Taipei Day 6 | Pingxi Railway Tour

August 24, 2013

Hello from Taiwan's country side, on a (self) tour called, the Pingxi Railway Tour!!! 

An easy summary of how this whole railway tour works would be.. Buy a train ticket from Taipei Main Station (TRA) to Ruifang, you can actually pre-book the tickets from the TRA website which tells you the exact timings of the trains and ensures you get a seat during your train ride. I personally think it's important to get a seat on the train because the train ride is really long, about 30-45mins to get to Ruifung station. The tickets would be approximately NT$59 per person (depending on whether you buy the tickets standing/sitting). The train boyfriend and I took was the 10.15am train, continue reading to find out what time our day ended! 

When you get to Ruifang, go to the ticketing counter to get yourself an all-day pass, meanwhile, take a picture of the train schedule they have up near the ticketing counter. Because the trains pass each station only about once every hour, if you miss the train, you might not make it back at the timing you booked your return train ticket (TRA). 

Our first stop of the railway tour: Jingtong 
We went all the way to the last stop on the railway tour, and went backwards towards Ruifang. Wanted to take a shot together with the train, but.. WE WERE TOO SLOW. Boyfriend however managed to snap a shot of me with the old school train. The best thing about visiting Jingtong first was that, it's the last stop, which means that it's a safe place to take photos without the train disturbing you! We camwhored there for the longest time under the scorching sun. If you stay there long enough to take photographs, you might be lucky enough to have no one standing in the background (as you can see in our later photographs).

Totally whoring the railway tracks..

After we were done whoring with the railway tracks, we decided it was time to eat something! Because we rushed to get tickets for the TRA, and boarded the train really quickly, we didn't have anything proper to eat in the morning (I think we only shared a hotdog bun). Just find a nice shop and settle down to eat! We found a shop that had fans, because it was way too humid to be sitting out having your meal.

The Lover Bridge..

Bought our bamboo, wrote our wishes, 一生一世,恩恩爱爱 (to eternal love). Too cheesy. But that was the point of it! And also the reason to why we took so many photographs on the lover bridge as well. Although we heard from our friend after that that we weren't supposed to hang the bamboos on the bridge. MEHHHH... I hope our bamboo doesn't get cut off though.

Whilst waiting for the train's arrival, we wandered around the old shops that were selling stuff and we bought some souvenirs back! They actually sell REALLY cute old school Chinese styled notebooks there. And they also sell many train tickets with good wishing as well, which make really good decorations.

That was all for Jingtong!

Our next stop... Pingxi!
In all honesty, there wasn't much to do in Pingxi. We climbed up to the bomb shelters, which were really quiet and slightly more cooling, and took a couple of photos, and just walked back to the train station to wait for the next train to Shifen. We did score a couple of nice photographs at the resting area outside the bomb shelter.

Shifen Waterfall
If you've ever been to a big waterfall, don't bother hiking to the shifen waterfall, it is really tiring. 2.5km hike up to the waterfall, and NT$180 entrance fee (I think boyfriend almost slaughtered me). Also, if you realise, there are too many barricades to actually take a good photograph WITH the waterfall. Nigel actually managed to get a couple of good shots of the waterfall, but when we're in the pictures, the banisters/barricades are also in them.

If you're keen on checking out the waterfall, do rent a motorised bike from AH MA 天嶝, it's definitely worth the money. Unless you're a fitness junky and would rather hike. 

And after seeing tons of people uploading pictures about letting off wish lanterns, it's finally my turn! Was so excited!!!! Not to the point where we bought the multi-coloured one though, we simply thought the gesture of releasing a lantern was going to be fun, so we bought the single coloured one, PINK, also representing love, from AH MA 天嶝. The uncle was super nice and he took decent photographs as well! The colours didn't look as good because the camera was set on auto.

What we wrote on our lantern:
一生一世,恩恩爱爱 (to eternal love)
早日找到好工作 (to find a good job soon)
事业一帆风顺 (to a smooth sailing career)
早日升官 (smooth sailing career promotion)
身体建康 (health)

ALL Photographs taken by Nigel Ng

All in all, we had a great day out in the countryside, with bad reception, insane train crowd, but picture perfect settings. Just FYI, people push their way through to get seats in between the railway train rides, if you want to get a seat, do that as well. We ended Shifen around 6pm, but instead of taking the train back to Ruifang, we took the train to Baidu, and from there, we bought the train ticket to Taipei Main Station. Although when you do that, you'll have to top-up for the Ruifang-Baidu station (only a couple of bucks), and you'll be able to get a ride WITH SEATS back to Taipei!

By the time you get back to Taipei City, it would be roughly 7pm plus or 8pm plus, considering we already left just before sun set. Enjoy the Railway Tour as much as I did! And if you'd like more information, just leave a comment below, and I would gladly answer you!

To catch up on my previous Taipei posts:

Taipei Holiday Planning
Taipei Day 1: Taipei Zoo
Taipei Day 2: Yangmingshan , Beitou, Tamsui
Taipei Day 3: Hakka Cultural Park, CKS Memorial Hall
Taipei Day 4: Miniature Museum of Taipei, Suho Paper Museum

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