Black Dragon Pool

The Dragon Fountain Temple
Taoist painting in the temple
At the foot of Longquan Hill, about 17 kilometers (10 miles) north of the center of Kunming, there is a beautiful place called the Black Dragon Pool (Heilongtan), also known as the Dragon Fountain Temple (Longquanguan). In fact, there are many attractions in this area, and the Black Dragon Pool is only one of them.

Legend of Black Dragon Pool

An ancient legend lends the Black Dragon Pool its name; it is said that a long time ago there were ten wicked dragons that caused much destruction and did great harm to people. One day, one of the Eight Immortals of the Chinese legend 'Lu Dongbin' subdued nine of the dragons and jailed them in a tower. Only the youngest black dragon was left, charging with protecting and benefiting the people as the price of its freedom. This dragon is believed living in the pool till today. The pool is divided into two parts by a bridge, and although the water is connected, the two sides are different colors and the fish in either side never swim to the opposite part of the pool. Moreover, for hundreds of years, this wondrous pool has never dried up, even in drought years.

Black Gragon Palace

Near the Black Dragon Pool is the Black Dragon Palace, which was built in 1394, in the reign of Emperor Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), and rebuilt in 1454, in the reign of Emperor Jingtai of the Ming Dynasty. The whole palace consists of three halls and two courtyards, and the main hall features a stone plaque written by the governor of Yunnan in the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) to praise the views here. The Black Dragon Palace is also called the Lower Temple, because when you walk along the stone steps, you come directly to the Upper Temple - the Dragon Fountain Temple - which is hidden among ancient trees. This 570-year-old temple includes Thunder Deity Hall, North Pole Hall, Sanqing Hall, Jade Emperor Hall and some other halls in which the deities of Taoism are worshiped. The Dragon Fountain Temple is the largest Taoist temple in southern China.
The sculpture in the temple
Statue of Heavenly King

Three Ancient Trees

In front of the temple there are three huge and ancient trees: the Tang Dynastic Plum, the Song Dynastic Cypress and the Ming Dynastic Camellia. The main branch of the plum has already died of old age, but the remaining branches growing out sideways are still full of vital force and vigor. The 25-meter-high (82 feet) cypress has a very thick trunk - so thick that it takes four or five adults with linked arms to encircle it. The camellia is a prodigious tree which blossoms every year and always precedes the other camellias.

Pavilion of Stele

The Pavilion of Stele keeps many rare steles, tablets and plaques. The most famous is a tablet engraved with four Chinese characters - 'Wan Wu Zi Sheng' - which means that all things in the world are propagating and developing, flourishing and animated. The inscription was written by a famous Taoist of the Ming Dynasty named Liu Yuanran whose handwriting is vigorous and lively. The four characters are written in one continuous stroke and look convex but feel concave to the touch, owing to the unusual way they reflect light.

Tombs of Local Patriots

The Ming Dynasty was overthrown by the Qing Dynasty in Chinese history, and the potentates of the Qing were all from a minority ethnic group called 'Manchu'. When the Manchu marched into the Chinese mainland and became the rulers, many people killed themselves to show their loyalty to the Ming Dynasty, including a scholar named Xue Erwang and his whole family. They drowned themselves, and the tomb of these loyalists is located beside the Black Dragon Pool.

Dragon Fountain Plum Garden

In addition to these sites, there is a very large plum garden, Dragon Fountain Plum Garden, which occupies an area of over 28 hectares (69 acres). More than 6,000 plums representing about 87 varieties create an ocean of flowers at each end of the year.

How to get to Black Dragon Pool, Kunming

Take bus 9, 79, 128 or 249 and get off at Heilongtan (Black Dragon Pool) Station. 
Kunming Bus Search

Entrance Fee CNY 15;
Free for children under 1.1m (3.6ft).
Opening Hours 08:00 - 18:00
Recommended Time for a Visit 1 hour

- Last updated on Dec. 11, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on Black Dragon Pool
Asked by Ar | Dec. 09, 2018 02:43Reply
Anyone have accurate opening hours of Kunming Black Dragon Pool?
This page says it's open until 20:00, but that's not true on Sunday at least. It was closed. After 1800 when I showed up.
Answers (1)
Answered by Tina from USA | Dec. 10, 2018 19:44

The opening hour is from 08:00 to 18:00.
Asked by Emiliano from ITALY | May. 31, 2018 03:45Reply
What is the time and price from Yuantong Temple to Black Dragon Pool by taxi?
Thanks :)
Answers (3)
Answered by Enya from SWAZILAND | Jun. 04, 2018 04:08

It takes about 2 hours and CNY 80. In fact, the bus is very convenient.
Answered by Emiliano from ITALY | Jun. 04, 2018 23:27

Wow. Okok. From Yuantong temple do you know which is the most convenient bus to get among 9, 79, 128 and 249. Thanks a lot.
Answered by Enya from SWITZERLAND | Jun. 05, 2018 20:27

I’m sorry I made a mistake. If you take a taxi, it takes about 50 minutes and CNY 40. If you go by bus, you can take bus line 101 from Yuantong Street Station to Xiao Caiyuan Station and walk about 200m to another Xiao Caiyuan Station to take bus line 9. Get off at the No.2 People’s Hospital Station and walk about 600m you can get there.
Asked by Kcang from MALAYSIA | Apr. 14, 2018 03:58Reply
take taxi from north coach to Kunming black dragon pool
what's the journey time and how much will it cost by taking taxi from north coach station to black dragon pool?
Answers (2)
Answered by Clair from AUSTRALIA | Apr. 16, 2018 01:29

It charges around CNY 15 and takes about 10mins.
Answered by K C Ang from MALAYSIA | Apr. 16, 2018 05:36

Thx a lot
Asked by Linda from NETHERLANDS | Jul. 11, 2012 09:19Reply
Is the Black Dragon Pool in Kunming the same with the one in Lijiang ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Nina | Jul. 11, 2012 22:19

Of course not. One is located at the foot of Longquan Hill of Kunming and the other is at the foot of the Elephant Hill of Lijiang. The former is known as the Dragon Fountain Temple (Longquanguan) and the latter is also considered as Jade Spring Park (Heilongtan Park). They actually have different scenery.
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