The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

WoWasis visits historic Lin An Tai House, Taipei

Written By: herbrunbridge - Aug• 29•11

The façade of the Lin An Tai house conceals its 34 rooms

Like many other nations, Taiwan has done a great job of tearing down its old houses in its surge to create a modern country. Aside from its venerated temples, there’s precious little left of Taiwan’s architectural past. Fortunately, Taipei has preserved a very old house that was built in 1785 by Lin Chin-Ming, and moved it, piece by piece, to its own setting, where it can be visited. It’s not all that easy to get here: taxi drivers don’t seem to know it, but you can take the MRT to Yuanshan station, then hop on the R50 bus to the Xinsheng Park stop. And it will be worth it.

The house, comprising 34 rooms, contains period pieces of furniture and décor, and it’s off the beaten track enough that you’ll probably have it to yourself, a real bonus in Taipei. A fine example of Ming and Qing Fujian-style domestic architecture, it’s resplendent with carved fruits, vases, and family seals on the doors, lintels, and roof structure. Aside from the sheer beauty of the architecture, we here at WoWasis loved meandering around the rooms, imagining how different the human impact would have been when the house was in its prime, housing a successful merchant family with its constant activity. It now stands alone in a beautiful park built to showcase the house, a wonderful respite from the hubbub of one of Asia’s most densely populated cities.

Lin An Tai Historical House and museum
5 Binjiang Street, Taipei
Tel (02) 259-96026
open Tuesday through Sunday
MRT Yuanshan station, transfer to R50 bus to Xinsheng stop
GPS: N25°04.302’  E121°31.824’

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