Staying overnight at Jiufen was probably the best decision I had made in this Taipei Trip. When I came to Jiufen 4 months ago, I regretted for not staying overnight here. 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 were going to stay was ShanHaiGuan Guesthouse ( 九份山海观民宿 ), as the check-in time was after 3 pm, we had to schedule a visit to Shifen first when we came from Taipei. But the Shifen Waterfall trip had caused some delays, as a result, we arrived at Jiufen quite late. It was 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 were steps to climb.
After the first staircase, we approached the counter staff to process the check-in.
The check-in procedure was simple, we provide our names, collect the key and breakfast tickets. That’s it, as described in the email.
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.
After going through these stairs and narrow passages, the atmosphere of the guesthouse had been set. We found it quite fun though, and were laughing all the way every time we went in and out of it.
When the room door was opened, wow, it was really as depicted in the advertisement….it was nice, damn beautiful!
That’s a Family Room, it comes with two queen-sized double beds. ( The picture was taken on the following morning before we check-out).
TV, coffee and mini refrigerator, they have all the usual stuff like any other hotel.
That was the main reason I refused to book other regular hotel/guesthouse in Jiufen but choose ShanHaiGuan.
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 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.
That’s an extract from the website of ShanHaiGuan Guesthouse.
A Night At Jiufen
Why would I want to stay a night at Jiufen instead of just spending a day here and go back to Taipei at 8pm as most tourists did?
I made the decision 4 months ago in my first trip to Jiufen. An overnight at Jiufen is certainly worth it if you have the time. No regret, I would go enjoy it all over again If I had the chance to.
Upon check-in, we have all the time in the world to roam around Jiufen. At 6 pm we went for our dinner at Jiufen Old Street.
That was one of the iconic meal in Jiufen- Fishball noodle.
A stall frequently patronized by many celebrities, as can be seen from the many pictures on the wall.
At 7 pm, we continued to stroll around, doing our usual stuff like shopping for souvenirs.
We saw the famous A Mei Tea House ……
Easily distinguished by the many red lanterns around it, A Mei Tea House looked just as beautiful as it was in the day, the stairs leading towards it was just as busy and crowded with tourists.
We had planned to go A Mei Tea House on the following day, for now, the night was damn beautiful, even though we were full, we still walked into a tea house to enjoy a sip of tea, or rather the beautiful night of Jiufen Old Street.
It’s a luxury to have a sip of tea here while enjoying the evening breeze and the most peaceful night we had in our life. We saw shops closed for the day, one after another, the shutter shut down, and the lights went off.
Till it was close to 9 pm did we leave reluctantly.
Jiufen Night Scenery
By night, the scenery of Jiufen is a portrait! No regret for going through so much trouble to get to overnight here, for the beauty of Jiufen is priceless!
Countless people awaiting the fall of the night to be pictured with Jiufen!
Most of them are DIY tourists or those staying overnight at Jiufen. They too knew that it was going to be a great night!
An enjoyable night no visitors could forget!
The Morning Of Jiufen
We slept very late, but wake up early at 6am to enjoy the daybreak of Jiufen!
It was a dream come true to be able to enjoy life like that. We saw the folks jogging around the mountain and people strolling on the still quiet road to catch the morning fresh air. Not sure if actually we could see sunrise from here, it would be a bonus if we could.
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 was certainly not enough, we went into it, to actually experienced it.
The folks of Jiufen were all early in the morning to greet each other.
None of the shops was opened, as they would not untill 9 am.
I thought I had all the time in the world to see Jiufen, but as we walked into the life of Jiufen, did we discovered that there were just so much things waiting to be explored. There is even a lane specially delicated for arts lovers.
It was nice, but regretfully we didn’t have too much time to appreciate it.
While we were on the way for our free breakfast, there were already many Mother Nature lovers around, ready to hug the beauty of Jiufen. It was 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 went straight to the are nearest to the open view of Jiufen.
It was a very simple breakfast, nothing much to brag about. But again, it was the stunning view of Jiufen that was actually the breakfast main course.
Indeed, it’s a very luxury breakfast. Ultimately, what we eat we usually forget fast, but how we feel about it which is unforgettable.
It is a dream to have a seat here, which was what I had 4 months back. Come, experience it yourself !
The Scary Night Of ShanHaiGuan Guesthouse
The memorable experience you get from staying overnight at Jiufen is as interesting…… or as scaring as the night itself, you probably got more than what you wanted……
Prior to booking, we had seen the website which issued a stern warning to all would-be stayers:
Mentally we had already prepared for the worst…
As soon as night falls, flies and insects were 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……
Weather exiting or entering, we had to quickly shut the sliding door before more moths flew inside the passage , likewise, when we open our room door.
At least 20-30 moths had got in, and we spent the night battling with the insects, until we found out the antidote…
The guesthouse provides a piece of insect killer pad, once that electronic device is plugged in, almost instantly you find no moth in the room anymore. Do not worry, it’s odorless.
After all that was mentioned, there’s nothing to be scared of, they are just harmless little insects, 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 was the battle with the moth which made the experience memorable.
What about the service standard of the hotel?
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 had warned you that in their website:
First of all, the booking 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 took 2-3 days to reply to my booking and various enqueries, in the process it gave me the impression that they are not interested in my business. Even after confirmation and the full fee had been paid, I am still quite uncertain if I would be able to get a room there, as there was no confirmation receipt. So how did I actually check-in? I asked them. By the name and hand phone numbers I provided them. That’s what they said. It was that simple. It was a risk we thought worth taking, as we really wanted to stay overnight at Jiufen. The worst scenario was we could not get a room in the hotel and had to book one somewhere, for that I’m not afraid, as Jiufen has so many guesthouses around.
But……phew, all worries were gone when we reached ShanHaiGuan Guesthouse and the staff acknowledge our booking. However, we were 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 walked blindly, not sure of where the actual location was, until we finally saw 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. From there proceed to our room, which is highlighted by the yellow coloured arrow.
It was a 2 minutes walk indeed. But they could have done better just by leading us there, the staff were so free at the counter, they were chit-chatting there.
The check-in procedure was 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 was on our own. In brief, it was a DIY budget hotel.
I made a mistake when my pants got dirtied, seeing there was 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 was not functioning!
The container was very dirty as well.
My wife had to iron it and letting a fan blow dry it through 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. What we did was packed our essential and toiletries into our backpack and leave our luggage at the hotel luggage storage room.
Which Hotel To Stay In Jiufen?
The answer is obvious. In my previous visit 4 months back, I had 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 beautiful Jiufen. There are plenty of hotel or homestay here, but it’s really hard to find a good Jiufen hotel which meets our preferences.
After days of countless search, I still opted for ShanHaiGuan Guesthouse ( 山海观民宿 ). The charges was a little bit high as compare to others, but the view of Jiufen which I wanted 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 had the chance!
Would I come to stay at ShanHaiGuan Guesthouse again? Probably for another 100 times if I had the chance!
Jiufen ShangHaiGuan Guesthouse address: