Taipei day trips to Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village

If you’re planning a trip to Taiwan, be sure to take Taipei day trips to Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village. These two destinations offer captivating cultural experiences, scenic beauty, and adorable feline encounters that make your trip unforgettable. Located just an hour away from Taipei, these hidden gems are worth exploring, giving you a glimpse into Taiwan’s rich culture and natural wonders.

In Jiufen, unravel the history and explore the atmospheric charm of Jiufen Old Street, which was the inspiration behind the iconic animated film Spirited Away. Houtong Cat Village, on the other hand, is a small town renowned for its abundant feline population, cat-themed alleyways, and cat-themed artworks, sculptures, and murals. Travelers who want to optimize their time can even combine both destinations into a comprehensive day tour, which creates a hassle-free and all-inclusive experience.

Learn about the best ways to get to these hidden gems, valuable tips and insights to enhance your experience, and unique souvenirs to bring back home as a memento. Read on to explore the wonders of Taipei day trips to Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village.

Taipei Day Trips to Jiufen: Unraveling the History and Scenic Beauty

Discover the captivating charm of Jiufen, a picturesque mountain town located a mere hour away from Taipei that boasts a rich history and breathtaking panoramic views of the coast. As a former gold mining town, Jiufen oozes with historical significance. Wander the vibrant streets filled with traditional tea houses, souvenir shops, and local food stalls, and let the history of the town come alive before your very eyes. Don’t forget to capture the scenery with your camera!

The Origins of Jiufen:

Founded in the 19th century during the Qing Dynasty, Jiufen was a prosperous gold mining area. During wartime, the hillside town proved to be difficult to attack, making it a safe haven for Taiwanese refugees. Nowadays, local shops and teahouses fill Jiufen’s streets, attracting countless tourists each year.

The Incredible Scenery:

The breathtaking panoramic views of the coast at Jiufen’s hilltops are not to be missed. At night, twinkling lights illuminate the hills, creating a serene and romantic atmosphere. In the daytime, enjoy the rustic architecture of the buildings surrounded by beautiful nature. Keep an eye out for iconic sights such as the A-Mei Teahouse, featured in the hit movie “Spirited Away”.

Your Ultimate Jiufen Travel Guide:

Top Must-Visit Places in Jiufen: Best Time to Visit:
The iconic Jiufen Old Street Weekdays are less crowded and more laid-back
The A-Mei Teahouse Visit in the evening to capture the scene at its most glorious
The Gold Museum Morning is the best time for a visit, especially during peak season
Jiufen Art Gallery Visit on a clear day to enjoy the spectacular view

Tip: Don’t leave Jiufen before trying its signature dishes – taro balls, fish balls, and peanut ice cream rolls!

Make sure your Taipei day trip includes a visit to Jiufen, where history, nature, and culture combine to provide an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the charming atmosphere of the town, indulge in local delicacies, and witness the panoramic views of the coast that make Jiufen such a must-visit destination.

Exploring the Magical Atmosphere of Jiufen Old Street

Get ready for a sensory overload as you step into Jiufen’s Old Street, known for its vibrant and enchanting atmosphere. This narrow alleyway is lined with food stalls, souvenir shops, and traditional teahouses, offering a unique glimpse into Taiwan’s rich culture.

Indulge in local delicacies such as taro balls and fish balls, and explore the charming alleyways dotted with red lanterns that evoke a sense of nostalgia and mystery. As you walk along the cobbled streets, you may recognize the sights and sounds that inspired the iconic animated film, Spirited Away.

Make your way to the top of Jiufen, and witness the breathtaking panoramic views of the coast. Take in the fresh air and marvel at the stunning scenery that surrounds you.

Must-Try Local Snacks at Jiufen Old Street

Jiufen local snacks

Snack Name Description
Taro Balls A popular Taiwanese dessert made from taro that is mashed into balls and often served with sweet syrup.
Fish Balls Small balls made from fish paste, often served skewered and dipped in a hot sauce.
Pork Sausage A flavorful sausage made with pork and a variety of spices and served on skewers.
Peanut Ice Cream Roll Ice cream wrapped in a thin layer of shaved peanut candy and served in a crepe-like roll.

Make sure to save some room for dessert, and try some shaved ice topped with fresh fruit and condensed milk or a hot bowl of sweet potato soup.

Whether you’re looking to indulge in local delicacies or soak in the enchanting atmosphere, Jiufen’s Old Street is a must-visit destination on your Taiwan travel itinerary.

Unveiling the Unique Houtong Cat Village

When searching for Taipei attractions off the beaten path, look no further than Houtong Cat Village. Located just an hour outside of Taipei, this small town has gained fame for its abundant feline population, which has become the focal point of the village’s identity and charm. The decline of the coal mining industry in the area led to an influx of stray cats that were attracted to the warm industrial facilities. Slowly but surely, a group of volunteers began feeding and caring for these cats and ultimately transformed the village into a cat lover’s paradise.

