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August 17th 2008
Published: September 10th 2008
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Seen in Taipei Metro

"台北人的热情,让银发族乐开怀....."
"感谢您的抚持,让我们的旅途更轻松...."


These were some of the messages written on the publicity posters next to the Priority Seats. One of the poster contains the smiley picture of an elderly couple. On it, are some Chinese phrases that serve to educate the able-bodied individuals to reserve the priority seats to those who need it more.

This is definitely more heartwarming than those autocratic and lifeless messages and symbols that says, “Be Considerate. Give up this seat to a passenger with special needs!”

"Nobody cares about those lifeless symbols in SMRT anyway!"



I started my Day 2 early as I did not want to miss the connecting train from Ruifang to JingTong, the terminal station of Pingxi County. The infrequent service arrived at an hourly intervals. I recalled during our last trip, we missed the connecting train at Ruifang Station and had to settle for a bus journey to Jiufen. It was quite a nice experience too 😊

Anyway, I still waited for a good 30 minutes at Taipei Main Station while having my breakfast before the next train to Ruifang arrived. 45 minutes later, the train pulled into Ruifang Station where there was a mad rush to purchase the Pingxi Railway One Day Pass (NT54) before boarding the mini train to JingTong.

The rustic old streets of JingTong and Pingxi that greeted me were nice to browse. The pace of life certainly slows down the moment I alighted from the mini train. The smiles of the old shopkeepers manning their traditional mama stores and ice-cream parlours (NT20), the lazy dog taking shelter from the midday sun. These are common scenes in Pingxi and it is certainly a good excursion from chaotic Taipei.

The iconic JingTong Station is a camera favourite for most visitors. But frankly,when compared with established places like Danshui Old Streets, Pingxi County has a bit of catching up to do.

Anyway, I spent a good half a day in Pingxi County before catching the afternoon train back to Taipei. It was raining by the time I reached my hotel. After a quick wash-up, I continued my journey to the Eslite flagship bookstore located at Taipei Xinyi District. While I'm not a book person, I was impressed by the sheer scale of the store with books, fashion and DIY accessories under the same roof.

Dinner tonight was hot dan zai noodles at the sprawling Shilin Night Market. The rainy weather certainly dampened my mood as I probably spent an hour or so browsing before heading back to the hotel. I had to start packing up and leave for Hualien early next morning.

For now, its goodbye & goodnight to Taipei.






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