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Guanxi, Hsinchu

Lo House

Explore the Lo Family's Literary Prestige in the Hills of Guanxi

+54

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Dear b&b Three Heartfelt Promises Certification

  • Hundred year-old traditional Hakkanese courtyard residence
  • Beautiful calligraphic couplets and carvings in wood and stone
  • Spacious scenery near the hills and overlooking green fields
  • Cultural walking map through the small town of Guanxi
  • Variety of thematic travel tours available

Our Stay

Discover the wonder of the lodging.

Explore the Lo Family's Literary Prestige in the Hills of Guanxi

You drive along Guanxi old street in the genial winter sun, while the buildings along the way paint a textured portrait of life in this small township. Eventually, you round a bend near the end of the road. Driving past the alleys that divide farmers’ fields, past the Nanshan Bridge, and circling around the babbling Fengshan River through the Nanshan hills, a cool wind gradually pierces the warm sunlight. A traditional courtyard home sits at the base of the Nanshan hills with it’s stacks of red bricks and layers of stone tiles. An elegant calligraphic couplet written above the door relates in detail a magnificent, hundred-year history, and passes on the enduring beauty of Lo House.

 

 

A century of intellectual tradition at Yu Zhang Hall in Guanxi’s Shangnanpian area

After entering the gate, you follow a pathway into the courtyard home where time and sunlight have faded the once-red color of the brick as well as the traces of history in the courtyard itself. The door frame is covered with rhyming couplets of verse in regular calligraphic script while carvings on the walls and window lattice quietly depict the glory of the Lo family. Along the doorway’s crossbeam hang the words “Yu Zhang Hall.” The courtyard in front of the doorway is spacious, situated along the upper reaches of Fengshan River and overlooking the pastoral landscape of Nanpian. This is Lo House, a traditional Hakkanese building which has inherited over a century of history. Built in Guanxi by the Lo family settlement beside their original residence and nicknamed “the new building under the big tree beside the river,” this building would later become the private school where the children of the Lo family would receive their schooling. Hence it eventually took the honorific name “Lo House Academy.”

 

The owner of the house, Mr. Lo, would return to this place every summer since he was small. He shares stories of how, nearly a century ago, it took 12 years to complete construction. The inner wall was built of thick mud bricks as well as slender bricks stacked to create a cavity wall, while the outer wall was constructed from both stones and bricks. The richly ornamented beams and pillars exhibit the Hakkanese focus on study and schooling. Stone carvings of the recruitment of the four sages narrate a deeply ingrained respect for the wise, while the joints of stone-carved bamboo in the windows are a metaphor for gentlemanly virtue. The meticulously carved Chinese unicorn, peony, and phoenix on the window compose the Portrait of Three Kings, which stands for luck and wealth. On the walls to either side are carved the story of the Old Man of the South Pole praying for longevity with the peaches of immortality, as well as the story of Liu Hai Sporting with the Toad to attract riches. Both these stories imply the profound blessings of familial prosperity.

 
 

Inside the old hall, bedfellows with passing time

In olden days, this was the private academy of the Lo family children. Now, in the wing of this traditional residence, travelers come to experience a century of passing time. The chair of the imperial tutor is arranged neatly in the main hall near the incense altar where the gods were worshiped. A horizontal board on the wall, an ornate lamp, as well as a large color drawing of the map of Guanxi reflect the enduring sentiment of the family’s forebearers for the area’s eight famous scenic spots, as sung in the classical poem. Passing under the eves along the red brick corridor and through a western-style arched doorway, you find a functioning old-fashioned kitchen, as well as a hall housing many family portraits. Everything gathered under this roof speaks of the passing of time and of distant origins.

 

Sitting in the courtyard at night, chatting with other newly acquainted travelers over a hot pot of tea and breathing the refreshing countryside air, you look up at the peaceful, starry sky. In the deep of night, you return to the double room in the side building and find it smelling of solid wood, or you recline on the tatami mats in the four-person room. In this place, you return to a simpler era and become bedfellows with quieter, sweeter times.

