If you like cats, the Houtong (侯硐) station along Pingxi line is probably one of the best places where you should visit.
Houtong is a small village in Ruifang township. It used to be a prospering community with mine workers in th 1970's. However, after the railroads were substituded with electric engines, the demand for coal decreased sharply and most of the workers lost their jobs.
Instead, it is known for those hundreds of cats inhabiting its streets. These cats are fed and taken care of by the local people and volunteers.
When I went out of the station, there are already signs and drawings about cats.
In cat village, there are a great number of wall paintings and cute little signs such as "Don't like flash photagraphy", "No Dogs"....things like that
The residents and tourists also gave each of them a cute name based on apprearance or living habits, such as "Running Nose", "Big head", "Beauty"...etc.
This wall painting reminded me that Houtong was once a town of mine.
Although there are fewer cats than I had imgined, you can still take some good shots of them here.
Since a lot of them were lying on the floor sleeping, it is not hard at all to catch their little tails.
I like cats, especially white ones. Their moves are often connected to elegance.
Unlike most of the cats which are not afraid of people, this white kitten was very shy to see me.
She was shaking in front of me although I had no intense to hurt her.
A very hot day, this chubby one hidded under the table for a long while until she heard a tourist saying: "That one is sooooo pretty!!"
and she came out!!! haha at least we tourists can gratify her vanity :D
Most of these cats are quite used to people touching, feeding or playing with them. It is said that on weekdays, there are more people than cats lol
It took me a while to let this little one be in my pic, she was very busy searching for some cat food left on the ground.
Spent a pleasant afternoon in Houtong and found out sometimes it is good to travel alone.
Also I googled some adjectives to describe cats, and turned out that Royal /Mysterious/ Wise were the answers. I couldn't agree more on that. When I tried to look into a cat's eyes it felt like I fell into them and I couldn't lie to it :P I also think that cats are like women somehow. What do you say?
How to get there:
Houtong is not hard to get to at all, the village is just located near the station.
Buy a ticket from Taipei Main Station(railway) to Houtong staion, take the local trains. It costs you just 56 NTD for one-way trip.
If you have spare time, I also suggest you to visit Ruifang(瑞芳), a town beside Houtong. I will introduce more for you next time:)
Also, forgive me if I make grammatical mistakes cuz I haven't typed stuffs in Engish for almost a year.