Taiwan: Taipei Pingxi Line Tour #3 – Shifen Waterfall

Travel Period : 30th Oct – 6th Nov 2012

{ Previous Post:  Taiwan: Taipei Pingxi Line Tour #2 – Shifen Old Town }

Shifen Tourist Center

After about a 15-minute walk, we reached the Shifen Tourist Center,a big place where we could rest our feet and go for a toilet break. There was also a hot and cold water dispenser within the building so we made sure to top up our water bottles. There was a cafe and drinks sold but we prefer drinking water.

At the back of the center, there was a suspension bridge, , which used to be part of the journey towards Shifen Waterfall. The other end is now blocked but still, it was a nice experience to be walking on the hanging bridge and admiring the water flowing down below.

We then headed out to the road at the front of the center and joined in the crowd of visitors who were heading towards the same direction as us. It was a up-slope walk with some parts quite steep so it wasn’t exactly an easy time going up. Meanwhile, Dar was looking sleepy after the heavy lunch and could close his eyes anytime. Though we knew he was tired, we didn’t want him to miss the waterfall and so we had no choice but to keep him awake, which he complained about initially.

The blue skies while walking there made us forgot how tiring it was | Long boardwalk with fresh forest air

When we reached the boardwalk leading towards the entrance to the Shifen Waterfall however, he soon forgot about his complaints. He loves boardwalk so we let him get down to start walking on with us.

We reached a railway track in front of the entrance and he was once again fascinated with it, wanting to be on it and yet worried that a train would soon arrive (Yes, the Pingxi line train passes through this).

We told him it’s alright, we would watch out and started leading him onto the track. We had fun taking photographs of him jumping.

Shifen Railroad Jump

Shifen Waterfall (十分瀑布) 

Wanting to get to the waterfall before Dar started complaining about his tiredness though, we paid the entrance fees of NT80 per adult. It was free entry for children under 110cm and elders aged over 70. Dar was below 110cm but he had to pay a small fee for insurance too.

The area seemed big with a small farm but since we were there for the waterfall, we immediately headed towards where the water was flowing and where the crowd was. There were two viewing areas, one lower and one on the upper level. We went to both and the upper platform had a better view of the waterfall. Dar was excited to see the waterfall from up close too so it was definitely worth the entrance fees (moreover, we had already walked so far to get there; no way we were turning back without seeing the waterfall ^^|).

Taiwan Shifen Waterfall
Close-up…Could feel the water droplets on us from the force!
Taiwan Shifen Waterfall
At the upper platform. A RAINBOW appeared!

When we exited the area, we remembered to take some photos on the railway. A lady was kind enough to offer to take a family photo for us.

Instead of taking the same route back, we decided to be more adventurous and opted to walk on the narrow path beside the railway. We had read from blogs about walking beside the tracks and wanted to experience it too. The difference was that we had to push a stroller along. Dar was really tired by then and couldn’t walk for too long.

As we neared a bridge, we checked with two women coming our way, if the route upfront was ‘stroller-friendly’. They responded positively and we trusted them to carry on our journey.

Just when we reached the bridge and was wondering how we were to cross it with its stony surface, we realised that was a small path on its right led to a smooth passage. We then got onto it and followed the path along a river/canal, all the time feeling worried that a train might pass by soon! It would be pretty scary with the speed of it. Fortunately, there was none.

At the end of the path, we climbed up some stairs and ended up on a rather busy road, with cars and coaches passing us by. Though the scenery here was nice due to its elevation, we wouldn’t say it was a very safe passage.

Alternative Route out of Shifen Waterfall
Huffing and panting up-slope

Anyway, we soon reached our original route as we walked on, where a lever crossing was. After we got past it, we heard some bells ringing and realised that it was to signal that a train was passing by and the lever crossing was coming down to stop the traffic.

We knew Dar would be very interested to see a real lever crossing at work (he was always watching them on videos) so we quickly turned around and ran towards the cross junction (he was still awake in the stroller). We then saw the train zoomed past us and were glad that we had managed to catch the scene right in front of our eyes, since that wasn’t something we would be able to witness back in Singapore. ^^

Satisfied with the watch, we continued our journey back to Shifen Old Town. Looking at our watches and the Pingxi Line timetable, we knew we could still make it in time for the next train heading towards Pingxi Station. We thus started quickening our pace towards the Shifen Station, and boarded the train as it arrived…

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