The cafA� built atop a fish pond
Food and beveragesa?�a?�a?�
Revitalized heritage shopfront that maintains its vintage charm
There are 3 very unique aspects that stand out when you visit a�?San-Men CafA�.a�? Firstly, the cafA� is built on a family owned fish pond. Secondly, the cafA� contains an overwhelming amount of nostalgic early Taiwanese knick-knacks. Thirdly, the cafA� is filled with handmade stone sculptures and statues crafted by the owner himself that depicts cute characters. For this reason, a�?San-Men CafA�a�? is also known as a�?Stone CafA�.a�?
The owner a�?Chao Yong Wonga�? 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 cafA� into what it is today, creating a shop full of nostalgia and character.
While the cafA� is situated on top of its own fish pond, the cafA� is also found in the hills of the countryside, amongst a pineapple and betel nut plantation. Since the cafA� is built on top of a fish pond, people have drawn comparisons to feeling like theya��re visiting the floating markets of Thailand.
This rustic cluttered cafA� has the feel of an ancient Chinese bird loft and when observing the reflection of the cafA� on the water while standing amongst the trees that surround the pond, the cafA� 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 CafA�, Chao Yong Wong says, a�?when I first decided to open this cafA� 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.a�?
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 cafA�. 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.