2016 Nov 21st
- Visited: Weekday afternoon
- How to get there: Train to Ruifang station and then to Shifen station
- NTD 76 (~USD 2.5) from Taipei to Ruifang
- NTD 38 (~USD 1) for roundtrip from Ruifang to Shifen
- Attractions: Old street, Shifen waterfall
- Tip: Train and old street are crowded, so be mentally prepared.
I took a train from Taipei station to Ruifang station. Unfortunately I had to wait for an hour for the next train, and there wasn’t much to do in Ruifang.
When I arrived at Shifen, it was still very crowded despite the fact that it was a rainy weekday afternoon. I can’t imagine how crowded it would be during peak time. The “old street” starts right from the station. There are lots of stores along the train track near the station.
I had peanut ice cream (NTD 20 ~ USD 0.7) and it was delicious! I don’t remember all that well but I think it was taro-flavoured sorbet + peanut crumbles + rice wrapper.
You can actually walk on the train track, and it is right next to the pedestrian walk. Trains do run slow here, but watch out!
A lot of people come to Shifen for the sky lanterns. You can purchase one, write on it, and release it into the sky.
Many stores sell mini electronic ones.
I walked to Shifen waterfall. It was about half an hour walk, well-paved and with some stairs. The waterfall was absolutely beautiful. When you get to the observation deck you can’t see much human presence near the waterfall, which was interesting (and nice). The crowd actually wasn’t too bad here. There are also some stores and cafe near the observation deck.
Also, I was curious where the lanterns ended up, and spotted a few on the way to the waterfall. There seemed to be many people cleaning things up so I couldn’t spot many on the street.
On the way back the train was absolutely packed and I had to stand uncomfortably for half an hour. I really wished they had larger cars or run more frequently.
Shifen has a very unique charm that is very different from Taipei. It somewhat feels like one of those European medieval towns, in Taiwanese version. I loved the atmosphere here, and I was glad I came during the less-crowded period. I wished I went early morning though!
If you’d like to see more posts from this trip, please visit here!