Painting a Leisurely Life between Mountains and the River
Dear b&b Three Heartfelt Promises Certification
Painting a Leisurely Life between Mountains and the River
Features & Amenities
The lodging is currently only available in Chinese.
For other English reviews, please return to the search page; or you may close the window to enter the Chinese review.
Let the host know that you are a Dear b&b reader when booking, and you will get a limited postcard upon checking in!
Discover the wonder of the lodging.
Coming out from the Hsuehshan Tunnel, the green fields and cascading mountains unfold before your eyes. The flowing scenery reflects your exhilarating mood that can’t wait to start the journey. Getting off the interchange, you enter the suburbs of Luodong. The banks along the Annong River are adorned with green grass and yellow flowers, while a building composed of geometric squares and glasses leans against the water’s edge, welcoming your arrival under the vast sky. This is Yilan Riverside House, the leisurely lodging serves as the canvas for light and shadow, nestled between mountains and water.
The square building as the playground for light and shadow
Entering Yilan Riverside House along the white cement trail, you find a pool where the fish swim freely in the water and the turtles stretch their neck to enjoy the warm sunlight of Yilan on the rock. A gentle breeze wrinkles the water surface, turning it into a naughty ballad. Time seems to stop here. The bar seats by the pool are the premium rest spot for you to watch the sunshine playing with the water, creating dreamlike reflections on the fair-faced cement walls. You pass by the studio of the host KK’s, as the hostess Ivy just rolls up her hair and concentrates on preparing the meal at the café with a smile on her face. “You’re here! Welcome!” She washes her hands and walks out from the half-closed door to greet you.
The Chinese name of the lodging, “Huashui (畫水),” literally means “painting on the water,” comes from the idiom “painting on the water and carving on the ice.” KK says: “The water in Yilan is a gift from nature. And we built Yilan Riverside House to retain and admire this gift.” This is how the Riverside House was born. KK’s ingenuity and creativity are the pen and ink that paint and build the house with an indomitable yet gentle character. He works his magic on the land of an irregular shape and viola – here is the house in the industrial style yet still bears a sense of warmth. The geometrical edges and corners are coupled with the softness of water, while the industrial metal elements match with the warm texture of wood. The different styles clash and generate the unique cosy space with an attitude.
The magic of floor-to-ceiling windows and water
The fair-faced cement stairs are flanked by the black walls, while the sunlight pours through the transparent glass ceiling. Stepping up and entering the rooms, you’d find the magic of floor-to-ceiling windows in the “Water Watching” and “Water Viewing” room. The fair-faced walls along with the wooden floor create a relaxing atmosphere, while the distant mountains and the surrounding Annong River make you feel like embraced by the water and pacify the turmoil in your soul.
Take another set of stairs made of thick iron chains and planks and push open the glass door, a space for you to chill and enjoy daydreaming is expecting your visit. The narrow space is charmingly planned and doesn’t make you feel crowded. You may select a cake of your favorite flavor at the café to go with the butterfly pea lemonade. The violet gradation and refreshing lemon aroma add an extra laid-back ambiance to the lazy long afternoon.
Behind the wooden door of the “Beautiful Water” room, the mountains and the Annong River form a landscape painting, revealing a little world in peace for you. Here you can relax and release all the burdens in several ways. First, soak in the bathtub filled with water and wash away the exhaustion. Then you may enjoy a session in the wooden infrared therapy box sitting inside the room. Close your eyes and feel the heat making your pores open and breathe again, while the negative energy dissipates as well. Or you may lie face down on the massage bed, while the aroma/massage therapist helps soothe the tension of your body, kneading along the muscle textures and tap dancing with fingers on your skin, any hidden spots of soreness won’t be missed. The massage bed is like a canoe, carrying your mind drifting in the surrounding scenic beauty.
Join hands with nature and draw a painting named life
As the morning sunlight streams in through the window, you squint your eyes and feel the warmth left by the sun on your cheeks, feeling like sleeping in for a little longer. After a good night’s sleep, a hearty breakfast at the café is waiting for you. Chicken club sandwich, soups, and salads served with side dishes like sweet potatoes and boiled eggs, along with fresh lemon juice or coffee, a good meal brings you the energy for a brand new day. Ivy insists on delivering a healthy breakfast to the guests, always spending a lot of time and effort to work on the menu. If you stay at Yilan Riverside House for a couple of days, you might have the chance to taste the breakfast in Chinese style like congee and stir-fried vegetables made by Ivy, who promises travellers the balanced nutrition and healthy diet.
