Fri, May 11, 2018 - Page 13 News List

Off the Beaten Track: Taiwan’s other Lin family garden (and mansion)

Although partly destroyed by the 921 Earthquake, one of Taiwan’s finest surviving Qing Dynasty family mansions is still well worth a visit

By Richard Saunders  /  Contributing reporter

(Incidentally the 921 Earthquake Museum is just 3km to the south of the garden, at the terminus of the same bus route. It’s well worth making a day of it, and certainly puts into perspective the magnitude of the temblor that devastated those beautiful historic treasures nearby.)

Over the bridge is an attractive carved gate, and through that the main landmarks of the garden: the attractive Five-Cassia Tower (五桂樓) and the Pool of Small Habits (小習池) which takes up much of the surviving part of the garden. In the lake is Lychee Isle (荔枝島), connected to the bank by an ornamental bridge, and on it is an ornamental covered stage called the Flying Goblet Drunken Moon Pavilion (飛觴醉月亭).

Sadly the garden was decimated by the 921 Earthquake, and most of the structures seen today are shiny new replicas of the originals, although very attractive nonetheless.

Richard Saunders is a classical pianist and writer who has lived in Taiwan since 1993. He’s the founder of a local hiking group, Taipei Hikers, and is the author of six books about Taiwan, including Taiwan 101 and Taipei Escapes. Visit his Web site at www.taiwanoffthebeatentrack.com

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