The Butterfly Spring is located at the foot of the Yundong Peak, one of the peaks of Cangshan Mountain, in Dali of Yunnan Province. The spring water is as clear as a mirror, with tens of thousands of butterflies gathering here from all around every year, dancing all over the sky. Some of these butterflies are as big as one's palm; others are as small as a copper coin. One after another, strings of butterflies hang down from big silk trees to the surface of water, dazzling to the eye.
Legend has it that the Butterfly Spring was originally called bottomless pool, where lived a father and a daughter named Wen Gu, who was intelligent and beautiful. After Wen Gu grew up, she engaged herself to a hunter named Xia Lang. But before long, she was seized by a landlord. Xia Lang risked his life to rescue her and ran with her. The two lovers committed suicide by jumping into the spring to escape the chasing government troops. Flashes of lightning struck at once, followed by crashes of thunder, violent storm and gusty rain. When the sun shone again after rain, two big beautiful butterflies flew out of the pool, followed by numerous little ones. That day was April 15 on Chinese lunar calendar. From then on, countless butterflies gather here on this day, telling of that touching love story. This famous phenomenon is known as the meeting of butterflies.
Features of The Butterfly Spring
Twenty four km. north of Dali, at the foot of Yunlong Peak of Cangshan Mountain is the Butterfly Spring. Riding along Yunnan-Tibetan highway towards the northwest, you'll see a stone statue of butterflies on the roadside denoting the site of the fountain. Turning westwards, you'll find a huge marble arch with a horizontal inscription of three Chinese characters Hu Die Quan, meaning Butterflies' Fountain.
Shaded under tall trees, the fountain is a square pond of some 20 metres in circumference. On the western wall of the pond is an inscription of "HUDIE QUAN" (Butterfly Spring) written by Guo Moruo. An old "butterfly tree" (accacia) spreads its boughs over the pond. In late spring and early summer, when flowers of all kinds are blooming, the tree puts forth fragrant white and yellow flowers, attracting thousands of real butterflies to gather on its leaves. Some hundred species of butterflies, different in size and colour, flutter around. Some of them, black and white in colour, can be as large as a palm. Some of them are in the size of a coin, having a bright golden colour. Some others are silvery, pink or light green. They are sometimes linked in the shape of a rainbow; sometimes they fly in pairs or clusters. The most marvellous thing is that they would sometimes join together one after another and form a long coloured string hanging from the tree branches right over the surface of water. It is really a spectacle worth seeing.
In recent years, new structures have been made, such as the Butterfly Tower, the Hexagonal pavilion, the Octagonal Pavilion, the Crescent Pool and the Tower Overlooking the Lake. On the 15th of the fourth moon every year when the traditional Butterfly Festival is due, people pour out there for relaxation or excursion.
Reviews of The Butterfly Spring
A sad love story and the spectacle of ten thousands of buttterflies gather along the tree and form a chain attract tourists include me to see it. To be honest, the latter is rare seen. However, it is still a good scenic site. Bai people will gather here to look for their soul mates in the Butterfly party will be held during spring. YOu can try your luck also.
How to get The Butterfly Spring
You can walk to the Yunnan-Tibet Highway west of the ancient town of Dali (a ten minute walk) and get onto almost any passenger bus heading north. The spring is 32km from the ancient town of Dali and if you tell the driver that you are heading to Hudiequan, then the bus will drop you off there for around RMB4. The Butterfly Spring is just by the main road. In peak season, there are minibuses running between Dali Gucheng and the Butterfly Spring.