Feel At Home At 500KM Home In Hualien City 花莲市中心:住宿伍百里驿站感受家的温暖

After visiting Fangliao & Taitung, we proceeded to Hualien for 2 nights in Hualien City. As it was my first time to Hualien, I decided to be a “typical tourist” to check out the most-visited tourist attraction in the county, i.e. Taroko Gorge. Therefore staying in Hualien City was an obvious choice for us given its accessibility to connect to major sights as well as to other parts of Taiwan. As Hualien is a popular tourist destination, there is a myriad of accommodation options in the city to choose from, from hostels, guest houses to hotels, so quite some time was spent on researching for the option that best fitted our requirements. In the end, we picked 500KM Home because of the following reasons:

探访了枋寮与台东之后,我们前往花莲市住宿两晚。既然是第一次到花莲游玩,当然不能错过造访花莲最著名的太鲁阁国家公园区啦。因此,在花莲市住宿是理所当然的选择,去各个旅游景点会比较方便,与台湾其他省份的衔接也比较便利。由于花莲市一向都是深受游客欢迎的地区,这里有各式住宿选择,有旅舍、民宿以及饭店等等。选择太多,也让我花了不少时间上网做功课,以找到我们的理想住宿。最后,我们的选择是伍百里驿站,原因如下:

  1. Location: At first, we thought of picking a hotel in the city, for convenience like having an elevator, near shops etc. But we realised that if we want to be surrounded by night markets, shops etc, yet still hope to enjoy sea view, it would be a tough search as most affordable hotels are located inland. 500KM Home is situated on 106 Beibin Street, which is right next to the coast, yet just a 7-min walk from night markets, so we can have the best of both worlds. 🙂
    位置:原本,我们想在市区订饭店的,因为饭店通常会有电梯、临近商店及各种设施等。但后来仔细搜查,发现位于市中心的饭店虽然靠近夜市、商店等,但想要在房间赏海景的话,有点困难,因为饭店大多无海景。坐落于北滨街106号的伍百里驿站,就在海滨旁,去夜市也只需步行约7分钟,能符合我们的“双重条件”。
  2. Price: 500KM Home is quite reasonably priced at 2,200 TWD per weekend night (~S$102.65) for a twin-sharing sea-facing (sunrise) room. There was also a promotion going on where we could enjoy 10% discount for the subsequent second night of stay, so the average cost per night became 2,000 TWD (~S$93.30). For the type of accommodation we were eyeing, this was the lowest price. Hotels were at least around S$120 per night for twin-sharing room.
    房费:伍百里的住宿费合理,周末以及假日的海景(迎曦)双人房,一晚是台币2,200元。我们预订的时候,也享有第二晚入住的9折优惠,所以一晚的平均价格为台币2,000元。比起其他我们看上的同等住宿,这是最合理的。饭店一晚至少要新币120元左右,相等于台币 2,580 元。
  3. Other factors: Generally, I prefer to stay in newer accommodation if I can find one with similar good location & price. 500KM Home only welcomed its first guests in July 2016, a relatively new minsu of barely 1 year old. This certainly was a plus point. Another good thing about 500KM was separate beds were placed in twin-sharing rooms, unlike most other minsus where it would usually be 1 double bed. Through my interactions with the owner prior to booking, I found that they were quite service-oriented too. Since Taiwan is quite well known for its hospitable minsu culture, we decided to abandon the idea of a hotel stay, & book a 2-night stay in a minsu for the unique experience.
    其他因素:一般上,我喜欢预订刚建好或是刚装修不久的住宿,只要价格和地点都符合我的条件。刚在去年2016年7月开张的伍百里算是相当新的民宿,还不到一年。而且,有别于其他民宿多以一张双人床两人同睡的形式,伍百里的双人房有两张单人床,正适合我们两名女生(因为我不习惯和他人共享一张床,😅)。当然,伍百里的贴心服务也是一大考量。既然我们这次是到拥有亲切民宿文化的台湾,干脆就去体验一下民宿的温暖,所以也就决定选择伍百里。😁

位于北滨街106号的伍百里驿站

By the time we arrived at the minsu, it was already evening 6+pm. The friendly Tsai family was all prepared to check us into our sunrise room on level 4. While there were no elevators in the minsu, Mr Tsai & his son acted promptly by bringing our luggages up to the room in no time, without us asking for assistance.

