We went to Pingxi via trains, taking the railway train from the Taipei Station. At the platform, we were a little lost. There were different types of train and destination written, but none of it indicates "Ruifang". There were no one for us to ask or any information board for us to look up to. We ended up using the service phone to call and ask which train we should board. We went during the weekend and it is highly not recommended! There were so many people and we did not get to sit throughout the 1 hour journey (cause we bought the cheapest class train tickets). The crowd at the Ruifang Station, where we stopped to change to Pingxi line, was pretty crazy. On the train from Ruifang Station to Pingxi station, it was so crowded that many could not board the train at several stations, thus they open up the driver's cabin and we got to stand inside. As seen above, a female driver assistant was working, while allowing us to stand in her tiny space. She was very nice and she was the one that broadcast what station it is at every stop. I was lucky to have the window view and I managed to snap the nice view of the river the train past by.
At the Pingxi Station, there is a stamp booth with stamps of the station. It is either for collection or to stamp on the postcard bought from the souvenir shop. I think this is a thing in Taiwan cause we collected the train station stamps when we were in Kaohsiung too (I will show my collection sometime in future). We saw two young boys with a huge collection as they each have a book that was pretty much covered with stamps of various stations for a few pages. At the souvenir shops, we went in to buy some wooden postcards and some old school looking sweet treats. We then went to take tourist-sy photos with the railway tracks. Pingxi is a famous place to release sky lantern, which is why we went there for. There were many shops that were selling lanterns. The sign show the different wishes the lantern holds for different colours.
Walking along the street. We joined the long queue to buy sausages. I had kimchi-flavoured, which I enjoyed cause of the crunchy sweet and sour taste. And for the chicken fillet, it is massive! There were no huge sign of the shop, we just spotted it when we saw people walking around with it. It is so attention seeking! We also got looks from others when we were carrying around. It was pretty funny seeing what we might have looked to others when they were the one with the chicken fillet.
We bought a white sky lantern. We wrote our wishes, which ended up looking pretty messy. And with the help of the staff, we went to release the lantern! It was a fast process once it was lighted. It rose up towards the sky very quickly.
We stayed on the railway track for some photos with the beautiful backdrop!
And we began our 'adventure'.
The sign wrote, "No one is allowed".
But like many others, we tried to walk across on the railway track. It was a pretty scary experience given the gap is pretty wide and if we miss one step, we can seriously hurt ourselves. But we still give it a go, relying on the plank that is in the middle.
The train came! And it was horrifying. The train horned loudly announcing its arrival.
I panicked! Because I was busy taking photos, I did not walk very far so it was easier for me to walk back to the starting point, where I can stay out of the railway track. My friend laughed at how fast I was, cause I was practically hopping on the log of the track (mind you the gap is really wide! But I was too flustered to care). My friends walked back carefully. The train stopped before crossing the bridge. The driver pop out his head and sort of scolded us, but also to warn us to be careful with our belongings and not let it caught by the train. He even said to me, "still take photos?!". Honestly, I was not thinking when I did that! I think it was adrenaline that was still coursing through me.
However, one of my friend walked too far and had to stand at the small area by the track (can be seen in the pictures above), all alone! I can imagine how terrifying it was. Lucky she was okay, though she said she was really scared. The whole drama traumatized us so bad that we dare not walk across again. I was trembling slightly even after the train was gone.
We walked back from where we came from. But look, many people bravely attempting to walk on the track.
Thank you for reading and hope you have enjoyed.
** I am documenting my 2-weeks trip in Taiwan (20 Dec 2012 - 2 Jan 2013), but not in chronological order.