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Staying overnight at a Jiufen Hotel was probably the best decision I had made in this Taipei Trip. I came to Jiufen 4 months ago and regretted for not staying overnight. Today, I eventually got the chance to stay in this guesthouse and strolled around Jiufen at night and wake up early in the morning to enjoy a part of life at Jiufen.
The place we are going to stay is ShanHaiGuan Guesthouse ( 九份山海观民宿 ). The check-in time is after 3 pm. It is already 4 pm then when we check-in.
The yellow coloured arrow pointed to the location of our room. Blue coloured arrow is the guesthouse check-in counter. Red coloured arrow is the direction we came from.
But…… wait, before we even get into the room, there are many stairs to climb.
After the first staircase, we approached the counter staff to process the check-in.
The check-in procedure is as simple as described in the email, we provide our names, collect the key and breakfast tickets.
Then we go up another staircase.
Not just steep stairs, but some narrow passages to go through. That’s the long passage way leading to our room.We found it quite fun though, and are laughing all the way every time we go in and out of it.
When the room door is opened…… wow, it is really as depicted in the advertisement….it is nice, damn beautiful!
That’s a Family Room, it comes with two queen-sized double beds.
TV, coffee and mini refrigerator, they have all the usual stuff like any other hotel.
Readers please note that I’m not paid to write this post about ShanHaiGuan Guesthouse, as I myself paid my cold hard cash for a room just like anyone else.
No soap bar is provided, but packages of shower gel is there. The toilet has no toilet paper, as they probably discourage it to prevent choking. Instead, they provide tissue paper.
Above picture is an extract from the website of ShanHaiGuan Guesthouse.
Upon check-in, we have all the time in the world to roam around Jiufen. At 6 pm we go for our dinner at Jiufen Old Street. From now we get to experience the nightlife of Jiufen, it’s just as colourful as the day itself!
That is one of the iconic meal in Jiufen- Fishball noodle.
A stall frequently patronize by many celebrities, as can be seen from the many pictures on the wall.
Jiufen Tea House
We see the famous A Mei Tea House ……easily distinguish by the many red lanterns hanging around it, A Mei Tea House looks just as beautiful as it is in the day.
We have planned to go A Mei Tea House on the following day, for now, we walk into another tea house to enjoy a sip of tea, or rather the beautiful night of Jiufen Old Street.
This is the famous teahouse where many well known movie were filmed here…the other one is A Mei Teahouse.
It’s a luxury to have a sip of tea here while enjoying the evening breeze and one of the most serene night we ever have in our life.
The cost of enjoying the night here ….
And the total bill is …
We see shops close for the day, one after another, the shutter shut down, and the lights goes off…..till it is near to 9 pm did we leave reluctantly….
Jiufen Night Scenery
By night, the scenery of Jiufen is a portrait! The beauty of Jiufen is priceless!
Jiufen night scenery vs Jiufen day scenery.
Countless people awaiting the fall of the night to be pictured with Jiufen!
An enjoyable night no visitors can forget!
The Morning Of Jiufen
We slept very late, but wake up early at 6am to enjoy the daybreak of Jiufen!
It is a dream come true to be able to enjoy life like that. We see the folks jogging around the mountain and people strolling to catch the morning fresh air.
See the night of Jiufen from our room window panel.
See the morning of Jiufen from our room window panel.
And the beautiful mountains, which we would later go to on our Jiufen Tour.
Seeing the morning of Jiufen is certainly not enough, we went into it, to actually experienced it in our Jiufen Tour.
The folks of Jiufen greeting each other.
None of the shops is opened, not untill 9 am.
I thought I have all the time in the world to see Jiufen, but as we walked into the life of Jiufen, did we discovered that there are just so much places waiting to be explored. There is even a lane specially delicated for arts lovers.
It is nice, but regretfully we do not have too much time to appreciate it.
While we are on the way for our free breakfast, there are already many early birds around, ready to hug the beauty of Jiufen. It is 8 am then.
Breakfast at Jiufen
The overnight package includes a free breakfast. The breakfast is served between 8.30 am and 11 am.
Many types of seating area are available, but without prior consensus, all guests go straight to the balcony.
It is a very simple breakfast, nothing much to brag about. But again, it is the stunning view of Jiufen that is actually the breakfast main course.
