Sprawling along both banks of the Laonong River, Liouguei District is a scenic rural area to the north-east of Kaohsiung City. In recent years, it has become a popular tourist destination due to its natural springs, photogenic waterfalls and rich indigenous culture, as well as its setting for an annual butterfly migration.
Things to do in Liouguei District
In the far north of Liouguei District is the Baolai Public Hot Springs, which is located amidst forested mountains along the banks of the Laonong River. After days spent hiking, fishing or river rafting, you can bathe your weary muscles in the invitingly-warm waters that are considered therapeutic for their high carbonic acid content.
Among the district’s most unique attractions are the Liouguei Tunnels, which were constructed during the Japanese rule of Taiwan to help facilitate the transport of Camphor from the region. In addition to detailing their cultural significance, guided tours offer an insight into the wildlife that have inhabited the three tunnels since their abandonment in 1992, including Pacific swallows and Taiwanese leaf-nosed bats.
Encompassing much of Liouguei District is the Maolin National Scenic Area, which is traversed by three rivers in the western foothills of the Central Mountain Range. It’s home to indigenous Rukai and Paiwan tribes who are renowned for their slate-made dwellings and traditional handicrafts, as well as conducting unique marriage ceremonies. A highlight on the annual calendar is the arrival of thousands of purple crow butterflies who migrate to the area each winter.
Getting around Liouguei District
Liouguei District is around 1.5 hours’ drive from the centre of Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung International Airport, which has flights to destinations across Asia. Regular buses connect to the Liouguei Bus Station and travel throughout the district, although having your own vehicle will give you greater freedom to explore.