【S】✸Sunshine Tainan→❺Living like the Local: Old House Inn 謝宅 [pt.1]

Finally! Now I get to write about 謝宅, directly translated as “Hsieh’s House”, but they also have a fitting English name, Old House Inn. I’m excited about this post because living in Old House Inn was one of my favorite experiences during this trip! (so yea, sorry this post would be a little long…)

I was going to start with what I like and dislike about this place and go from there, but I honestly can’t come up with any cons except for some little things. So, I guess I’ll just start with why I like Old House Inn so much.

  • THE HOUSE ITSELF

My House for a Day

One reason I love so much about Old House Inn is that, it really makes me feel like the “owner” of the house for a day.

We met up with the concierges on the street and had them lead us to this inn in the afternoon (they didn’t tell us the address beforehand, because they choose not to publicize their address for privacy reason). Then they told us because the owner knew we came back to Taiwan from abroad, so he purposely moved the other group of guests to another inn so that we could enjoy the whole house by ourselves while the other group could enjoy another one (so touched! I love how thoughtful B&B owners usually are…) A lot of times, it’s these little things that make a huge difference from a good service and an average service.

Some people aren’t comfortable with how “friendly” B&B owners are, because it would make them feel a little bit unease or…awkward? But here, the concierges left after they gave us our keys and a short tour, and the owner only came when we checked out the next day. To me, that’s the perfect balance between the living-with-host-family feeling of B&Bs and the lack-of-personal-relationship of hotels. Anyways, technically it was OUR house for a day. And I have to say, it made me feel so free and so relaxed.

V doesn’t like to get pictures taken as much as I do…
but anyways, this is first floor lobby 🙂

second floor lobby

Living in the Past, in Our Own World

Because of its traditional Taiwanese interior design, it also made me feel like I was living in the past…I felt like in my own imagination, I was a local Tainan-ese in the 50s or something. And as a Third Culture Kid who grew up in cities, and then moved from cities to cities, I never experienced this type of life. So everything I saw in the house either reminds me of our grandparents, or reminds me of things we see in old movies.

Old school sewing machine

Super old school! Tapes, fan, toys…and did you see the mini rice cooker? :’)))) So cute!

Old school phone! Quite frankly I don’t even know how to use it…I’ve only seen it in Sakurako (Japanese cartoon 櫻桃小丸子!)

In other words, it made me feel like I was in a different world while the time in the real world stopped. One of my favorite moments was when I woke up in the morning, played my favorite classic music that Old House Inn happened to provide, and just sat there, wrote, and looked at all the greens around me. All I could hear was my music, birds and the sound of the leaves; enjoying my own morning while no one and nothing disturbed me.

At that time, I just felt, wow, don’t we all need time for ourselves, far from the city and noise, just once in a while? I don’t know how to put this into words, but I honestly felt “recharged” just after such a short stay in Old House Inn.

【”TREE HOUSE”】

I really love this shot 🙂

Old House Inn is probably the only one in the world that has such a huge tree “in” the house. I love it because it’s three-story high, and it’s very interesting seeing it from different floors. Apparently, it has already grown 180cm since last year, and the owner Hsieh told us that in 5 years, the tree will be big enough to cover some parts of the roof. And by then, Old House Inn will be actually “green” and “environmental” (not to mention how much green the inn already has—which I love!)

Hsieh said, ever since he was a kid he wanted to live in a tree house…so this was sort of like a dream-come-true for him. Besides, trees are the best proof of “time”. Every season it has a different look, and by the time we pass away, thIS tree will still be there for our future generation…(isn’t that heart-warming? The image of his great-grandchildren touching the tree and thinking of him is just so touching.)

I also saw a quote (I think it’s by Hsieh too): “Life will always find its way”. Just like the tree that grows taller and taller each day (even in a house where at first was very hard for it to adjust to), I guess we will too find our own ways in our life.

Next up: Old House Inn Pt.2: “Our Room on the Top Floor”

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5 thoughts on “【S】✸Sunshine Tainan→❺Living like the Local: Old House Inn 謝宅 [pt.1]

  1. Hi. Just wondering how do you book this place? I can’t seem to find a website or email related to this place. I’m from overseas and look fwd to local experience in Tainan. This one has caught my eyes 🙂

  2. Hello Sharon,

    Thanks so much for posting about Old House Inn.

    I am Australian and visited Taiwan last year for three months from Hong Kong (where I live) and am totally smitten with the country! I just love it! I travelled around the entire island at the conclusion of my work there, but only stayed one night in Tainan – at one of the other ‘old house inns’. The minute I saw it, I knew that one night was never going to be enough and I would definitely have to come back. Happily, I’m bringing my Dad to Taiwan next month for his eightieth birthday to show him around and we are staying at the Tree House you mentioned. I can’t wait!

    My only complaint? That the owner doesn’t have any ‘old house inns’ in Taipei! Taipei is crying out for something similar; a cosy and interesting place to stay for the weekend.

    Anyway, just wanted to thank you for your post. I have only been learning Chinese for a year, so info in English about the Old House Inns is quite hard to find, though luckily – through reading another blog post in English – I was able email and the guys actually speak great English. I wish Taiwan would market itself more to English speakers, so that more more people would find out about it – or maybe, I don’t – maybe I just want to keep it as my own ‘little secret’? 😉

    Cheers,

    Cath

    • Hi Cath, I’m so so sorry for the late response. This blog has been on a hiatus and I had just seen your comment. I really appreciate your thoughtful response, and I can’t agree more that Taipei needs these getaways to the past. 🙂 I hope you still get to travel to Taiwan, and that you still enjoy learning Chinese. Let me know if you ever need additional recommendations in Taiwan Cath!

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