 
 

Stroll through the scenic settlement; walking in the moonlight near the southern river

The following morning, you awake with the sunshine and enjoy the traditional Lo House traveler’s breakfast which, in home-cooking style, warms both your belly and your heart. Then, beginning from Lo House, you follow the walking map down streets both winding and straight between fields and homesteads that converge in irregular patterns. When you arrive at the little town of Guanxi, you might try your hand at dyeing fabric in the indigo dyeing workshop. Or you may search for treasures in a second-hand bookshop cum coffeeshop. Whichever way you wander, you stroll into the simple, leisurely life of this small settlement.

 

In the daytime, you stay near the Nanshan hills, looking out along the path leading south through green fields. Overly-hurried times of yore have transformed into this leisurely midday experience. As night falls, you walk out in the cool air under the moonlight. In this hundred year-old residence of literary repute, you listen attentively to the discourse between the Earth and time itself.

 

Story of the Host

Meet the moving story of the host.

Mr. Lo・Following the Heart to Continue the Hundred-year Lo House Saga

With the sunlight slanting in across the front courtyard of Lo House, the solemn-looking, glasses-wearing host Mr. Lo calls out an enthusiastic greeting. Though he just returned from teaching at the elementary school, he still gives a spirited introduction to the main hall of Lo House, even popping the occasional quiz regarding the meaning of the carved beams and painted ridgepoles. When asked why he came back to Lo House, he fetched some refreshments before inviting us to sit with him under the eaves to hear the tale.

 

 

A hundred year-old home: the biggest concern

Speaking of his family history, Mr. Lo mentions how during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor in the Qing dynasty, his family moved to the Guanxi area, creating the Lo family settlement. A hundred years ago, Taiwan was in the early days of Japanese colonization, and many buildings were burned down. At the time, the Lo family began the process of rebuilding the property, with the addition of a Lo clan ancestral worship hall as well as other new structures. The construction took 12 years to complete. In keeping with the Hakka people’s propensity for scholarly pursuits, the new structure constructed alongside the original building was to become the Lo House Academy. It served as a private study hall where learned family members taught the younger generation, as well as living quarters for relatives. Furthermore, it is the place Mr. Lo has returned to for his vacations ever since he was small.

 

“I used to come back during summer vacations and play with my cousins in this courtyard!” Mr. Lo says with a laugh. He moved to Taipei with his parents at a young age, where he established a good life and a prosperous career. Yet when those of his father’s generation became too old to take care of the Lo House property themselves, and the rest of his peers had moved away and were unable to help with maintenance even if they wanted to, Mr. Lo couldn’t stop thinking about the old building. “There are certain things that you can put off for now, but one day you’ll surely have to face them!” It was this persistent concern that drew him back to his childhood home in Guanxi.

 
 

“You’re never totally prepared to take the stage.”

“There are many times in life when you can’t be totally prepared to take the stage.” Mr. Lo often down plays his situation, yet this is not because he is particularly capable, but rather because he is more courageous than most in facing up to things. Once his mind is made up, he gets down to work. Although the older generation believed that their descendants ought to leave this place, that it was necessary to leave Taiwan in order to grow, Mr. Lo believed otherwise. He has become even more certain that the rich cultural terrain of Taiwan is the most valuable property of all. “As long as you know what you want, then you can find a way to grow in such a place as this.”

 

Since taking over the management of Lo House, Mr. Lo not only maintains the space, he also hopes to spur the settlement into further development. Connecting the people of the town together, he established Lo House as the base of operations for the Niou Lan River Theatre Group, injecting the community with new life one step at a time by developing local activities and culture. He was also proactive in communicating with his family and applied for government conservation and restoration of the historical Lo House buildings so as to replace any rotten pillars and posts. Not only did he open a guest house, he also provided ever more people with the opportunity to walk through a rare, hundred year-old Hakkanese courtyard home, to fall in love with the Guanxi settlement and all of the fine culture and memories retained along the old street.