It is a dream to have a seat here, which is what I had 4 months back. Come, experience it yourself !
Review Of ShanHaiGuan Guesthouse
The memorable experience we get from staying overnight at Jiufen is as interesting…… or as scaring as the night itself, we probably got more than what we wanted……
Prior to booking, we have seen the website which issues a stern warning to all would-be stayers:
Mentally we have already prepared for the worst…
As soon as night falls, flies and insects are all over the room, even though we did not open any of the windows.
If you intend to go out of the room, there is a sliding door at the entrance of the narrow passage, dozens of moths are already there waiting for you……
Wheather exiting or entering, we have to quickly shut the sliding door before more moth fly inside the passage, likewise, when we open our room door.
At least 20-30 moths has gotten in, and we spent the night battling with the insects, until we found out the antidote…
……the guesthouse provides insect killer pad, once that electronic device is powered, almost instantly you find no moth in the room. Do not worry, it’s odorless. Do not worry also, the moth are harmless, after a while even my daughters who are most scared of insects got used to its existence in the room.
Looking back, besides the beautiful night of Jiufen, it is the battle with the moth which made the experience memorable.
If you are coming here looking for a 5-star hotel service standard, you would be very disappointed. In fact, I found the hotel service standard rather lacking. But then again, they have warned you that in their website:
First of all, the booking procedure is weild. I could not find it in any online hotel booking website, neither is there much information of it online. I had to do the booking through emailing them. The hotel takes 2-3 days to reply to my booking and various enqueries, in the process it gives me the impression that they are not interested in my business.
Even after confirmation and the full fee has been paid, I am still quite uncertain if I would be able to get a room there, as there is no confirmation receipt. So how should I actually check-in? I asked them. By the name and hand phone numbers I provided them. That’s what they said. It is that simple. It is a risk we thought worth taking, as we really wanted to stay overnight at Jiufen. The worst scenario is we could not get a room in the hotel and have to book one somewhere, for that I’m not afraid, as Jiufen has so many guesthouses around.
But……phew, all worries are gone when we reached ShanHaiGuan Guesthouse and the staff acknowledge our booking. However, we are told to proceed to another place for check-in, the counter guy gave us a very vague direction’ 2 minutes down the lane’.
So we walk blindly, not sure of where the actual location is……until we finally spotted the name of the hotel.
The red coloured arrow is the direction we came from in search of the guesthouse. The blue coloured arrow indicates the check-in counter. Our room is highlighted by the yellow coloured arrow.
It is a 2 minutes walk indeed. But they could have done better just by leading us there, the staff are so free at the counter anyway, they are chit-chatting there.
The check-in procedure is fast and simple. From then on, we hardly see a staff in the place we stayed. The counter would be closed closed after 9 pm. So, everything is on our own. In brief, it is a DIY budget hotel.
I made a mistake when my pants got dirtied, seeing there is a heater in the room, I went ahead to wash my pants without even testing if the heater works. When I tried to turn on the heater, oh no, it is not functioning!
The water container is very dirty as well.
I have to iron the wet pants and letting a fan blow dry it throughout the night.
But with so much to gain from an overnight stay at Jiufen, the main focus is not on the hotel service standard, the issue is secondary.
My last piece of advise for would be travellers is if you are staying overnight at Jiufen, do not come here with a trolley or luggage. The slopes of Jiufen Old Street simply make it hard to roll the luggage and not conducive to roll your luggage.
What we did is packed our essential and toiletries into our backpack and leave our luggage at the luggage storage room in a Taipei hotel.
Review Of Jiufen Hotel
In my previous visit 4 months back, I have seen many hotels and guesthouses, some are too grand to be at a beautiful countryside like Jiufen, while others are too simple to be called a resort hotel, in fact they are usually referred to as Homestay.
Then many which I wanted either give me a sense of insecurity or do not have a scenic view of Jiufen.
After days of countless search, I still opted for ShanHaiGuan Guesthouse ( 山海观民宿 ). The charges is a little bit high as compare to others, but the view of Jiufen which I want from the guesthouse is priceless!
Overview Of Jiufen Stay
Would I come overnight at Jiufen Old Street again? Probably for another 10 times if I have the chance!
Would I come to stay at ShanHaiGuan Guesthouse again? Probably for another 100 times if I have the chance!
Jiufen ShangHaiGuan Guesthouse address:
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