4. Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival Day Tour from Taipei
Meet your tour guide at Taipei Main Station, East Exit 2, then hit the road and enjoy a joyful ride before the event starts.
This year, Taiwan Lantern Festival will encompass areas along five MRT stations including Zhongxiao Fuxing, Zhongxiao Dunhua, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Taipei City Hall and Taipei 101, illuminating the whole Eastern District of Taipei for 15 days. In addition to the venues of Taiwan Lantern Festival such as Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Taipei City Hall and Taipei 101, during the ride, you will also pass by Taipei's iconic attractions such as Taipei City Wall-North Gate (Cheng'en Gate), Ximending, Presidential Office Building, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, etc. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the view from the window, while your tour guide tells the stories behind the attractions and share some interest facts about them. Through the interesting and informative commentary by your tour guide, you will have a good understanding of Taiwan's history and Taiwanese people.
Your tour continues with a visit to Shifen in Pingxi District, New Taipei City, where the tradition of releasing sky lantern in Taiwan originated. Nowadays, the lantern is used as a symbol of peace and good fortune. Shifen Old Street is built along the train track, and lined with souvenir shops, eateries and sky lantern shops. The coexistence of the old street and railway track creates a unique scene of "train passing by doorways”. When you shop for souvenirs or food, don’t forget to keep an ear out for the train whistle! You may have a chance to see the train rolling through the street.
Finally, it is time for the much anticipated Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival. Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival was hailed by Discovery Channel as “the second-biggest New Year's Eve celebration in the world”, and also recommended by CNN Travel as one of the “52 things to do”. A stunning visual feast of hundreds of sky lanterns flying into the night sky is definitely worth traveling a long way to Taiwan and experiences it yourself.
Keep calm and hold your excitement for a few minutes, you will need to follow the event staffs’ instructions before you release the sky lantern. 4-6 people will share one lantern, each person can write down a message on one side of the lantern, then light it up carefully and let it fly. And then, it's time to enjoy the tranquil moment, watch them float and fade out in the night sky.
After the amazing experience of flying the sky lantern, you need to follow the event staffs’ instructions to take the bus back to Taipei. You may choose to disembark at Raohe St. Night Market to explore Taipei's lively nightlife, or return to Taipei Main Station, marking the end of this unforgettable journey.