Keelung

Travel Guide Asia Taiwan Keelung

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Introduction

Keelung is a port city in the northeast of Taiwan.

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Sights and Activities

  • Kanziding Fish Market (Kanzihding) is the oldest continuously operated and largest fishery distribution center in Northern Taiwan. The market is open seven days a week from 3:00-7:00am.
  • Zhongzheng Park - This white 22.5-metre-high statue of Guanyin (the Buddhist emanation of compassion and peace) overlooks the town and harbor entrance from the top of Zhongzheng Park.
  • Ershawan Fort, also called Haimen Tiansian (海門天險), which means very dangerous gate to the ocean in Mandarin, built by the Qing government in 1840. This fort saw action in the 1884-85 Sino-French War. Visitors can view Keelung Harbor from the gun emplacement to feel its significance. Buses: 101, 103 from Keelung Train Station, get off Haimen Tiansian (海門天險) bus stop.
  • Keelung French Cemetery, a remnant of the Sino-French War of 1884-85, is about 2 kilometres from the train station, but still very close to the harbor.
  • Keelung Islet is an easy-to-find islet outside Keelung City. One will see the islet from Keelung, the north coast or northeastern coast, which makes it an important landmark of Keelung.
  • Heping (Hoping) Island was called She-liao island in the past, is the doorway island to Keelung Harbor. It was a main fort built by Spanish in 1626. Inside the park, you can see many eroded rocks and coasts have formed special shapes by the wind and sea. There is a Bridge connects the island to Keelung City, and you can also take bus 101 at Keelung Railway Station, get off at Hoping Island station and walk for about 5 minutes.
  • Yong Heng Creative Park, 6 Liuhe Road, Keelung (This is up in the mountains, so you will need either a car or scooter. Taxis may be able to get there but they will be difficult to find one to get back.), ☎ +86 2-2465-8000. 8:30am-5:30pm. A scenic outdoor art park. In 2013, they transformed the mountainside into several large drawings of a panda, duck, and several smaller figures created using thousands of colored wind spinners, edit
  • Miaokou Night Market (From the Keelung railway station walk east straight along the street following the harbor in the direction of the Keelung Harbor Bureau (identifiable at night by its large orange neon sign. The night market is roughly one block from the point where you cross a freeway overpass.). 24/7. Keelung's Miaokou Night Market is famous throughout Taiwan for its large selection of food. It meanders through lanes and alleys in the downtown area surrounding the Dianji Temple (奠濟宮). The night market is easily accessible on foot for most travelers arriving from other cities.
  • Gongzih Liao Fort, built in the Qing Dynasty, Gongzih Liao Fort was located at the northeast of Keelung City. This old fort is as significant as the other forts considering its history and architecture. After World War II, it was used as a military facility by the ROC government until a few years ago when it was named a provincial historic site. During the colonial period, the fort was renovated and garrison was placed here after Taiwan was returned to China. Then it was abandoned for a long time. Fortunately, the remains of the fort are well-kept. Walking up to the hill on the fort, one will see the scenes of Heping Island, Badouzih, and Keeling Island right in front of the hill. Walking straight ahead, you will see a complete fort for you to imagine all the wars occurred here.
  • Dawulun Fort is a very important military base to safeguard the west side of Keelung Harbor. During the Opium War in 1840 and the Sino-French War in 1884, the court of Ching Dynasty sent military forces to guard this place. However, looking at the current structure and feature, the fort was probably renovated during the colonial period. The provincial historic site was located on Mount Tawulun. Located 231 m above sea level, the fort looks down to Lovers Lake to the west, Dawulun Bay to the north, Keelung and East Sea to the east. Walking up on a pebble footpath full of falling leaves, one will see the original structure of the fort, chassis, mechanical belt and storage room. Walls were made from stones with arched windows. Since the platform is at the high point facing the ocean, there are lots scenes to view over northeastern cape from platform, such as Keelung Islet, Waimu Shan seashore and Badouzih.
  • Baimiwong Fort is located in the northwest of Keelung harbor, safeguarding the harbor with the fort on the east shore. It was an important military base since the Ching Dynasty. The rectangle-shaped fort facing the sea is comprised of three sections: barbette, control center and observation station with the control center on the west of barbette and the observation station on the right. Both places are great choices for visitors to overlook Keelung Harbor. The scenery is refreshing and beautiful; hence, it has become a popular sightseeing and leisure place for local residents. Find a nice summer evening to enjoy the lights on boats in the harbor, the bright stars and the breeze.
  • Shihciouling Fort, built in 1884, this fort was constructed to enhance coast defense when the French attacked Taiwan for the Vietnam problem. Shihciouling is the highest fort among all the forts in Keelung. It is an essential place for the defense of the harbor. The fort was made with solid mountain rocks and the structure was kept well. It is important because it is the only remaining small fort built in late Ching Dynasty. Thanks to its ideal location, the fort offers a great view over the entire harbor of Keelung.
  • Waimu Shan seashore is the longest natural seashore remained in Keelung City with a total of 5 kilometers from Waimu Shan Fishery Harbor to Aoditong Village. The seashore includes open seashore and marine cliff to make a spectacular scenery. Swimming facilities are available near Waimu Shan Fishery Harbor for experienced swimmers to go scuba diving and swimming. The beach near Aoditong Village is the only remaining sandy seashore in Keelung. In the summer, people often go to the beach and have fun swimming. For people who are afraid to swim in the sea, the nearby Octopus swimming pool is also a great choice for some fun. Besides, one should never miss the beautiful sunrise in the summer. The incredible sight makes people feel carefree and joyous. The seashore and the reef rocks sculptured by the ocean over a long period of time are also a must-see.
  • Lovers Lake is located at the mountainside of Mount Dawulun at the western part of Keelung. It is the only highland in Keelung with dense woods, beautiful lake and refreshing scenery. The park offers different facilities including kiosks, suspension bridge, observation platform, windmills and pathways for visitors to take a walk and enjoy the natural scenery, the beauty of plants and green shower. It is also a great choice to stand on the observation deck to see the seashore. In spring and summer of every year, insects, butterflies and migrating birds often gather here and your visit is mostly welcomed.

