Jingtong Old Street just outside the Jintong train station. It’s also a nice place you can play the sky lantern. There is an old coal mining factory right in front of the train station. You will see many wish-sticks that made from bamboo been hang on the buildings and trees everywhere.
The railway museum in Jintong is also another famous place to visit which is in the middle of the old street.
And about 10 mins walk away, you will find a huge building in Japanese style that located next to a river. This building was once belongs to the coal mining company, and now it become a living story house that you can spend hours to experience the old history.(Entrance fee required)
Pingxi Old street Pingxi has an old street just next to the Pingxi train station that similar with Jiufen, spreads everywhere. And because of this, you won't feel that crowded as Shifen old street.
Pingxi is also the name of this railway line. Famous with the sky lantern and old railway historic. It's a really nice place to taking pictures and enjoy the old building.
Shifen Old street
Shifen old street also just outside the Shifen train station. It's the longest old street in this Pingxi Line. With a over 1km long old street, you can enjoy a wonderful shoping and photo taking trip.
You can also try the sky lantern in here.(Pingxi/Shifen and Jintong are the only three places can legally play the sky lantern)
The other thing you may interesting is there is a small store selling homemade pinapple short cake. This special made cake offers you two pieces of pinapple short cake in sky lantern shape with a outside pakeage also in sky lantern shape. And you can paint the outside package then put on LED light after you finish eating the shortcake. This is also a nice gift you can share with your friends.
The shifen waterfall is the biggest waterfall in Taiwan which is about 20-30 mins walk away from the Shifen train station. This waterfall is inside a scenic park that no need of entrance fee. From the entrance to the waterfall only takes you 1min, but if you want take picture from the other side of the park, you will need to walk for about 5-10 mins. You can easily spend 1-2 hours inside the park.
Sandiaoling is a small train station where people normally just pass it. But this train station is the famous waterfall walking trail’s entrance.
The Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail is a great hike in this area. The hike takes about 3 hours. And if you start to hiking from Sandiaoling will probably better.(Some people takes the other direction)
This trail offers you three best views of different waterfalls. And this old walking trail will be a little bit hard for those people who seldom hiking. Sometimes you may not see the path, you will need to find the right path way.
*when you travelling in Taiwan, you need pay more attention to those walking trails that with an "old" description, an old walking trail normally means they are discovery by Japanese during the old time, when the Japanese start to occupy Taiwan, they usually have to walk a new path or way to explore this land, that means they didn't follow any regular trail, all the old walking trails are basically long and complex.
There will be English and Madrine trail map to help you next to the train station. The trail begin from the Sandiaoling elementary school where you will alsoo see a restroom. It's not that hard to follow the trail to all the waterfall. Just remember to follow the map and direction.( There are a few additional walking trails that branch off of the main trail and each intersection is well marked in English/Chinese. )
You will first see the Hegu Waterfall which can be viewed from a platform at a distance. And after about 30 mins, there's another waterfall call Motian Waterfall which is probably the most famous of these three waterfall.
At Motian Waterfall you will need to walk(crawl/climb) in a cave behind the waterfall, you need be really careful with this. After the Motian Waterfall, it's a very long ladder that must be climbed to see the next waterfall call Pipadong Waterfall. It sounds little bit scared but it's not that diffcult.
Then after this, you will need to climb up to another ladder.(Pipadong Waterfall is located almost the top of Motian Waterfall.) This is almost the end of the Sandiaoling Waterfall Walking Trail. There is another walking trail that continue to either the Dahua or Shifen train stations. You will be an extended walking path and all turns are marked with yellow ribbons in the trees.
The extra walking trail begins at an old temple next to a car park. Youhave to walk down a long stairs that leads you to a red bridge. And after that red bridge, you will see a path up along the railway tracks. From there, you can choose to turn left to walk to the Dahua train station or turn right to walk to Shifen train station.
Another thing you need to note is: If you walk towards Shifen direction, you will need to walk through a tunnel that the train will pass it almost every one hour. You have to be very carefully and fast when you walking through that tunnel.
Houtong, cat village, it was once the most important place that has its own coal mining factory and system. But after the coal mining's age was finished, Houting now become a sightseeing place.
