So, about a few weeks ago, I went through my old travel photos and discovered wonderful moments that I had experienced back in Taiwan. This post was once written a few years ago in my free blogger account, and I think it’s time to bring it back. Everyone, let me introduce you to Houtong Cat Village. A small village located between the mountains of Taiwan and is very well known for it’s cats. Yeap, cats.
What in the world is Houtong Cat Village?
Houtong was one of the most popular mining areas in Ruifang District, Taiwan, until the 1970s. This small town used to be one of Taiwan’s biggest coal-mining sites, but when the mining business reached a crisis, many decided to leave. Some residents stayed behind, but it was never enough to revive what was once a wealthy and well-known community. The attention, nevertheless, returned in 2008 when a group of people began to raise awareness for cats in the area. Surprisingly, the campaign project attracted positive response from other cat lovers and local bloggers throughout the country, thus making it the popular destination it is today.
Until this very day, Houtong has become a very popular place in Taiwan. Cat lovers and both amateur and professional photographers have been seen taking pictures and enjoying the landscape in the place that is now known as Cat Village.
How to get there
Getting to Houtong Cat Village is pretty simple. There are many cities to start your route from, but mine started in Taipei. Here’s how to get there based on my route:
- Take a train from Taipei Main Station to Badu Station (八堵車站)
- Transfer to another platform (this is just for switching trains, so I didn’t go out of the train station), and take a train to Houtong Station (侯硐車站)
- Exit the platform and head to the Cat Bridge in Houtong
- Enjoy the cat village!
Top things to do around Houtong Cat Village
Houtong Cat Village was a part of a larger itinerary during my travels in northern Taiwan. I went to other interesting places around the cat village, such as:
- Shifen (to fly Chinese lanterns)
- Keelung (a port city in northern Taiwan)
There are plenty of options for making an itinerary. And what’s so good about all these places is that it’s all accessible by public transportation. So, feel free to get creative!
When visiting Houtong Cat Village, please be mindful of the cats! There has been controversial rumor about the cats being exposed to too many tourists and not treated well. Personally, I encourage you to visit! It’s a beautiful Taiwanese village surrounded by mountains, and it is a very nice place for a quick exploring and picture hunting. However, it might be a good idea to not touch the cats too much and let them be. Pictures are okay, but don’t disturb their life. Remember, their well being is our responsibility as well!
Houtong Cat Village is a must visit village for cat lovers!
I really enjoyed my time in Houtong Cat Village and wish that you are inspired to visit and experience this place as well. Taiwan is an island filled with surprises; this cat village is definitely one of them. Hopefully you enjoyed reading this post and visit this cat village on day. Happy travels and stay positive!