Thursday, April 18, 2013
On March 30, officials in the Houtong area of New Taipei City’s Ruifang District, (aka "Cat Town"), unveiled a 200 foot long feline-friendly indoor overpass, constructed in the shape of a cat's body and tail. The ambitious project cost the city over half a million dollars, and took eight months to complete.
Exterior shot - Can you see the cat?
According to the Taipei Times, Houtong has become a popular tourist destination in the past few years because of its large cat population and feline-friendly atmosphere. When the city recently underwent renovations, officials felt that a cat upgrade was in order. The purpose of the bridge is to benefit tourists and cats, who will now be able to walk, relax, and interact with each other side by side in the new structure.
Even before the bridge was conceived, the town featured a cat-themed train station, souvenir stands, and over 100 friendly roaming felines, happy to pose for pictures.
The images in this post were found on the New Taipei City Tourism Facebook page, taken during the bridge's unveiling. Not only do they include the overpass itself, but also some neat surprises you might encounter around Cat Town, including these cool, feline appointed buses!
While explaining the inspiration behind the overpass, city official Chen Ching-fang told the Times, “We must take the cats’ needs into consideration because they have become an important part of the town.”
She also added that she hoped the bridge would "reflect the harmonious coexistence of the town’s residents and the cats, as well as promote animal protection."
Check out more pics here and here, and read more about Houtong cat village at China Tour Advisors and TripAdvisor.
Via Taipei Times / Images: Facebook (新北旅客)
Previously: Around the World in 80 Cats #1 - 28
Know of any cat-themed travel destinations, or have any cool kitty vacation pics to share? Drop me a line at email@example.com!