'Arab Palace' up for sale for NT$3.3 billion in NE Taiwan

Taiwanese tycoon's massive Middle Eastern-style 'Arab Palace' is up for sale in Yilan, Taiwan for a cool NT$3.3 billion

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"Arab Palace." (Google Maps image)

"Arab Palace." (Google Maps image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A massive Middle Eastern-style palace in northeastern Taiwan, which has seldom been seen by the public, is up for sale for the price of NT$3.3 billion (US$71.3 million).

The Rongzi Museum, also known as the "Arab Palace" in Wai-ao in northeastern Taiwan's Yilan County is a famous privately-owned guest house where powerful leaders and tycoons have stayed, including former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), former Kuomintang Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑) founder Wang Yung-ching (王永慶).

As it has fallen into disuse, the mansion's owner Lin Chao-wen (林昭文) and his wife have now decided to sell the palatial estate for NT$3.3 billion.


(Photo from Wikipedia)

According to Taiwanese media reports, the Arab Palace was completed in 2006 and covers an area of more than 3,600 ping (a ping equals 3.3 square meters). Not only is the exterior constructed with an intricate, middle eastern motif, but the interior is also lavishly decorated.

Inside the grounds of the estate is a Chinese-style pavilion specially built by Lin for his wife called the "Kuei-lien Garden," which is full of antique treasures and collectables worth over a hundred million Taiwanese dollars.


(Photo by flickr user Chen Liang-tao)

The 82-year-old Lin, who is known as the "Taiwanese Arabian King," first went to Saudi Arabia to do business, eventually making billions of NT dollars in the process. In the 30 years since he returned to Taiwan, he has invested a huge amount of money in purchasing land and constructing the "palace."

Mirror Media reports that the Arab Palace was mainly used to entertain guests, but it is presently idle as Lin is being hospitalized due to poor health. His wife, Yang Kuei-lien (楊桂蓮) feels that the structure is too idle but would cost a lot of money to maintain and has therefore decided to put it up for sale.


Google Map view of palace.

The real estate agent responsible for selling the home disclosed that if a buyer really likes the place, they can offer it at a discount of NT$2.6 billion and include the furniture without additional charges. According to the agent, the Arab Palace covers a total area of 3,600 ping, including private property, which covers 2,400 ping and contains at least 20 rooms.

At an estimated value of NT$500,000 per ping, just the land alone is worth more than N$1.2 billion, not including the NT$300 million in structures and NT$100 million in antique furniture. Considering all of those elements, combined with the architectural history and ocean view in Wai'ao, "the asking price of NT$3.3 billion is quite reasonable," said the agent.


Photo from Facebook user Chang Ching-yung (張清勇)

Drone footage shot of the palace posted on YouTube: