If you are looking for a place to take photos of Chinese gardens and historic buildings, then this place is the right spot. The Lin Ben Yuan Family Mansion and Garden (林本源園邸) was a residence built by the Lin Ben Yuan family. First construction started in 1847 and was later expanded to become the residence of the Lin Ben Yuan family. The mansion and garden are great examples for the architecture and gardening during the Qing dynasty. Today it is the most complete private garden in Taiwan, and in my opinion the most beautiful place you can visit in Taipei. The mansion and garden cover an area of about 20,000 m2. The mansion can be visited only with a guided tour, but the garden is freely accessible. The big garden itself is subdivided into smaller gardens with different topics. Each of them hosts a great variety of architectural and garden elements. You can discover the garden along small paths. Some of them are a bit hidden and will guide you to secret places. It is so much to see, that it is easy to spend half day there. Every time I come back to this place, I still discover new things. It is difficult to describe the beauty of this garden with words (especially for me as a non-native English speaker). The best is, that you come and visit this place. Bring your camera and lots of time.
Here are some photos I took in the garden.
In the surrounding of Jigushuwu (汲古書屋).
Corridor connecting Jigushuwu (汲古書屋) and Laiqingge (來青閣)
Rongyindachi (榕蔭大池) – A large pond surrounded by several small pavillions and a artifical hill shielding the garden from the street. The white tower at the right side is called Jingziting (敬字亭), and is a paper furnace.
Rongyindachi (榕蔭大池) – A large pond surrounded by several small pavillions and a artifical hill shielding the garden from the street.
Dingjingtang (定靜堂) – This is one of the largest buildings in the garden, and its purpose was to hold banquets.
Gate to the front plaza of Dingjingtang (定靜堂).
Lotus flower in the courtyard of Dingjingtang (定靜堂).
Best time to go
During weekdays, as early as possible to get the nice morning light, and to avoid the crowds. The park is empty in the morning, but fills up quickly with locals, tourists and school classes. From my experience 9 am to 11 am is a good time there. Every season is great, even during a rainy day the park offers interesting subjects.
The park is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Closed every 1st Monday of a month. The entrance is free and guided tours are available. For more information visit the webpage of the Lin Family Mansion and Garden: http://www.linfamily.ntpc.gov.tw/
Location and how to reach
The garden is located in Banqiao in New Taipei City. It can be reached by MRT taking the blue line. Get off at Fuzhong Station (捷運府中站) and take exit 1. Follow Fuzhong Road (府中路), until you reach an intersection with a temple gate. Pass through this gate, on the left hand side you will see a huge temple, and continue on Fuzhong Road for about 150 m until you reach the intersection Fuzhong Road-Wenchang Street (文昌街). Turn right into the small and busy Wenchang Street. After about 100 m you will already see the outside walls of the Family Lin Garden. Follow the street to the end, turn left and walk along the wall until you reach the small plaza with the entrance.
Address in Chinese: 22056新北市板橋區西門街9號
Address in English: No.9, Ximen St., Banqiao Dist., New Taipei City 22056[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m14!1m8!1m3!1d7231.386103268451!2d121.45438851587839!3d25.01054393320406!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x0000000000000000%3A0xb891f90afecb5572!2sThe+Lin+Family+Mansion+and+Garden!5e0!3m2!1sen!2stw!4v1426325170292&w=600&h=450]