After spending roughly 3 hours in Houtong and had enjoyed taking cats photography, I will continue my journey to Shifen. From Houtong to Shifen, it probably takes me about 30 mins of train journey. So what is so special about this quiet village that could attract so many visitors getting down the train and spent their late evening time there? There are 2 main attractions in Shifen, which are the Shifen Waterfall (十分瀑布) and sky laterns (天灯).
The Shifen Waterfall is commonly known as the Niagara Falls of Taiwan. I have never seen a Niagara Falls before, but this waterfall is sure beautiful. Getting to Shifen Waterfall is quite easy because there are signboards there to guide you the directions. Estimate walking time is 30 minutes of slow walk.
You have reached the main entrance of the Shifen Waterfall. You need to pay an entrance fee of 80NT$. I heard from the locals that this a private land, not government-owned. The owner decided to make it as a tourist attraction and used the entrance fees for maintenance cost.
Shifen is also well-known for their Annual Pingxi Lantern Festival, which I believe it could be due to the slogan which the people call their town, Shifen Xingfu (十分幸福), which means “happiness to the fullest”. Sky lanterns are made up of very thin quality paper, in which a lantern has four faces for the people to write on using chinese calligraphy brushes, their wishes and blessings. A fire is then lighted onto a stack of joss papers to make it fly by using the theory of hot air rises. Upon rising to a certain altitude, the flying paper lantern will cease moving up further and will eventually burnt into ashes. It is believe that putting sky lanterns will make your wishes come true.
Taking a quick bite before I moved off again. This is braised bean curd. The sauce is sweet and the texture of the bean curd is chewy.
Vermicelli with soup. The vermicelli looks and taste exactly like Udon noodles. This is a healthy dish.
People writing on their sky lanterns, hoping their wishes and dreams will come true. I took a peek at what the people wrote and the most common wishes they have are “money, career, love, health and marriage.”
These are sky lanterns, packed nicely and ready to be unfold.
That is my sky lantern, flying off. Hope my wishes will come true!
I really loved this phase, “By saying someone who is fat, you are actually referring to yourself that you have a narrow mind.”
Visitors can officially vandalise these bamboos by writing their dreams here.
Houtong and Shifen would take you a one full day of Taiwan’s village experiences. I left Shifen at 5pm, catching my train back to Jiufen, which will be my last night. The next day, I will be heading to Taipei – into the busy city area.