The Second Coolest House in Taipei: The Lin Ben Yuan Family Mansion

A few days ago, I posted my pictures and thoughts on the Lin An Tai Ancestral House, Also in Taipei is the Lin Ben Yuan Family Mansion (I'm pretty sure there's no relation), which bills itself as the most complete example of Chinese garden style in Taiwan. The house and accompanying structures look very nice themselves, but as with the Lin An Tai property, the beauty is in the landscaping.
 Well, if you don't mind green lakes. You'll see a lot of similar architectural effects here: a pond, gates, small private spaces scattered throughout the property, and even a clay rock structure with a cool cave! Access to the main house is restricted though you can go on a tour, but as you'll see from the photos below just wandering the grounds is good enough. Enjoy the pictures; a little bit more commentary is at the bottom.

The grounds are compact with walls creating a sort of labyrinth to navigate. Each little courtyard has a different theme or feel to it. There is more variety here than the Lin An Tai House, but I think this house isn't as beautifully arranged. That said, I am really glad I was able to have a look around. How cool would it be to have a cave in your backyard?

I also realized while writing this post that Japan really doesn't have many actual old homes for tour. There are landscape gardens and temples that go back hundreds of years, and museums like the Shitamachi Museum have mock-ups of old homes. Some western-style homes can be toured (Yokohama and Nagasaki are two big examples) and there are a few museums with collections of old buildings (one in Tokyo and another in the Nagoya area come to mind). But nowhere in Tokyo can I visit an old Japanese home (as far as I know/remember). Part of that is probably a byproduct of growth and progress, plus destruction caused by natural and human disasters. But I have to wonder, what happened to all the old mansions of Tokyo? Or were there none?

The Lin Family Mansion is open 9am-5pm, but it's closed one Monday a month. Admission is free! Free guided tours are offered until 3:30, though I am not sure how often, and there is a maximum of 30 participants. To go into the mansion itself, you must be a part of a guided tour. Several buses stop right in front of or next to the museum, and the MRT Fujhong (Fuzhong) Station stop is less than 10 minutes away.


  1. Great phototography... you'd make one heck of a tour guide.

  2. Thanks Fuji! I don't think I could be a tour guide for one place though. I'd have to travel to different places or I'd get bored fast. I don't know how those script-memorizing location guides handle the monotony! It'd be like teaching the same 20 minute or one hour lesson, 5-7 times a day or more, for years.