Fun Every Station Along Pingxi Line - Shifen and Pingxi Station

Very Happy

If the highest possible score is ten points(十分), the Shifen(十分)take on another new meaning. To score a perfect 100% on life and love is an importunate demand. I think it ' s certainly worth it if I score 10%. Located in Pingxi District of New Taipei City, Taiwan, Shifen Old Street is the most famous stop along Pingxi Branch Line. Set by Shifen Railway Station, Shifen Old Street is filled mainly by sky lantern and souvenir shops, grocery stores and restaurants on both sides of the railway. One may notice that Shifen Railway Station is larger than other stations along Pingxi Line as it has dual tracks that allow trains to intersect here. I never get off at the stop but Rong Shu Xia Rice Noodles(榕樹下米粉湯) is a restaurant that opened over hundred years. Please have a taste of their food.

Sky Lanterns in Pingxi

Why did the people lauch sky lanterns? The old practice still prevails in Pingxi District. According to the history of Pingxi, the Taipei Pingxi Sky Lanterns were released originally to let others know that the town was safe. These lanterns are decorated with wishes and images relating to the owner. These two events are known together as "Fireworks in the South, Sky Lanterns in the North." DSC_8060 I knew Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival was held annually and this township was crowded with people at that time. On February 22, 2014, to the best of my recollection Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival was celebrated 8 days ago. My wife and I took bus 795 towards Pingxi. We wanted to have a go at this another transportation. There was no seat available on the bus. The crowded bus with no good shock absorbers traveled over very bumpy mountain roads. Sophia was thrilled with terror and we no longer wanted to take a bus to this small town. DSC_8163 The old street had a lot of tourist atmosphere. There was a long line at the informal diner. Sightseers were packed like sardines in this townlet. page20151209-1 Although Pingxi town is actually very small, but they do have pretty good snacks! We stopped at the first snack bar which is called “百年老味” for braised dishes. DSC_8070 DSC_8074 Many travelers wrote down their wishes on the bamboo tube, hanging on the wall, they ring with the passengers walk by, how fascinating! DSC_8084
 This photo was taken in Traditional Flour Tea(古早味麵茶). Anthony Guo (郭彥均) and Angus Guo (郭彥甫) interviewed this restaurant. Sophia very liked this kind of food so we walked into the store. Peanuts and sesame provide the aroma, but there was much more to this dining experience. The restaurant has recreated the old street atmosphere of kettles ringing out to show its time for tea. The owner was also inspired to put a twist on this local flavor by offering a chilled version of the traditional tea. DSC_8086 DSC_8087 DSC_8088 DSC_8094 DSC_8096
 Be certain to stop by the Pingxi Post Office that has an old upright mailbox dating back to the Japanese Occupation. It’s said to be the only Japanese-era mailbox still in use in Taiwan. DSC_8100 But maybe this road sign was older than the mailbox.
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 I also found some kind of ferns heart on the wall. DSC_8161 Here, you can discover the increasingly rare general grocery stores and also watch as the train rumbles along the steel bridge overhead. Remember the advertisement where a little girl called Zhang Junya is summoned home before her instant noodles get too soggy? It was shot here in Pingxi! If you want to experience the quiet of small town living, the Pingxi Old Street is not a bad choice! DSC_8153 DSC_8172 The train was entering the station but the store-owner was still selling his sky lanterns and the tourists ignored the train. DSC_8178 In the scenic mountains above Taipei and the beautiful weather, a lantern was released into the sky. The lantern in question signed with well-wishes by the tourist. It’s really a fine view. DSC_8216 We bought this small beautiful souvenir before we got back by train. I thought the photographs would bring back many pleasant memories.
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About 劉世琪

Hi, I'm Stephen Liu! A Taiwanese couchsurfer, backpacker, food lover and postcrosser. My wife and I challenged ourself to visit all the counties and cities in Taiwan! Read more here.

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