抵达民宿时,已是傍晚6点多了。伍百里主人家(蔡家)看似等了我们很久的样子😋,立即帮我们办简单的入住程序,带我们上4楼的迎曦房去。虽然没有电梯,但蔡老板及儿子很快地就把我们的行李搬到房间去,都无需我们多问。

401 迎曦双人房

The room was decked in my favourite colour (coincidentally), & looks exactly like the photos we saw online. Despite being only 18 sqm, the compact room didn’t feel too cramped. Besides air-con, there was also a standing electric fan which we could use below the LCD TV mounted on the wall. All basic amenities such as kettle, TV with cable channels, chairs, coffee & tea, bottled water & even a small but elegant dressing table could be found. On each floor of the minsu, there was a dedicated router along the hallway so the free Wi-Fi connection was stable & strong throughout. There was also a water dispenser just outside our room where we could get hot & cold drinking water, so the kettle was hardly used. Most importantly, the beds & pillows provided were very comfortable for a good night’s rest.

很巧的,401号房漆上我最爱的粉紫色,就如网上的照片一样。虽然房间只有18平方尺,但感觉不会太狭窄。除了有冷气设备以外,房间里还有一台站立式的电风扇让房客使用。该有的设备如电热水壶、附有随选视讯的液晶电视、舒适的靠椅、茶包、瓶装水甚至精巧优雅的梳妆台。每一层楼也有无线网络接驳器,确保上网通畅无阻。房外就有一台饮水机,所以我们都不怎么需要使用电热水壶来煮水。最重要的是,两张床都很舒适,让我们能一觉到天亮。

Laundry area at the rooftop on level 5 顶楼的洗衣设备

Besides the pleasant & comfortable room, we could also use the laundry area at the rooftop as we wish for free. Liquid detergent was also provided free of charge by the owner. Given that we had already accumulated many days of dirty clothing since the last wash at Inn By The Village, we did our laundry at 500KM Home as well. 😉 On a clear day, the view from the rooftop was great too, as I saw it with my own eyes on the morning we were to check out.

除了舒适整洁的客房,我们也能免费使用顶楼的洗衣设备,包括洗衣机和洗衣液。因为已经来台湾很多天了,脏衣服也蛮多的,所以就顺便洗了。天气晴朗的时候,顶楼的景色也很棒,可以看到后面的山峦以及前方的海景。

Breakfast was also lovely at the common lounge on the ground floor of the minsu. While it wasn’t buffet style like typical hotels, I could tell that the mother & son duo put in great efforts to make sure the breakfast set not only looked presentable, but also tasty while infusing some local flavours into the meal.

每天早上醒来,也能到一楼的大厅享用免费早餐。虽然不像一般饭店提供自助餐服务,但蔡家母子俩也是费了一番心思,精心准备早餐。早餐端上桌时,感觉是色香味俱全,而且使用的食材很道地。

简单美味的活力早餐,让我们迎接新的一天 😊

Our first breakfast was a simple but filling ham & egg wholemeal sandwich set served with sweet potatoes & dragon fruit (top pic), while the yummy egg roll (local breakfast specialty) was served with salad & fruit on the second morning. We could also choose coffee, tea or milk to perk us up for the day. I especially enjoyed the egg roll as it was a local specialty which was really delicious & resembles the roti prata in Singapore, albeit less oily.

