I was sitting on a cushion on the floor, tatami style, looking out from the big window in my room at Forte Dong-shan Villa in Yilan, finishing an article about one launch event that happened few days earlier before I flew to Taiwan.
After my unexpected first solo trip two years ago, I am kind of missing the ‘getting lost’ feeling in other people’s country. Where no one knows me, where everything looks unfamiliar, where new friends are made and the journey that is personally mine.
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I spent a night at Taipei before I travelled to Yilan the next morning. I took a TRA Train from Main Taipei Station which got me to Luodong Station, the nearest station to the villa, in less than 2 hours. With one luggage and one backpack, I took a taxi from Luodong Station headed to Forte Dong-Shan Villa in Yilan which took about 20 minutes to get there. There are buses getting there from the train station which information is available on Forte Hotel website.
Yilan County is a county in Northeastern Taiwan. It has a colder temperature and considered wet area with more rain. That day was not an exceptional, it’s a little bit cloudy but no rain yet. The weather was completely different from Taipei city which was still humid and hot when I was there on the day before.
“We are here.” said the taxi drive to me in Mandarin.
I wasn’t aware that we had entered the complex because the villa signboard and entrance gate weren’t really appealing. Or probably I just didn’t put my attention into that. I paid NTD 225 for the ride then I alighted.
Following the direction to the check-in counter shown on the signboard, I walked along the pathway where I could see many red lanterns were hanging in line on the side of the shelter roof. It was like an accent to the whole place which dominated by earth colors.
Forte Dong-shan Villa in Yilan is considered a multi-storey villa resort which is set within National Center for Traditional Arts. And to keep the nature of the place, not all building is equipped with lift. So, do take note when making a reservation especially when you come with an elderly. At a glance, we would see that Forte Dong-shan Villa has a classic or traditional Chinese style of architecture from the outside. However, once we stepped in, we could feel the modern touch that has been added to the interior. I was given a family suite with two bedrooms – one bedroom with queen size bed and the other room with bunk bed – and also one living hall and one bathroom.
The place is clean and well-maintained. I especially love the bedroom which is bright, the low table that is just right for me to spend some times with a cup of tea while doing my work. The wooden flooring and the comfortable bed that make me feel home. The living room with LCD TV and satellite channels for entertainment whenever I just want to stay in and relax. And although it is a villa, they do housekeeping everyday. The dining hall is about 40-50 m away from the check-in area. There are signboards clearly pointing the direction to the dining hall which is at the 2nd floor and to get there is either by taking stairs or the walkway.
For breakfast, there are Taiwanese delights such as porridge with various condiments, bread, ‘mantao’, salad, fruits and also vegetarian dishes. There are tea and coffee as well. It is a simple and hearty breakfast.
What I love most about my stay at Forte Dong-Shan Villa in Yilan is the location that is within the National Center for Traditional Arts, it offers plenty of things to do and see without a need to go far, just right within the complex. And if we want to go further, there are cold spring, night markets, parks, temples which are only about 10 km away.
I will show you more about the attractions around on my next post and definitely also the reasons why staying here is recommended! Meanwhile, do watch the below brief introduction video about Forte Dong-Shan Villa in Yilan. Until next post. Stay tuned! ;)
Forte Dong-Shan Villa
No.201, Sec. 2, Wubin Rd., Wujie Township, Yilan County 268, Taiwan