Welcome to Keelung, a vibrant coastal city in northern Taiwan! Located just a short distance from Taipei, Keelung is known for its rich maritime history, bustling night markets, stunning scenery, and mouthwatering seafood. Whether you’re a nature lover, food enthusiast, or cultural explorer, Keelung has something to offer every traveler.
One of Keelung’s prominent attractions is its picturesque harbor. Watch as fishing boats come and go, and marvel at the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the open sea. The Keelung Harbor Plaza offers a great vantage point to soak in the beauty of this maritime city.
When it comes to food, Keelung is a true culinary paradise. Dive into the bustling night markets, such as Miaokou Night Market, renowned for its delectable street food. Sample local specialties like oyster omelets, braised pork rice, and savory stinky tofu. The flavors and aromas will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.
Nature enthusiasts will be captivated by Keelung’s natural beauty. Explore the enchanting Elephant Trunk Rock, a unique rock formation that resembles an elephant drinking water from the sea. Take a boat tour to the nearby peaceful island of Bitou Cape and witness breathtaking views of rugged cliffs and crashing waves.
For those interested in history and culture, a visit to the Heping Island Park is a must. Discover historical sites, such as the Baimiwong Fort, which played a crucial role in protecting the city during wartime. The park also offers scenic hiking trails, lush greenery, and a chance to spot diverse wildlife.
Keelung’s rich cultural heritage is evident in its temples and festivals. Visit the Dianji Temple, a significant religious site dedicated to the sea goddess Mazu, and witness the elaborate rituals and colorful processions during festivals like the Keelung Ghost Festival.
With its blend of natural wonders, mouthwatering cuisine, and cultural treasures, Keelung promises an unforgettable experience for travelers. So, get ready to explore this dynamic city and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere that Keelung has to offer.
Keelung City Guide: A Brief History Of Keelung, Taiwan
Keelung, a port city located on the northern coast of Taiwan, has a rich and fascinating history that dates back centuries. Here’s a brief overview of Keelung’s history for travelers:
Early Settlement: Keelung’s history traces back to the indigenous Ketagalan people who inhabited the area long before the arrival of settlers. The Ketagalan were skilled fishermen and relied on the abundant marine resources in the region.
Colonial Era: During the 17th century, Keelung became a strategic trading port for the Dutch East India Company. The Dutch established Fort Noort-Hollant to protect their interests and control trade in the region. However, the Dutch were eventually driven out by the Spanish, who briefly occupied the area.
In the 19th century, Keelung saw an influx of Chinese immigrants, who settled in the area and contributed to its development as a trading hub. The Qing Dynasty recognized the importance of Keelung as a harbor and established a customs office there.
Japanese Occupation: In 1895, Taiwan came under Japanese rule following the First Sino-Japanese War. Keelung’s port was further developed by the Japanese colonial government, making it a crucial center for trade and transportation. Under Japanese rule, Keelung’s infrastructure improved, and it became an important naval base for the Japanese military.
Modern Era: After World War II, Keelung was returned to Chinese control. It continued to play a significant role in Taiwan’s economic development as a major seaport and industrial center. Keelung’s harbor underwent further expansion, becoming a vital gateway for Taiwan’s international trade.
Today, Keelung is known for its bustling port, vibrant night markets, and beautiful coastal scenery. Its maritime heritage is still evident in its cultural landmarks, such as the Heping Island Park and the preserved forts that once protected the city.
Travelers to Keelung can explore the city’s historical sites, experience its vibrant culture, and enjoy the fresh seafood for which the region is renowned. By delving into Keelung’s past, visitors can gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s transformation and the diverse influences that have shaped its identity over the centuries.
Keelung Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Taiwan
Notorious for being the rainiest place in all of Taiwan, Keelung nevertheless attracts plenty of domestic tourists for its long-standing association with the sea. Its fish market will give you a window into the seafaring past and present of Taiwan, while the numerous mountains which surround the city on its land-bound sides grant plenty of opportunities for recreation – just remember to buy an umbrella before making a trip here.
Keelung has long been a city with strong ties to the sea. It is appropriate, then, that you will find the National Museum of Marine Science & Technology in this place. Inside this institution, you will find exhibits on marine biology, naval architecture and ocean engineering, the history of Taiwanese interaction with the sea, and more.
With an IMAX theatre and plenty of kid-friendly exhibits, this attraction is the perfect place to spend a rainy day (and in Keelung, there are plenty of those!), so keep it in mind if the weather refuses to cooperate with your plans.
Next, you’ll want to check out the Dianji Temple. Located near the waterfront, this intricately designed Taoist temple is a wonderful place to come before hitting the night market which happens nearby. The largest temple in Keelung, there are many reliefs to check out and photograph, while you will find carvings of marine life in the walls as well, which denotes how important the bounty of the sea has been to the fortunes of this city over the years.