 
 

Follow your heart to find your own heaven

“In fact, this work doesn’t depend on my being here, any appropriate management professional would do.” In order to focus on the management of Lo House, Mr. Lo quit his job in Taipei and now teaches English at a nearby elementary school, finding time every few weeks to visit family in Taipei. Still, he remains humble. Mr. Lo is grateful for the support of his wife who also loves culture and heritage buildings, and understands why he cannot help but be concerned about the future of Lo House. Mr. Lo looks forward to enriching his hometown. Yet most importantly, he hopes to bring Lo House and his family story to an ever broader audience, “Lo House isn’t just a guest house, guests can even set up tents and stargaze, or set up tables and listen to local masters of roadside banquet cuisine talk about their recipes.” This scholarly family residence which once stood empty for many years is now full of the laughter of travelers as new stories are created daily and new possibilities constantly unfold.

 

“Everyone has their destiny,” Mr. Lo says with a graceful expression. Only you know how to listen attentively to the voice in your heart, to find your destiny. “In this way, you will find your own heaven.” Mr. Lo’s eyes shine with the certainty of lanterns burning in a dark night, drawing you out of your hesitation and leading you forward. With a smile, Mr. Lo reveals that he actually quite enjoys the tranquil atmosphere of the cemetery. When he feels afraid and helpless, he always goes to the cemetery to clear his head and contemplate. Teasing himself over this peculiar behaviour, he says, “You can have your own method. Some people meditate. Who knows for sure, some people might only feel the same self-understanding while window-shopping!”

 

There is a chill in the night air as, listening to Mr. Lo’s self-assured stories, we look up from under the eaves at the starry sky above. Feeling as if we’ve just attended a remarkable life lesson, a sense of passion and power fills our hearts.

 

Room Type and Price

Room Type

+3

Double Room
Guests: 2 people

NTD 1,500 ~ 2,200/room

doubleBed

Breakfast included, On the first floor, Shared bathroom outside the room, 1 double bed, Up to 1 extra person (with extra bed) (more)

Price List
+2

Roll-Up Bed Room
Guests: 2 people

NTD 1,500 ~ 2,200/room

singleMattress

Breakfast included, On the first floor, Shared bathroom outside the room, 2 single mattresses, Up to 4 extra person (more)

Price List
+3

Roll-Up Bed Suite
Guests: 4 people

NTD 2,500 ~ 4,000/room

singleMattressshower

Breakfast included, On the first floor, In-room bathroom, 4 張單人床墊, Up to 2 extra person (more)

Price List
+8

Lo House
Whole Building

NTD 9,999 ~ 9,999/building

doubleBedsingleMattressmountainViewfarmViewkitchenoutdoorArea

Breakfast included, 1 層樓建築, 山景、田景, 2 間 2 人房衛浴位於房外, 1 間 4 人房衛浴位於房內, 1 double bed, 6 張單人床墊, 衛浴 2 間, Yard, 包棟正常床位可入住 17人,不提供加人服務, [EN]包棟每日僅接待一組客人 (more)

Price List

Price List

Booking Info

  • Breakfast included: Chinese style (adjusted with seasonal ingredients)
  • Regular days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
  • Holidays: Friday and Saturday
  • Extra person with extra bed: single mattress, pillow, cover and breakfast included, Extra person rate: NTD500 per person
  • Please note that the rooms are not equipped with TV.
  • The room types and rates are for reference only, for the most updated details, please refer to the lodging’s official website. It is recommended to check the rates and related info with the host before booking.

