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The old terrace houses are still well-preserved at both sides of the street. They are two-storey houses. Most of them are grocery stores. There are still a few Japanese style fabric shops and ice shops. Through each of the alleys, we can see trains gliding along the rails. It is the special features of Pingxi Old Street.
The last railroad stops of Pingxi route is the current preserved Japanese style wooden station, and is listed under level three nation historical asset. Visitor may write down wishes on the bamboo barrel and hang them by the rail track.
Shenkeng is the smallest township in New Taipei City as well as in Taiwan. But its fame is huge.
The famous dishes, Shenkeng Four Treasures, are tofu, green bamboo shoot, Taiwan black pork, and Wenshan Pouchong tea. Many restaurants serve "Four Treasures Meal" that are a visitor favorite.
When Taiwanese saw sky lanterns they automatically thought of Pingshi. But, to be more exact Shihfen is where the origin of sky lanterns is from. Additional, Shifen District is the earliest developed and largest coal industry back in the history.
Shihfen Waterfall is a curtain type waterfall, similar to Niagara Falls in America. No wonder it is nicknamed Taiwan's Niagara Falls. Above the pond, mists permeate. When the sun shines, a rainbow may hang over the waterfall. This won it another nickname “Rainbow Pond.”
Guniang Temple (姑娘廟) is located beside a road in Yongding Village(永定裏路旁), in which there enshrines a girl who passed away unmarried in the name of Wei Bian (魏扁). It is said that she was from the Qing Dynasty. Later, there was a man named Ceng Gui (曾桂) who bought the land. After that he contracted feet disease with unknown reasons. After resorting to divinity in a temple, he got to know that Ms. Wei Bian felt lonely for no worshiping after death. Therefore, Zeng Gui built a temple for her, and the disease disappeared miraculously.
Later, there are worshipers coming. It is said that it was efficacious, so the incense fire was never ending for over a hundred years. And there are also people coming to make wishes. The wishing is also special. Normally, they take 20-30 yuan red packet from the temple host to place on the worshiping table; and after lighting the incense, making the wish and explaining how to pay back, they will go back with it. There are a pile of record books recording items like “Mr. XXX borrowed 20 yuan and paid back 1 million yuan; Mr. XXX borrowed 20 yuan and paid back 600 thousand yuan”. And there are also families who bring the memorial tablets of the dead yet unmarried daughters here for protection, and now the number has exceeded one hundred. There is another local legend: to go to Lassie Temple, you must first go to Fuan Temple (福安宮) to worship the God of Earth.
There is another legend: the Goddess of Lassie Temple, Wei Bian, is serious and reserved, so do not play jokes lightly inside, or otherwise there will be punishment. The Lassie Temple in Shiding (石碇) enshrines “Goddess Wei” without any accompanying deities. It was built by Mr. Zeng Gui in 1918 with stone plates at the Yongding (永定) riverbank, followed by two renovations at 1951 and 1969 respectively, hence boasting a history of around one hundred years.
Shiding Old Street (石碇老街) is the earliest area of development in the district. The Wanshou Bridge (萬壽橋) built with stone masonry piers divides the street into the east part and the west part. The west part enjoyed an earlier development by manufacturing and selling leek flowers and tea leaves, with the houses built mainly with local stones. The east part was said to be the gathering place for beggars, hence getting the name of shack of beggars. But at present, the population at the east part has exceeded that at west part and gradually replaced it as the more prosperous place. The time-honored tofu shop, special houses on stilts and Roofed Street (不見天街) are all a must for tourists. The time-honored blacksmith workshop and the clattering of iron forging from there add some touches of primitive simplicity to the old street as well.
According to record of literature, the source of the name of Wanggu (望古) comes from a legend. In the reign of Emperor Xianfeng, Hu Jie from Quanzhou came here for mining but met with flooding, hence getting the name “Death Mine” (亡礦坑); when Japanese came, they changed it into “Wanggu pit”. Because the land was barren, few people came here for cultivation, so it was late in being developed in Pingxi District (平溪區). The Wanggu Station in its former name of Qinghe Station (慶和車站) and Dahua Station (大華站) were both set up upon requirement of mining workers, but in 1972 they became a reception station.
Lingjiao Station (嶺腳車站) sits at the deserted Lingjiao mine village without speaking a word. The circular and long platform is just like the wrinkles deeply engraved on the face of an old miner, telling of the past glory in a wordless manner. Lingjiao Station was built for the purpose of transporting coal, and the railway was designed into a 108°curve for the railway took a sharp turn here. During the flourishing period, at least four mine lots here were used as the starting point for storing and transporting coal. During the declining period, the curving rails still shouldered the mission of carrying tourists with smiles. Out of the station, there is the silent Lingjiao old street, where several households and brick built houses lie in array. Beside the station, there are the two-story red brick western-style building of Mr. Cai Quan (蔡全), a magnate of mining industry, temple for God of Earth, Lingjiao waterfall (嶺腳瀑布), hence becoming a perfect place for steeling some leisurely hours from a busy life and seeking ancient Taiwan flavors.