A Warm House on the Island
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A Warm House on the Island
Features & Amenities
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Discover the wonder of the lodging.
“Meni” stands for strong and firm in the Tao language. Take a small plane or a ferry ride, depending on whether you yearn for a closer look at the azure sky or you’d like to brave the wind and waves. Upon landing on Lanyu, the laid-back ambience embraces you with a fitful sea breeze, while the lush mountains with goats wandering about all await you in their daily scenery. Here, life is a vacation. The islanders with dark skin and flying hair welcome you with bright smiles. Every one more step you take to walk into the scenery, the more unique charm of Lanyu you would experience. The butler of Meni’s Place waves at you in the crowd and brings you back to the guesthouse, a strong and warm house that all of its former guests miss so much.
The encounter of the host family and travellers, agreeable and relaxing
Riding a scooter, on the way, the blazing sunshine covers your body while accompanied by the ocean in a blue gradient. Park the scooter by the seaside pavilion, you walk uphill as guided by the wooden signage painted with Chinese hibiscus, then turn into a lane with a row of houses. A few cats and dogs sit or lie on the asphalt road to chill out. Surfboards and wetsuits are drying in the sun. Meni’s Place, in a reassuring orange-yellow, stands at the bottom of the curved laneway and awaits travellers to visit and explore.
Leaving the bright sun behind for a moment, you walk into the lounge shared by the host family and guests behind the glass door. The host, Xiaoshi, who is playing with his daughters, turns his head and says hi to you. His wife XiaoQ also steps out from the kitchen, holding a baby in her arms. With light music playing in the background, the space is cool and relaxing despite the heat outside. A group of travellers, like friends who come from afar, sit around the long wooden table with a hand-drawn map spreading out, while the butler and helpers are passionately introducing the must-go spots. The mood in the guesthouse instantly heats up and the lounge is loaded with excitement.
Five rooms display five styles of leisurely life
Behind the wood door outside the main house, the cool cement stairs coupled with colorful gravels lead you to the second and third floor. Walk along the aisle decorated with tasteful photos and shells, you will find five rooms with five different styles of leisurely life.
Opening the window in “Drifting Double Room,” you can take in the mountains covered in greenery and the ocean not far away. In this quiet room, the shelf is loaded with good books, a driftwood serves as clothes tree, and the bluebird painted on the white wooden chair accompanies you to put your mind at ease or let it fly. A huge Chinese hibiscus is painted on the wall of “Ocean View Double Room,” embodying the charms of this oceanic island in the summer. “Reading Twin Double Room” has a little indoor tent for you to enjoy the fun of hiding in an intimate atmosphere. “Large Balcony Ocean View Twin Double Room” holds its name proudly with the vast balcony for you and your mates to embrace an expansive view of the ocean. Sitting outside, you joke with each other and laugh heartily with the background of planes landing and the leaves of wet taro fluttering in the breeze. “Invincible Ocean View Quad Room” features two single beds and one bunk bed, that each of you has a window view for gazing at the stars and let the waves nearby gently lap the border of your dreams.
Stay for two nights and retrieve the wonder of relaxation
In the morning, brew a cup of pour-over coffee to awaken the sleepy soul of yours. The book you haven’t finished reading from last night still sits on the bedside, while the ocean outside the window is brightened by the sun, layering three different colors of blue. In a daze, your heart is immersed in the boundless blue. Changing into flip-flops, you head out to the beloved local breakfast store. Riding the scooter on a somewhat bumpy coastal road, you think to yourself, that perhaps a true vacation doesn’t need much. Staying in a warm little house with the companion of the sea, music, books, and the laughter of encountering with new friends, that’s all it takes.
One of the rules of Meni’s Place is that you’ll have to stay for at least two nights in a row. The intention is for travellers to slow their pace and have more time bathing in the sea breeze as well as sunshine. The laid-back and relaxing feeling Meni’s Place offers is just like an aloe vera that can relieve your tiredness from a long-day adventure on the island. Lying on the soft sofa with the window view of mountains and the ocean, you sing softly with brisk music flowing in the room. You hope that every traveller can find the warmth in his or her heart on the journey, and keep moving forward to a better life with that refound self, in strong and firm strides.
Meet the moving story of the host.
Sitting off the southeastern coast of Taiwan, Lanyu is home to the Tao people who strive to retain their unique culture and customs, as well as the unspoiled natural beauty of this charming little island. Each spring, flying fish come with the current take a flight to the air around the island. Their soaring figures with black wings are just like the canoes full of harvest, making the islanders sing merrily to celebrate. Countless travellers are attracted to the breathtaking scenery and the aboriginal tradition. They set foot on Lanyu to explore and learn the traditional belief of the Tao people, listen to the stories and ancient legends told by the Langtao villagers, and wander through the wild field of Yeyin Village. The six villages here each bears a distinctive character, enriching the cultural landscape of this tiny island. While the islanders live in this picturesque natural spectacle, there is one family is like walking out of a picture. Meni’s Place, located in Hungtou Village, is a firm house of a hardworking and good-hearted family. The host, Xiaoshi, is a Tao aboriginal. And his wife XiaoQ, a traveller who once stayed at Meni’s Place and fell for the island and its people, now takes root here and helps run the guesthouse. Along with their kids – Beibei, Yangyang, and Xiangxiang – the family of five lead a sweet and simple life on Lanyu while travellers come and go.
