Cuihu Park, covering an area of 210,000 square meters, is located in the northern part of Kunming's city proper. It was made a public park in the early 1910s.
The Cuihu Lake Park, situated at the western foot of Wuhua Hill, is a scenically beautiful park inside the city. By the end of the Yuan Dynasty, it was still a swampy field for growing vegetables, lotuses and rice, hence the name "Vegetable Lake". The water-level of Dianchi Lake was then so high that it was connected with the Cuihu Lake. That is why we have the couplet: "Dianchi Lake spreads five hundred li; the Vegetable Lake merges with it."
As there were nine mouths of springs beyond the Bamboo Island in the northeast, the lake was also called "The Nine-Dragon Pond". It now covers fifteen hectares of land. Since 1985, the red-pecked seagulls from Siberia have been spending the winter months on Cuihu Lake.
The entire Cuihu Park is a green world, with willow trees swaying gently on the dikes, and the surface of the lake covered all over with lotus plants. All the year round the park is the venue of one sort of exhibition or another, and with its snug seclusion it is frequented by local residents who come here for a few hours of leisure.
In winter and spring, Kunming residents flock to the Cuihu Park to feed red-beaked gulls - there are tens of thousands of them, which descend upon the lake. This lovable scene, in which man, birds, and nature mingle in such harmony, has kept occurring over the last ten years. The love of the Kunming people for wildlife has added to the charms of the City of Spring.
There used to be a scenically beautiful island at the centre of the lake. In the year 1382, Mu Ying, the Garrison Commander, started building the capital of Yunnan Province in Kunming, and the Cuihu Lake was enclosed within the brick walls of the city. A military structure, called "the Liu (Willows) Barracks", was built, which was later changed into a villa for the Mu family. In 1692, Wang Jiwen, the provincial governor, built the Biyiting (literally Green Ripples Pavilion), commonly called Haixinting (a Pavilion in the Centre of the Lake).
The lake offers a scene of freshness, serenity, and beauty, hence the graceful name "The Cuihu Lake". The main attractions include lotuses, fish, willow trees and pavilions. Ling Shiyi, a Cantonese in the Qing Dynasty, wrote in a couplet: Fishes teem in the ten-mu lotus pond; over half the city poplars and willows are caressing pavilions." It is a superb description of the scenery.
China tours inclusive of visiting the Cuihu Park, Kunming