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Butterfly Spring


A Romantic Destination in Dali, Yunnan Province: Butterfly Spring


Nestling at the foot of Yunnong Peak, Cangshan Mountain in Dali, Yunnan Province, Butterfly Spring is famous for spring, butterflies, trees and touching love stories. Bordering the snow-capped and soaring Cangshan Mountain in the west and greeting the picturesque Erhai Park in the east, Butterfly Spring lies 27km south of Dali Ancient Town and covers an area of over 50m2.


This natural wonder has triggered great interests since Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Xu Xiake (1587-1641), an ancient geologist wrote down the rare and marvelous phenomenon in Butterfly Spring:


 “In Dali, there is a crystal spring under the umbrella of a giant tree. During April, this tree will burst out eye-dazzling flowers which will sparkle like thousands of butterflies and their fragrance will attract the real butterflies like a magnet. Flowers and butterflies blend together, bringing out the beauty of each other and creating an illusionary splendor, and it will be vain if you try to tell them apart.” 


Nowadays, Butterfly Spring is still a hot Spring travel destination. From each March to April, Spring is in the air in Yunnong Peak: trees will sprout and a profusion of flowers will come into full blossom. Besides, the Acacia Tree above the Butterfly Spring will emit light and intoxicating fragrance, which will attract ten thousands of butterflies. They dangle on this tree in sequence, forming a long chain which will reach the water surface. On the day of April 15 by lunar calendar in particular, the Bai Minority will stage the Butterfly Party, and an overwhelming quantity of butterflies will throng into this site if it is sunny, composing the breathtaking natural wonder rare seen elsewhere.


Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Park nearby not only offer enticing natural scenery, but also provide superb biological environment for insects and plants. Located at the northeast rift area of Erhai, numerous caves are formed in Butterfly Spring under the joint force of rain and erosion. The water of this spring features rich mineral content and excellent taste. The past years has witnessed the rebuilt and rehabilitation of Butterfly Spring, and a serial of architectures sprang up along Butterfly Spring such as Butterfly Building, Pavilion, Moon Pool and Butterfly  Museum, which are good haunts also.


butterfly spring in dali yunnanbutterfly spring

 Butterfly Spring: water is crystal clear

 Various flora thrive near Butterfly Spring

dali butterfly springbutterfly spring in yunnan

 Butterfly Spring

 Butterfly Spring




Legend of Butterfly Spring

Butterfly Spring was known as Deep Pool initially. Long time ago, there lived a girl named Wen Gu in Yaojiao Village. Her beauty was known near and far. Every young man adorned her and a tyrannical ruler King Yuwang is no exception. Coveting her beauty for a long time, he wanted to take her as his number eight wife. So one day, he kidnapped Wengu. Her lover Xia Lang saved her and they planned to elope. King Yuwang chased them all the way to the pool. Without choice, they jumped into the pool and became butterflies. That day was April 15. Since then, butterflies will gather on this day, memorizing their great love.


dali butterfly spring

 Butterflies gathers near Butterfly Spring during April



Travel Tips of Butterfly Spring


Best Travel Season:you can visit it in April. On April 15, the Butterfly Party will be held here every year, ten thousands of butterflies will gather along the spring. This spring is viewed as a holy love site by the Bai Minority. On this day, Young men and women will gather here to find their true love. You can try also. 

Eating: Casserole Fish (Earthware pot fish): This dish is prepared by over ten ingredients including chicken, mushroom and fish. You can eat along the boat or restaurants. Costing around 20 RMB, it is especially yummy.


What is fun: You can go to the Bai Minority community to appreciate the unique ethnic flavors there. Bai Minority is famous for their hospitality and versatility. Main performances here include Tea Ritual Performance, wedding ceremony show, singing, dancing and March Street Festival( San Yue Jie). If you want to taste tea, there are two good places: one is in Yan Jia Da Yuan ( Yan Family’s Courtyard) in Xizhou ancient town, 18 km from Dali. The other is on the boat heading to Erhai Park. The performance will last from 9:00 am to 14:00pm, which will charge 20RMB. You can also spend a wonderful night in Dali ancient town. There are many cafes and bars in Huguo Road, the foreigners’ base camp in Dali. You can chat with others and dirking beers here. This place is also an ideal shopping center, a hub of various handicrafts, specialties and antiques. If you want to see the local people’s batik workshop, go to Zhouchen Village (or Zhou Town)  then.



What to Buy: As to handicrafts, there are many options. For instance, wooden sculptures, teas, batik handcrafts and marble handicrafts such as vases, lamps and Four Treasures of Study (writing brush, ink, paper and inkstone). Batik handicrafts are one of the most favorite local specialties here.


 dali butterfly spring marble handicraftsdali butterfly spring cuisine 

 Handicrafts made of marble

 Dali is famous for Shaguo Fish (Earthware Pot Fish)

 dali butterfly spring rushan snack dali butterfly spring batik handicraft

 a snack called Rushan

 Batik Handicrafts

 dali butterfly spring butterfly samples dali butterfly spring wooden sculptures

 Butterfly samples

 Wooden Sculpture Handicrafts




Recommended tour route


Butterfly Spring----Congsheng Three Pagoda----Dali Ancient Town----Huguo Road----Cangshan Mountain----Erhai Park----taste Bai Minority Tea----watch singing and dancing performance----Stay in Dali for the night


dali butterfly spring butterfly museum

Butterfly Meseum  near Butterfly Spring is a good place to see butterflies


yan family courtyard

Yan Jia Da Yuan ( Yan Family’s Courtyard)


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