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Black Dragon Pool
Travel in Yunnan

      Black Dragon Pool
Black Dragon Pool (hēi lóng tán 黑龙潭) is one of the ancient scenic spots in Kunming (kūn míng 昆明). It got its name for the crystal clear pool in front of the temple. It is said that a black dragon has been living in the pool.

Black Dragon Pool is quiet and beautiful, with a lot of ancient trees and famous flowers. As the water is as green and lucid as jade, the pond is also entitled "Yuquan" (yù quán 玉泉) or Jade Fountain. On the bank of the pond willows hang their withes like silk thread. One can see arbours and Black Dragon Pool pavilions beside the pond, temples hidden in the trees and variegated flowers found everywhere. "A tree of cherry blossom accompanies a tree of willow, while a rose climbs to the tip of one of a tree's twigs." That is how the calm and exquisite view of the place is described. Longshen Pavilion (lóng shén cí 龙神祠) on the east side of the park was built in the second year of the Qianglong (qián lóng 乾隆) era of the Qing Dynasty (qīng cháo 清朝). In its five compounds are grown over 500 kinds of flowers, their grace and beauty all defy description. It is therefore praised thus: "At Yuchuan the flowers of the four seasons are like embroidered brocade". Emperor Jiaqing (jiā qìng 嘉庆) and Emperor Guangxu (guāng xù 光绪) conferred on it royal honours for its famed excellence.

Deyue Pavilion (dé yuè lóu 得月楼) was rebuilt in 1963. The poet Guo Moruo (guō mò ruò 郭沫若) dedicated two couplets to it. One reads: 'The vernal breeze caresses thousands of willow withes, the view is splendid only in this part. Three million jade dragons fly in the heaven, so ravishing is nature's charm." The other reads: "Thirteen peaks are reflected in the Dragon Pond with diving dragons up in heaven and flying dragons down on earth. Jade waters flow half a li, with jet the body and turquoise the soul."
                 
Five-Phoenix (Wufeng) PavilionAt the north end of the park there stands the famous Five-Phoenix  Pavilion (wǔ fèng lóu 五凤楼) also called Fayun Pavilion (fǎ yún gé 法云阁), built in the 29th year of the Wanli era of the Ming Dynasty (míng cháo 明朝). It is the main building of Fuguosi Temple (fú guó sì 福国寺), with a height of 20 m. and in the style of flying cornices and threefold overlap. Since the ground floor has octagonal flying cornices, the threefold overlap makes up 24 angles; so from every viewpoint the pavilion looks like five phoenixes spreading their wings for flight. Hence its name. The structure is built on a noble scale, with elaborate carvings, redolent of antiquity and a strong local flavour as well as distinctive ethnic colour.

The pavilion was originally built on a mountain far away from the town. For the convenience of visitors, it was moved to this park and constructed by the side of Deyue Pavilion, to the mutual enhancement of their splendour. Its reflection in the clear water of the Jade Fountain makes the view all the more exquisite. In the 12th year of the Chongzhen era of the Ming Dynasty (1639), the famous traveller Xu Xiake (xú xiá kè 徐霞客) came here on his tour and stayed for eight days in the pavilion, which he took as a fortune.

Hours: 8:00 a.m. -10:00 p.m.
Address: 11km north of Kunming
Admission Fee: RMB 10
Recommended Time for a Visit: Two hours
Take buses No. 3, 22, 23, or 25 to get to the North Railway Station and transfer to No. 9 bus.

Tips:
Winter is a good time to visit Black Dragon Pool because the plums bloom at this time. The Tang Plum, which is said to have been transferred here during Nanzhao Kingdom, and the Yuan Plum in Caoxi Temple in Anning County are considered to the two most precious ancient plums in Yunnan.
 

Tags: Travel in Yunnan  Travel in Beijing

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 August 2009 08:42
 

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