If you were to ask us our main reason for visiting Hualien and Yilan, it would be to experience staying at a “minsu” – now a common name for all homestays or B&Bs in Taiwan. The rise of “minsu” culture in Taiwan has been rapid over the past years, and now, it can be considered an iconic experience for travellers, especially as romantic getaways out of city.
Unfortunately, these “minsu”s often only have websites in Chinese language, and the standard practice is to pay the deposit via a bank transfer to secure a room. The rest will be payable in cash upon arrival/departure. Credit card deposit generally isn’t accepted, but using Paypal may be possible for some. As such, a grasp of Chinese language is necessary on your quest to search for the perfect “minsu”.
For a single night, we stayed at a Mediterranean-themed “minsu” located on the windy coast of Hualien – 境外漂流. Best bet is to take a taxi from Hualien city to this place, as it is hardly accessible by public transport. But we were pleasantly surprised when we reached the “minsu” – its located right beside the sea.
As for the design and quality of the rooms, I’ll let the photos below do the talking, but it wasn’t just the rooms that impressed us. Tea snacks are provided everyday, but we weren’t able to stay for tea that day as we went off the Liyu Lake. Nevertheless, the owners, 小球姐 and 杨大哥, kept the tea snacks for us in the room’s fridge!
Our breakfast the next morning was meticulously prepared and the owners explained to us how each item was prepared. Not only did it look nice, it tasted refreshingly good too. We were told that the breakfast menu would change every time you return for another stay – how cool! Apparently, one visitor managed to return 6-7 times just to try out the different menu each time, haha.
Ultimately, sitting in the balcony of my room and hearing the rough waves of Hualien’s coast isn’t the only aspect of the stay worth remembering. Coupled with the warm hospitality of the owners and the quality of the rooms, it is little wonder this “minsu” is an extremely popular one in Hualien. Do remember to book in advance!