Today, visitors can embark on a heartwarming Houtong Cat Village tour, exploring the village’s cat-themed alleyways, interacting with friendly cats, and immersing themselves in a unique cultural experience. The cats of Houtong are incredibly charming and have become essential members of the community, with plenty of feline residents roaming the village’s streets and interacting with locals and tourists alike.

The Best Time to Visit Houtong Cat Village

The weather in Houtong is pleasant year-round, but the optimal time to visit depends on your preferred temperature and crowd level. Summers are hot and humid with occasional rain, while winters are cooler with the occasional snowfall. Spring and fall are usually mild and offer the best weather for wandering the village. If you want to avoid crowds, weekdays are less busy than weekends.

Exploring the Cat-Themed Alleyways

As you wander around the village, you’ll find yourself immersed in a cat-themed wonderland. The alleyways are filled with feline art and sculptures, including playful cat-shaped benches and litter boxes. You’ll also find numerous souvenir shops selling cat-themed merchandise, such as cat hats and plush toys.

Interacting with the Friendly Cats

The cats in Houtong are incredibly friendly and love attention from visitors. You’ll find these furry residents lounging on doorsteps, napping in flower pots, and mingling with tourists. Don’t hesitate to interact with them, but make sure to follow the cat-friendly etiquette guidelines in the village, such as avoiding flash photography and excessive petting.

The Cultural Significance of Houtong Cat Village

If you’re a cat lover, a visit to Houtong Cat Village is a must. This small town located near Taipei has become a popular tourist attraction, not only because of its adorable feline companions, but also because of its cultural significance.

Houtong used to be a declining coal mining town, but in recent years it has transformed into a charming cat-themed village, thanks to a group of volunteers who rescued and cared for the stray cats that lived in the area. Today, the village is filled with cat-themed artworks, sculptures, and murals that showcase the unique relationship between cats and Taiwanese culture.


Fun fact: In traditional Taiwanese culture, cats are believed to bring good luck and fortune, and many people keep them as pets for this reason. With its abundant feline population, Houtong has embraced this cultural aspect and turned it into a tourist attraction that draws visitors from all around the world.

Discovering the Cat-Themed Artworks in Houtong Cat Village

As you stroll along the cat-themed alleys of Houtong Cat Village, you’ll be greeted by various artworks that depict cats in different forms. These include sculptures of cat paws, cat-shaped benches, and even a large cat-shaped viewing platform that offers panoramic views of the village.

Houtong Cat Village tour

One of the most popular attractions is the Houtong Cat Bridge, a pedestrian bridge that’s decorated with cat-themed murals and paintings. Visitors can also purchase cat-themed souvenirs, such as cat-shaped cookies, postcards, and keychains, to take home as a memento of their visit.

The Role of Cats in Taiwanese Culture

Cats have been a part of Taiwanese culture for centuries, and they are celebrated in various forms. Cat-themed festivals, such as the Miaoli International Cat Exhibition, are held annually, and the country has even designated a “Cat Day” on the Cat’s Lunar Birthday.

Aside from being popular pets, cats are also believed to be protective spirits that help guard against evil spirits. In traditional Taiwanese folklore, there are even stories of cats saving their owners from danger.

Day Tours from Taipei: Combining Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village

Don’t have much time to explore all the must-visit places in Taipei individually? No worries, you can optimize your time by embarking on a comprehensive day tour that combines Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village. With just a short journey out of Taipei, you can experience the unique charm of these two destinations, soaking up the history, culture, and natural beauty of Taiwan’s countryside.

On your journey, you’ll get to enjoy a hassle-free experience with the assistance of a knowledgeable guide. Not only will they lead you through the winding alleys and hidden gems of Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village, but they’ll also give you fascinating insights into the historical and cultural significance of each location. You’ll learn about the origins of these places, the people who have helped shape them, and the remarkable feline population that has made Houtong Cat Village world-famous.

day tours from Taipei

Embarking on a day tour from Taipei offers you a truly stress-free way to experience all the things to do in Taipei. Instead of worrying about transportation or directions, you can sit back, relax, and let your guide take you on an unforgettable journey through Taiwan’s most captivating destinations. Plus, if you’re short on time, this tour ensures you get to cross off two bucket-list items in one day, combining the wonders of Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village into one comprehensive experience.

Getting to Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village from Taipei

Whether you’re planning to explore Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village on your own or with a guided tour, there are several transportation options available. The most convenient way to get to these destinations is by taking a bus or train from Taipei city.

By Bus:

You can take a bus from Taipei City Hall Bus Station to Jiufen or take a direct bus from Taipei Main Station to both Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village. Buses are frequent and take approximately one hour, depending on traffic. Make sure to check the schedules in advance and purchase tickets at the bus station or online.

