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Shifen Old Street

Leaving the falls aside, the town of Shifen is not very pretty, but it has two things that make it very special. One of them is the launching of paper lanterns into the sky, which can be done any day of the year, although it is more lively on weekends and especially during the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival (which usually takes place in February). And the second peculiarity of Shifen is that the train passes through the middle of the town, so every hour, people have to leave the tracks to let the train pass. This is especially hilarious on the weekends, as crowds of people come to launch the paper lanterns from the train track.

So after making the walk to the falls, we recommend you return to the town and walk its lively Old Street to the train tracks. There you can buy a paper lantern in any of the stores and decorate it (people usually write their name and put their wishes). The cost of the sky lantern will depend on how big it is. Those of 1 color are worth 150 NTD, those of 4 colors 200 NTD (recommended), those of 8 colors 300 NTD and the extra large ones are 600 NTD. Each color has a meaning (red is health, yellow is wealth, orange is good fortune, pink is love, and purple is wisdom). The lanterns are made of paper with a bamboo structure and a small candle that makes them fly. In principle everything is quite sustainable, but the problem is that after its wonderful flight, the lanterns fall into the forest. During the weeks of the Pingxi festival, there are squads of volunteers who roam the forest collecting the lanterns, but the rest of the year no one does. So it is very common to see the trees in the Pingxi and Jingtong area covered with lanterns... The experience is very beautiful, and it must be done once in a lifetime. But due to its environmental impact, we recommend that you release only one lantern per family. If you go with children, the lanterns are quite large, and each one will have space to paint at will. Once the lantern is ready, they take you to the train tracks to release it safely.

If at the end you feel more like taking a little step, you can cross the Jingan Suspension Bridge, which has very beautiful views of the town and the surroundings.