April 11, 2010

Ching Tung Station。Ping Si Branch


The loveliest station in Ping Si Branch is the Ching Tung Station. For nearly an 80 year history, Ching Tung Station has kept its original appearance as it was built. The black tiles roof is covered with moss. The upper and lower multi-layer structures form a beautiful roof. The combination of the simple and elegant white wooded walls with the roof becomes very charming. This ancient Japanese wooden station has turned into the most beautiful scenery for Ping Si Branch.


The simple wooden bench and wooden railing ticket gate has the original look. Visitors would like to rest on the benches and pass the ticket gate to feel the old good time regardless whether they are here to take the train or not when they come to Ching Tung Station.

卸煤櫃, Coal’s Unloading Cabinet

卸煤櫃的底部, The bottom of the Coal’s Unloading Cabinet


Ching Tung was used to be the largest mining area for Tai Yang Coal. It was once a thriving mining village. After the closure, as the mining demand rapidly declines, it left lots of mining and mining heritage monuments, such as the Coal’s Unloading Cabinet and the Shi De Coal Ruins, etc. While standing on the platform, you can see the tall Coal’s Unloading Cabinet which is the tallest Coal Cabinet in Taiwan. The Shi De Coal was loaded to the train at this station. This special scenery is the witness for the railway and industrial symbiosis of the history.


Following the stone step trail up near the train station for not too long, you would see a spike roof red brick building, which is the coal washing field as the landmark for Ching Tung. After the coal was mined, it was transported by car to here to be subdued. After filtering, handling and washing process, the different sizes of the coal would be produced and shipped after the classification process. This complex, high and low structure coal washing field has become a historical architecture scene in Taiwan.


Following the stone steps, you would arrive at the Shi De Slanting Pit ruin site. The Shi De slanting Pit is the oldest, deepest and richest mines production and it is also the largest mine ruin in Ping Si Branch.


The Shi De Slanting Pit was made by connecting several pits around in order to ship the coal that was mined from each pit. Connected with the Coal Washing Field, the shipping system was made to simplify the process. Beside the pit, we can also see the old office, the carts repair room, warehouse, miners dormitory, bathroom, cart platform, and overturned platform, etc. Although most of the buildings were destroyed and corrupted, the legacy remains. You can imagine the peak time of the mining industry.


If you would like to know more about the Ching Tung Mining, you can visit the “Ching Tong Mining Life Museum” near the train station. This museum was renovated from an abandoned railway staff dormitory. It records Ching Tung villagers’ life style and mining culture history to connect the past and future of Ching Tung. This is a cultural museum that combines the local mining industry with its tourism resources.


The simple concrete building with wooden frame and climbing plants on the external walls makes it a popular place for wedding photography.


Near the station, less than 100-meter long Ching Tung Old Street has kept its original size. The houses by the streets become snack stores and local taste souvenirs stores to cater to the tourists. The tourists buy local souvenirs, such as, ticket postcard, wooden postcard, and small sky lantern ornaments, along with the creative grass weaving products, T-shirts and art crafts.


The old coal small engine hangs lots of Wishing Bamboo Tubes. The tourists write their wishes and blessings on the tubes which have become a unique characteristic on the Ching Tung Old Street.


Beside all these, don’t miss the famous Ching Tung old time taste snack- "Chicken Rolls". The Chicken Roll is crispy but not greasy at all, and it is not made with chicken. It is made with taro paste and pork. It was said that residents here were wrapping the leftover food and deep frying them for worshipping. Since then, it has become a delicious snack. Chicken Roll (Ge Gen) is how it is pronounced by the Taiwanese dialect, which means an extra dish!

This is the last post of the Ping Si Branch series. Thanks for following the series, and hope you find all of the stations interesting, beneficial, and enjoyable!

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1ondoncalling said...

I see you're also quite into old buildings and ruins. ;-)
You must come to Britain and see some of its ruined abbeys between Scotland and England. Really fascinating!

Ching Tung Station reminded me of my primary school in Malaysia!
But it was demolished when I was in Standard 4 to make new school buildings.

dennis said...

love the picture of the 3 mailboxes and the mailman, very cute :) and feels so japanese ^^

Rafael Lam said...

Wow! Ching Tung is a spectacular place! I must stop in this station if I visit Nothern Taiwan!
Your captures are very beautiful, I like the pictures of the window and the bicylce! ^.^

D said...

Nice description. Ching Tung is a neat place and those "Chicken Rolls" (ji juan) are really good. Taking that Pingxi railway is fun too -- just 70 NT or so for a ticket good for the whole day!

Zhu said...

Indeed, I can easily imagine this place bustling with people!

I like the fact that the chicken rolls are made with pork :-p

And the wishing bamboo tubes are really cool. In HK, a similar things exists: the wishing tree. People throw oranges in the tree, to which they attached their wish. If the orange get caught in the branches of the huge tree, you wish will come true!

kristen and micki said...

@Londoncaller- Indeed European countries have rich culture and heritage, would love to go there again!

@Dennis, Rafael and D- Taking the Ping Si train can capture lots of unique and original look of the small towns in Northern Taiwan. Each station has a different characteristic and scenery. Waterfalls, potholes, coal ruins, bomb shelter, ancient houses and bridges, old mailbox, and observing the “Bronze Medal” exchange system on the platform are all the highlights of the Ping Si trip.

@Zhu- I love those bamboo tubes! Aren’t they cute? :):) I read and saw the pictures of throwing oranges in the wishing tree from Lechua’s blog. I thought that was an interesting and unique custom!

1ondoncalling said...

Do you also have 炸五香 in Taiwan?
One of our 炸五香 in Malaysia is quite similar to your 雞捲!
It's quite popular in Malaysia. I used to have it with 豬腸粉 in sweet sauce!!

fufu said...

i wanna dozen of chicken rolls :) hihhi the station there looks similar to those in the japanese rural area :) so nostalgic

kristen and micki said...

@Londoncaller- 炸五香是有點類似雞捲...只是食材不太一樣. They taste so good with the sweet sauce~~Yummy!

@Fufu- This station definitely has the nostalgic feeling! Those Chicken Rolls make me hungry too!

1ondoncalling said...

It's so cool that we share something in common!

lechua said...

wow u've covered ALLLL the stations on this line!

kristen and micki said...

@Lechua- Thanks for riding Ping Si Line with us!

@Londoncaller- yeap!:)

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