Mo Shan Country Park, the Ng Tung Waterfalls are a combination of four picturesque falls -- Main Fall, Bottom Fall, Middle Fall and Scatter Fall.
Main Fall is the highest waterfall in Hong Kong.
Blue-colored freshwater shrimp are found below the falls in a dark, deep pool.
The trail to the falls is a mixture of flat stretches and steep climbs.

Tai Mo Shan, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong China;

Sheung Luk stream
From the cliff at Shueng Luk stream in Sai Kung you can execute an eight-meter jump into the water.
Located in a beachside village in Sai Kung, Sheung Luk (Double Deer) Stream is a freshwater basin that lures adventurous locals.
The eight-meter-high cliff is a popular spot for rock-jumping -- risky for unfit adventurers.

Sheung Luk Stream, North of Sai Wan Beach, Sai Kung, Hong Kong China;

Public pools

The pool at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park is a good place to meet locals.
Kennedy Town Swimming Pool, Kennedy Town
The seaside Kennedy Town Swimming Pool is a beauty.
The facility was designed by the Terry Farrell and Partners architecture firm, the group responsible for a number of photogenic projects in the city and around the world, including the semi-circular Peak Tower in Hong Kong and Gatwick Airport in the UK.
The complex is triangular shaped, with a curved roof opening toward the harbor.
It houses a standard pool and a kiddie pool with small water playground.
It's closed on Wednesdays for cleaning.
Kennedy Town Swimming Pool, 2 Sai Cheung St. N., Kennedy Town, +852 2817 7973
Kowloon Park, Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon Park has four pools -- indoor and outdoor, diving and training -- and artificial waterfalls.
The main pool is Olympic-sized.
The 21-meter diving pool has seven springboards and four diving platforms.
On Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays, training pool is reserved for people with disabilities, the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases.

Kowloon Park, 22 Austin Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong China; +852 2724 3344

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park Swimming Pool, Sai Ying Pun
With an unassuming facade and basic infrastructure -- a standard 50-meter pool and a smaller pool for swimming lessons -- the public Sun Yat Sen park pool manages to keep a group of cult followers.
This is due mostly to a long, harbor-facing wooden deck for sunbathers next to the pool.
The lawn next to the pool is also one of the best picnic spots in town.

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong China;