The family mansion of Lin Ying-yin boasts wood and stone carvings, traditional architectural motifs representing luck and fortune and a beautiful traditional garden. You can visit the garden – which includes ponds, pavilions and numerous buildings – on your own, but admission to the residence (三落大厝; Sān Luò Dà Cuò) is currently suspended due to renovations.
To get here take Fuzhong MRT Exit 3 and follow the English signs (about a 10-minute/700m walk), or take a YouBike.
In 1778 Lin Ying-yin migrated to Taiwan from Fujian province and his family amassed a great fortune trading rice and salt. Eventually the family settled in what is now Banqiao City and built this mansion and its expansive gardens in the mid-19th century. Today both are the largest remaining examples from that period left in Taiwan. Beautiful carvings and traditional motifs abound: in particular look out for the varied windows shaped like butterflies, bats, coins, peaches and fans. The garden is designed in the southern Chinese style with abundant viewpoints created in the limited space by narrow mazelike walkways.
Extensive refurbishments were taking place at the time of writing and are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017 or even later. While building work is ongoing tours of the buildings have been suspended but you can go in and tour the grounds for free. Once renovations are completed there will be an NT$80 entrance ticket.