December 28, 2015

2163 TAIWAN - Pingxi Line in Shifen

The Pingxi Line is a 13km long, single-track narrow-gauge railway branch line, one of three remaining open from the Japanese era. It was completed in July 1921 and originally was aimed to the transport of coal. In nowadays it runs through Ruifang and Pingxi District in New Taipei City, and is used only in touristic purposes. The towns along the line were all once thriving mining towns, all feature “old streets” selling tourist paraphernalia and old Japanese buildings.

Towns are presented in order starting from Sandiaoling Station (from Taipei, Jiufen or Hualien). Shifen Old Street Shifen, the first main stop, is the only place remaining in Taiwan where the train passes just a few metres from the road on either side, and sky lanterns are released from the tracks themselves. It is now crowded with tourists, mostly decorating sky lanterns, but it still retains its real historic vibe. Nearby is the Shifen Waterfall - the broadest and one of the most spectacular in Taiwan.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of a series of lighthouses issued on July 28, 2010.

The last two stamps are part of the series Chinese Classic Novel "Red Chamber Dream", designed by Shen Cheen. Red Chamber Dream, also called The Story of the Stone, composed by Cao Xueqin, is one of China's Four Great Classical Novels. It was written sometime in the middle of the 18th century during the Qing Dynasty. While the first 80 chapters were written by Cao Xueqin, Gao E, who prepared the first and second printed editions with his partner Cheng Weiyuan in 1791-1792, added 40 additional chapters to complete the novel. Red Chamber is believed to be semi-autobiographical, mirroring the rise and decline of author Cao Xueqin's own family and, by extension, of the Qing Dynasty. The novel is remarkable not only for its huge cast of characters and psychological scope, but also for its precise and detailed observation of the life and social structures typical of 18th-century Chinese society.

2015.03.30 - first set
• Daiyu Burying the Flowers (5 TWD) - It's on the postcard 2163
• Tanchun Starting a Poetry Club (5 TWD)
• Granny Liu Touring Daguanyuan (10 TWD) - It's on the postcard 2163
• Miaoyu Tasting Tea (25 TWD)

2016.06.29 - second set
• Xiangling Studies Poetry (5 TWD)
• White Snow, Pink Plum Blossoms (5 TWD)
• Qingwen Repairs a Coat (10 TWD) - It's on the postcard 3163
• Lantern Festival Feast (25 TWD)

Pingxi Railway Line - Formosa Guide

Sender: Pumipat
Sent from New Taipei City (Taiwan), on 08.12.2015
Photo: Lin Chien Chuan Art Co. / 2015

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