One-day getaways from Taipei without your car

Taipei is a vibrant city full of never-ending things to do, but sometimes you just feel like getting away from all the hustle and bustle for a day. Luckily, there are plenty of fun day trips that you can do from Taipei, and you know what, you don’t even need a car

  1. Hop on the Pingxi Railway Line

 The Pingxi line is a popular railway branch for locals and tourists who want to go on a day trip. It is one of the three narrow-gauge railways that remain open from the Japanese era, and goes through 7 stations in total, including the most known Ruifang, Houtong, and Pingxi. Here is a recommended itinerary for your trip:

1st stop: Pingxi for sky lanterns

Fly a sky lantern on the railway tracks! Once a year they hold a huge festival in Pingxi, where hundreds of lanterns fill up the whole sky like little fireflies, but don’t worry, you can do it anytime you want. You get to write your wishes on the lantern and fly it up yourself.

2nd stop: Houtong cat village

To all the cat lovers out there, this is a place you do not want to miss. Houtong is an old mining village literally full of cats (they’re nice and tamed), with a beautiful scenery of mountains and rivers.

3rd stop: Jiufen for the amazing view


Old Japanese tea houses line the hill side in Jiufen, TaiwanProbably the biggest tourist attraction outside of Taipei, Jiufen is a small town up in the mountains, known for its breathtaking ocean and sunset views, its old streets, and perhaps most importantly its movie fame: it is said that Jiufen inspired Japanese producer Hayao Miyazaki for his famous movie Spirited Away.

2. How to get to those places:

Buy a Pingxi day-pass at Taipei Main Train Station, it costs 80NT ($US2.70) and you get unlimited rides along the line. Take the train to Ruifang station, and from there get on the Pingxi line.

Start from the end of the line at Pingxi, and slowly make your way back, through Houtong and finally Ruifang, where you need to take a taxi or bus no.788/1062 to reach Jiufen (it won’t take more than 15minutes).