What is a Minsu in Taiwan (and how to book them!)

May 4, 2024

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If you’re visiting Taiwan and want to see some amazing nature spots, you’ll most likely want to visit the eastern coast and notice Taiwan Minsu 民宿 as an accommodation option. Yilan, Hualien, Jiufen Old Street, Kenting National Park, and Taitung have some of Taiwan’s most stunning views and has some of the best minsu in Taiwan.

However, as you plan your visit in these regions, you may see that there isn’t a large selection of hotel accommodation options as other major cities in Taiwan. Instead, you’d find an abundance of Minsus. Trying to navigate how to book a Minsu? We’ll cover all that including what is a minsus, why stay in a Minsu, how to find a legitimate one, and how to book minsus.

What is a Minsu?

Example of a Minsu in Taiwan that offers enough space in just one room for 8 guests!

A Taiwan minsu (民宿) is a type of private housing provided by a local family, similar to a Taiwanese bed and breakfast.

However, Minsus differ from those advertised on Airbnb or hotel booking services. Listings on AirB&Bs and other hotel booking services are frequently more akin to short-term rentals, and you may never meet the property’s owners.

Minsus offers a far more immersive and personal experience, allowing you to engage with the people. The property owners may live in the next room or in a building across the street, and you will almost certainly have the opportunity to interact with them to learn more about the local lifestyle. A stay at a minsu normally includes breakfast (or other meals) served by the property’s owners. Some also provide transportation to and from train stations, as well as personalized tours.

Minsus can be found all across Taiwan, but they are more common on the island’s eastern coast and in mountainous locations. In big cities such as Taipei and Kaohsiung, you are more likely to locate hotels or traditional rental-type accommodations.

If you’re traveling around Taiwan, check out my guides on what to buy in Taiwan as souvenirs for family. You also might be interested in what to do for 7 days in Taiwan itinerary, including visiting my favorite spots like Houtong Cat Village, and the infamous Teapot Mountain in Taiwan, and Pingxi Old Street to fly sky lanterns.

Why stay in a Minsu?

Example of a Minsu with a unique theme, Lakehouse Minsu in Yilan

Minsus offer a unique way to live like a local in Taiwan and a personal touch that you just can’t get at a standard hotel. Most minsu hosts are self-employed, relying on word-of-mouth to attract guests, and they frequently go out of their way to make their guests’ stays enjoyable and memorable.

Each minsu has a distinct theme and decor, giving it its own identity. You’ll get to experience all types of interestingly decocorated Minsu, often with access to home comforts such as a kitchen, large living room, garden access, and much more space! Just take a look at some of the Yilan Minsus here.

If you have a large family who wants to stay together while having a family room or kitchen, minsu is the way to go. Depending on the minsu, some minsus can host up to 8-20+ guests in a single home, and offer very spacious accommodations. On the other hand, if you’re a couple, minsus can offer a private getaway.

A culinary pleasure of home-cooked meals prepared by the minsu owner. Minsu cuisine is generally a regional specialty.

Peace and quiet. Security and privacy due to a small number of visitors in each room, making it a safe place to stay. If you’re traveling to Hualien, Yilan, or other areas of Taiwan, check out our safety tips to learn if Taiwan safe to travel right now.

How to find a legitimate Minsu

Minsus are private accommodations that are not generally advertised on Hotel booking websites such as Booking.com or Agoda. They are also less regulated than hotels or hostels, thus it is possible to come across one that is not authorized.

If you’re looking for a legitimate minsu for Yilan or other areas, here are some resources to help you find one:

Use Agoda or Booking.com to find a Minsu

You can still utilize Agoda or Booking.com for your initial investigation. Those included there are frequently more current, but this is not a full list. With Airbnb, you generally get an empty vacation home, instead of being hosted by a local family.

Use Taiwan Websites to find Taiwan 民宿

Consider using Taiwanese sites specialized on minsus for accommodation research instead than traditional sources. To find city-specific sites, we recommend ezfun, eztravel, Hualien B&B Association , or hlplay in Hualien, and travel123 in Taitung.

Search on Google for Minsu

A quick search on Google maps for 民宿 (Minsu) near where you want to go, and you’ll find hidden gem Minsus accomodations that aren’t listed in the usual suspect booking sites. Most of these minsus have their own individual sites for you to find out more about the minsus. Look at the photos and see if they appeal to you.

Look for Reviews

Reviews are frequently not listed on these sites, so you may need to conduct more research and hunt for blogs with reviews about the locations. For convenience of comparison, you can also look at Google reviews (copy and paste the minsu’s name into Google Maps)

How to book Minsu in Taiwan

When booking your Taiwan minsu, there are a few things to consider:

  1. Prices are typically differentiated by weekday (平日), weekend (假日), and regular price (定價). Each minsu defines a weekend differently, although normally weekday prices apply to stays from Monday to Thursday and weekend prices to stays from Friday to Sunday. Public and school holidays are often priced the same as weekends. During big holidays,’standard prices’ (定價) are typically applied.

    Minsus, like hotels, often provide a few room kinds at varied costs. It is important to note that when you rent a room, you are simply booking one room and not the entire building.
Here’s an example of how a Minsu’s price list looks like listed on their website

2. If you need to book an entire home, check for options that indicate 包棟. There are plenty of options for this, and some Minsus can accommodate from 10-25 people.

3. Many minsus have parking available, however parking may or may not ne permitted at all Minsus, so make sure to check ahead of time.

4. Not all of the hosts speak English fluently. If you absolutely want an English friendly accommodation, stick to big name hotels or look at the Minsu’s reviews and website. There are many multilingual Minsu hosts who do speak English!

5. If you have any particular request requirements, such as a pick-up from the train station or vegetarian meals, please notify them in advance. When connecting with hosts, LINE is often preferred than email in Taiwan.

6. Some of these minsus allow you to book online using their website, however keep in mind that the majority of these bookings are not immediately verified. Keep an eye out for emails with booking confirmation. Sometimes the booking request is made using an enquiry form, and other times you may need to call them or contact them via LINE.

7. When making a reservation, a deposit is normally requested. Some minsus accept credit cards for deposits, some take bank deposits. If it’s not on the website, verify the terms (by contacting them on Line) before making your reservation. It is recommended that you bring enough cash to cover the remaining balance of your booking upon arrival.

Best Minsu in Taiwan

The east side of Taiwan has the most concentrated amount of Minsus. Here are some of the best Minsu in Yilan Taiwan. As we stay in more accommodations in, we will update this list.

  1. Lake House Minsu in Yilan, Taiwan
  2. PlayInn Minsu in Dongshan, Yilan, Taiwan
  3. M2Villa in Yilan, Taiwan
  4. Secret MINI Inn Single-family Homestay in Yilan Taiwan

If you have a favorite minsu in Taiwan to recommend, please let us know in the comments!

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