Updated on: September 18, 2017
Once a coal mining village, now a home to over hundreds of feline residents, the Houtong Cat Village is a must-see for cat-lovers. Set alongside the Keelung River, the village used to be one of Taiwan’s busiest coal mining village but when the mining pits closed in the 1990s, majority of the villagers moved out as well. In 2008, one of the local residents started to care for abandoned cats in the village and posted photos of the cats online to round up more volunteers. Her affords gradually attracted more kitties, volunteers and tourists alike.
With over 200 cats living in the village now, it has become a popular tourist spot for enthusiastic feline-spotting tourists. This has brought about many restaurants, cafes and shops selling cat-related items in the village. Besides hanging out with the cats, visitors can choose to visit the mining facilities which have been turned into a museum or cross the river to visit the remains of a Japanese shinto shrine (Houtong Jinja), which is in honour of an earth goddess.