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Ping Hsi Branch Railway Line

Pingxi, Taiwan
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About Ping Hsi Branch Railway Line
Pass by farms and small rural villages outside of Taipei on this railway. A relaxing and scenic escape from the bustle of the city.
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Ping Hsi Branch Railway Line
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scottofhawaii wrote a review Dec 2019
Honolulu, Hawaii7139 contributions1240 helpful votes
+1
...or maybe two day trip if you enjoy hiking and seeing waterfalls. I believe most stops along the line have a hike to a waterfall or two. Out of Ruifang, I stopped first at Houtong Cat Village. Totally unconcerned about cats my whole life, I probably should have not wasted time and skipped this stop. I did meet some nice people who ran a restaurant where I had an intensely mediocre bowl of noodles that were shaped like cat ears. The and my next stop was Sandiaoling which was kind of the highlight of the trip. There's a great hiking trail that brings you to three waterfalls. As is usually my luck, it was raining so I didn't get the full effect of the beauty of the hike. Actually on the way from the train station to the trail, I slipped and scraped/bruised my arm a little. I did make it to the first two waterfalls, both of which were pretty incredible. I decided not to go on to the third, which I understand is not too far from the second. It looked like I would have to climb some steep slippery stone steps (stairs?) that didn't have any rails to get there, and I didn't want to take a chance. Also along the way, I met a group of older people who were on their way back from the waterfalls. One older lady seemed very concerned (kind of shocked) about me hiking alone. This got me thinking about the limitations I should really place on myself on the things I do at my age (a tad bit the better side of 60). Actually now, I regret somewhat that I didn't go on to that third waterfall. Anyway, my third and final stop on the train line was Shifen which is a huge tourist stop (trap?). Restaurants, souvenirs, more restaurants and souvenirs, lanterns, restrooms, mobs - everything you'd want when the tour bus stops. That's how most people come to Shifen; they certainly weren't on the train with me. Shifen has an awesome waterfall which is not as big Niagara, but in some ways more beautiful. It's a bit of a hike from the train station to the waterfall, but there are many polite touts you can get a taxi from. It was getting late, so I decided not to make any other stops and went back to Taipei. I truly want to come back and further explore along this great little train line.
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Date of experience: December 2019
1 Helpful vote
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ngumuihua wrote a review Apr 2019
Malaysia262 contributions53 helpful votes
interesting site to visit . tourists walking up & down the railway. no 'barrier'. to take the train. walk through the platform & footpath. direct across . COUNTRY SIDE. No accident too. WATCH OUT FOR TRAIN COMING. i think the train is every 1hr once.
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Date of experience: February 2019
2 Helpful votes
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Manik Bucha wrote a review Dec 2018
Singapore, Singapore167 contributions80 helpful votes
Apt time to visit towards year end as we penned down our resolutions for 2019 on a multi colored lantern which we released into the sky in the middle of persistent rain (pretty resolute!). Well worth a visit - although I did leave guilty of meddling with mother nature with the lit up lantern expected to end polluting the environment and ending up in the middle of "not to be touched" beautiful forests around.
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Date of experience: December 2018
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Dyspeptic_Spirit wrote a review Dec 2018
Newbury, United Kingdom154 contributions75 helpful votes
+1
This is a recommended day out if you are visiting Taipei. We found contradictory information about the Pingxi line when we were researching the area so hopefully this will guide others. We went to Houtong (Cat Village) first as it seemed to be the most efficient way to visit every stop on the line but we were disappointed. It's not very picturesque and I wouldn't bother unless you have never seen a cat before. There are a few gift shops selling catty things and a couple of cafes but they were all closed when we went (they don't open until mid-morning!). We then went to Sandioaling to walk the trail. This is a lovely partially shaded walk just off the train tracks. There are two nice waterfalls that take around an hour to reach that are well worth the visit and a couple of rope bridges but they are not high up. The trail then got a bit hairy (there's a little rope climb) and we turned back. We then took the train to Shifen which is packed with tourists but is a nice bustling place with lots of busy stalls and an endless supply of people letting off Chinese lanterns. I really liked it. The waterfall is around half an hour away and is spectacular though very busy. We then went to Pingxi itself and to the end of the line Jingtong. Both are nice enough little villages but far from essential. There were a few people letting off Chinese lanterns in Pingxi but its nothing like as busy as Shifen in that regard. In conclusion, the Pingxi Line is well worth a visit. Shifen and the Sandiaoling trail were the highlights of the day with the other stops only really worth visiting if you want to make a full day of it.
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Date of experience: November 2018
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James C wrote a review Oct 2018
Burnaby, Canada1830 contributions128 helpful votes
+1
Beautiful old school train and tracks. Nice scenery along the way including going thru tunnels. Has some popular tourist spots along the way.
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Date of experience: October 2018
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