There are many old dormitories of those coal mining workers been keep until now. Aldo some old process factories and even old kitchen you can see when you enter the town.
Another thing you can see in here are cats. You will first enter a cat brige once you leave the lobby of the Houtong train station.(turn right, then you'll enter the brige) There are cats inside the brige where you'll see few jumping boards and cat food. Also few benches for visitors. After that, you will walk into the living life of those locals. Some locals start to selling cat staffs such as arts crafts and some souvenirs. And cats are everywhere all over the place. Some cats allow you to touch them, but some are not.There's no need to prepare for buying cat food, although you'll see stores selling. We have a cat protect association taking care all the cats there, and they will do cleaning and disinfecting the whole area.
If you looking for something else in Houtong, the old walking trail down the back of Houtong station might suit you.
This old walking trail was found by the Japanese. And basically all the old walking trails in Taiwan are long and "old". This old means there normally no marks or official signs on the walking trail. You may need to look very carefully to find the path or way.
And in this case in Houtong, the walking trail called Jin Zi Bei ancient path is in circle. So you may take a walk around the circle. The whole walking trail takes about 3-4 hours. If you don't want to takes that long for walk, you may doing the same way in and out, just remember to follow the same way out. The other walking trail called Dacu Pit hiking trail, which is about 4km long that may takes you about 2-3 hours.
This fantastic small quiet town offers you very special experience. If you don't like crowded sightseeing place, Houtong will be suitable to you.
There are many more places you can go in these areas,
such asJingtong Railway Story House, Jingtong Mining Industry Life Pavilion, Yen Jing Dong Fall, Dahua Pot Holes, Jingtong Coal Memorial Park, Yang's Chicken Rolls, Hundred Steps, Dacu Pit Hiking Trail, Fuxing Pit, Neidianzi, Houtong Shrine, Ruisan Main Mine, Xiaocu Pit Hiking Trail, Coal Transportation Bridge, Houtong Elementary School, Pingxi Guesthouse of Taiyang Mining Company, Shidi Pit, Railway Story House, Siguang Pool.....etc,
if you are looking for their information and you couldn't find it in our web page,
please let us know when you check-in our hostel.
Pingxi Historic Railway Line / Pingxi amd Shen’ao Line
The Pingxi Historic Railway Line changed the name to Pingxi and Shen’ao Line from Jul. 17th, 2014. Which begins from the NMMST station (National Museum of Marine Science and Technology) to Jingtong station. And so far, our railway company offer a great deal that with a TWD$64 day pass, you can unlimitedly hop-on and hop-off at all the train station in this Line.
This day pass allow you to travel train stations include : NMMST>Ruifang>Houtong>Sandiaoling>Dahua>Shifen>Wanggu>Lingjiao>Pingxi>Jingtong And as our experience, most of people can visit 3-4 stations in one day, depends on how you traveling.
The new stop: NMMST also have its very own name, “The most beautiful train station in Taiwan”. In here, there is not only just museum, it’s a giant museum park that been built for more than 28 years and just grand opened at the end of 2013.
The name of the area called Badouzhi, there are 3 theme buildings in this museum park: Main Exhibition Theme building, Ocean IMAX Theater(biggest theater in Taiwan) and Local Explore Building. And the Local Explore Building is free for entry. This museum park is with the topic of the relationship between human and the ocean. And the Badouzhi costal park and Cao-Jing Park are just next to it. A amazing trail is inside and 65/80/101 high land allow you to watch the beautiful vies of mountain/sea and harbor. This area, Badouzhi is also the New York time selected as the NO.11 must see place in the world of 2014. You can find out more details under the page of Keelung Area.
**Badouzhi Area and NMMST can be reach by taking bus departure from Qidu train station. There's no need to transfer at Keelung City CBD. It's much easier now!
And the Pingxi Line was set up by the Japanese people, due to the coal mining. The whole area in here was almost the busiest place in Taiwan before. Coal mine, as they say, it's black gold. But after the factory stopped running, young people have all moved out to seeking new life, and the old people have to stay. Now days, here become a new place that you can seeking for old stories and the secret mountain view.
Railway, sky-lantern and cat village now become more and more popular ever before. If you are interested in anything of that, don't miss out!