Maolin District is situated in eastern Kaohsiung City, in an area covered mostly by virgin forest. The Jhuokou River, which originates from the Malishan Creek in the Central Mountains cuts through the entire region. In addition to the scenic views of nearby peaks in the Central Mountain Range, the Maolin area has many distinctive natural features of its own, including waterfalls, gorges, mountain streams, forests teeming with native wildlife, and active hot springs. Visitors can enjoy such activities as hiking, camping, mountain climbing, river trekking, white-water rafting, bird and butterfly watching, and bathing at a hot spring, to name a few. Maolin offers cultural sightseeing as well: the area is one of the homelands of the Rukai aboriginal people, whose traditional slate houses, refined arts and handicrafts, hand-built suspension bridges, and colorful rituals and ceremonies are all points of interest for visitors.