Cancellation and Postponement Policy

  • Refund for canceling your reservation due to personal reasons will be transferred according to the following rules:
    • 100% of the paid amount will be refunded for canceling 8 days prior to reservation date.
    • No refund will be made for canceling 7 day before or on reservation date, or no show.
  • Postponement should be informed 7 days prior to the reservation date (not counting the check-in day).;The postponement will be reserved for 6 months. ;Re-booking for the postponement is not limited to the original room type (subject to charge for balance or refund for overpayment).;Room rate will be charged at the rate of the actual check-in day. (subject to charge for balance or refund for overpayment).;In the event of postponement, failing to inform the lodging 7 days (the check-in day included) prior to the reservation date, the deposit will be forfeited in proportion as stated in the cancellation policy above.
  • The room types and rates are for reference only, for the most updated details, please refer to the lodging’s official website. It is recommended to check the rates and related info with the host before booking.

Lodging Info

By car

Enter the address for GPS navigation.

Public transportation

  • Distance between lodging and nearby transportation spots:
      • 桃園機場: 48.5 km. For timetable and fare, please visit 桃園國際機場.
      • Hsinchu Train Station: 28.6 km. For timetable and fare, please visit 台灣鐵路管理局.
      • Jiji Line Train Station: Hexing km. For timetable and fare, please visit 台灣鐵路管理局.
      • 新竹轉運站: 26.6 km. For timetable and fare, please visit 國光客運, 三重客運, 新竹客運.
      • 竹東站 Bus Station: 18.5 km. For timetable and fare, please visit 新竹客運.
      • 關西鎮公所 Bus Stop: 1.3 km. For timetable and fare, please visit 新竹客運.
      • It is recommended to transfer from 竹東站客運站 by taxi: about 25 minutes, NTD490 (time and fare are for reference only).
  • Lodging provides shuttle service to and from transportation spot with reservation in advance. Please refer to the Booking Info section for details.

After booking is confirmed, please contact the host for transportation details.

No. 79, Shangnanpian, Guanxi Township, Hsinchu County, Taiwan

Facilities and Services

Shared facilities

  • Other Amenities:WiFi, Bicycles
  • Indoor Space:Living room, Toilet, Bathroom
  • Appliances:Propane stove
  • Bathroom amenities:Shampoo, Body wash
  • Bathroom Facilities:Hair dryer

Services

  • Travel information
  • Guided tour
  • Leisure activities
  • Foreign language service including: English

House Rules

  • Check-in time: 15:00 ~ 18:00. As you are required to schedule your check-in time in advance, please arrange with the lodging 1 day(s) beforehand. please inform the lodging for late check-in time upon booking
  • Check-out time: before 11:00. Please follow the check-out time stated in the house rules
  • Breakfast time:please make reservation upon checking in
  • Please make bookings in advance as we are unable to accommodate same-day booking.
  • For the energy saving and eco-friendly purpose, please bring your own Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Towel and Bath towel
  • Due to the age of the lodging, sound insulation is poor, please walk quietly and lower your voice.
  • As the lodging is situated in the natural environment, your stay may be accompanied by some bug friends.
  • Daytime and nightly temperatures vary greatly during the summer. Please dress appropriately.
  • Kitchen with gas range available. Please avoid producing strong odors, exercise caution when using the range, please help clean up after using.
  • Please bring your personal ID or passport for check-in.
  • Please keep your valuables safe as the lodging is not responsible for the loss of or damage to valuable items.
  • Please turn off the lights and appliancess when not in use.
  • The following behaviors are not allowed: Drug using, excessive drinking, gambling, making loud noises, causing disturbances, setting off firecrackers, and any illegal acts. The lodging reserves the right to cancel the accommodations, charge for anything damaged or lost, and report to the police in the event of a violation.

Contact Info

Address
No. 79, Shangnanpian, Guanxi Township, Hsinchu County, Taiwan

Mobile
+886-910-013-315、+886-935-543-780
* Let the host know that you are a Dear b&b reader when booking, and you will get a limited postcard upon checking in!

Official Website
http://www.lohouse.com.tw/

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/LoMuseum/

Email
loschoolstudio@gmail.com

LINE ID
lohouse