Prior to visiting Taiwan, I was doing some research and discovered that Spirited Away, one of my favorite Miyazaki films, is based on the coastal town of Jiufen 九份. And being a Studio Ghibli fan, of course I had to go see it in person. It’s a popular tourist spot amongst people all across Asia (there were a lot of Korean and Japanese fans). We went closer to night time to see the lanterns, but do note that the shops close pretty early (around 7pm)! During the day, you can get some awesome coastal views if it’s not too foggy. Wish we had more time to explore while it was still light out.
I was always more of a cat person growing up and so was intrigued upon hearing about Houtong Cat Village in Taiwan (猴硐貓村). A town overrun with cats? Count me in. Unfortunately we went on a rainy day so the cats were more damp than furry. Didn’t end up petting too many of them. Some of them were quite friendly and will snuggle up to your legs. We also saw a dog that was mostly ignored. It seems tourism is big business for this village as everything is cat-themed. The signs, the store displays, the souvenirs. Me-ow.