Lin Yin-Yin came to Taiwan from the Fujian province of China in 1778. His son, Ping-Hou, came with him and prospered as a rice & salt merchant and trader. During the reign of Emperor Tao-Kuang there were clashes amongst various Chinese groups in Taiwan so Hou built a mansion with walls around it. Hou's sons continued to prosper in the business and added more halls to the structure. Eventually the property expanded to a sprawling house with 5 courtyards. The Lin family was the wealthiest family in Taiwan during the Qing dynasty.
I loved this mansion. It was built to house a family, not for hundreds of visitors to pass through. The gardens have a sense of intimacy with small rooms scattered around for the women to enjoy needlework or the men to enjoy reading. The layout of the rooms give an airy feeling despite the fact that the heat index was 120F on the day we visited.