Literally translated, Maokong (貓空) means Cats hallows. Though you will be really disappointed that there are no sign of cats here. Well, perhaps some stone statues of them. The local dialect name for this place is “ngiow kang” (it’s the Hokkien dialect). When the mainlanders first came, there were indeed many civets (sure, feline too) that roamed the hills. Not anymore…and let’s not go into why…
No, they did not eat the cats. According to whom we ask.
It’s just that the habitat was transformed as the hills were carved into tea plantations, of the 鐵觀音 (romanized: Tier-Guan-Yin) variety is cultivated. Perhaps the cats moved because of this? Even till today, this variety of tea is served in the many small family owned restaurants that dot the landscape. If you think this was like a really isolated place, be prepared to meet lots of folks on the trails, stairs etc.
And indeed we were like cats hunting for a meal. Stalking and gingerly (actually tiredly) advancing onto our target, this pair of hungry felines (one’s a tomcat) finally found our desired restaurant after a lot of asking for directions. Like lions (who are also of the cat family), we ravished lunch while looking the other way at the views of Taipei 101 peeping at us from a distant.
Find out more about our fun day at Maokong here.
So this ends our Taiwan series…next up, Confederation Helvetica!