Two national flags, the United Kingdom and Taiwan, sway with the wind in front of the gate of "Butterfly Lovers’ B&B" in Ji'an Township, Hualien County. The hostess Sandy (Chi-San Zhang) and her husband, Paul Mayor (nicknamed "Mayor Paul" by friends), are always smiling and warmly welcoming the guests to this hospitable place of foreign culture.
Zhang met Paul in 2002 while studying at the Art School of the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. Paul majored in animation while Zhang studied art. Humorous Paul and cheerful Zhang fell in love with each other. In 2003, Zhang went to work in Taipei, and Paul came to Taiwan two months later. They went on to relocate to Shanghai and Kaohsiung together for work, and then married in Kaohsiung in 2007. Now they have two children.
"After many years of being abroad, I suddenly looked back and realized that my hometown Hualien, filled with wondrous mountains and waters, is the best!" And so, they returned to Paul’s mother in-law’s home in Ji'an Township. Because they were born in the United Kingdom and Taiwan respectively, the homestay is also known as "Living in UK & Taiwan," which is pronounced the same as the name of the historical figure "Zhu Yingtai," making the name of the homestay memorable indeed. The homestay mainly serves a Western-style breakfast that is seasoned with fragrant herbs such as rosemary, mint, and so on. Basking in the melody of jazz or country music, the couple chats about foreign cultures while Paul shows magic tricks to the children.
The homestay is decorated in both the British and Taiwanese styles, including clocks, board paintings, and other English country-style ornaments. They have also put up photos of visits to nearby attractions in the living room. The couple provides information on activities such as driftwood art from "Niushan Huting Beach,” overlooking the magnificent Taroko Gorge from Zhuilu Old Trail, river tracing and picnicking in the upstream regions of "Sanzhan River," and admiring orange daylilies at "Sixty Stone Mountain." In addition, it takes only ten minutes to drive from the homestay to the downtown area and five minutes to Tungtamen Night Market.
When Paul arrived in Hualien, he fell in love with the temple culture and the natural environment. He says, "Hualien is beautiful and quiet. But one thing that makes me yearn for ‘noise’ among the quietness is to visit the brightly colored temples, such as Sheng'an Palace in Ji'an Township and Shengtian Temple in Hualien City, and also the wilderness areas of Sanzhan and Shapodang rivers. Folklore, worship ceremonies, and the power of nature really inspire me."
Butterfly Lover’s B&B
Address: 125, Donghai 10th St., Ji’an Township, Hualien County 973, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Opening Hours: 7:00–22:00 (Open all year round)