Saturday, 6 February 2016

Mia's Taiwan Travelogue: Lauya Homestay at Alishan & Fenqihu

Well, if you haven't read my review of Jia's Inn Liouhe (Day 1 of Taiwan Travelogue), do hop over and get a faint idea of how Liouhe Tourist Night Market will be.

And so, after 1 day in Kaohsiung, we packed our bags and headed off to Alishan! To get to Alishan from Kaohsiung, get onto the Kaohsiung Metro and get to Zuoying Station to transfer to the High Speed Railto get to Chiayi Station, which will take you about 30 minutes as it's only 2 stops away. There's no need to get reserved ticket as the train are usually quite empty (unlike the Taipei-bound ones) and you can easily get a seat in style.

And while on the HSR, please remember to grab a HSR bento!

Wasn't expecting much from the NT $100 bento, but it was so so so good! Our eyes all LIT UP at first bite because everything was so flavourful and yummy. And we got marinated edamame as one of the sides. Who can ever resist that?

And from Chiayi, get to bus stop 3 from exit 2 of the station to take the Alishan Tourist Shuttle Service  up to Alishan, which will cost you less than NT$300 and about 1.5 hours bus ride.

Well, that was our plan, to take the long bus ride, but we got 'hooked up' by a friendly taxi driver uncle who offered to drive the 4 of us up Alishan to Lauya Homestay for NT $1600 and then to one of the Alishan tourist attraction, Fenqihu. And during our ride up the mountain, the chatty uncle actually let us stop by the Tian Chang Di Jiu Bridges (for about an hour!) to take tons of photos!

And that's Tian Chang Bridge up there in the background.

And the Di Jiu Bridge is a little more on the average side in comparison.

And that's me with a fail #ootd shot on the Tian Chang Bridge.

And then I decided to try out a quirky #ootd shot before hopping onto the taxi again and continue our journey up the mountains and to our homestay.

It just so happened that when we arrived, the owners were out on a last minute urgent errand. And it was so fortunate that the friendly taxi uncle was still with us, so we got onto the phone with the owner and arranged to keep our luggage at the main lobby and going ahead to start our first day at Alishan by going to Fenqihu!

And before moving on to Fenqihu, let's take a look at how Lauya Homestay looks like!

They have cute owls on display too!

And this is Yang Yang, one of their pet dogs that has grown wary of strangers after being attacked with stones by some kids (according to the owner). He looks so adorable and docile, but is rather temperamental and will bite without warning, so.... hands off!

And if you're planning to stay at Lauya Homestay too, and wishes to take a bus up, here's how you can get yourself right to their doorstep easily.
If you're arriving at Chiayi HSR station before 13:10, go to exit 2 and you'll get to Alishan bus terminal. Take the green bus named 'Alishan 7329" that departs at 10:10, 11:40 and 13:10 and keep check on the bus LED stop screen to make sure you alight at ShangHuDi stop. And there, you'll find yourself right in front of Lauya Homestay's garden!

If you're arriving at Chiayi HSR station after 13:10, go to exit 2 and check out the right side to take the free Bus Rapid Transit to Chiayi Rear Railway Station, which will take you 15 minutes. Then, head to the front railway station via a sky bridge to get to the Chiayi Bus station, which is at the right side of the Front Railway Station. Buy a ticket to FuShan stop and alight at ShangHuDi. Do note that the last bus is at 14:10, so make sure you don't plan to head up Alishan too late!

And so, after getting our luggage settled at Lauya, we hopped onto the taxi again and off we went for a late lunch! The taxi uncle very nicely brought us to this Tie Dao Shan Cheng old school 'cafe' that's nestled in the 'back alley' along the path to Fenqihu, a place I'm sure we'll never have found if not for him.

There's many cats roaming around the cafe too! 

First thing that caught my eyes was Doraemon and I immediately yelled for kx. ROFL.

Spotted a vintage telephone! 

And yes, it's the NT $100 (old school) railway bento again. And for just $100, you get a huge-ass drumstick, braised egg, a piece of fried fish, a piece of fried fishcake, a slice of sausage, veggies and a bowl of meatball soup FOC. Otherwise, you can opt for the pork version, which gives you a really huge piece of pork cutlet. Though flavourful, I found the meat generally too dry and tough, and so was the egg. The meatball soup was reeking of the 'pork smell' and only T wasn't too affected by it.

And as I've mentioned that the meatball soup wasn't too well-received at the table, the cat got to benefit from it in the end!

And from the cafe, we walked uphill for around 10 minutes and got to the 'entrance' of the fenqihu old street, which is easily recognised by the 7-11. 

The view that awaits us when we go to the 'top' of the uphill going old street.

The place is like jiufen old street in the Taipei area, albeit smaller and less 'happening'. However, if you wishes to get some Taiwanese snacks or just get a feel of how Taiwanese old streets look like and has some time to spare, you can drop by for about 1 hour to 1.5 hour before heading off to your next destination.

And I bought a tray of yummy mochi to snack on back at Lauya. It's a pity I didn't get to finish it within the recommended 3 days, but at least I gobbled up all the chocolate ones, which were the yummiest flavour. 

