Her Majesty and I always love to DIY our trip mainly because we can go anywhere we like although the journey might not be easy.
On day 5 of our Taiwan trip, we decided to experience something different, the train journey via PingXi branch line. PingXi line is one of the three small branch lines that have remained open for tourism. This 12.9km track was originally built in 1921 to transport the coal. From Taipei, we just rode on the train from Taipei Main Station to RuiFang station then transit to PingXi line. it’s a highly scenic ride through a wild, wooded gorge. Furthermore, the stops are full of rewarding sights and activities, including thrilling hikes, high waterfalls, river pools to swim in, and the remains of what was once a thriving coal industry.
We first stopped at this very small village called ShiFen Old Town where the rail track cut through the street right in front of the shops.
Everywhere we go, we will never stop hunting for food. For someone like us who loves non-halal food, there is no way that we can just walk pass the grilled wild boar stall without giving it a try.
Pork meat balls soup for our lunch
This place has nothing to shop except the mini sky lantern which is a good idea for souvenir. In fact, PingXi is the home of sky lanterns and also where the annual sky lanterns festival is held.
Do also check out some of the tourist attractions in ShihFen. A local told us that it is about 10 minutes walk only, just follow path to the road and from there you can see a signage showing you where to go. We didn’t get lost, but ended up it took us 30 minutes instead.
Waterfall suspension bridge
Shih Guan Pond Suspension Bridge
Spectacle cave waterfall – Because of inward erosion, the escarpment looks like a pair of glasses, and is therefore called “spectacle cave”. It’s 6m high and 6m wide.
ShiFen Waterfall is the greatest screen curtain style waterfall in Taiwan. The falls’ total height is 20 meters (66 feet) and 40 meters in width. It looks like a blanket of white silk stain sliding down into a great wide deep pond. The pond is named Rainbow Pond because the waterfall reflects sunlight and creates plenty of tiny rainbows against the blue sky.
From ShihFen, we boarded the train to JingTong, the last station of PingXi branch line. Originally a coal mining town, today it is known mostly for tourism, with numerous souvenir shops and exhibits on the history of the area and the coal mining industry.
With a history of over 80 years, JingTong Train Station is one of the few existing Japanese-styled wooden train stations in Taiwan, and was elected as one of Taiwan’s 100 Historical Scenes.
Shihdi Grand Inclined Shaft was once Taiwan’s biggest coal mine.
If you want to experience walking on the rail tracks, please pay attention to the schedule. Also because i know doing what i do will bring no harm, i decided to do a little push up on the track.
While waiting for the train to come, I had my Sakura ice cream.
Sending a love letter to someone we love but I doubt it reaches the recipient
We also bought a sky lantern and wrote our wishes on it. It is believe that our wishes will come true as it fly off.
We’re just in time to catch the last train back to Taipei city. Though we didn’t manage to stop at all stations, but it is still a day filled with nostalgia.