First, a Public Service Announcement:
The Lin Family Garden (林家花園) is offering free admission through August if you present a Family Mart or 7-11 - one per entrant - receipt at the entrance. The garden is located in Banqiao, about a 5-10 minute walk from Fuzhong (府中) MRT Station or accessible by bus from either Banqiao or Fuzhong.
Since everybody in Taiwan - yes, everybody - has a few of those scrunched up in a wallet or pocket somewhere, and the usual admission is NT$100 (last time I checked), this is a really good deal. If you've never been but want to go, now is the time. If you've been, want to return but find it expensive, again, now is the time.
The Garden is beautiful, constructed during the Qing Dynasty back when Banqiao was a rural area, and done with winding pathways and little doors, inlets and passages in a kind of maze. In an age before photography, it was the perfect setting for portraits of young beauties with parasols delicately floating down its flowered paths and sitting in its pagodas. Even today, it takes well to photography - so much so that Brendan and I discussed hiring a photographer when money isn't tied up in the wedding and having wedding photos taken there (not necessarily in our wedding clothes, but just because it's nice to have good photos of yourself...and our other idea was to have photos taken of us in our wedding clothes running a Stinky Tofu street stand).
It's basically the closest you're going to get to a historic spot in Tainan or Lugang without leaving the Taipei metro area (not counting temples or the still-active Dihua or Guiyang Streets, of course). I highly recommend it.
Photos are below - the place had enough visitors that I didn't even try to avoid getting them in my photos. Instead, I did my best to include them in the pictures as a part of the scene, not a distraction. I think it worked pretty well with the girl in the blue t-shirt, at least!