Taoyuan is situated at the southern foot of Mt. Jade (Yushan) in the Central Mountains. The topography is mostly high, forested mountains, with valleys and precipices, hot springs, and suspension bridges. The area was once home to an aboriginal tribe called Yaer, also called Jialameng. During the Japanese era and for a time after the recovery, the town was named Yaer, before being renamed Taoyuan. The construction of the Southern Cross-Island Highway through the town brought some progress and prosperity. The scenery is dramatic, particularly around Guan Mountain, and Yakou is a nice site for appreciating the sea of clouds. The district probably contains more waterfalls and hot springs than any other mountain areas in Kaohsiung City.