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Best Things to Do in Maolin National Park on Foot

    As crossing a high bridge into Maolin National Park, you can see signs of Typhoon Morakot’s destruction on the river. The typhoon in 2009 destroyed a village, the entrance bridge, and most parts of the national park. Constructions are still carried on today.

    Maolin is also difficult to travel around given public transportation is less frequent. Having said that, travelers without private transportation must trek or hitchhike to town and sightseeing points.

    Located in Kaohsiung, Mt. Maolin is home to Rukai, Paiwan, and other indigenous tribes. Maolin’s terrains are marked as deep gorges and high mountains. The mountain sceneries are magnificent and provide a unique experience of indigenous cultures. Given the largest concentration of traditional Rukai, slate houses are preserved in Duona village.

    This guide explores the surrounding areas of 得恩谷生態民宿 (Deengorge Guesthouse) that can be done on foot. This guesthouse is the base of stay.

    1. October to January – Butterfly Migration

    Your trip to Taiwan falls between October to January, you must visit Maolin to witness this butterfly migration. Visit this post for more information. During the butterfly migration season, there are daily tours available to Maolin. It makes traveling to the national park accessible.

    2. Lumusu Creek Trail

    A pleasant day trek takes about 1:20 minutes. Two newly built suspension bridges look over rocky rivers. At the end of the trail, you will be rewarded with a refreshing waterfall.

    3. Strolling the Park

    It’s 3.3 KM from 得恩谷生態民宿 (Deengorge Guesthouse) to the nearest town, it takes about 1 hour. On a cool sunny, low-traffic morning, this walk takes you to the Zhuokou River. Look out for snake eggs! We have done this walk twice during our stay in town to get food. You will be rewarded with bamboo rice, wild vegetables, and stone meat. Don’t forget to buy snacks and takeaway dinner if you stay in this guesthouse unless you are having dinner at Deengorge. They make fluffy, delicious bread, and locally sourced food.

    Best Time to Visit

    November to March is the best time for Purple Butterfly season and free transportation to sightseeing points.


    2 to 4 Days

    Where to Stay?

    得恩谷生態民宿 (Deengorge Guesthouse) NT$ 2500 Double Room +886-989579751
    Owned and managed by a local family, they are hospitality. The coffee shop and dining hall are in the public area and there’s a camping ground. The night tour is free for all visitors and is worth looking forward to. No shops or restaurants around this guesthouse. The nearest town is 4 km. The dinner buffet cost NT$ 400 pp. For budget travelers, buy noodles and meals from Maolin town.

    阿拉斯民宿 is in Douna village, located at the end of Maolin Road. It’s enclaved in Maolin gorges. Few restaurants and coffee shops are around here.

    How to Get to The Maolin National Scenic Area?

    Only one bus go from . Locals usually visit by car. If you have an international driver’s license, scooter rental in Pingtung is the best option and viable. Scooter rentals in Pingtung did not accept my non-Taiwan driver’s license.

    Option 1 Kaohsiung to Duona Village, Maolin (Medical Care Bus H31 )

    Qishan Bus Terminal (旗山轉運站), Kaohsiung City to Maolin District Office nearest place to Purple Butterfly Valley. 1 hour.
    On normal days only three buses operate at 8:50; 13:45; and 17:20.
    *No bus on holidays except Butterfly festival – 6 bus operates to Maolin.) schedule

    Option 2: Pingtung to Maolin

    Kaohsiung to Pingtung
    There are frequent trains and buses between these two cities all day long. 20 minutes.

    Pingtung to Maolin (Dajin Town, bus #8216)
    Outside of Pingtung Bus Station, take bus 8216 to Dajin township (大津). Dajin township is the nearest town to the Maolin Scenic Park entrance.
    You can book a taxi through the guesthouse (NT$500) or take the bus H31 from Kaohsiung at the park entrance. schedule

    Visit Maolin Offical Site

    Getting Around the Park

    Hitchhiking and walking are the only options for independent travelers without cars. During the Butterfly Festival, many families visit the park. They are nice and willing to offer travelers rides. Even the locals would offer you a ride.

    The walk is 4 kilometers to the Purple Butterfly Valley from Deengorge Guesthouse. The closest restaurants and grocery shop is the Maolin town

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