In little Shifen, the train passes through the village just metres from the two- and three-storey houses running parallel to the tracks. It's the only place left in Taiwan where this occurs, and the quaint scene seems to tug at people's nostalgic heart strings no matter where they come from.
There are plenty of places to eat in the village. Traditional snacks include mìfānshǔ (蜜蕃薯; sweet potatoes cooked in wheat sugar) and zhēngyùtóu (蒸芋頭; steamed taro).
If you didn't walk to Shifen from Sandiaoling, go take a look at Shifen Waterfall and the kettle holes, about a 15-minute walk from the station. Head back along the tracks (east) towards the visitor centre and follow the signs. At the time of writing a beautiful Japanese-style wooden teahouse was about to open on the edge of town as you head towards the falls.