In the ’90s, I studied abroad in Taiwan for a semester my junior year of college. One of the most memorable experiences I had on the island was a trip I took with fellow students to Jiufen, a mountain town not too far from Taipei. The former mining village is known for its serpentine alleys and old-fashioned teahouses, a rustic counterpoint to the urban capitol.

I remember during that trip, a half dozen or so of us crammed into one room at an inn—we somehow managed to fit onto two mattresses, pushed together, atop a tatami mat floor (Japanese design influence is strong on the island). The accommodations felt spare but charming to my 19-year-old self.

Today, I’d much prefer a stay at Shu Shu House. The small cottage is owned by photographer Ivy Chen and floral artist Alfie Lin, founder of CNFlowers. Like our room at the inn, it’s simple. Yet, it’s so artfully appointed and situated (tucked into a mountainside) that it feels luxurious—a welcome respite from modern plugged-in life.

No TV, weak internet access, breathtaking views, and a real bed. I’m officially putting Shu Shu House on my to-visit list.

Here’s a look.

Photography by Suiyu Studio.

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Above: It’s easy to miss the stairs to Shu Shu House. Roughly translated, “shu shu” means “counting trees.”
From the outside, Shu Shu House looks like the weathered concrete houses typical in the area.
Above: From the outside, Shu Shu House looks like the weathered concrete houses typical in the area.
The inside is another story. It&#8
Above: The inside is another story. It’s appointed with antiques and vintage finds, slowly amassed by Lin. The home was originally meant to be the couple’s private retreat, but after friends inquired about weekend stays, they now rent it out as well.

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