Exploring the Old Streets of Taipei

OLD STREETS are one of Taiwan’s famous tourist attractions as they are famous for showcasing the country’s rich history and culinary delights.

Present in almost every town in Taiwan, we also did not miss our chance to visit two of their famous old streets in Taipei: Shifen and Pingxi.

Pingxi and Shifen are nearby places known not only for their beautiful old architecture and scenery but they also draw visitors for events like the Sky Lantern Festival. Tourists can also create and set out Chinese Lanterns with wishes written on it almost all year round.

Pingxi Old Street

We first headed to Pingxi Old Street as this is where we have planned to set our Chinese sky lanterns as there are less tourists in this area compared to Shifen. Perfect for your Instagrammable shots!

Arriving around lunch time, we first decided to explore the area and eat lunch. Most of the food stalls and souvenir shops are located near the railway station since that is also where you set out the lanterns. The place is really peaceful and beautiful with its unique architecture and design. Shops in the area are said to have been built during the 1930s and 1940s.

Chinese Sky lantern stalls are located near the railway area and lantern prices ranges from NTD 150 – NTD 200 (P250-P350) which depends if you choose a single color or multicolored lantern. Some stalls also offer taking Polaroid photos for a fee. I only chose a single color and opted for Orange as it means “Praying for achieving anything your heart desires” this is also my way of fitting all my prayers/wishes into my budget. =D Other color meanings include: Red – health and peace; Pink – romantic love; Magenta – wisdom and popularity; Yellow – wealth; Sky blue – business; Purple – happiness in marriage and family; Lime green – work; and White – future luck.

Other than the sky lanterns, there is also a lucky bamboo area at the station area where you can buy and write your wishes on a piece of bamboo.

Shifen Old Street

From Pingxi, we back tracked going to Shifen before heading back to the downtown area. Shifen is bigger and more crowded than Pingxi with lots of food and souvenir stalls.

From the market area, tourists can also cross the train tracks where they can start hiking going to another famous spot in the area which is the Shifen Waterfall. We did not get the chance to go to the waterfall though because it started to rain again that time so we just walked along the Jingan Suspension Bridge which connects Shifen and Nanshan. The bridge is not only a picture perfect area but it also gave us a good view of Shifen Old Street and Jilong River.

There are a lot of tourists who set out their sky lanterns here as well.

Getting there: With the help again of Google Maps, we rode a train (Fuxing/Shuttle 4028 to Shuang Xi) going to Ruifang Station from Banquiao Station. Travel time took about an hour because there were many stops along the way. From Ruifang Station we then transferred to Fuxing/Shuttle 4718 to Jing Tong. Shifen Station is an earlier stop compared to Pingxi Station but we opted to go to the farthest one first.

There are also tours which you can book online via Klook or KKDay for this. Slots for these tours get fully booked fast that’s why we just DIYed ours.

If you are planning to visit Taipei this year you might include witnessing the 2018 Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival set on March 2, 2018.

Until next week!

*****

Hi, I’m Kriztja and thanks for reading My Notebook! Check out my blog: rainbow-wishes.blogspot.com for more and like my Facebook Page: My Notebook by Kriztja Marae for more updates. Comments? Suggestions? Email me at: kriztja.labrador@gmail.com.
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