Shifen Sky Lantern release activity, Taiwan - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Shifen Sky Lantern release activity, Taiwan

Latern release has been made into a popular tourist activity in many parts of South Asia. I had first seen them a decade ago in Thailand and recently witnessed it in Taiwan.

The town next to Shifen waterfalls is popular for allowing tourists to release a lantern into the air. This post shares the detail.

Cost: Releasing a lantern costs you between 200 to 300 TWD (6 to 10 USD) per lantern. Single coloured ones are cheapest while multi coloured ones cost more. They have assigned different purposes to different colours so you can chose a colour depending on what you wish for in life.

Once you select your colour/colours and make a payment, a lantern will be taken out, expanded and hung to a clipboard for you to paint or write anything you wish. You can take your time and write your wishes or names of loved ones or any message or anything.

Once you're done, you will be guided to a launch spot, which is the railway line. If a train is coming, all crowed steps out to make way for train and get back on the track as soon as train goes away.

You can have some photos clicked with your lantern and the message on it. Once you are ready, staff will light the lamp under the lantern. As flames generate gas which is lighter than gas around, the lantern behaves like a balloon and tries to go up. Soon you will have to release your hand and let the lantern fly high.

Lantern flights to several meters of height and moves along with the wind. You can see it as long as you can while the lantern drifts away.

Watch the video

What happens later?

The lantern is made of wax paper which will melt away after temperature reaches certain levels. The wax based candle lamp also gets exhausted after some time, leaving behind a wooden frame which held these things in place. The wooden frame falls off to the ground, locals pick it up and use it again for next lantern.

I didn't spend any money on the lantern, just watched other tourists burn their money for few moments of joy. It was great watching.

Where to book?

You can take any day tour from Taipei that takes you to Shifen. After visiting Shifen water falls you will be taken to the town. Here you can walk in and book on the spot. You can also book online or with your tour guide. If booked online then you have to figure out who is the operator in the town from whom you've to redeem your coupon. Didn't see any price difference online vs offline.

The stretch has several shops for food and drinks. I thought of having a tender coconut but they were asking 150-200 TWD, which was too much, so I didn't buy there. Went to Family Mart and had some snacks and coffee instead.

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