LTL’s Guide to Houtong Cat Village

The #1 Destination in Taiwan for Cat Lovers

Houtong cat village

Forget your cat cafes, Houtong Cat Village is exactly what it says on the tin: a village full of cats!

Located just to the North East of Taipei, Houtong is easily accessible by train and so is perfect for a day trip out of the city.

Let’s discover more about this ultimate spot for cat lovers together.

Houtong Cat Village || The Name

Houtong Cat Village || The Story

Houtong Cat Village || Exploring the Cat Village

Houtong Cat Village || Around Houtong Cat Village

Houtong Cat Village || Cats Galore

Houtong Cat Village || How to Get There

Check out another favourite place of ours that is full of our feline friends

Houtong Cat Village || The Name

Houtong was originally named “猴硐 – literally Monkey Cave” after a cave inhabited by monkeys near to the village in earlier times. Nowadays, however, there isn’t a monkey in sight.

Most of the village’s inhabitants are instead of the… feline nature.

In Mandarin Houtong Cat Village is literally called 猴硐貓村 Hóudòng Māo Cūn: 

猴硐 Hóudòng = Monkey Cave 

Māo = Cat 

Cūn = Village

BONUS CONTENT || Brush up on your Chinese animal names here.

Houtong Cat Village || The Story

Cat Village Taiwan

In the 1900s Houtong was a mining village; it was one of the biggest and most technologically advanced sites for coal mining in Taiwan.

It developed into a prosperous mining town, and at its peak had a population of around 6,000 people.

But when the local mines were closed down in 1990 the village’s population quickly dwindled, as many of the residents moved away to look for work opportunities.

Furry Houtong Resident

There were only a few hundred people left behind.

In 2008 local cat lover Peggy Chien began to look after left behind stray cats. She gathered a team of volunteers to help take care of the cats.

They won over cat lovers around the nation with photos of abandoned cats which they posted online.

As word of the “cat village” spread, the population of cats and the number of feline fans, both local Taiwanese people and international tourists, coming to visit them steadily increased.

Tourism also began to provide a source of income for the villagers. Before long Houtong Cat Village became a must-see stop on Taiwan holidays.
Many of the stray cats are now taken care of by the villagers and local volunteers.

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Exploring the Cat Village

cat mural houtong village
Cat Mural in Houtong Cat Village

In addition to Houtong’s furry residents, the ‘Cat Village’ really lives up to its name.

Pretty much everything in the village is feline-themed!

There’s a bridge in the shape of a cat, cat-themed cafes, signs, posters, and drawings of cats all around town.

You name it, it’ll somehow be related to our furry friends.

There are plenty of yummy food stands and cute cafes around cat village for whenever you need a refreshment. There are of course lots of feline souvenirs to be bought too, and even cat music (lots of meowing) playing in the shops and eateries.

Don’t forget to revise your coffee vocab so you can order yourself your favourite beverage in Houtong’s cafes.

Houtong Cat Village Map
Houtong Village Map

Around Houtong Cat Village

The village itself is very pretty. It’s located near the source of the Keelung River which runs through the village. The water is a beautiful clear green colour.

There are plenty of hikes you can take in and around the village, just drop into the visitor centre if you’re in need of some suggestions.

There’s an old Japanese Shinto shrine just over the other side of the river, or at least what remains of it, that’s worth a look.

And of course, there’s an opportunity to get to know a bit about the village’s pre-cat fame history and culture.

You can take a look at the remains of the old coal refinery, dress up as an old-school coal miner in the gift shop, and also take a train ride through the old coal mine.

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Cats Galore

We love cats don’t we? So here are some images we’ve take from the Houtong Cat Village.

Who is your favourite? Tell us below.

How to Get to Houtong Cat Village

Getting to Houtong Cat Village from Taipei is relatively easy. You can take an Yilan line train directly from Taipei Station. It takes around an hour, and the stop itself is called Houtong (猴硐 Hóudòng in Mandarin). Simple!

Train Ticket Cost || Around NT$50-60 one way

That concludes our guide to the wonderful Houtong Cat Village. Have you ever been before? Tell us in the comments below.

Looking for more trip ideas from Taipei? Take a read of our top 5 recommendations.

Houtong Cat Village || FAQs

How do I get to Houtong Cat Village?

You can take an Yilan line train directly from Taipei Station.

It takes around an hour, and the stop itself is called Houtong (猴硐 Hóudòng in Mandarin).

Simple!

How much is a train ticket to Houtong Cat Village from Taipei?

Around NT$50-60 one way.

What else is at the Houtong Cat Village side from cats?

Pretty much everything in the village is feline-themed!

There’s a bridge in the shape of a cat, cat-themed cafes, signs, posters, and drawings of cats all around town.

You name it, it’ll somehow be related to our furry friends.


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2 comments

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  1. Jenny
    Reply

    I went in 2019, really cool place

    1. Max Hobbs
      Reply

      Really glad you enjoyed it like us Jenny!

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  • LTL Avatar Manuel Saldaña Quintans
    Manuel Saldaña Quintans , Student Advisor

    Welcome to LTL Language School!

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