There is a purrr-fect destination in Taiwan for cat lovers that goes by the name Houtong.
A former coal mining village nestled in the hills of northern Taiwan, Houtong emerged as a feline paradise in 2008, when a cat-loving photographer began blogging about the area’s growing stray cat population. It didn’t take too long for the world to notice, and now, the entire village attracts cat lovers from near and far.
If you’re looking into visiting Houtong, here are some things you might want to know to make your trip possible:
How To Get To Houtong
Getting to Houtong is easy, assuming you’re coming from the capital city Taipei. Simply hop on a train on the Yilan Line and get off in Houtong, where a cat-themed station awaits you. The ride will take about an hour.
If you prioritize comfort and convenience, you may take a private car charter from Taipei by booking the service here. This option is ideal for small groups or families traveling with young children, who might find the commute tiresome.
Visit With Care
Houtong has more than 200 feline residents of all shapes, sizes, and colors as of this writing, and just like any other furry friend, they deserve care, especially in the presence of visitors.
When you come to Houtong, it would be best for you to practice some cat courtesy. While the cats here are extremely good-natured, they still get agitated when they’re being followed (or chased) and petted by tourists for the sake of a few photographs.
Feeding the cats is also being discouraged, since Houtong has volunteers to do that kind of job. Although you will still find cat food being sold at several shops across the village. But if you know any better, you’d be kind enough to admire the cats from a distance and wait for them to approach you.
What To Do In Houtong
Because of its newfound status as a cat lover’s destination, Houtong has a wide array of attractions that cement just how cat-crazy the entire village is.
You can have your caffeine fix at one of the place’s many cat-themed cafes, where they play music accentuated by constant meowing sounds.
Souvenir-shopping is also in order for you, of course.
If you love stationery, souvenir shops sell a plethora of cat-themed pens, notepads, notebooks, and whatnot. There are also cat-printed tableware, phone cases, apparel, and other novelty items. You’ll even find a pineapple cake—a true Taiwanese specialty—in the shape of a cat here!
Once you’ve had your feline high, you can check out Houtong’s other draws, including scenic hiking routes, an old Japanese Shinto shrine (Houtong Jinja), streams, and waterfalls.
You can also catch a glimpse of Houtong’s well-preserved mining facilities complete with displays of how miners used to live back in the day. To complete the experience, you have the option to take a train ride that passes through a mining tunnel.
Excited for your Houtong trip? Book your tour with KKday now!