第一天早上,品尝的是简单但馅料丰富的火腿鸡蛋全麦三明治餐,还有道地的番薯及龙珠果(台湾好像是叫它火龙果,左上图)。第二天,蔡妈准备了在地的早点——蛋饼,配以沙拉和西瓜让我们享用。饮料方面有咖啡、茶或鲜奶让我们享用。虽然简单的一顿早餐,但看得出主人家的用心,确保我们有营养均衡的一餐。我特别喜爱道地的蛋饼,很好吃,有点像新加坡的印度煎饼,但没那么油腻。

During breakfast, the affable Mrs Tsai would chat about anything under the sun with us, from beautiful sights in Hualien, where we had visited so far, to why the family decided to move to Hualien from Chiayi and so on… Although we didn’t really know the family before checking into 500KM Home, they felt like old friends to us. The entire minsu was just so cosy & homely.

早餐时间也是我们与亲切友善的蔡妈闲聊的时间。话题从花莲有哪些美景,我们到访过的景点,到他们一家为何选择从嘉义搬到花莲等等,似乎聊不完,😄。纵使我们其实在入住伍百里前并不认识蔡家,但聊天时就像与朋友对话一样自在。民宿给人整体的感觉真的很温暖、窝心。

The welcoming common lounge on the ground floor

Mrs Tsai mentioned to us that the green wall where the TV is mounted with guest scribblings was actually an accidental design, as what the interior designer originally designed did not meet their expectations. Thus they decided to clean off what was done & repainted the wall. Many guests have commented the new design looks artistic & cosy. In fact, this has become the favourite spot for photo-taking with guests before checking out, including us. We found this piece of accidental art very beautiful too. 🙂

在闲聊时,蔡妈提到电视后填满房客留言的绿墙原本不是这个样子,是一个无心插柳的设计。蔡家对设计师原先打造的大厅不满意,索性自己换掉并重新涂上新的颜色。许多房客入住后都告诉他们这道墙让整个大厅增添几份艺术气息,也让人感觉舒服,我也是这么想。现在,大厅的这个角落也是大家最爱合照的地方,包括我们在内。😊

To conclude, we didn’t regret choosing to stay at 500KM Home in Hualien City. Not only does it offer a wallet-friendly price with good location, the impeccable service from the owner was truly commendable. Just to cite some examples, we asked them to help us book train tickets to Taipei as we heard tickets sell like hot cakes the moment they are released 2 weeks before actual date. In addition, we also made last-minute changes to our pre-booked Taroko Gorge day tour through them but they didn’t seem irritated with such last-minute requests too. The best part of their service? Due to bad weather throughout our stay in Hualien, we didn’t get to enjoy as much as we had hoped for, so Mr & Mrs Tsai decided to bring us around the city on a quick drive on our last morning before our train departed for Taipei!

总体而言,我们没后悔选择入住花莲市的伍百里驿站。民宿不仅价钱合理,地点优越,主人家的盛情款待与贴心服务更为3天2夜的住宿锦上添花。例如,我们听说火车票不容易买得到,通常在网上购票一开始不久就会售完。所以就拜托蔡家帮忙购买前台北的火车票。原本已通过民宿订了太鲁阁一日游的包车司机,但由于天气关系,我们到出发的前一晚都还在调整行程,而主人也没有不悦。最让我们惊喜的是,蔡老板和太太觉得我们在花莲很不巧地遇上梅雨季,因而没什么好好赏美景很可惜。因此在我们离开花莲的最后一个早上,趁着天晴,特地载我们到四周拍拍照,让我们有机会看到花莲的美。😀

I would certainly recommend you to stay at 500KM Home for your next Hualien trip, so that you can enjoy authentic Taiwanese hospitality. If you are travelling in a big group of up to 21 pax, you can book the whole minsu, & even use the BBQ pit available for guests. It is an experience that will make you feel so at home with ease!

如果你有意到花莲一游,伍百里驿站是个很不错的选择。想约一大群亲朋戚友一起去花莲玩?可以包下整栋伍百里(最多21人),大家一起感受台湾人的热情与贴心的服务。还可以在民宿搞个烤肉聚会,在异地享受如家一般的舒适温暖!

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