2012 Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival (平溪天燈節)

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My classmates and I decided to attend the Sky Lantern Festival last Saturday. We met up at the Taipei Zoo at around 3:30PM and fell in line for around 30 minutes before we were able to board the bus. Because it was still early, we got off at Pingxi 平溪 and walked around the old street. Waited in line for 30 minutes again before we were able to buy these sausages that were famous there. Then, we walked back to the bus station and took the bus to Shifen 十分. There were a TON of people there!

Our Japanese classmate even went off by himself for a while so we kept looking for him. Ugh! I dislike that kind of person. If you go somewhere with a group of people, you have to make sure that you don’t wander off by yourself, especially not without telling the people you’re with. His phone wasn’t even ringing so we couldn’t contact him. UGH!!!

Anyway, we eventually found him so we walked around Shifen. We saw the simultaneous releases from afar and I took a lot of photos but what I really saw didn’t translate all that well in film. I wanted to go to the area where they released the hundreds of lanterns simultaneously but we weren’t able to make it there. Oh well!

We also released our own lantern. I wasn’t able to write all that I wanted to write, but since my classmates wrote the stuff I also wanted to, I believe they would also be credited to my wishes. LOL!

At around 9PM, we started falling in line for the bus back to the zoo. There were A LOT of people! We had to wait in line for around an hour and a half before we were able to board the bus. I was nervous, thinking how I would get home if there weren’t any buses/MRT service once we got back to the zoo (because it was almost midnight). Luckily, I was able to ride the last bus home. Whew!

It was such a tiring day. Nonetheless, it was fun and surely memorable. I’ll be sure to enter the area next year!

PS I enhanced the photos on iPhoto.

Update: According to this news article I read, there were around 100, 000 people there that night. Wow! Plus, I was planning on going back Feb. 6th for the actual sky lantern festival, where they would be releasing 1000 lanterns simultaneously. Good thing I didn’t end up going because someone commented saying that he got there at 1PM (they were supposed to start letting people in at 12NN until the arena got full), and that it was already full by that time. It had already been full by morning. Yikes! There were a total of 120, 000+ people there that night, and over 420, 000 people dropped by for the duration of the day.

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