The destination of this hiking is Pingxi District at northern Taiwan, which is actually well-known as a place to release sky lantern during the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival.
We first reached Taipei by train and transferred to MRT to Muzha Station. From Muzha Station, we took 795 bus to Pingxi Elementary School Station. This took about 1 hour travel passing through Shengkeng Old Street and Huangdidian Hiking Trail. The bus did not go highways so it goes through stations to stations and passes through mountain road with its turns and curves. The bus is always crowded and it is hard to have a seat, meaning that we stand during 1 hour travel with our hands grasping to nearest handle, consumes already half of our hiking energy.
That day we visited 3 peaks: 孝子,慈母,普陀 and its height is in order from the lowest to the highest. From the trail entrance we were greeted by small waterfall followed by shallow stairs to start the hike. First we went to 孝子peak, to reach the peak we must climb narrow stairs and the top area is very narrow, too, we need to queue to go up there. The view is very nice~~ Beside the stairs to the孝子peak, there is also small hill peak, which is nice to take photo from here too.
To go to the second peak慈母we went down from the first peak and take another set of stairs, which we called stairway to heaven, because from 孝子peak we can see the stairs just perfect straight to the peak. This peak is higher than孝子peak. Hiking stairs is quite enjoyable because you still can step on something flat especially when the hiking trail has supporting trail for hikers to hold. But when the rope fiber gets sharp it could hurt our skin, but it was good that our group leader has reminded us to bring gloves and wearing it is very beneficial to protect your hand.
From the second peak, we need to go down half and hike again to the third peak is 普陀. It took us around 2 hours to reach the third peak, but at this place the view is blocked by trees.
We continued our hike, aimed to reach 中央peak but the direction board to that place was confusing. It was first written 880 m then when we moved forward we found that the remaining distance is further than the first board. Fail to reach中央peak we went down to Pingxi Old Street. The track down has its own challenge, a section of it forces us to walk beside cliff, with supporting rope at one of our side. The path is slippery and the wall is dirty!!
When we completed the track, we still walked around 1.5km to reach Pingxi Old Street where we bought some snacks like: mixed fried meat and ice cream loaf. There is also Pingxi famous sausage which is always crowded; sausages with varies fillings and condiments.
After snacks we just returned to Pingxi Junior High School bus station and headed back to Taipei to have dinner at a 熱炒restaurant. We were so hungry we ordered 8 dishes for 6 of us.
This track is shorter than Caoling+Taoyuan Valley at Yilan but since most of the trails has rope handle at its sideways, wearing gloves is very recommended.