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Events and Festivals

Buddha Bathing Festival

The Buddha bathing festival takes place on April 8 and is a Buddhist religious ceremony celebrating the birth of the Lord Buddha. The faithful bow three times to the Lord Buddha and then pour water and flowers of a statue of the baby Buddha.

Tomb Sweeping Day

Tomb Sweeping Day usually falls in early April and is a public holiday in Taiwan. Taiwanese people pray and tend to the graves of their departed relatives. Willow branches are used to decorate graves and doors in some areas and the flying of kites, carrying of flowers, and burning of incense, paper and joss sticks is common.

Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival is a June public holiday originating from China that is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. The day is celebrated in Taiwan with dragon boat races, eating glutinous rice dumplings, drinking wine and writing spells.

Autumn Moon Festival

The Moon Festival talks place in late September or early October, on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. The festival celebrates harvest time and is characterized by giving and eating moon cakes. Dragon dances, floating lanterns, fireworks and burning incense are also common.

Ghost Festival

September is Ghost Month in Taiwan with the gates of the underworld opening on the first day and closing on the last. Throughout the month, both Buddhist and Taoist religious rituals take place that include to offerings of food, drink and burnt paper money appease the dead. Many Taiwanese avoid moving house or getting married during this month.

Double Ten Day

Double Ten Day falls on the tenth of October and is the Republic of China National Day, celebrating the start of the Wuching uprising in 1911 that resulted in the defeat of the Qing Dynasty. Proceedings begin with the raising of the Republic of China flag and singing of the Republic of China national anthem. There is a Taiwanese presidential speech and celebrations include lion dances, drumming, and fireworks.

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Getting There

By Train

Probably the easiest way to get to Keelung from Taipei is by commuter trains, which ply the route every 15 to 20 minutes and stop at many stations. Travelers heading to Keelung should be aware that although the city lies on the extreme north end of the main Western Line it is not accessible on all trains running north, many of which are bound for the east coast and will not pass through Keelung but branch off at Badu. Only take trains with Keelung clearly shown as their final destination or you may accidentally find yourself on the train to Taitung - a six hour journey from Keelung! if this happens to you (usually on an express train), get off before the Badu station.

By Bus

The bus from the East-West bus station of the Kuo-Kuang Bus company (the building also serves as the terminal for the Taipei - Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport service) just to the left of Taipei Railway station is the quickest way to get to Keelung. Buses leave every 10 minutes and go non-stop to Keelung harbor for NT$55 one way, it is best to buy a ticket in advance. Journey time is around 35 minutes under good traffic conditions. The bus station and ticket booths are clearly marked in English. You can also use the 'Easy Card' that operates with the Taipei Metro and local buses. Touch on the sensor when you get on and when you get off.

