If you are heading to Taiwan, I would strongly STRONGLY recommend you to stay in their homestays, also known as their 民宿 (minsu), especially if you’re going to the smaller counties. Not only will you get a more local experience, more often than not will you find unique beautiful homes that makes the whole trip worthwhile.
This time I went to Alishan, a little town in Chiayi County known for its huge forest, scenic railway, railway bento box and magnificent scenery. But the one thing that I was really looking forward to was my accommodation:『森居 Metsä Mökki』
Metsä Mökki is situated far away from the noise of the city, smacked right in the middle of the forest at 1060 metres above sea level. The air here is so fresh and cooling, I swear if I lived here for 3 months my lungs would clean themselves out. Surrounded by nature, it is perfect for those who wish to escape from the city life and just take a breather.
Such a dream when the soft morning light shines in
The little house guardians ^^
The owners adopts abandoned stray dogs and give them a home, at the moment there are 2 puppies and 3 adult dogs! They are really friendly and just love nuzzling up to you. The owners never let them in the house for the convenience of guests, and also to keep the house mud-free from their little paws. These little ones make the homestay so much harder to leave!
Photo by dearbnb
The owner 阿澤 cooking for us!
Both our dinner and breakfast were prepared by the hosts, so do keep your appetites when you arrive because they are simply delicious! (Even though I said that, I had a Railway Bento 1.5hrs before dinner and I still managed to wipe clean my plate heheh.) Meals are prepared with fresh local ingredients like the Cabbage harvested from nearby mountains (高山菜) which are super sweet and crunchy, wild boar meat, home-made ginseng chicken soup etc, so do expect to sample local Taiwanese fare here. One thing’s for sure, you will never go hungry in this house.
If you have been researching on the Alishan Sunrise Train, you would realize that usually people wake up at 3am to catch the Alishan Train to see the sunrise. Well, the great thing about this homestay is, we get to wake up at a later time and the owner drives us to a perfectly quiet location overlooking the tea plantations to catch the equally beautiful sunrise without the need to squeeze with the hoards of tourists. And he takes amazing shots of us too! Definitely a win-win situation!
Witnessing a sea of clouds (云海) was also a lucky break for us because we had such a good weather that morning. Being able to wake up to these natural wonders really makes one appreciate what it’s like to live amongst nature.
Room rates are as follows:
Room for 2: $1800NTD/pax (~$81)
Room for 4: $1600NTD/pax (~$72)
Entire house (min. 4pax): $1500NTD – $1800NTD/pax (~$67-$81)
Prices includes breakfast, dinner, a tour around Fengqihu Old Town and the Sunrise Tour (subjected to weather conditions)
LINE No.: 0933344556
Facebook: 森居 Metsä Mökki
Dearbnb: 森居 Metsä Mökki
Price-wise it may be on the higher side, but if you add in everything that it includes, I would say that you’ve really got yourself a deal. Metsä Mökki is a place where you can feel the genuine warmth and hospitality of the owners. From the little details in their house décor to the delicious home-cooked food they prepare for us, to the interactions we had, there was never a dull moment in this house. There was such an ease being around them and the entire atmosphere really does feel like a home away from home.