During my previous visits, I have always noted this as a point of interest.  Houtong, like most other small towns in Taiwan, is a place full of history. For those railway fan like me, this town offers a few good spots to watch trains going to or coming from the eastern part of Taiwan.  For those traveling with cameras, you will find cats to shoot at in this town.

I will demonstrate how to get to Houtong from Taipei main station.

First you need to purchase train tickets to Houtong.  There are two ways you can buy tickets – from the automated machine, or from the teller.  Buying from the machine is easy as long as you have enough change, and here is a video demonstrating how that is done.

The only thing worth noticing is the machine takes the money first.  I find it counter intuitive as most machines we encounter would specify the amount first.  (This includes the ticket vending machines for the High Speed Rail.)  If you look up, usually there is a list of price for the 10 or so stations from where you are.  Note:  if you find the machine not selling tickets to Houtong, most likely it is because the machine sells tickets for southbound trains.

Once putting the right amount, you can specify the number of tickets, the type of tickets (you can only buy one type at a time.  If you are buying tickets for two adults and two children, you can only do so in two transactions), the type of train (express trains do not stop at small stations such as Houtong), and eventually the destination.

Anyhow, here are some of the pictures I took during my two visits.

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