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The café built atop a fish pond

Lodging environment★★★★
Service★★★
Food and beverages★★★

Revitalized heritage shopfront that maintains its vintage charm

Taiwan Travel:Delicacy - San-Men Café|TaiwanDay

There are 3 very unique aspects that stand out when you visit “San-Men Café.” Firstly, the café is built on a family owned fish pond. Secondly, the café contains an overwhelming amount of nostalgic early Taiwanese knick-knacks. Thirdly, the café is filled with handmade stone sculptures and statues crafted by the owner himself that depicts cute characters. For this reason, “San-Men Café” is also known as “Stone Café.”

The owner “Chao Yong Wong” inherited the land when it was just an old unused fish pond. Then using unwanted materials such as old wooden doors, and scrap wood that he collected from the infamous 921 Taiwan Earthquake, he painstakingly built the café into what it is today, creating a shop full of nostalgia and character.
While the café is situated on top of its own fish pond, the café is also found in the hills of the countryside, amongst a pineapple and betel nut plantation. Since the café is built on top of a fish pond, people have drawn comparisons to feeling like they’re visiting the floating markets of Thailand.

Taiwan Travel:Delicacy - San-Men Café|TaiwanDay
Taiwan Travel:Delicacy - San-Men Café|TaiwanDay

This rustic cluttered café has the feel of an ancient Chinese bird loft and when observing the reflection of the café on the water while standing amongst the trees that surround the pond, the café conjures up images of a simpler version of the famous Kinkaku-ji, otherwise known as the Golden Pavilion found in Kyoto, Japan.
On why he decided to build San Men Café, Chao Yong Wong says, “when I first decided to open this café on top of the water, it was solely so I could meet friends in a place where I could see the water and enjoy the sunlight.”

As Chao Yong Wong reflects on his childhood, he remembers a time when he could not always have what he wanted. In order to remind himself and others to cherish the abundance of resources available, Chao Yong collected unwanted and little-used goods that people would throw away to display in his café. As such his collection includes old vinyl records, vinyl record player, old television sets, old sewing machines, old barber chairs, empty old soda bottles and vintage toys etc. These discarded vintage goods have been reclaimed and are now proudly on display in the cafe.

Taiwan Travel:Delicacy - San-Men Café|TaiwanDay

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