Away from downtown Taipei, Pingxi is located in a valley. Our tour guide said that Pingxi is the least populated district of Taipei but also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Taipei. There are only 4000 people living in the district. Even the convenience store－which you could find in every intersection in Taiwan are rarely seen in Pingxi. Therefore, Pingxi keeps many rural sceneries.
Pingxi used to be the important coal mine origin of Taiwan, which reminded me of my hometown－Birmingham. Just like Pingxi, Birmingham was well known about its coal mine and industry. Pingxi old street is built along a railway line－Pingxi line Taiwan. In early times, this railway used to carried coal but now it’s a popular sightseeing railway in Taipei suburbs.
We walked down the Pingxi historical railway and saw many tourists from all over the world－Come for the sky lantern. They use different languages to write their wishes on the sky lanterns. We saw there have Chinese, Japanese, English, Korean and several languages that we haven’t seen. It’s quite interesting! Flying sky lantern is the most famous traditional activity in Pingxi. People write their wishes on a sky lantern and then set off sky lantern into the sky.
We bought a Pingxi lantern and use writing brush－a Chinese traditional stationery to writing down our wishes and dream. My kid drew a dragon and my wife wrote “Peace and Lucky”. Then it’s my turn. I wanted to challenge Chinese characters! So I picked the word “吉祥” which means “Auspicious” in English. Ah…I admit that Chinese characters are very difficult for me but beautiful. After we finished, we standing on both sides of the railway.”3, 2,1, Let it go!” We watched our sky lantern rising slowly and farther and farther away from us. “God has heard our wishes,” my boy said.