Minsu: an alternative accommodation option in Taiwan

Especially in Eastern Taiwan.

· 3 min read

If you are visiting Taiwan and looking for some nature and scenery, then you are probably going to be wanting to visit the eastern coast of Taiwan. Often collectively referred to by the locals as Huadong, the cities of Hualien and Taitung offer some of the most picturesque views in Taiwan. But as you are planning your stay there, you might realise that there isn't an extensive list of options for hotels. Instead, what you would find is an abundance of minsus. Trying to navigate the various minsus to figure out how and which to book? We got you covered.


What is a minsu?

The Chinese words 民 (min) means citizens, and 宿 (su) means lodging; so as it suggests, a minsu (民宿) is somewhat like a Taiwanese B&B, where the lodging is privately provided by a family.

But, minsus are not exactly the same as what you'd find listed on an AirB&B or on hotel booking sites. Listings on AirB&Bs and other hotel booking sites are often somewhat more similar to a short-term rental, and you might not even meet the owners of the property.


With minsus, it is a much more immersive and personal experience where you get to interact with the locals. The owners of the property could be living in the next room, or in a building just across the road, and you will almost definitely have a chance to interact with them to find out more about the local lifestyle. A stay at a minsu usually also comes with breakfast (and sometimes even other meals) that is prepared by the owners of the property. Some also offer services to pick you up from the train stations or to take you on private tours!

Minsus can be found all over Taiwan, though they are more prevalent in the Eastern coast of Taiwan and mountainous areas. In the major cities like Taipei and Kaohsiung, you are more likely to be able to find hotels or the typical B&B rental-type accommodation options.

How to find a legitimate minsu

Minsus are private lodging and they are not always listed on OTA sites like Agoda or They are also not as regulated as hotels or hostels, and it is sometimes possible to stumble upon one that is not actually legal.

If you are looking for a minsu for your trip, here are some useful resources on how to find a legitimate minsu:

  1. Of course, you can still use Agoda or as your first source of research. Those that are listed there are often more modern, but it is not an exhaustive list.
  2. Instead of the usual suspects that you use for accommodation research, consider using the Taiwanese sites that are focused on minsus. We would typically start by using ezfun, or for city-specific sites, we would use the Hualien B&B Association or hlplay for Hualien; and for Taitung, we would primarily use travel123.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviews are often not displayed on these sites, so you may have to do additional research and look for blogs that contain reviews about the places. Alternatively, you can also refer to Google reviews (copy and paste the name of the minsu into Google maps) for ease of comparison.

Booking your minsu

When booking your minsu, there are a few things to be aware of:

  • Just like hotels, minsus typically have a few room types with varying prices. Note that when you make the booking, it is only for that room and not the entire building.
  • If you need to build the entire building, look for options that indicate 包棟.
  • Not all minsus allow parking, so do check in advance.
  • Prices are usually differentiated by: weekdays (平日) vs weekends (假日) vs standard price (定價). Each minsu would have their own definitions for what is a weekend, but typically, weekday prices are applicable for stays on Mondays-Thursdays; and weekend prices for Fridays-Sundays. Public holidays and school holidays typically also adopt the weekend prices. The 'standard prices' (定價) are usually applied for major holidays like the Lunar New Year.
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Example of how prices are usually listed | Source:

Some of these minsus allow you to make a booking online via their website, but it is important to note that most of these bookings are not confirmed instantly. Do keep a look out for your emails for booking confirmation. Sometimes, the booking request is through an enquiry form, and other times, you might have to either call them or contact them through LINE.

If you have any special requests, or if you require a pick-up from the train station, do let them know in advance. When communicating with the hosts, LINE is often a preferred mode of conversation rather than via emails. However, it is important to note that not all of the hosts are fluent in English.

Upon making your booking, a deposit is usually required. Some minsus allow you to pay the deposit via credit card, but it is not uncommon for minsus to only accept bank deposits. Again, do check the terms before making your booking.

It is recommended that you prepare sufficient cash for payment of the remaining balance of your booking upon arrival.