New Taipei: Pingxi

The Pingxi Branch Line train track going right through both Pingxi (平溪) and Shifen (十分) towards the terminal station, Jingtong (菁桐). The train stations were originally built for transporting coal, and today stand as a reminder of Taiwan’s history and culture and provide a nice glimpse at Taiwan’s beautiful, natural scenery.

Pingxi

The Sky Lantern Festival draws visitors to Pingxi year-round. As the Lunar New Year festivities come close, the Lantern Festival is celebrated in Pingxi with particular zeal. Visitors can learn how to make their own paper-mâché sky lanterns, paint their dreams and wishes on the lanterns, and then release them to the sky in the hopes that heaven will answer their prayers. In the famous Pingxi Old Street (平溪老街), there are wooden houses built during the Japanese occupation era selling delicious local dishes like the seasoned millet mush (麵茶), a snack made of stir-fried flour, white sesame, sugar and aromatic, crunchy almond crisps.

Shifen

Shifen is well known for the Shifen Waterfall (十分大瀑布), a 20-meter tall waterfall creating a rainbow as it splashes into the lake, widely regarded as the most scenic waterfall in Taiwan. The old movie Dust in the Wind (戀戀風塵) of the famous Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢) was shot right at the Shifen Station (十分車站). Visitors can take beautiful pictures on the discarded train track.