Pingxi & Shifen
Pingxi and Shifen are two towns built on the charming Pingxi rail line with very atmospheric old towns. Both towns are now famous for the release of sky lanterns, which culminates with the annual Sky Lantern Festival in Pingxi at the end of the lunar year (January/February). Just a 40 minute drive from Taipei or Jiufen a visit to either makes for an interesting day trip.
A popular option to see the two old towns is to ride the famous Pingxi Railway. This 12km single-track branch line was originally constructed to transport coal, but now travellers on this line can enjoy the beauty of mountain cliffs, streams, and waterfalls along the way, and experience the rustic lifestyle of country villages and small mining towns.