A Guesthouse With a Grapefruit Orchard and Cypress Wood Decorations

The Happy Guesthouse (快樂樂民宿) is a unique destination featuring a grapefruit orchid and Taiwan cypress wood. (Image: Courtesy of the Happy Guesthouse)
The Happy Guesthouse (快樂樂民宿) is a unique destination featuring a grapefruit orchid and Taiwan cypress wood. (Image: Courtesy of the Happy Guesthouse)

It is known to many that Taiwan is the second most densely populated country in the world, second only to Bangladesh, but most people may not know that Taiwan’s guesthouse (民宿) density ranks first in the world.

Please watch the following video about the Happy Guesthouse.

According to Taiwan regulations, guesthouses are hotel-like lodgings that have fewer than five guest rooms. Though Taiwan’s land area is only 36,000 square kilometers (14,400 mi2), according to the statistics released by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, there are 8,674 guesthouses in the country. In Yilan County alone, (a relatively small county with an area of 2,143 square kilometers (827 mi2) in northern Taiwan), there are 1,475 guesthouses.

The giant landmark of Happy Guesthouse (快樂樂民宿). (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

A giant stone landmark at the Happy Guesthouse (快樂樂民宿). (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

In this highly competitive environment, many guesthouse operators have come up with various novel ideas to attract customers. Take those in Yilan County, for example, where some are in the Mediterranean, Bali, or Japanese Nostalgic style, while others are in the Courtyard, Scandinavian Minimalist, or Palace style. Still others are in the Pastoral, Ocean-, or Mountain-View style — you name it. Among them is the Happy Guesthouse (快樂樂民宿) near the famous tourist spot of Plum Lake.

The gate of Happy Guesthouse's entrance is made of driftwood. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The gate at Happy Guesthouse’s entrance is made of driftwood. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Surrounded by grapefruit trees and rice paddies, Happy Guesthouse has an orchard, a garden, five guest rooms, a cozy tea house, a roofed barbeque terrace, a lighted basketball/badminton court, and a curved fish pond. It’s just like a villa on a leisure farm full of phytoncides (芬多精).

There is a a roofed barbeque terrace at the garden. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

A roofed barbeque terrace in the garden. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

When the grapefruit trees are in full bloom in the spring, the entire complex is aromatic with their pleasant fragrance. When the grapefruit are ripe around the Mid-Autumn Festival, visitors are captivated by the picturesque view of green lush trees with numerous grapefruit hanging from their branches.

Happy Guesthouse is surrounded by lush grapefruit trees by three sides. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The Happy Guesthouse is surrounded by lush grapefruit trees on three sides. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

What’s even better, they may pluck the plump yellow grapefruit straight from the trees to enjoy on the spot!

Happy Guesthouse's grapefruits will be ripe around the Mid-autumn Festival at the end of August. (Image: Julia Fu / Vision Times)

The Happy Guesthouse’s grapefruit ripen around the Mid-Autumn Festival at the end of August. (Image: Julia Fu / Vision Times)

The guesthouse features Taiwan cypress wood decorations. Its beds, tables, chairs, floors, staircases, and doors are mainly made of precious Taiwan cypress wood and fill the house with the pleasant scent of cypress.

The solid wood tables in the guesthouse are made of the wood blocks collected by the operator. (Image: Julia Fu / Vision Times)

The solid wood tables in the guesthouse are made out of wood blocks collected by the operator. (Image: Julia Fu / Vision Times)

The spacious lounge on the ground floor is nicely decorated and equipped with a karaoke. The stately table in the middle of the room is made from a giant block of Brazilian walnut. At a corner of the lounge is another striking table made from a Taiwan cypress root carving. It is a pleasant retreat to sing or chat during the day.

A Taiwan Cypress root carving table is situated at a corner of the the lounge. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

A Taiwan cypress root carving table is situated at a corner of the lounge. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The guesthouse is also heightened by the luster of unique Hualien granite. High on a wall of the lounge is a pair of huge granite slabs with a texture that bears a striking resemblance to two shrimp facing each other in an incredibly vivid and life-like pose.

A pair of big granite slates have natural textures that bear a striking resemblance to shrimps. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

A pair of big granite slates has a natural texture that bears a striking resemblance to shrimps. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Another large Hualien granite slab on a wall of the second floor has a texture that resembles the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The Hualien granite slate on the second floor has textures resembling the Effie Tower in Paris. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The Hualien granite slab on the second floor has textures resembling the Eiffel Tower in Paris. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Covering about 40 square meters (430 ft2) each, the main guest rooms are spacious and comfortable. The guest room on the ground the floor has a Taiwan cypress root carving table.

Happy Guesthouse has five spacious guest rooms. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The Happy Guesthouse has five spacious guest rooms. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The two on the second floor are double-decker lofts separated by a spacious lounge with a huge solid wood table. The master bedroom on the first deck connects to an additional room on the second by a flight of z-shaped wooden stairs, which makes a perfect option for families or groups.

The cozy tea house at Happy Guesthouse. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision times)

The cozy tea house at the Happy Guesthouse. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision times)

The two double-decker lofts are separated by a placious lounge on the second floor. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The two double-decker lofts are separated by a spacious lounge on the second floor. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

To ensure the quality of the experience for its guests, the dining room is located in a separate building behind the accommodation area. It is a spacious room equipped with two huge tables made of Taiwan cypress solid wood that can seat as many as 50 people. It is the place where a delicious breakfast is served and the perfect place for afternoon tea and to sample the famous Yilan delicacies.

The dining room can accommodate abut 50 people at the same time. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The dining room can accommodate about 50 people at the same time. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The decorations, including the striking Hualien granites, the priceless thousand-year-old tree root carvings, the huge wood blocks used for tables and benches, the driftwood used for the doors at the main entrance, and those used for lampshades are precious items that were collected by the owner over the decades.

A priceless thousand-year-old Taiwan cypress root carving is displayed in front of the guesthouse. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

A priceless thousand-year-old tree root carving is displayed in front of the guesthouse. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Upon entering the guesthouse, one quickly appreciates the thoughtful and exquisite design of the entire complex, as well as its appointments. It’s worthwhile to escape the city and view for oneself the aesthetically pleasing environment and enjoy the beauty of nature that the guesthouse and its surroundings offer; however, it’s only available for charter.

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