Riding the bike provided by the lodging, you may admire the scenery of Annong River, which is like a landscape painting created by nature’s fine and subtle strokes. Sometimes, you pass by with other travelling bike-riders, exchanging big smiles brings you closer to each other. The lodging also provides barbecue equipment, so you may hold a barbecue party and enjoy some quality time with friends or family. Sitting at the bar seats by the pool, you savor the leisurely moment hard to come by while watching the children play in the sand or feed fish by the pool. The laughter here and there, just like the water splashed by the fish, is sparkling under the bright sun.
While sunlight glitters on the pool water, time seems to pass slowly here. Not in a hurry, you savor breakfast or afternoon tea, sit by the floor-to-ceiling window and watch the chasing of light and shadow, as the laughter of children is heard from time to time. The bustle and hustle of the city are left behind, all you take in is the clouds strolling through the distant mountains, and green grass and yellow flowers swaying by the Annong River. This is how life should look like. At Yilan Riverside House, don’t be chased by time, but halt your step and look at the trail left by time.
Meet the moving story of the host.
“I just think I should keep going, if I stop, that’s the time I get old.” The host KK says in an uninhibited way. He has a wide forehead and curved eyebrows, and the silver-rimmed glasses can’t hide the sparkles in his eyes. Hostess Ivy doesn’t talk much but loves to laugh. Her smile is like a crescent moon while her eyes are full of the warm greeting. When KK vividly explained the process of building Yilan Riverside House with his body language, Ivy just smiled by his side like she knew what he was going to say. Looking at the couple is like looking at the river nestling against the mountains. Let’s hear the story of how they join hands to build a beautiful life.
From a realtor to a house designer
Not coming from a wealthy family, KK worked as a realtor on his first job. During his military service, he met a master sergeant who bought a house for NT$1 million when he just enlisted. Upon finishing his service, the house of the master sergeant already valued at NT$3 million! The real case of “one bucket of gold rolled into three barrels of gold” lit up a new path for KK, and he decided to work as a real estate agent.
Yet the agent job wasn’t as simple as just selling houses. Living by the motto “Do it yourself,” KK always put himself in the shoes of construction companies and clients and helped them in many ways. For example, he would plan the interior space of pre-sale houses for the builders, not only aim for a big win on sales, but also allow his clients to buy the largest space with the least amount of money. Once, a client complained that the house was leaking water and there were cracks in the walls. KK, without any design or construction background, even tried to fix the problems on his own! To him, learning how to build a house was like playing video games, that one would have to keep practicing to level up. As a challenger beating one level after another, KK gradually won his reputation in the field that became his lifelong vocation.
Design different lifestyles through architecture
Walking into his studio, the drafts for building design were seen everywhere, compiling into some of KK’s best works. From a realtor who never drew an architectural design plan, now KK has been able to make hand-crafted architectural models. When taking a closer look, the faint pencil lines and delicate cutting of the model parts demonstrated a fine craftsmanship that would be admired by professional architects. Browsing through the cutting-edge design magazines from abroad in the studio, one could imagine how diligent KK was about his work. To accumulate aesthetics of design, one can’t only draw inspiration from life, but also have to try and experiment constantly. KK pointed at the chairs we were sitting on and proudly said: “These are designed by me. I first tried it with cardboard, figured out the structural and mechanical issue, and then went to the factory to find craftsmen to help me with it.” Speaking of the process of designing a house, KK was like a command tower at the construction site, which always made works in each field can cooperate smoothly.
Today, KK is no longer just a realtor, he is also an architectural designer. He embraces the idea of adapting to local conditions and designs different lifestyles in accordance with the needs of clients. KK is good at employing diverse design styles, from Japanese traditional architecture, fair-faced concrete buildings, to industrial design, nothing seems to be impossible for him. Like one of his design projects – the house of “North Zart,” whose wooden structure and material allow for natural ventilation and the fresh air is thus brought into the guesthouse. Yilan Riverside House is also designed by KK and originally was for sale, but because of Ivy’s words, the couple’s life has undergone a brand-new transformation.