Enjoy life and build the relaxing Meni’s Place
Xiaoshi’s dark face has strongly defined features as the blood of Lanyu native runs through his veins, and he talks with a sense of humor of his originality. Upon finishing junior high school, he left Lanyu to Taiwan and stayed there for studying and working afterward. When he was 28, a phone call regarding a government-granted house rebuilding plan brought him home. Back to Lanyu, he first opened up a tribal cafe-bar and drove his mobile coffee truck to Green Green Grassland to serve the tourists. “My typical day would be like starting from greeting the sheep and ending by picking up stones all over the island.” Xiaoshi smiles and recalls the period of being a lone wolf. The wandering past still can be seen in his brown eyes, but now, thinking of his responsibility for his family, a gentle look takes over his face.
Xiaoshi started running Meni’s Place in 2007 and continued to build more rooms for the guesthouse. His previous experience as a travel photographer in Bali had a major influence on his design aesthetics. “I hope that the local environment, music, and people all are able to interact naturally.” Xiaoshi planned and built the space in the belief that people should slow their pace and return to a laid-back status. “You have to learn how to live before you can enjoy it. The scenery is always there, it won’t escape,” says Xiaoshi. Because he loves to savor life, he also loves to share this attitude toward the wonder of life with travellers. Meni’s Place is one of the first B&Bs on Lanyu that introduced the work exchange program as well. Visitors can not only have a taste of local life as travellers, but they can gain deeper experience by being butlers or helpers at the lodging and stay for a longer period of time.
The wonderful encounter on the island
As the night grew late, three kids and the stars above Lanyu all fell asleep, Xiaoshi and XiaoQ finally had some time for themselves. After a few beers and snacks, they told us how they met each other and more stories about Lanyu.
Back in 2010, the lost passion for work and a relationship setback making XiaoQ quit her job as an insurance agent and leave Taipei, the city she had lived for more than a decade. She travelled around Taiwan, and when she came to Lanyu, she stayed at Meni’s Place for a week. Xiaoshi was the only host of the guesthouse then, and perhaps XiaoQ was attracted to his unique and subtle temperament at first, they gradually developed feelings for each other. The island romance just blossomed under the pink sky brushed by the rays of sunset. Xiaoshi jokes that, when XiaoQ was leaving and he went seeing her off at the airport, he really wished that there had been a storm to keep her staying. “Before we met, I was like a kite drifting in the sky for a very long time.” In the past, this prodigal son spent his day either listening to the radio under the shade of a pavilion or going fishing with his speargun. Eventually, he met with XiaoQ, the girl gave him a sense of security and not just a holiday fling. The addition of XiaoQ completes the longing of Meni’s Place to be as a home and a family.
The pulse of the ocean in the Tao blood
Inheriting the pulse of the ocean in the blood of the Tao people, Xiaoshi’s mind and soul are still engraved with ancient myths and wisdom. “Our own culture is our belief.” Abiding by their unique calendar, the Tao people live and practice religious rituals in accordance with nature’s rhythm. They obey the taboo against going out when night falls, talk to the mountains and forests in all sincerity, and be grateful to the ocean who bestows upon them so many gifts. When we talked in high spirits, Xiaoshi also vividly imitated the different accents of the six villages on Lanyu. “The tone of Hungtou Village is agreeable, the Langtao’s is like singing, and the Yeyin’s is forthright.” Xiaoshi felt very lucky to be born on this beautiful island with such a diverse culture.
Different from the older generation with conservative thinking, Xiaoshi has an open mind for everything new. In the hope of enriching not only his own life but also the life of the island, Xiaoshi appreciated that their ancestors didn’t compromise the environment protection for money and that those who work in the field of culture and history have recorded their culture objectively. “Now in the morning, in front of the farmer’s association building, the markets selling fresh vegetables and seafood are held regularly, while the elderly happily gather in front of the post office.” Seeing that some changes are made on the island, Xiaoshi smiled with a feeling of content.
On the otherworldly Lanyu, people not only strive to preserve their environment and culture but also welcome more new things. More intercultural loves are blessed, while more new ideas are sparked off. Some Lanyu natives far away from home keep the island in their minds, while drawn to the beauty of the island, more and more travellers stay for the vitality of the blue ocean and simplicity of strolling in the idyllic scene. Meni’s Place stands here with its root growing deeper into the soil of Lanyu. The eyes of the host family are full of hopes for the better future, just like flying fish soaring in the wind.
Max. guest: 2 people
NTD 3,000 ~ 3,200/room
Accommodation only, Ocean View, In-room bathroom, Separate bathroom and toilet, 1 double bed, Balcony with view, Extra person is not allowed (more)
Max. guest: 2 people
NTD 2,200 ~ 2,400/room
Accommodation only, On the 2nd floor, Ocean View, In-room bathroom, Separate bathroom and toilet, 1 double bed, Extra person is not allowed (more)
Invincible Ocean View
Max. guest: 4 people
NTD 4,500 ~ 4,700/room
Accommodation only, Ocean View, In-room bathroom, Separate bathroom and toilet, Balcony with view, Extra person is not allowed (more)
Large Balcony Ocean View
Max. guest: 4 people
NTD 4,000 ~ 4,200/room
Accommodation only, On the 2nd floor, Ocean View, In-room bathroom, Separate bathroom and toilet, Balcony with view, Extra person is not allowed (more)
Max. guest: 4 people
NTD 3,500 ~ 3,700/room
Accommodation only, On the 2nd floor, In-room bathroom, Separate bathroom and toilet, Up to 1 extra person (with extra bed) (more)
Cancellation and Postponement Policy
Facility and Service