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Cat Village Houtong, Xinbei

3.7
#10 of 188 in Things to do in Xinbei
Built on the ruins of a deserted mining town thanks to the efforts of a team of volunteer workers, Cat Village Houtong now serves as a mini cat city, visited by many cat lovers. As the idea developed over the years, villagers started to construct cat decorations, sculptures, and even a bridge with a catwalk for the cats to come and greet you at the train station. Admire cat paintings, murals, and of course hundreds of real-life cats waiting to be petted. Find refreshments in the numerous cafes and shop for cat souvenirs, then relax by the pristine green river, accessible by a staircase. Put Cat Village Houtong into our Xinbei vacation builder site to see other points of interest to visit during your vacation in Xinbei.
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Cat Village Houtong Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
429 reviews
Google
4.1
TripAdvisor
  • Not overly artificial or commercial cat looks happy village. Specially can do, but loved the people in various parts of the town of cat, cat-loving residents being able to see. It is recommended for people who like a relaxing trip:)
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  • Monkey Cave Cat Village is very famous, the name of thinking, it has a lot of free cat. People can take pictures, when I went to the day, I saw a lot of young girls wearing lovely clothes, close-up and cat photo, I believe that this is also a lot of girls love the show!
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  • If you love cats, you will enjoy this cute little village. Yes, there are cats to be seen, however, I imagined there would be hundreds and hundreds of cats like on Tashirojima (island) in Japan. The c...  more »
Google
  • a very peaceful and quiet village where you can play with tons of cute cats. while you can purchase cat food in the village, they don't seem very good since the cats don't eat it at all. You should buy better ones from supermarket before you go to the village if you want to feed cats there. There are still people living in the village so be respectful and don't be too loud. There is a few good restaurants near the train station (mostly noodles soup or street food) so you can consider having lunch there.
  • Looks very vintage and cool. The shops sell amazing souvenir. You just dont want to miss it. the cat charms and every is just amazing. You cant get it back in Taipei. There are 2 actovities here: • Buy souvenir and Cafe. The cafe shop you should aim for is Empress. They have 4 cute cats you an play with and the place is cozy and really cute.
  • Peaceful village to enjoy some scenic views of nature and mingle with cats. My family enjoyed our lattes at 217 Cafe too - homely atmosphere and their resident cat 小白 (Xiao Bai) is adorable ❤️
  • Went on weekday and noticed some cats were locked in the cage or house. Hence, did not meet my expectations of 'surrounding by cats'. The summer heat makes it not so pleasant to walk around this village. The whole village transformed into cat village for tourism purpose. For city folks who love cats, you might enjoy it more than others.
  • The area has two primary attractions: cats (obviously) and (ex) coal mines. I didn't venture into the Coal Mining museum as tickets for the tour (conducted on board a mini train styled like coal mining carts) were rather pricey to me (plus, because it was a rainy day, the seats on board the mini train were inadvertently wet). There were definitely cats despite the weather, and most are quite friendly—nonetheless, still exercise the necessary caution to avoid provoking the cats/sustaining injuries. However, do note that because majority are stray/community cats, they lack proper hygiene (according to a friend who visited another time, they discovered that they had picked up cat ticks from the cats during their visit), so do take note to wash your hands thoroughly after playing with the cats before you do anything else. The village also has some rather large dogs (mostly mongrels/street dogs) so do exercise the necessary caution (I did not attempt to pet them, and I do not advise doing so without foreknowledge of their temperament). Getting around the village is largely by foot and via stairs, so it's definitely not suitable for personal mobility device users and prams. Food-wise: we saw mostly a handful of cafes/cafe-like establishments—I patronised the one at the top of the Piano Stairs (as we wanted to get out of the worsening rain and the next nearest establishment did not offer more than tea options; i.e. Nothing of the main course variety). More info on this in a separate review. Souvenir wise: i observed about 3 stores: one directly below the station (the only one selling cat-themed postcards), one immediately beside the station on the 'coal mining side' of the village, and one in the 'cat side' of the village (after crossing the bridge from the station to Cat Village). There's also a fortune cat specialty shop on the cat-centric side). Prices in the shop inside Cat Village are slightly cheaper than the one immediately beside the train station, though their offerings differ slightly. The 'coal mining side' has pretty breathtaking views of Yang Ming Shan and Ji Long River, and my friends and I spied something that looked like a hiking trail as well (though we did not venture onto it due to the weather). The only way to get here is via Normal TRA Trains—FYI: that means an hour of travel if you're coming from Taipei; however, if you're coming from Yilan, that's only 4 stops.

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Where to stay in Xinbei

Far more accommodations lie in adjacent Taipei than in Xinbei. That said, if you're keen to stay in Xinbei, you won't have any problems finding a place to sleep. Banqiao district offers the largest collection of hotels, guesthouses, and hostels in the new city, particularly around Fuzhong station. A similar variety, but greater number, of accommodations can be found in Taipei's central district, with a vast array of hotels great and small, guesthouses, hostels, and boutiques available to the east of the Tamsui River.
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