By Train:

You can also take a train from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang Station, which is the nearest station to Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village. From there, you can transfer to a local bus or take a taxi to reach your destination. The train journey takes approximately 40 minutes, and the fare is reasonable.

Private Tours:

If you prefer a hassle-free and more personalized experience, you can also book a private tour with a local travel agency. This option allows you to tailor your itinerary according to your preferences and travel at your own pace. Private tours include transportation, guides, and admission fees, making it a convenient and stress-free option for travelers.

Whether you choose to take public transportation or a private tour, Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village will offer you an unforgettable day trip from Taipei. Make sure to plan ahead and choose the option that suits your travel style and budget the best.

Taipei day trips

Tips for Exploring Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village

As you plan your day trips to Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village, keep these valuable tips and insights in mind to make the most of your experience:

  • Visit on weekdays: Weekends tend to be crowded, so try to schedule your visit on weekdays to avoid the crowds and have a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: Both Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village involve a lot of walking up and down stairs and hills, so make sure to wear comfortable and sturdy shoes.
  • Try the local snacks: Jiufen is known for its delicious taro and fish balls, while Houtong Cat Village serves up cat-shaped bread and other cat-themed treats. Don’t be afraid to indulge in these local delicacies.
  • Observe cat-friendly etiquette: While interacting with cats in Houtong Cat Village, remember to be gentle, respectful, and mindful of their boundaries. Don’t chase, feed, or disturb them unnecessarily.
  • Bring cash: Many shops and food stalls in Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village don’t accept credit cards, so make sure to bring enough cash to cover your expenses.
  • Watch the sunset: Catch a breathtaking sunset view over the hills and coast from Jiufen’s A-Mei Tea House or the Houtong viewing platform.

Keep in mind these tips as you explore Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village, and you’ll surely have an unforgettable day trip from Taipei.

Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village Tour

Souvenirs and Keepsakes: Bringing Memories Home from Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village

As your Taipei day trips to Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village come to a close, don’t forget to take a piece of these magical destinations home with you. Discover unique souvenirs and keepsakes that capture the spirit and essence of Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village, allowing you to relive your extraordinary experience or share the joy with friends and family.

Whether you prefer handmade crafts, artisanal tea blends, or quirky cat-themed merchandise, there is something for every taste and budget. Some popular options include:

Souvenir Description
Hand-painted lanterns Recall the mesmerizing beauty of Jiufen’s Old Street with intricately crafted traditional lanterns showcasing intricate paintings of the town’s landmarks, tea houses, and scenic spots
Handmade Cat crafts Celebrate the feline residents of Houtong Cat Village with adorable knitted or ceramic cats, or cat-themed accessories such as keychains, earrings, and phone cases that capture their unique personalities and charm
Tea blends Enjoy Jiufen’s renowned tea culture at home with premium tea blends boasting unique flavors and aromas, such as the famous Alishan oolong tea or the delicate rose tea
Local delicacies Take a piece of Taiwan’s culinary heritage with traditional delicacies like pineapple cakes, mochi, or nougat, or indulge in cat-shaped cookies or cakes that will delight both the taste buds and the eyes

By collecting a souvenir, you’ll have a tangible reminder of your remarkable journey to Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village and appreciate the authentic cultural experience on a deeper level.

Captivating Photography Spots in Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village

Are you ready to capture the stunning beauty of Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village through your lens? Look no further, for we have compiled a list of the most captivating photography spots in these charming destinations, just for you.

  • Shifen Old Street: Watch stunning waterfalls and release sky lanterns into the sky.
  • Golden Waterfall: This stunning waterfall of shimmering gold is sure to leave you mesmerized.
  • Feng Chia Tang Temple: Capture the ornate architecture and peaceful ambiance of this ancient temple.
  • Qingbianlou: Enjoy panoramic views of the stunning coastline from this traditional Taiwanese tea house.
  • Houtong Cat Village: Get up close and personal with the friendly feline residents and snap adorable photos of these furry creatures.
  • Jiufen Old Street: Immerse yourself in the nostalgic charm of the winding alleys and vibrant architecture of Jiufen Old Street.

Get creative and try different angles and perspectives to capture the essence and beauty of these enchanting destinations.


Congratulations on discovering the enchanting day trips from Taipei to Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village. You have unfolded the history and scenic beauty of Jiufen, delved into the unique Houtong Cat Village, and gained valuable tips and insights to enhance your experience while exploring these destinations.

As you wrap up your journey through Taiwan, reflect on the captivating cultural experiences, scenic beauty, and feline encounters that have enriched your trip. Don’t forget to bring home unique souvenirs and keepsakes to remember your journey and share the joy with your loved ones.

Whether you embark on a comprehensive day tour or plan your itinerary, Jiufen and Houtong Cat Village are must-visit places in Taipei that offer unforgettable experiences. So, start planning your trip, discover the captivating photography spots, and capture memories that will last a lifetime!