A beautiful life as a gift
“In fact, opening the lodging is really an accident,” says Ivy with a smile. Just before selling the Riverside House, she casually walked by the “Beautiful Water” room and saw the view from the floor-to-ceiling window, that the Annong River flows through the greenery spreading from the distant mountains along the blue sky, she couldn’t help but exclaim in her heart: “This is the kind of scenery that can’t be bought with money!”
“This beautiful scenery is like a gift from nature. We should share this with others!” Deeply moved by the picturesque scene, Ivy shared the idea with KK and they started the life of running the lodging ever after. KK meticulously designs every corner of the building. The vegetable garden on the terrace of the second floor is the place where he and Ivy practice life. KK’s dream of growing vegetables and flowers has come true, while Ivy picks up ingredients here for preparing healthy breakfast for travellers. The large floor-to-ceiling windows in the rooms frame the naturally scenic paintings with the sound of water playing in the light music of nature. The bike trails by the banks of the Annong River that at every turn you make, a vast scenery would greet you. This is the life that the couple would love to share with travellers.
“I hope that we can have our retirement life here as well!” Ivy says with a smile, while KK also smiles and nods his head. Today, KK hands over the operation of the guesthouse to Ivy. While looking at Ivy bustling in and out of the house from time to time, his crescent-moon-like eyes are full of happiness. Everything here is not just gift bestowed by nature, but also a gift from KK to Ivy. Yilan Riverside House embodies the combination of KK’s strong shoulders and tender heart. Through the architectural design, the couple live hand in hand with nature, painting a beautiful life by the river and mountains.
Beautiful Water Double Room
NTD 4,200 ~ 6,400/room
Breakfast included, Afternoon tea included, On the 2nd floor, In-room bathroom, Separate bathroom and toilet, 1 king-size bed, Bathtub for Two, Up to 1 extra person (with extra bed) (more)
Water Viewing Double Room
NTD 3,800 ~ 5,900/room
Breakfast included, Afternoon tea included, On the 3rd floor, In-room bathroom, Separate bathroom and toilet, 1 king-size bed, Up to 1 extra person (with extra bed) (more)
Water Surrounding Double Room
NTD 3,800 ~ 5,900/room
Breakfast included, Afternoon tea included, On the 1st floor, In-room bathroom, Separate bathroom and toilet, 1 king-size bed (more)
Embracing Water Quad Room
NTD 4,800 ~ 6,900/room
Breakfast included, Afternoon tea included, On the 1st floor, In-room bathroom, Separate bathroom and toilet, 2 double beds, Up to 1 extra person (with extra bed) (more)
Water Watching Quad Room
NTD 4,500 ~ 6,900/room
Breakfast included, Afternoon tea included, On the 2nd floor, In-room bathroom, Separate bathroom and toilet, 2 double beds, Up to 1 extra person (with extra bed) (more)
Water View 8-person Program
NTD 12,000 ~ 15,000/building
Breakfast included, Afternoon tea included, 3-story building，On the 2nd floor, 3rd floor, 2 2-person room with ensuite bath, 1 4-person room with ensuite bath, 2 king-size beds, 3 bathroom(s), Bathtub for Two, Booking of entire building includes beds for 8 people while extra person(s) can be added with maximum occupancy of people (more)
Above Water 10-person Program
NTD 13,000 ~ 16,000/floor
Breakfast included, Afternoon tea included, 1-story building, 1 2-person room with ensuite bath, 2 4-person room with ensuite bath, 1 king-size bed, 2 double bunk beds, 3 bathroom(s), Booking of entire building includes beds for 10 people while extra person(s) can be added with maximum occupancy of people (more)
Yilan Riverside House
NTD 25,000 ~ 38,000/building
Breakfast included, Afternoon tea included, 3-story building, 3 2-person room with ensuite bath, 3 4-person room with ensuite bath, 3 king-size beds, 4 double bunk beds, 6 bathroom(s), Bathtub for Two, Booking of entire building includes beds for 18 people while extra person(s) can be added with maximum occupancy of people (more)
Cancellation and Postponement Policy
Enter the address for GPS navigation.
After booking is confirmed, please contact the host for transportation details.
Facilities and Services
No. 389, Annong Rd., Dongshan Township, Yilan County, Taiwan
* Let the host know that you are a Dear b&b reader when booking, and you will get a limited postcard upon checking in!