I heard about the festival of thousand lanterns in the night sky a few years ago. I knew I had to go some time but I rather wrote it on the bottom of the long list. I would have never thought, I would be able to go so soon! During the last months, I heard a lot of amazing things about Taiwan. As it is really close from Manila I decided to go. And once I’m going why not arrange my trip around the festival? Best idea I had in a while 🙂
The days before the big event I looked at all these lovely photos and videos from past years and I got more and more excited. Arriving in Taipei my excitement dropped as it was icy cold. Coming from the Philippines I wasn’t used to cold temperatures neither had I winter clothes with me. What I did was to wear everything I had on top of each other haha
The festival takes place in Pingxi, an hour from Taipei. This little village seems to be the home of the whole lantern thing. You can go there anytime throughout the year to release a lantern with your wishes for the future. On that very day it was obviously packed with people. I later read 80,000 attended. That – as always – destroyed the atmosphere, unfortunately. There were loads of security guards, guiding people along cordoned off paths until they reached the main place of happening. You’ve got to make your way aggressively through hundreds of selfiesticks and gopros until you can watch for yourself. They release the lanterns around three times per hour. Every time was as magical as the next time. They would turn the lights of and everybody just stood still, mouth open and say “WOW” out of deep fascination. It was just indescribably beautiful! Unfortunately it was just impossible to take photos of the whole spectacle. I tried really hard but my skills were not sufficient… So sorry about that. But I will post the video I took with my phone on my instagram (@nuancesoffreedom), so take a look! I watched it plenty of times already, it was just so so beautiful. No words for that.
I went with the two sweetest girls, one Japanese and one Taiwanese. They gave me a how-to-distinguish-Asians crash course, but I still can’t do it unless it’s obvious… Eventually we painted our own lantern with a wild language mix and released it into the sky. What a day! I immediately fell asleep in that crazy capsule hostel bed. Honestly I have to say, I never slept so well. Check it out: Hey Bear Capsule Hotel Taipei