We had a very last minute change of plans at around midnight and decided to stay an extra day in Taipei rather than moving onto Hualien. Why? Well, turns out that the Presidents Office has an all day opening day only once a month, and it was today. Today was also special as it was also the Pingxi Lantern Festival so we decided it would be best to stay a bit longer and check them out.
First stop of the day was the Presidents Office. We had a fantastic tour guide, and although it was in Japanese (English speaking tourists don’t seem to be as common in Taiwan) he provided us with huge amounts of information about Taiwan and also the Presidents Office building.
The remainder of our day after moving accommodation (yup, a last minute decision on a Friday night means limited accommodation) we headed off to Pingxi. The mass lantern releases were beautiful and the atmosphere in Pingxi was great. Would definitely recommend NOT attempting to get near the launch site of the mass releases though as the crowds were crazy. You get a much nicer view further away from the launch site (and a bit of breathing room).
Keep in mind if you do go, that there are a lot of people going to the Lantern Festival. We waited over a half hour in queue to catch a bus back to Muzha Station, and it’s not like there were a shortage of buses. When we finally caught one there was a massive queue and buses were moving out with people at a reasonable pace! Be prepared!