And not forgetting an #ootd shot on the railway tracks before heading over to ShiZhao for dinner (via cab, but you can take the bus too) and returning to Lauya for the night.

And, welcome to our VIP room!

The room is really huge and has two "sections" to it with two beds, one section with the bathroom and the other section with the TV. What connects the two sections is a corner with armchairs (as shown in the first picture) that faces the balcony with views like this.

The bathroom is pretty spacious with a rainshower and L'occitane toiletries provided. There's also a washroom located right outside our room, so there's no fear of long queues outside the bathroom with a supposedly 4:1 ratio.

The friendliness of the owners, comfy-ness of the room and awesomeness of the view aside, there's just one thing that kind of bugged us, and that is the temperature of the room. For some reason, it was extremely cold and returning to the room at night before turning on the room heaters was almost like walking on ice. It took quite a while for the heaters to heat up the room and yet, it still wasn't quite a comfortable warmth, just a bearable cold. The heated beds at this time was a total God-send and somehow in the middle of the night we all started perspiring and kicking off the blankets. HAHA!

For booking of Lauya Homestay, visit, or for better deals!

Till then,
Mia Foo


  1. Great travel post! We did not have time to visit Alishan in our Taiwan trip last year because it's far from Taipei where we stayed. We took home mochi balls for our own consumption. The matcha and chocolate flavored ones are really delicious.

  2. A nice place for a traveler like me. Very simple place to visit to unwind and relax. I like any bento food. Lol

  3. I love the pictures! Great shots. I've never heard of this part of Taiwan yet. Sure looks beautiful! I actually thought it was some part of Japan at first. I'd love to visit there some day. Thanks for sharing. Keep it up!

  4. I enjoyed Jiufen. I like the vibe there and the location. My friends and I never got around to go to the southern part of Taiwan but I heard so many beautiful attractions there, too.

  5. It looks a really good place to visit.I love the picture where you can see the mountains and the river. The lush was vibrant and deep that I think I am in the place. Good job with the photo!

  6. Great post combining food, shopping, sightseeing and so on. Would love to visit Taiwan!

  7. Your room looks soooo cozy and as if they were taken from a travel mag. Tie Dao Shan Cheng is a place that I would check out if I were there. I love its authenticity.

  8. I've never seen this part of Taiwan before, they always feature the busy cities in travel channels. It's really a great place to relax and just lay back. Thanks for sharing your travel experience!

  9. Wow! I love to visit Taiwan, there are many food, fruits and so many things so see and buy. My friends stayed in Lauya before and they like it there top.

  10. I spotted a border collie in your photos!! So adorable and fluffy, looks like you also enjoy taking animal photos during travels just like me :D

  11. I haven't been to Taiwan but have lots of friends who are working there. I like how the room is designed. This makes me want to travel there soon.

  12. I love their bathroom with wooden kind of walls and toiletries. It must be difficult to maintain such a brilliant look.

  13. Lovely photos! The food looks delicious!

  14. You are lucky you got out of Kaohsiung before that strong earthquake hit yesterday. I have heard of Ali Shan since I was a child, but as of yet, there had been no opportunity to visit it. Hopefully soon.

  15. These pictures are looking great actually.No doubt a great place to visit and spend some relax time.Sometimes I believe it's so nice to be travel bloggers like you guys :)

    1. actually i'm not a travel blogger. blogging is just a hobby for me. :)

  16. The homestay looks beautiful. I'm a fan of homestays than hotels. They have such a personal feel about them!

  17. I've been mostly in Taipei in my trips to Taiwan. I should visit the other areas. I like the view of the bridge and the mountains.

  18. Haha, I have never tried Homestay in Taiwan! It was always hotel! I love the place you lived in, look so vintage yet country-like! I will love to stay there one day!

  19. The place is so inviting, the vintage look of the house is so cozy. Nice travel and I wish I can visit this place. Hope your doing fine there...take care.

  20. I will look for the HSR Bento too, when I visit Taiwan. Hope the place you stay was not badly devastated by the recent earthquake though.

  21. I would love to go to Taiwan again too :)

    Happy New Year!!

  22. Hi, will be travelling to Lauya homestay next week. Wonder if you still have the contact of the friendly uncle that drive you to Lauya homestay from Chiayi HSR ? Btw, is it easy to catch a taxi at the Chaiyi HSR ? Hope to hear from you soon. :)

    1. Hi, i didn't think of getting the taxi driver uncle's contact number back then! When he approached us at the bus stop for the alishan bus, it seems like he was just staying around there to tout for customers going up alishan, so maybe you can try your luck! He also told us he has driven on the route (to alishan) daily, for 30 years. so chances of him being there shouldn't be that low as long as it's not a peak season for tourist to head up the mountain. :)

    2. Oh ... did you paid him more than NT1600 for bring you around after leaving luggage at lauyu.

    3. we tipped him an additional amt because we really took up alot of his time! but he didn't ask for any extra money from us.

    4. Thanks lots for your help, hope we find the friendly uncle there if we miss the bus :)


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