3. From Taipei: Pingxi Sky Lantern and Shifen Waterfall Tour
Meet your tour guide at MRT Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station, then enjoy a ride to the suburban area and start a nostalgic tour of Taipei. There are three branch railway lines still operating in Taiwan: Pingxi Line in Taipei, Neiwan Line in Hsinchu, and Jiji Line in Nantou. As time goes by, these three branch lines have turned into tourist railway lines. Pingxi is one of these small towns that were once prosperous due to the coal mining industry in the 1960s. The last coal mine closed in 1997, many of the residents moved out, and these towns became silent and desolated.
Even though the golden age may be long gone, Pingxi becomes well-known for being the film location of some movies and TV commercials. Sky Lantern launch in Taiwan originates from Shifen in Pingxi District. Nowadays, the lanterns are used as symbols of peace and good fortune, the world-renowned Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is a big yearly event that draws hundreds of thousands of people every year.
Today you have an opportunity to experience this on the train track: write a message, light the lantern and watch it fly to the sky. There are lots of shops that sell Sky Lanterns, souvenirs, and traditional snacks along the train track, you may enjoy a little shopping before we head off to the next stop – Shifen Waterfall. Also known as Taiwan’s "Niagara Falls", Shifen Waterfalls are the biggest cascading falls in Taiwan.
It is also a popular scenic attraction and easily accessible by foot from Shifen Train Station. If the weather is good, it creates a rainbow as it splashes into the lake. Your tour ends with a return transfer to your chosen drop-off location. Either at Xinyi Shopping District (Taipei 101) or MRT Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station.