After Juifen we headed to Pingxi. We really wanted to see the waterfall but we ended getting to Shifen after 5 pm so we couldn't go. I have always wanted to see and release paper lanterns which is the reason why we came here. I'm actually thankful I met my travel buddy or else I would have skipped Juifen & Pingxi because I thought they were too far and didn't want to travel up here. The train ride here was a bit long and very boring but pretty scenic. It was really cool arriving to Pingxi Station because the train tracks are open so we saw people taking videos and pictures of the train pulling in. It didn't rain but it was a very cloudy day. On one side of the train tracks they had these old coal mining cars and an old town across the river.
This is what the train looks like. It pretty funky looking.
Walking along the train tracks we saw a lot of souvenir stores as well as places with food. Most of the food didn't look that great though. Here you can see people on the train tracks releasing their lanterns.
As we walked on we saw a lot more people decorating and releasing their lanterns on the train tracks. We wanted to wait until it was dark to do the lanterns so we watched other people do theirs and walked around.
Hmm.... someone is a bit skeptical!
On the other side of the train track was a suspension bridge with the most beautiful backdrop for pictures. The bridge was mostly wooden with ropes and some metal holding it together but you could feel it moving. This bridge took you to the small town so you can explore if you like.
From the bridge I look this picture of Pingxi station.
Then we had a photoshoot on the bridge. I absolutely suck at posing infront of the camera. I'm so used to taking selfies that when someone takes a photo of me I have no idea what to do. Plus, i'm used to snapping pictures of people and other things, which i'm so good at. As you can see the background is so mountainous and beautiful.
After our photoshoot we went back to go watch the lanterns being release and did a little shopping. There actually isn't much to do here other than the lanterns, bridge and eating.
Look at all these lanterns!
To kill more time we went into a store and bought some postcards and filled them out and sent them. I also bought some food because I was starving. I waited too long to get food and a lot of the stores were closed so I ended up just having a hot dog which didn't taste like a hotdog. Eventually it got darker so we decided to go and purchase a lantern to decorate. When you walk along the stores the staff try hard to get you to buy their lanterns.
The 4 colour lantern, which we bought, was 200 TWD ($8). Every colour had a different meaning, so you could buy lanterns for the meanings that you want. But there are only certain combinations, you can't choose the combos.
Our lantern was red, blue, pink and yellow (success, wealth, health and love). I had no idea what to even write on here, so on one side I wrote lyrics from the song Wonderwall by Oasis, which EVERYONE knows because it's me and my BFF's favourite song at karaoke. On another side I wrote a quote that I fell in love with which is, ''Insist in yourself, never imitate''. I always like to do my own thing and I never try to be like anyone else. I even have a tattoo that says Know Thy Self. It was a lot of fun decorating the lantern. We actually finished pretty fast. When we were done someone came and lit our lantern and we look pictures with it on each side then we released it.
While lantern watching we noticed a lot of the lanterns fell into the river, rocks or trees and we were so sad. I don't know where ours ended up but it was a fun thing to do.
After releasing our balloon there wasn't much to do. Most stores we closed so we decided to leave. We made the mistake of not checking the train times and ended up having to wait for just over an hour and were so bored! So make sure you check the train times for your way back.
When we got back to Taipei we were starving so we decided to check out the largest Night market, Shilin Night Market. I was not impressed at all with this market. There was a lot of food but a lot of it was of the same thing. They had things like a hotdog in a sausage which was pretty interesting. They had yummy fried chicken which we bought. One thing that we loved and had to wait like 10 mins for was the Hu Jiao Bing, which is just peppered pork in a bun. The cool thing about it was the way it is cook, on the sides of an oven.
In the market there is actually a really cool temple, Taipei Confucius Temple. It's got all the lanterns hanging from the ceiling and really cool sculptures.
How to get to Pingxi:
-- At Ruifang get on the train headed to Pingxi. It is 30 mins by train.
From Taipei Main Station
-- Take the the TRA (basement on Taipei Main Station) to Ruifang Station. Alight at Ruifang Station. Then you need to transfer to another platform to go to Pingxi (there are signs).
How to get to Shilin Night Market:
-- Take the red line to Jiantan Station and alight. Leave through exit #1 and diagonally across the street to the left is the market.
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I’m Hilda, the writer behind Herxtravels. Here you can find travel guides, reviews and tips. Find out more about me here.