Falseguide
Home
Featured Posts
Featured Trip
All Posts
Full Trip Reports
Miscellaneous
Search

Previous Page 158 of 449 Next Full Trip Report
Taiwan Houtong Cat Village Rain

6 March 2017

Raining cats

Today I went far to the East of Taipei to a recently famous spot called Houtong, famous for being an abandoned coal mine that is now overrun by feral cats.
Due to the large population of cats, tourists from all around the world, which means China, Japan, Korea and me, flock to Houtong to see if they can get rabies.
Unfortunately, cats are weak, and do not like to stand out in the rain. Neither do people with straight black hair. So this just left me with a few of the lesser cats, standing in the rain, freezing, on the side of a mountain.

The rest of the days plan was to climb the mountain where the coal used to be mined from, but that was out also, so instead I chased after cats who were trying to dodge puddles before returning to Taipei.

You can find a lot of info about visiting this spot on nicer days on the internet, just search for Houtong cat village, it looks like it would be a nice place in nice weather, its very near Jiufen which is just about the greatest place in the world for scenery I know of, a place I will go back to in better weather should it ever come.

Whilst waiting on the platform for my train back to Taipei, which is about an hour journey and costs $2, I started to notice all the trains were delayed. This caused the station guard to keep coming to tell me in English what the issue was, only his English was terrible.
On the third such attempt he was speaking English and I was speaking Chinese, and we were both as confused as each other. The small group of cats watching us on the platform were highly amused.
The highlight of the cat village experience was when I got on the train, which sat briefly at the platform, only to see a couple of cats get on the train. Once the beeping for the doors to close started, they ran back to the platform.

Taiwan-Houtong-Cat Village-Rain - My room has windows, but they have an opaque coating, it was also quite dark when I woke up. So when I stepped outside I had no idea that it would be

My room has windows, but they have an opaque coating, it was also quite dark when I woke up. So when I stepped outside I had no idea that it would be raining hard.
The hotel guard tried to give me an umbrella, I was nearly injured whilst frantically waving to decline it. I am terrified of umbrellas. This is not a joke, I have an actual fear of the things.


Taiwan-Houtong-Cat Village-Rain - Houtong station. Rain increasing. Chances of high quality celebrity cat appearances decreasing.

Houtong station. Rain increasing. Chances of high quality celebrity cat appearances decreasing.


Taiwan-Houtong-Cat Village-Rain - They have built a special bridge / cat run over the tracks, with lots of food and hiding spots to encourage the cats to cross here rather than on the

They have built a special bridge / cat run over the tracks, with lots of food and hiding spots to encourage the cats to cross here rather than on the tracks.
There were lots of them hiding in here, but too hard to photograph. They are all very very well fed, so much so that tourists are forbidden from feeding them in case they get too fat and get stuck in their sleeping boxes.


Taiwan-Houtong-Cat Village-Rain - Over on the non village side of the tracks, where absolutely nothing was open at 9am, its just me and the cats, watching the rain.

Over on the non village side of the tracks, where absolutely nothing was open at 9am, its just me and the cats, watching the rain.


Taiwan-Houtong-Cat Village-Rain - I was supposed to go up that peak to the right, not today. Also this is the view from the cat street of cat village. There are lots and lots of cafes

I was supposed to go up that peak to the right, not today. Also this is the view from the cat street of cat village. There are lots and lots of cafes being run out of peoples old homes which presumably used to be where coal miners lived.
However they are all shut due to rain and lack of tourists. These people owe their livelihoods to feral cats.


Taiwan-Houtong-Cat Village-Rain - zzz

zzz


Taiwan-Houtong-Cat Village-Rain - I think these three girls live / work here. The cats know them well, they have buckets and bags of things to feed them.

I think these three girls live / work here. The cats know them well, they have buckets and bags of things to feed them.


Taiwan-Houtong-Cat Village-Rain - Back in town now, and this is the Taipei main station. Big deal, its a train station. But despite having been to Taipei 3 times previously, I somehow

Back in town now, and this is the Taipei main station. Big deal, its a train station. But despite having been to Taipei 3 times previously, I somehow have never been in here.
It is not the High speed station, which is under here and down the road, it is the slow speed above ground station. Quite like a Japanese station, lots of restaurants. My train to Hualien on Thursday will depart from here.


Taiwan-Houtong-Cat Village-Rain - I was surprised and frustrated to step outside of the station and be greeted by no rain and mostly dry streets. Its almost as though it rains more in

I was surprised and frustrated to step outside of the station and be greeted by no rain and mostly dry streets. Its almost as though it rains more in the mountains than it does in the city?


Taiwan-Houtong-Cat Village-Rain - This is a typical Taipei backstreet. Taipei really is the most interesting city I know of to just wander around endlessly. I think its the contrast be

This is a typical Taipei backstreet. Taipei really is the most interesting city I know of to just wander around endlessly. I think its the contrast between ultra modern and old and dirty.
This street is somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, they have some nice paving in the road but the footpath is covered in scooters and boiling oil so you have to walk on the road and dodge small trucks.
Also the shops are food, old women clothes, scooter repairs, speaker wire, random hoses, food, foot massage, hair dresser, dog hair dresser, food.


Taiwan-Houtong-Cat Village-Rain - As I was back early, I had time to wander down to Ximending, the youth culture area of Taipei. Except I am old. Also at midday the place isnt busy at

As I was back early, I had time to wander down to Ximending, the youth culture area of Taipei. Except I am old. Also at midday the place isnt busy at all, its very bright at night and full of bad perms on scooter riding gangsters.


Taiwan-Houtong-Cat Village-Rain - The delivery trucks are a nuisance. They seem to just drive up crowded streets all day and night blasting their horn and nearly killing everyone. I gu

The delivery trucks are a nuisance. They seem to just drive up crowded streets all day and night blasting their horn and nearly killing everyone.
I guess if Taiwan were to bomb Syria it would be very easy for this to end badly.
Except when the car in mall massacre happened in Melbourne recently it was because some guy found out his brother was gay which made him realise he is also gay so he decided to drive up a mall and kill everyone?
Perhaps we will never know what that was really all about.


Taiwan-Houtong-Cat Village-Rain - This is pie face. In Taiwan its called Pie Pie. Pie Face is Australian and has gone super super broke 3 times now. Someone keeps giving them enough mo

This is pie face. In Taiwan its called Pie Pie. Pie Face is Australian and has gone super super broke 3 times now. Someone keeps giving them enough money to go broke again.
There is a drama involving the owners of the brand stealing all the money and disappearing to New York to open a high end pie restaurant there, that since closed, and annoyed a billionaire casino owning investor.
I have no idea if Pie Pie is part of the brand officially or someone stole the idea in Taiwan, but I also notice they sell Australian beer, fish and chips and a few other Australian things.


Taiwan-Houtong-Cat Village-Rain - Part one of my lunch is a cream of corn soup with mushrooms and a side salad. This was probably the better part of my lunch.

Part one of my lunch is a cream of corn soup with mushrooms and a side salad. This was probably the better part of my lunch.


Taiwan-Houtong-Cat Village-Rain - Part two of my lunch was a vegetarian rice bake. With a raw egg cracked on top. It was not great unfortunately, basically no vegetables, just rice, ch

Part two of my lunch was a vegetarian rice bake. With a raw egg cracked on top. It was not great unfortunately, basically no vegetables, just rice, cheese, raw egg. It was not at all like the picture.


PreviousPage 158 of 449NextFull Trip Report