Sprawling east of New Taipei City, Ruifang is a historic district that flourished in coal and gold mining in the early 20th century. It boasts a spectacular stretch of coastline and a golden-hued waterfall, as well as a former mining town that’s turned its attention to assisting stray cats.
Things to do in Ruifang District
In the far north-east of Ruifang District lies Bitou Cape, a dramatic stretch of land marked by plunging sea cliffs and bluffs overlooking the East China Sea. It can be explored along a circular walking route that offers spectacular coastal views and is topped by the whitewashed Bitoujiao Lighthouse, which was built by the Japanese in 1897.
One of Ruifang District’s most impressive natural wonders is the Golden Waterfall, which cascades into Shuinandong Bay and the Yin-Yang Sea. Its golden appearance is due to the presence of sulphur, arsenic and copper ore minerals, which have also stained the surrounding rocks a rich yellow colour.
Feline fans shouldn’t miss a visit to the Houtong Cat Village, a former mining town that once produced more than 200,000 tons of coal each year. After the mining industry’s decline, local residents began tending to the village’s abandoned cats whose presence in the streets attracted tourists. Wander between the shops and cafes that cluster on the banks of the Keelung River before seeing the bridge that’s been constructed over the railway to ensure safe feline passage.
Getting around Ruifang District
Ruifang District is around 45 minutes’ drive from New Taipei City and one hour from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Trains connect along the Yilan Line to several railway stations in Ruifang while buses travel throughout the district. Renting a car or scooter gives you greater freedom to explore Ruifang District.