Attraction 十分老街 Pingxi District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 226 Published on: 05-07-2016
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Why Shifen Old Street is special ?
Located in Pingxi District of New Taipei City, Taiwan, Shifen Old Street is the most famous stop along Pingxi Branch Line. Pingxi Branch Line was originally built to transport coal and now has transformed to an internationally renowned railway for one to discover the coal-mining history of Taiwan and experience lighting sky lanterns. The nostalgic ambience and antiquity of Pingxi Line attract large numbers of both local and international visitors each day.
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. Although Shifen Old Street is now a popular tourist stop, the old street still keeps its nostalgic, relaxing ambience, where one may sometimes find residents sit in front of their houses, chatting and socializing. Shifen Old Street is not only a great place for photographs, sky lanterns and to see the unique scene of trains running right through the old street, but also a nice place to sample local snacks that will satiate your taste buds.
What to explore at Shifen Old Street?
The famous Jingan Suspension Bridge is located behind Shifen Station. The bridge connects Shifen and Nanshan villages, and was originally used for transporting coal and later renovated to a pedestrian bridge after coal-mining industry has ended. If one has a chance to visit Nanshan Village, one may find the houses include windows, doors, and exterior walls painted in blue, which is one of Nanshan Village’s characteristics.
Another 15-20 minute walk from Shifen Old Street will access you to the famous Shifen Waterfall. The waterfall is Taiwan’s broadest waterfall with a total height of 20 meters and 40 meters in width, located on the upper reaches of the Keelung River. The whole area is mountainous and full of what the locals call “kettle pits” (potholes) in the river beds. These potholes are round, and shallow formed by the erosion of the soft rocks by pebbles grinding against the soft rocks by rapid water. The entrance fee to Shifen Waterfall is TWD 80 per adult, TWD 50 per child and free entry for children under 110cm and elders aged over 70. Pingxi trains come about every hour. The round trip to and from Shifen Waterfall takes about a 45-60 minute walk, it is unlikely that you can catch the next train after the one you arrive one if you plan to take a glimpse at the magnificent Shifen Waterfall.
Every year, the huge event like Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is one of the three most popular customs of lantern festival in Taiwan, will be held in Shifen Sky Lantern Square that is adjacent to Shifen Old Street. The event is increasingly recognized globally as a key international folklore event. The festival was named as one of the world’s 14 festivals that a person must attend in their lifetime by the giant travel guide publisher, Fordor’s in 2013. At the same year, it was selected as one of the “52 things to do in 2013” by CNN Travel in January of 2013.
How to get to Shifen Old Street?
1. Taipei (台北) -> Shenkeng (深坑) -> Shiding Shuangxi Intersection (石碇雙溪口) -> 106 County Road (106縣道) -> Pingxi (平溪) -> Shifen (十分)
2. Taipei (台北)/基隆(Keelung) -> Zhongshan No. 1 National Highway (中山高) -> exit at Badu Interchange (八堵交流道) -> Rueiba Highway/102Yi County Road (瑞八公路/縣102乙) -> Ruefang Industrial Park (瑞芳工業區) -> 106 County Road (106縣道) -> Shifen (十分)
3. Sizih (汐止) -> Siping Highway/North 31 Road (汐平公路/北31線道) -> Pingxi (平溪) -> Shifen (十分)
4. Northeast Coast (東北角) -> Fulong (福隆) -> Shuangxi (雙溪) -> North 38 Road (北38線) -> Shifen (十分)
MRT Muzha Station (捷運木柵站) -> No. 15 Taipei Bus (台北客運15路公車) -> Shifen (十分)
Take East Line train to Ruefang Station (瑞芳站) -> Pingxi Branch Line (平溪支線) -> Shifen Railway Station (十分火車站)
- Place for street food and Sky Lanterns
- Send lanterns up in the sky!
- Well worth the trip!
- The kids love this
- The Lantern Track
十分老街 Pingxi District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 226
Tips for you
The best way to visit Shifen Old Street was to engaged a local driver who could bundle the tour with Jiufen, Yeliu and Yang Ming Shan which were mountanious and you could stayed as long as you like without worring about the transport. The main attractions of Shifen were the charming old streets, the nostalgic railway tracks and of couse the launching of Sky Lanterns ! You could write you blessings and well wishes on the colorful lanterns and let them rise to the sky . The rising of colorful lanterns into the high sky made such a beautiful sight. Do not miss this !
Known also as Pingxi District, you can find many lantern stores where you can buy, write and release the lantern into the sky. February is the month for the lantern festival. You can walk, passes the railway whe there is no train passing by. Many stores sell postcard, and also wood post-card. For the stamp collector, this is it where you can stamp your note and book. Visit the store and collect their various and funny stamps. Walk along the tracks, you can find the old bridge on your left side.
We came her to make wishes of all by sending sky lantern. it was fun and amazing. Sky lantern was bigger than i thought and fly super high. My kids called it as movie "Tangled". they were so impressed. I didn't know the train still pass there. while we were writing and flying the sky lantern, the train keeps passing by. (slowly so no worry) full of people with making wishes, the shop staff take pictures of you while you are flying it away. fun experience , worth to come.