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" (acacia) 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 marvelous 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.