Secret Hideouts in Taiwan: Green Island and Houtong Cat Village

Are you looking for a vacation away from the hustle and bustle of city life? Then Taiwan is just the place to go! From its teeming shopping districts, intricate temples, and picturesque coastlines, exploring this island nation promises unique delights and magnificent experiences. But if you’re truly hoping to get off the beaten path and experience a side of Taiwan that few tourists often visit then look no further than Green Island with its lush tropical rainforests and unspoilt diving sites, or Houtong Cat Village where adorable rescue cats roam freely alongside friendly villagers.

Green Island


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Address: Green Island, Lvdao Township, Taitung County, Taiwan 951
Recommended duration: 3 days

Located off the coast of Taitung, this hidden gem is relatively unknown to tourists and is popular with the locals for snorkelling and diving trips during the summer. The waters are extremely clear, and the corals are gorgeous and largely untouched. Expect to see schools of fishes in every shape and colour, and if you are lucky, you may even spot sea turtles and sharks!

When it comes to accommodation, you won’t be seeing many (if any at all) extravagant five-star hotels and resorts here. Instead, the island offers homely bed-and-breakfast joints that provide a more cozy and affordable experience. As the roads are relatively narrower than those Singaporeans are used to, there are only two modes of transport around: small cars and scooters!

As the night falls, be sure to join the tours into the forests so you can have a stroll amidst fireflies and wild deer. If you are up for an adventure, you can visit an old jail facility that once housed some of the country’s most infamous prisoners.

Houtong Cat Village

Address: 224, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Ruifang District, 224Taiwan, Fengjia Road, Ruifang District, New Taipei City
Recommended duration: Day trip from Jiufen

If a feline heaven exists, this would probably be it! Formerly a mining village, this town is now populated with many adorable cats that are more than happy to show a little love in exchange for some treats and scratches. The entire place is cat-themed, which means it is great for your Instagram feed as well.

The cats are free-roaming, and typically hide and take shelter during rainy days. If you decide to approach and play with or feed a cat, please first look out for instructions on the signs located all over the island. This is especially important for the cats you find in stores and cafes.

There is also the Japanese Shinto Shrine (Houtong Jinja) nearby.

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