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Exploring Shifen Old Town (十份), Taipei

Taipei . 2015 . Jan 20


This post is part of our Taipei Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.

Shifen was our second stop after an exploration of Pingxi Old Street and releasing of sky lantern. Both Shifen and Pingxi are known for releasing sky lanterns, but Shifen is indefinitely more popular based on the crowd size.



Shifen is obviously a popular stop on the Pingxi line (平溪线). Look at the crowd that got down with us at Shifen.


If you had missed out on the fabulous food shopping at Jiufen, here is a last chance at Shifen.  The choices are not as many as at Jiufen though.


After being in Taipei for so many days, we finally got to see the first stinky tofu stall.  Could smell it from a distance, and we thought someone didn’t clear the drains. Not too keen to try it though.


More interested in playing with this stray dog.  But he didn’t seem very much up to it.

 
This hand drawn wall mural accurately describes the layout of Shifen Old Street.



The railway line cuts through most parts of the Old Street, with most of the action in the town happening on both sides of the railway track.

   
Shifen Old Street is much more vibrant than Pingxi, but we still prefer the quiet and peace of Pingxi. Notably, Shifen has a lot more tourists from Korea and China, discernible from the writings on the lanterns. I suppose the deities up there can read all sorts of languages.

 
Business for the sky lanterns was so good that you could see multiple sky lanterns in the sky at any one time.


The sky lanterns are sold at the same controlled price as Pingxi.  We had wanted to buy and release another sky lantern at Shifen, but there was just too much to see and too little time to do everything. In retrospect, it was better to do it at Ping Xi because of the lesser crowds and better privacy.

 
Business for the sky lanterns are so brisk that the racks had to be set up on the side of the railway tracks.


And this is what happens when the hourly train comes by - suddenly all activities along the tracks are stopped.



This stall selling XXL-Crispy Fried Chicken (炸雞排) along Shifen Old Street claims to be the famous Shilin Night Market stall.  Absolutely mouth-watering, and rekindled my craving for the original Crispy Fried Chicken (炸雞排) in Shilin Night Market, which we never could find time to visit due to our packed itinerary.

 
More shopping at Shifen Old Street.


Shifen is so popular with korean tourists that even the shops had to have a korean name to it.


Wishes written on Bamboo flutes are also available in Shifen, but they are not as common as Pingxi.

 
At the end of Shifen Old Street is where you start a long walk to the Shifen Waterfall, also known as Taiwan’s Niagara Falls.


The Jing An Suspension Bridge which stretches for over 120m is another icon of Shifen, other than the sky lanterns and the Shifen waterfall.  It runs almost parallel to the railway tracks.


Can you spot the sky lanterns dotting the sky?


 Found this cat sitting on the ledge at the side of Jing An Suspension Bridge, seemingly wanting to jump down.  Are you sure, Kitty?  That bridge is so high off the ground -  although I know you have nine lives…


Looking back on Shifen Old Street from Jing An bridge.


The Jing An Bridge links the town of Shifen with the neighbouring Nanshan village, and was originally used for transporting coal.  When the coal-mining industry ended, the bridge was used as a pedestrian bridge, and now as a tourist attraction.


On our way back to Shifen Train station.  If you are planning to take one of the last few trains back to Ruifang Train Station, be sure to wait at the platform early to assure at least a standing space on the train.  We were there punctually when the train arrived to find that everyone else had boarded and we hardly even had space to squeeze in.


You can now visit "You're the Apple of My Eye" movie scene, and make a wish at Jingtong Station by writing down your wishes on the wishing bamboos. Walk on the railway at Shifen Train Station. At last, write down your wishes on the sky lanterns, and set it off into the sky to make your wishes come true! Check out the special deal below!

Special Deal - 【You're the Apple of My Eye】 6 Hour Taxi Tour by KKday, Our Travel Partner

We are pleased to share with you this travel deal from our Travel Partner KKday for 【You're the Apple of My Eye】 6 Hour Taxi Tour at the movie scenes - Shifen & Jingtong Train Stations! :)


Click on the link below for more information!



Follow us next as we bring you to Shifen Waterfall, also known affectionately as Taiwan’s version of Niagara Falls.

This post is part of our Taipei Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.


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