Pingxi District

Home to Taiwan’s most scenic festival

Pingxi is Chinese for “peaceful creek” and is a former coal mining village in a remote hillside of New Taipei. Pingxi originated as a farming village before large coal deposits were discovered in 1907. The discovery prompted a rush of mining and development known as the “Black Gold Age”. Nowadays Pingxi is most famous for the Pingxi Old Street market, traditional Chinese lantern flying and the annual Lantern Festival.

Pingxi Old Street

Pingxi Old Street underwent development during the early 20th century and served as the centre of Pingxi’s coal mining operations. In 1921, during Japanese occupation, the Pingxi Railway Line was completed by the Taiyang Company. The single-track railway runs through Pingxi, Ruifang, and New Taipei districts and acted as Pingxi’s primary coal transporter which excavated up to 400,000 tonnes of coal a year.

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These days Pingxi Old Street is popular street market famous for its traditional Chinese sky lanterns. The market has retained its traditional charm and is wrapped around the Pingxi Railway giving it a nostalgic quality. Pingxi Old Street is popular with both local and international tourists who visit for the opportunity to send their wishes into the sky on traditional bamboo lanterns.

Shifen Waterfall

Another popular destination in Pingxi is the Shifen Waterfall. The scenic waterfall runs along the upper reaches of the Keelung River and is 20 meters high by 40 meters long, falling in a picturesque cascade. Getting there is a pleasant 20 minute walk from Pingxi Old Street, making it a popular respite from shopping in the market.

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Lantern Festival

The annual Lantern Festival is hugely popular event in Pingxi and considered a cultural must-do of Taiwanese culture. Also known as Yuanxiao Festival, the event is celebrated on the final day of Lunar New Year.

Families gather together to send lanterns into the sky and try to guess riddles written on other lanterns. Traditional food enjoyed during the festival is typically round glutinous rice balls (tāng yuán) which are filled with sweet red bean paste, sesame paste or peanut butter.

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Taiwan Coal Mine Museum

For the price of NT$200, the historically inclined can learn all about Pingxi’s coal mining past. Visitors can ride a cart through a former old coal mine and shown an old excavation site.

Taiwan Coal Mine Museum in Pingxi

  How To Get There


Take the northbound train from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang Station.

shuttle bus service is available to Shifen, stopping first at Jiufen (九份) then on to from Taipei City at Ximending Youth Shopping District (西門町), leaving in the morning and returning before dinner.

Where To Stay

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