Several companies operate buses between Taipei and Keelung. The journey can range from between 35 minutes to two hours depending upon the route taken and traffic conditions. Because of the large number of bus routes and stops, the high potential for delay, and the limited English ability of most drivers, taking a bus from Taipei to Keelung is probably not a good idea. Unless you are familiar with the greater Taipei geography and can speak some Taiwanese or Mandarin, it is wiser to take a train and transfer to city buses, MRT (Mass Rapid Transit in Taipei) or taxi to reach your final destination.

By Boat

Now there is one weekly ferry from Dongdu Harbor in Xiamen to Keelung, that leaves on Thursdays at 6:00pm, as well as one to Taichung leaving on Tuesdays. Call 0592-2393128 for information or 0592-6011758 for bookings from China.

The Cosco Star leaves Xiamen every Thursday at 6:00pm and arrives in the north end of Taiwan (Keelung) at 08:30am the next morning. The ship also leaves Xiamen every Monday evening to arrive at the south end of Taiwan (Kaohsiung) the next morning and then central Taiwan (Taichung) the day after that. From Taiwan back to the mainland, the ship leaves Keelung every Sunday at 7:00pm, arriving Xiamen the next morning at 09:00am. The ship also leaves Taichung every Wednesday at 9:00pm for an overnight sailing to Xiamen.

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Getting Around

The downtown area is small enough to cover on foot.

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Sleep

  • Huadu Hotel Keelung, ☎ +886 2 2420 2668. (華都飯店), No. 307, Rényī Road, Ren-ai District.
  • Sea Point B&B Guest House (好望角咖啡民宿), 86 Sanjan road. Reifang Town, Jinguashi. Tel:+ 886 2 2496-1788 or Mobile: 0939348806 and 0939936027.
  • Imperial Hotel Keelung (Hua Guo Hotel), 基隆市仁愛區愛三路49巷18號, ☎ +886-2-2426-7101, e-mail: price@huaguohotel.com. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Very convenient location, less than 1 minute walk to Miaokou Night Market. Services: 24hrs front desk service, free coffee and tea, free in-door guest parking, free Chinese buffet breakfast, free Wi-Fi Internet access, social area, free newspaper and magazine, self-service laundry room (washing NT$40/dryer NT$40), elevators, free luggage storage area, cable TV and LED TV, central AC NT$1400 for a double room.
  • Evergreen Laurel Hotel (長榮桂冠酒店). 62-1 Zhong-Zheng Road. Great views over the harbor from the top floor restaurant.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes are plentiful, although you may have to wander around before finding one. Rather, Internet cafes in Taiwan should be called gaming cafes. These are often found on the first or second floor of a building, and equipped with very comfortable chairs and large screens. Each hour of Internet access/game play is cheap, coming in at around $20. For free internet access in big cities, try out the local libraries. In addition, a wireless internet accessing net covering all of Taipei City is available and Kaohsiung City is currently under construction. There is also a common wifi network available at every McDonald's.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international calling code for Taiwan is 886. The emergency numbers include 110 (police) 119 (medical, fire) and the standard GSM emergency number 112 is supported in mobile networks. Numbers starting with 0800 are commercial toll-free numbers. Mobile phone coverage is generally excellent in Taiwan, with the exception of some remote mountainous areas. Among the major providers are Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone and Vibo. Taiwan has both GSM 900/1800 and 3G (UMTS/W-CDMA 2100) networks and roaming might be possible for users of such mobile phones, subject to agreements between operators. If you bring your own cellphone, buy a local SIM-card for the lowest prices and be sure your phone is unlocked.

Post

Chungwa Post is the national postal service of Taiwan. It offers fast and reliable postal services, both domestic and internationally. Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 5:00pm during weekdays, though some keep longer hours or are open on Saturday (morning). Prices for sending postcards or letters (up to 20 grams) start at NT$5 within the country, while postcards by airmail to other countries start at around NT$10-12 per item, and letters are slightly more expensive. There is a wide range in prices regarding international parcel sending, and other companies like DHL, TNT, FedEx and UPS offer similar services.

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Accommodation in Keelung

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This is version 5. Last edited at 15:10 on Mar 11, 19 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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