Those seeking peace and solace should avoid weekends, as local adherents flood the temple grounds. During the week, things are much quieter, so target your visit during this time.
Like many Taiwanese cities, Keelung is an extremely congested and densely populated place. When you need a break from the chaos, follows the locals to the Wangyou Valley. Meaning ‘the valley of forgetting about worries’ in English, this green space hangs above the ocean, delivering both views of the sea while surrounding park users with the sort of lush vegetation that the concrete streets below often lack.
Note that the buses which service this site during the week do not run on weekends, so either go mid-week or be prepared to hire a cab on the weekend.
Although this historic site has seen better days, history buffs may want to include Baimiwong Fortification in their travel plans if their schedule permits. While its cannons have long been removed from the site to be placed in a museum, the ramparts of this former Chinese and Japanese fort remain in relatively good condition.
While the pillboxes and walls are worth seeing, the views it grants over the ocean make this point of interest attractive to photography enthusiasts as well, so be sure to check it out if you have time.
Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Keelung, Taiwan
Those looking to be at the centre of the action while Keelung will want to spend some time exploring its waterfront in the Keelung Harbor area. By day, take in the workings of the port and gawk at cruise ship passengers as they awkwardly gawk at locals. By night, check out the Miaokou Night Market, which specializes in various types of Taiwanese seafood and turf specialities. Be sure to stick around for the Kanziding Fish Market, where the catches hauled in from the ocean are sold to buyers starting from Midnight and onward.
Geology enthusiasts will not want to miss taking a trip over to Peace Island. An isle situated just off Keelung, most of its land area is reserved for the Taiwanese military, and it has been used by the Spanish and Japanese in past years for strategic purposes as well.
The places you will be able to visit are of interest for the rock formations you’ll find there. Shaped by the tides in weird and wondrous ways, even those who aren’t into rocks on a scientific level will be wowed what they find here.
Take care to stay off the wet rocks, though, as occasional rogue waves have taken beachcombers by surprise in the past – don’t be a statistic.
Keelung is surrounded by mountains on its land-bound sides. Many of them are protected – if you have time, check out Zhongzheng Park. Situated on the east end of town, the slopes it protects is home to a 25 metre high Goddess of Mercy statue, a monument for which Keelung is famous.
Take your time and enjoy the various pavilions, temples, and shrines found here, as well as the green space and views of the Pacific Ocean below.
Finally, a trip to Chaojing Park will help you round out your time in Keelung in grand style. While it was formerly a landfill, you wouldn’t ever suspect it walking its seaside paths or riding its abundant biking trails. From here, prime views of Keelung Mountain and the storied mining town of Jiufen can be had, so be ready to snap a few photos here.
source: Taiwan Everything on YouTube
Top 22 Things To Do in Keelung, Taiwan For Visitors
Here’s a list of the top 22 things to do in Keelung:
- Start your exploration of Keelung by visiting the iconic Keelung Harbor, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the bustling port, the surrounding mountains, and the sparkling sea. Take a leisurely stroll along the harbor promenade and watch as fishing boats come and go.
- Indulge your taste buds at the vibrant Miaokou Night Market, known for its wide array of delectable street food. Sample local favorites like braised pork rice, oyster omelets, fried squid, and stinky tofu. The bustling atmosphere and tantalizing aromas make this a must-visit spot for food enthusiasts.
- Marvel at the natural wonder of Elephant Trunk Rock, a unique rock formation that resembles an elephant drinking water from the sea. Capture stunning photos as you appreciate the intricate shapes carved by nature over time.
- Embark on a boat tour to the picturesque Bitou Cape, a peaceful island just off the coast of Keelung. Enjoy breathtaking views of rugged cliffs, crashing waves, and the vast expanse of the open sea. Explore the island’s walking trails and immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance of nature.
- Discover the historical and natural treasures of Heping Island Park. Explore the remnants of Baimiwong Fort, which played a crucial role in protecting Keelung during wartime. Wander through the park’s lush greenery, enjoy scenic walking trails, and spot diverse wildlife.
- Immerse yourself in the marine world at the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology. Learn about the fascinating marine ecosystem of Taiwan, engage in interactive exhibits, and get a glimpse into the country’s maritime heritage.
- Pay a visit to the Dianji Temple, a significant religious site dedicated to Mazu, the sea goddess. Witness the elaborate rituals, intricate architecture, and vibrant colors of this sacred place. The temple is a testament to the spiritual beliefs deeply rooted in the region.
- Experience the vibrant cultural celebration of the Keelung Ghost Festival, one of Taiwan’s most captivating annual events. Join the processions, witness traditional performances, and immerse yourself in the mystical atmosphere as locals pay homage to their ancestors.
