Shifen Old Street (十分老街) is the highlight of the Pingxi Line for many tourists in Taiwan. It’s well known around the world due to the many videos showing the huge trains heading through this small market street. Be sure to hang around and get a few shots yourself of the train, passing by centimeters from spectators and shoppers.
The street is well set up for tourists, with dozens of takeout stalls, restaurants and cafes run by the locals, selling everything from local fruit to Taiwannese deep-fried chicken. Most have multilingual menus and staff that can speak English, so it’s super easy to enjoy the area. If it does feel a bit too noisy for you though, try heading to Pingxi Old Street after for something quieter.
Many international and Taiwannese groups visiting Shifen Old Street purchase a sky lantern, on which it is traditional to write a wish or some kind of message of hope. They then release the lantern into the sky, letting the wind take it up into the mountains, hoping their wish comes true! Many of the shop owners sell the lanterns (from around NT$100 to NT$150), show you how to release it and of course take pictures of you doing so.
How to get there
Shifen Old Street is located just outside Shifen Station on the Pingxi Line. Trains heading both ways stop here about once an hour, such as from Ruifang Station at the beginning of the line (28 minutes, NT$19) or from Houtong Station for the cat village (19 minutes, NT$15). Get the Pingxi Line one day pass to make using the line much easier.
Afterwards, it’s recommended to walk east and see another popular attraction, Shifen Waterfall. This waterfall and the old street are the top attractions on the line.
Official website: New Taipei City Travel