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Pingxi is well known for its famous yearly lantern festival, but only a few go there for hiking.
Well, those people miss out something.
As I am not the traveler who gets excited by doing all the touristy stuff or trudging round all the famous sights of a city, I rather enjoy getting off the path and exploring the real beauty of nature.
So when I prepared my day trip to Pingxi I looked for something different than lanterns or food stalls and to my surprise a hike popped up.
The Pingxi trail is not very crowded (yet) as most of the tourists spend their time wandering around the district, eating or releasing lanterns to the sky.
It’s not a very difficult hike yet a really enjoyable one and a trail that’s fun to accomplish. Here is a map of where the hike is located:
The entrance of the trail is located at the main road but you may pass by easily because there are usually not many people around. You can simply walk to the entrance from the train station passing the small village. So just follow the signs to „Xiao-Zi Shan“ and look out for a map of the trail.
The hike looks more difficult on pictures than it really was but I wouldn’t recommend to do it by your own if you are inexperienced. Especially not if you are afraid of heights or if you don’t feel comfortable to “slide“ down a little. The hike consists mostly of stairs craved in stone but there are also little parts without stairs. So you need to grab the ropes.
Note: Don’t bring extra stuff that’s not stored in your backpack. You need both hands to get up and down.
The view at the peak is stunning but I mostly stopped for pictures DURING the hike as the stairs are fascinating and it just looks beautiful with a touch of danger 🙂
In total there are three peaks to climb (Xiaozi Mountain, Cimu Mountain and Putuo Mountain) which are connected to each other but it’s also possible to hike only one of the trails and go back to the village for a refreshment.
I recommend to take a full day for visiting Pingxi and to do the hike in the morning. The afternoon is perfect for getting lunch in one of the eateries, eating shaved peanut ice cream or writing your wishes on sky lanterns.