Updated: Sep 5
Date: 14-18th November 2019
There were two Backpack Home 497 (背包客栈497) in Kinmen County, Taiwan — one in Jinhu Township (金湖镇) and the other in Jincheng Township (金城镇). My four-day stay in Kinmen was at the second outlet in Jincheng Town, located in an alley beside Jincheng Health Center (金城卫生所). It was easy to find the inn by recognising its signboard or facade.
Noticed the trademark of the inn above? It features a sleeping Wind Lion God (风狮爷) leaning on a house with a backpack on its back. The design of the house is a widely-known symbol of Kinmen — a pointed house composed from the words "金门" — which can be seen in several places around Kinmen County. The intended meaning of the trademark should be pretty easy to understand.
The interior decorations of the inn was of "international" style. The lobby and dining area were decorated with brightly-coloured country flags, with a world map and four clocks of different time zones on the wall.
The snowy decorations on the glass window meant that it was already the winter season. Although it would not snow in Kinmen, it was starting to get cooler in early winter. (The locals kept saying it was cold, but, as a foreigner to this country, I felt it was just cooling. When I was walking around in short-sleeved t-shirts, they thought I did not bring enough clothes.)
Except for the lobby, all guests and staff alike must change to the indoor sandals provided when walking in the inn. The reception area was also a dining area with water dispenser, tableware, and other kitchen appliances.
There was also a shared bathroom with a washing machine and a dryer in it on the ground floor. For energy-saving reasons, NT$10 would be charged for using the dryer. However, the owner encouraged guests to go to the balcony on the top floor (4th floor) to dry clothes.
A hand-drawn map on a black-painted wall of the dining area showed restaurants, government agencies and services that tourists may need in the vicinity of the inn. The tourist attractions of Jincheng Town, namely Qing-Dynasty Military Headquarter (总兵署), the Chastity Arch of Qiu (贞节牌坊), Mofan Street (模范街), etc, was just 15 minutes' walk away.
The bedrooms were located on the 2nd to 4th floors. The dormitories had 8 beds each, all were double-deck beds with their own curtains. The male dormitory was on the 3rd floor and female's on the 2nd floor.
The inn had another two double bedrooms and a quadruple room on the 4th floor, each with its own bathroom. And electronic key cards would be required to open the inn's main door, room doors and individual lockers.
I forgot to take photos of the bathroom!
The second and third floors each had a bathroom and a shower-only room. The bathrooms were a little narrow for showering. The second floor bathrooms were for ladies only, and the third floor for men — and the shared bathroom on the ground floor.
If I were to visit Kinmen again, I would try the first outlet of Backpack Home 497 in Jinhu Township.