1 Cosy Night In Fangliao @幸福海钓猫 – 在枋寮的一晚温馨民宿

Given that Fangliao is a small township in the southern Pingtung County, there weren’t many accommodation choices to choose from. After some research & going through my accommodation priorities, I decided on an apartment with a balcony facing the South China Sea. Probably because the township isn’t a well-known touristy area, accommodation prices were very affordable, even for mine with sea view. The studio apartment we finally booked only costed 999 TWD (~S$46.60) per night for 2 persons, the cheapest lodging we had for the entire 9-day Taiwan trip.

因为枋寮只是台湾南部屏东县的一个小乡,所以也没有太多的住宿选择。上网搜查并了解各住宿的优缺点后,决定预订一间看得到海景的民宿。听说,屏东县是面向南中国海的。或许枋寮不是什么著名的旅游景点,所以房价大致上都很合理,包括我们订的这间海景民宿。两人一晚的住宿只需台币999,是我们9天台湾行最便宜的住宿了。

There was no English name for the apartment, or minsu as commonly known, which can be loosely translated as homestay or bed & breakfast in English. Since no breakfast is provided at this minsu, think it’s better to call it a homestay. 😉 I pondered over how to translate the Chinese name of this minsu – 幸福海钓猫 (bloglink; Facebook link) for a long time, & even tried to ask the host why he chose to name the home as such so that I could try to translate it better. He replied that it was his dream to own a small home by the sea, as he felt that watching the sunset by the sea makes him happy, hence the name. I guess I would never be able to get a perfect translation of the minsu for non-Chinese readers here, but here’s my attempt: “Fishing Cat by the Sea of Happiness”. When you see the photos of the minsu later in this post, you will understand why the sudden mention of cat. 😛

既然是一个小乡镇,民宿主人萧先生并没有给它取一个英文名字。想了好久,都不知道如何翻译“幸福海钓猫 ”,让看不懂中文的读者也能认得它。我还特地向萧先生询问民宿名字的由来。原来,他的梦想是能在海边有一间看海的小房,因为觉得来海边看夕阳是非常幸福的事。就不知道我以上的英文翻译体现出多少萧先生的原义精髓呢?嘻嘻

One thing good about booking this minsu, it was a fuss-free experience with the host Mr Xiao over email/ LINE messaging. He didn’t require us to pay a deposit upfront unlike most other accommodations. I was a bit surprised & concerned if the booking would really be taken seriously. So 1 week before the scheduled check-in, I messaged him a reminder & he replied to say of course he has reserved the minsu for us for the night! 😛

预订幸福海钓猫很方便快捷,只需电邮或通过LINE应用程序与萧先生联系就行了。跟很多其他住宿不同的是,预订房间无需付订金。这儿让我有点惊讶,甚至担心订房是否真的成功。所以在入住的一个星期前,我还特地提醒萧先生。他也很快就回复我叫我放心啦,已经预留房间给我们了!😄

Check-in was only available after 3.30pm so we explored a bit of the township before we collected the keys to his minsu from the Takoyaki stall just steps ahead from Fangliao Station. To our pleasant surprise, although Mr Xiao had already provided pictorial instructions of how to get to the minsu through LINE, there was a photo album provided together with the keys! Furthermore, we also received our welcome gift – a free box of yummy Takoyaki from the boss. 🙂

由于进房时间是下午3.30到晚上9店之间,我们到枋寮火车站后先溜达了一阵子才去火车站右前方50米的章鱼烧摊位那里领取民宿钥匙。虽然萧先生已在LINE 以照片清楚地说明如何抵达民宿,拿钥匙时,章鱼烧老板还是递给我们一本详细的照片指南!而且,还附赠一盒美味的现烤章鱼烧请我们吃。:)

Nice gesture to welcome us with this delicious box of Takoyaki 😉

Thereafter, we continued down the straight road for about 10 min before turning right into the small alley in front of a brown/grey colour building. It was easy to recognise where to turn right, because the Takoyaki stall boss had already alerted us earlier that we should turn upon seeing a tall building near the seaside. There’s a run-down shop on its ground floor with 2 really skinny cats, couldn’t remember what they sell but definitely not a convenience store. The minsu is located in the apartment building next to it as we turned in. We used the key to open the main gate & took the lift nearest to the gate to level 4. But alas, we had taken the wrong lift & had to walk further down the narrow & dark corridor before we could see our minsu entrance, just like how it looks in the photo.

