At every turn, Shifen, Pingxi, throbs with a sprightliness. Vendors proudly plug beloved Taiwanese foods such as mini sausages and chicken wings to passersby. Tourists flit hither and thither along the gravel-laden railroad, hoping to find the perfect spot for a photo. Others are hunkered down, an intensity in their eyes as they lay brush strokes onto coloured papers clipped to a stand. Twice every hour, there comes a sudden ringing of bells, vendors hollering “the train is coming!” and dispersing the trail of ants. Finally, the chugging train gives two loud honks as more people flock to the sidelines to capture photos of the gargantuan vehicle.