- Explore the historical significance of Baimiwong Fort, a military stronghold that once guarded Keelung’s harbor. Learn about its strategic role during wartime and appreciate the panoramic views it offers of the surrounding area.
- Enjoy a leisurely walk along the Keelung Waimushan Coastal Trail, a scenic path that winds along the coastline. Take in the fresh sea breeze, capture panoramic views of the ocean, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds you.
- Discover the history and importance of the railway system in Taiwan at the Taiwan Railways Administration Museum. Explore the exhibits showcasing locomotives, train models, and historical artifacts that highlight the evolution of transportation in the country.
- Immerse yourself in nature at Wangyou Valley, a stunning area known for its picturesque waterfalls, lush vegetation, and peaceful atmosphere. Hike along the trails, listen to the soothing sounds of nature, and admire the beauty of this hidden gem.
- Visit the Keelung Cultural Center, a hub for art exhibitions, performances, and cultural events. Explore the diverse range of exhibits, attend a live performance, or participate in a workshop to experience the vibrant arts scene of Keelung.
- Venture beyond Keelung to the renowned Yehliu Geopark, famous for its unique rock formations shaped by natural erosion. Walk along the park’s designated paths and marvel at the fascinating shapes and textures of the rocks, including the iconic “Queen’s Head” formation.
- Discover the historical architecture and artifacts at Zhongzheng Park and its associated museum. Admire the grandeur of the Zhongzheng Pavilion, a historic landmark that offers panoramic views of Keelung. Learn about the city’s past through exhibitions showcasing artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays.
- Immerse yourself in the nostalgic atmosphere of Jiufen Old Street, located just a short distance from Keelung. This charming mountain town is famous for its traditional teahouses, narrow alleys, and stunning views of the coastline. Wander through the bustling streets, indulge in local snacks, and browse unique shops selling handmade crafts and souvenirs.
- Take a scenic drive along the Keelung Coast Highway, a breathtaking coastal route that offers magnificent views of the sea, cliffs, and mountains. Stop at scenic viewpoints, enjoy the refreshing ocean breeze, and capture memorable photographs along the way.
- Visit the Zhengbin Fishing Port, a vibrant hub where local fishermen bring in their fresh catches. Observe the bustling activities of the port, from unloading the day’s catch to the lively fish market. Enjoy a seafood feast at one of the local restaurants, savoring the flavors of the sea.
- Explore the historic Ershawan Fort, which played a crucial role in defending Keelung’s harbor during various conflicts. Wander through the fort’s well-preserved structures, climb the battlements, and appreciate the panoramic views of the city and the coastline.
- Spend a relaxing day at Baisha Bay, a beautiful beach known for its pristine sands and crystal-clear waters. Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, or simply strolling along the shore. Take in the tranquil atmosphere and let the gentle waves wash away your worries.
- Learn about Taiwan’s naval history at the Keelung Naval Base and its associated museum. Discover the country’s maritime heritage through informative exhibits, historical artifacts, and interactive displays that showcase the importance of the navy in Taiwan’s defense.
- Embark on a boat tour to Keelung Islet, a small island known for its natural beauty and diverse marine life. Snorkel or dive in the clear waters, marvel at vibrant coral reefs, and encounter an array of colorful fish and marine species.
These activities provide a comprehensive and detailed exploration of Keelung, allowing you to immerse yourself in its vibrant culture, stunning natural landscapes, and rich history. With a mix of culinary delights, scenic beauty, cultural experiences, and historical sites, Keelung offers a rewarding and memorable travel experience for visitors.
What To Eat and Drink in Keelung, Taiwan
Keelung is renowned for its vibrant food scene, particularly its fresh seafood offerings. Here are some must-try dishes and beverages to indulge in during your visit to Keelung:
- Keelung-style Tempura: Start your culinary adventure with Keelung’s famous tempura. Enjoy a variety of deep-fried seafood and vegetables, such as shrimp, squid, fish, and sweet potato. The crispy batter and flavorful dipping sauces make this a delightful treat.
- Miaokou Night Market Delicacies: Visit the iconic Miaokou Night Market and feast on a wide array of street food delights. Try the famous oyster omelet, a savory dish consisting of fresh oysters mixed with eggs and topped with a tangy sauce. Don’t miss the grilled squid, fried chicken cutlets, stinky tofu, and shaved ice desserts for a complete foodie experience.
- Seafood Hot Pot: Keelung is renowned for its seafood hot pots, where you can savor a bounty of fresh seafood cooked in a flavorful broth. Indulge in an assortment of ingredients such as prawns, clams, mussels, fish, and vegetables, all cooked to perfection in front of you.