之后,我们就一直沿着火车站正前方的这条路往前走,大约10分钟,就可以看到右前方有一栋较高的褐/灰色建筑,在这里右转进小巷就对了。这栋建筑的一楼有一间陈旧的店屋,门前有两只超瘦的小猫。幸福海钓猫所在的公寓大厦就在它隔壁。打开大门后,就乘坐最靠近大门的电梯到4楼去。到了4楼才惊觉我们搭错电梯,只好穿过狭窄阴暗的走廊到大厦的另一端,才看到我们的民宿入口。

Just like what I saw online, the studio apartment wasn’t very big, but cosy enough for 2 pax.

就如网上看到的一样,民宿不大,但2个人入住,还蛮舒适的。

Find a small kitchenette (left) & bathroom (right) before getting into the room

打开大门,左边就是一个小厨房,右边就是浴室,然后才是卧房。

Simple kitchenette which we only used for boiling water

Basic old-fashioned bathroom – the shower gel provided has a refreshing aroma 🙂

简单的厕所设备,但是主人提供的沐浴乳有股清新的香气哦!

Clean & neat room for the night

Love the delicate details Mr Xiao put in decorating the room

Based on what I read, Mr Xiao seems to be a fan of trains, hence that could have explained why he placed a figurine of an uniformed railway officer beside the TV. In my opinion, he was also pretty good with decorating the room with little details such as bright coloured cushions on the sofa, artistic wooden furniture and paintings of the beautiful sea on the wall. Overall, these evoked a warm & cosy feeling for guests staying here. Perhaps he also knew that the air-con may not be strong enough on hot summer days, there is a standing fan that we could also turn on to cool down the room. Thankful for that! A little downside would be, if you examine closely, the furnishings & amenities were not so well-maintained, so perfectionists may have some grouses if you stay here. The selling point of this minsu was of course, the awesome balcony overlooking the South China Sea!

根据网上的资料,萧先生好像是一名铁道迷,也许因为这样,电视机旁有个可爱的铁道职员肖像吧。对我而言,他蛮花心思为房间注入小惊喜,使简单的小空间感觉温馨舒适。例如,采用有淡淡艺术家气息的木制家具,色彩鲜明的坐垫,漂亮的海景画等等。或许,他也晓得在酷热的夏天时,房间有冷气还是不够凉爽,所以还有一台站立式风扇给客人用。这点对我们真的还蛮重要的,哈哈!不过,仔细看,民宿里的家具,设施等并没有很用心地在保养。眼尖、追求完美的客人应该看到不少瑕疵吧。当然,幸福海钓猫的最大卖点就是,只要一踏出房间到阳台,就能享受无敌海景!

Noticed 2 tiny cat figurines sitting on the edge in the middle of the balcony? 😉 This is why the minsu was named with cats inside. Too bad the day we arrived, the weather was too hot for comfort so we didn’t really want to chill out here to feed mosquitoes haha. We also missed the sunset & sunrise because it became cloudy that evening & drizzled all the way till the next morning. 😦 Nonetheless, with or without sunset or sunrise, the sea view was equally mesmerizing.

有没有看到阳台上两只可爱的猫咪玩偶?这就是为什么民宿的名字里有个猫。可惜的是,我们抵达当天,天气太炎热,根本不想呆在阳台太久喂蚊子。😄 当天傍晚,乌云开始密布,下起绵绵细雨,直到隔天。因此,我们也就错过欣赏夕阳及日出的美景了。无论有没有赏到日出日落,海景还是一样那么迷人。。。

While there were hits & misses with this minsu experience, it was still a value for money accommodation in my personal opinion. For a short stay in a rural township to escape from the hectic city life & enjoy a back-to-basics life, I wouldn’t mind returning here again!

虽然幸福海钓猫不尽完美,但是还是一家物有所值的民宿选择。远离繁华城市的喧闹,来到宁静的小乡镇,过一两天简单、纯朴的生活,何尝不是一件乐事?;)

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