Its day 12 of our trip, nearly coming to an end. We were staying at this hotel where its just opposite the 郭蒸角. W have had breakfast many times here before, its cheap and nice. Just right before we go anywhere.

and my favourite 蛋餅.

Carrot cake.

Soya milk.

This is the price list outside the shop. Sandwiches start from NT$30, egg pancakes (蛋餅) start at NT$25. Very economical.

This was seen inside the shop. I loosely translate this as ‘Note to Ding Tai Feng, good food need not be expensive. To dear customers, your body and wallet need not strong flavors.’

Think the owner got something against the famous Taiwanese restaurant Ding Tai Feng, haha…

After breakfast, we went to get our train tickets for the destination of the day.

And waiting for our train to come.

Taking trains in Taiwan isn’t something like taking MRT. Each train has their own individual destination, so one have to really look carefully at the train signs before boarding.

Finally arrived at this place, Houtong (侯硐).

One will wondered, what’s so special about this place? Never heard of this on those Taiwan tour programs or seen anyone mention about this place before.

Me too, when my gf first suggested we come here.

We came to Taiwan a couple of times. Touristy spots we have been to many, yet we have rarely go onto places where the locals would go on their off days. Its nice, for a change, to see the rarer sights of Taiwan.

The sign on the left indicated that this place was an old, disused mining station. This place started being named as 猴硐, when the population of monkeys here prompted the miners to gave it this name. That was somewhere in the 1920s.

The current name vs the…

old name.

Map showing where Houtong is. The popular tourist spot 九份 (Jiu Fen) is not far from here.

A hand-drawn map of the whole Houtong, showing where to walk to see the scenery.

One of the resident cats at Houtong, on the table where you can get the stamp that is unique to this station. A nice way of telling others that you have been here before.

Another one of the resident cats.

Now, the real reason why we came here, beside able to see this old small town, was actually to visit this very small village known as Houtong Cat Village (侯硐貓村).

You see, my gf is infatuated with cats. The day before, we visited a cafe where the owner’s cats were free to roam. Now we are here, after an hour’s train ride, to come to this ulu place where the population of cats probably exceeded humans. Haha…

A sign suggesting, its better not to come visit this place with a dog. Haha…

More signs…

A villager feeding the cats.

They even have a notice board on the resident cats.

This is the bridge linking from the train station to the mines.

There is this shop near the station, supposedly famous for their noodles. Since it was lunchtime, it will be a sin not to try.

Doesn’t look like much, but they are tasty!

Braised toufu and eggs.

Meatball soup.

Pig’s tail. This is the only letdown in this meal. The meat and skin were tough and chewy, and to make it worse, this dish is cold.

Still, this poor dish (because I am not used to this local delicacy) doesn’t take anything away from the fantastic noodles. If you were to come to Houtong, this noodle shop is a must try. On the other hand, there isn’t many other shops for you to choose anyway.

On the platform, waiting for our train back to Taipei.

A little snack before going back hotel.

By nightfall, we decided to go to Shilin Night market (士林夜市) for some dinner and shopping.

The usual stuffs, oyster omellette and cuttlefish soup.

Something my gf always wanted to try, the pork/chicken cutlet with cheese fillings.