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Saturday, 25 January 2014

Making Perfect Ten Wishes

It is amazing what two rows of shop-houses flanking a railway track can flourish in the business of making wishes. That is what is happening at Shi Fen (十分), or literally ten points.


The Kongming lanterns (孔明燈), or sometimes referred to as sky lanterns (天燈), are mini hot-air balloons used for sending messages during the ancient war in China. They are now used to make wishes, and Shi Fen (十分) has uplifted the hot-air balloon release as a touristy activity. International and local tourists alike bend down to write their wishes on the balloons.



All the writing and releasing of the hot-air balloons actually take place at a railway track that is still in operation. All the people will obligingly give way for the trains. Is there anyone who dare to not give way to a train?


When the railway track is clear again, the mini hot-air balloon releasing activity continues. For the time that I was there, I noticed that Shi Fen was never short of visitors for this kind of activity. It is a successful business model combining an old street and a Chinese tradition.



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