2016 Shimen International Kite Festival (石門風箏節) - Baishawan (白沙灣) - Shimen Windmill Power Plants (石門風力發電廠) - Shimen Arch (石門洞) [Travel in Taiwan 160924: Windy Day] | luomujie blogspot

2016 Shimen International Kite Festival (石門風箏節) - Baishawan (白沙灣) - Shimen Windmill Power Plants (石門風力發電廠) - Shimen Arch (石門洞) [Travel in Taiwan 160924: Windy Day]

The 2016 Shimen International Kite Festival is one of the most anticipated events this autumn. The two-day event showcases colorful kites of varying sizes and shapes from animals to your favorite fictional characters. Prospective visitors in Taiwan should not let the opportunity pass when the dates of their itinerary falls on the last weekend of September. Who would not want to enjoy the beach and send a kite into the sky when the wind is blowing strong?

Leo joined me in this trip in Shimen District of New Taipei City. He was my Travel Buddy in Taiwan Day 1057 (Falls Assumption) and also in my memorable snow adventure in Nantou. An avid follower of my travel adventures, he did not have any second thoughts in seeing the kite festival as well as the other tourist spots near the event.

How to go to the kite festival? Just board Bus 862, 863 or 865 from the MRT Tamsui Station and alight at Baishawan (白沙灣) stop. You will see the flying kites as the bus approaches the beach and I assure you that there is a very small chance of getting lost. If you happen to visit Taiwan when the kite festival is over then don't worry because there are still interesting places to see in the northeastern coast of Taiwan. Before heading to Baishawan, Leo and I visited the Shimen Windmill Park (石門風車公園) and the Shimen Stone Arch first. These places were fun to visit and just a few bus stops away from each other. 

Wind energy is converted to electricity by the giant windmills of the Taipower Company in Shimen. Taiwan’s state-owned utility company operates these structures and visitors can enjoy them in the Shimen Windmill Park. We saw four aerogenerators with three of them functioning properly. The wind turbine blades of the fourth windmill was not spinning and probably due to the direction of where the wind was coming from. It was very windy here with the blue color the sky and the sea making the place a perfect spot to take photos. How did we get here? Bus 863 took us to Shimen District and we alighted at the Shibawanggong Temple (十八王公) stop. We crossed the highway and followed the directions going to the park until we hiked a road leading to the locations of the windmills.

climbing Shimen Arch

The third bus stop from the Shibawanggong Temple is the Shimen Arch (石門洞). This is a place with a rocky beach while a large rock with a large opening which locals call as the Shímén dòng or Shimen Cave acts as the main attraction. Lava from a volcano created this landscape and for a very long time it was slowly uplifted and eroded by the waves of the sea. It was picturesque but the garbage around the place made our visit somewhat disappointing. I wore slippers and the sharp edges of broken seashells were a discomfort to my feet. But the rocky shore was very nice! There were fishes and small crabs in which Taiwanese visitors tried to catch and put them in small baskets. The strong wind blowing in the East China Sea made the place more scenic. The waves were not so large to scare away the visitors but just right enough to appreciate the beach. 

spider web



Run, fly, run, fly horse!


Candies again!

More candies! Haha!

surfers in Baishawan

After enjoying the beach in Shimen dong, my Travel Buddy and I went to Baishawan for the kite festival. It was very festive with candies flying in the air. Kids and adults tried to catch these freebies from the organizers. There was also a kite exhibition where skilled men and women showed the art of flying a kite in the middle of a beautiful song. The most striking among the kites this year was “Pikachu”. Its yellow color and cute face made it the most popular kite. There were also other kites to enjoy. I saw a black horse that seemed to gallop in the sky. The force of the strong wind made it looked as if it was running. Korean pop superstar “Psy” was also there with his signature Gangnam style move while a transformer robot glides gracefully in the air without the fear of being attacked by a Decepticon. 

I got you Pikachu!

Do you want to fly a kite? A variety of kites can be chosen on one side of Baishawan with the most eye-catching design this year was the “Pikachu”. Yes! It was the cute yellow Pokemon again. The popularity of the Pokemon Go game had reached the festival with kite makers creating a design which easily attracts children and the young at heart. How can you resist such cute a Pokemon!

It was a perfect day for going to a beach in Northeastern Taiwan with the sunny sky providing a great background for the photos that I took. A visit to the Shimen windmills park, Shimen Arch and Baishawan took away the boredom in my life. I would never forget “Pikachu” and the horses for this year's kite festival. Let’s cross our fingers that next year I will see something new. I will be looking forward for the event again especially if the Shimen International Kite Festival falls on a windy day.


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