- Seafood Porridge: Enjoy a comforting bowl of seafood porridge, a popular dish in Keelung. Made with a rich broth, rice, and an assortment of fresh seafood, this hearty meal is perfect for warming up on cooler days.
- Braised Pork Rice: Delight in the local specialty of braised pork rice, a simple yet incredibly flavorful dish. Tender, fatty pork belly is slow-cooked in a savory soy-based sauce and served over a bed of steamed rice. The combination of textures and flavors is truly satisfying.
- Freshly Steamed Seafood: Keelung is blessed with an abundance of fresh seafood. Head to one of the local seafood markets or restaurants to enjoy a feast of steamed seafood, including succulent crabs, prawns, clams, and fish. The natural flavors and freshness of the seafood are simply delightful.
- Bubble Tea: Quench your thirst with a refreshing cup of bubble tea. Keelung has numerous bubble tea shops where you can choose from a variety of flavors and toppings. Whether you prefer classic milk tea or fruity blends, this popular Taiwanese beverage is a must-try.
- Keelung Lemonade: Keelung is famous for its locally grown lemons, and you can enjoy a refreshing Keelung lemonade made with fresh lemon juice and a hint of sweetness. This tangy and invigorating drink is perfect for a hot day.
- Traditional Taiwanese Desserts: Complete your culinary journey in Keelung with traditional Taiwanese desserts. Sample treats like shaved ice topped with fresh fruits and condensed milk, peanut ice cream rolls, taro balls, and sweet red bean soup. These desserts offer a delightful blend of textures and flavors.
While exploring Keelung, be sure to try these local delights and discover the unique flavors that make the city’s culinary scene so enticing. From street food at the night market to seafood feasts and refreshing beverages, Keelung promises a delectable food experience for every palate.
Top Restaurants In Keelung, Taiwan
When it comes to dining in Keelung, there is an abundance of excellent restaurants that offer a wide range of cuisines. Here are some top restaurants in Keelung to satisfy your taste buds:
- Linjie Beef Noodles (林記牛肉麵): Known for its flavorful and tender beef noodles, Linjie Beef Noodles is a beloved local spot. The rich broth, melt-in-your-mouth beef, and perfectly cooked noodles make for a satisfying bowl of noodles.
- Ho Yuen Restaurant (和源大飯店): A well-established restaurant with a history dating back to 1938, Ho Yuen serves a variety of Taiwanese and Chinese dishes. Their extensive menu includes delectable seafood, dim sum, and classic Taiwanese specialties.
- Laojie Seafood Restaurant (老街海鮮餐廳): If you’re seeking fresh seafood, head to Laojie Seafood Restaurant. This popular establishment offers an impressive array of seafood dishes, including grilled fish, stir-fried clams, and succulent crab prepared in various styles.
- Mian Shan Ding (麵山頂): Known for its handmade noodles, Mian Shan Ding is a local favorite for noodle enthusiasts. Choose from a variety of noodle dishes, such as dan dan noodles, beef noodle soup, or braised pork noodles, and savor the homemade goodness.
- Ah Gei (阿給): A beloved snack in Keelung, Ah Gei is a unique dish consisting of a tofu pouch filled with glass noodles and topped with a sweet and savory sauce. Enjoy this local specialty at Ah Gei stalls throughout the city.
- Ming Yuan Seafood Restaurant (明園海鮮餐廳): Situated near the Keelung Harbor, Ming Yuan Seafood Restaurant offers a delightful dining experience with its fresh seafood selection. Feast on steamed fish, crab, shrimp, and other delectable dishes while enjoying the scenic harbor views.
- Fuhong Beef Noodles (富宏牛肉麵): Another highly regarded beef noodle spot, Fuhong Beef Noodles is known for its flavorful broth and generous portions of beef. Indulge in their signature beef noodle soup or try their dry noodle version for a different twist.
- Hai You Seafood Restaurant (海友海鮮餐廳): Located near Keelung’s Fisherman’s Wharf, Hai You Seafood Restaurant is a popular choice for its stunning seaside setting and fresh seafood. Feast on a variety of seafood dishes, including grilled fish, salt and pepper squid, and stir-fried clams.
- Yingbin Restaurant (迎賓餐廳): Offering a mix of Taiwanese and Chinese cuisine, Yingbin Restaurant has been serving delicious dishes for decades. From traditional Taiwanese favorites like minced pork rice to savory stir-fried dishes, their menu has something for everyone.
- Dongxin Seafood Restaurant (東興海鮮餐廳): Specializing in seafood cuisine, Dongxin Seafood Restaurant is a go-to place for a sumptuous seafood feast. Sample their fresh seafood dishes, such as steamed crabs, sautéed prawns, and braised fish, all prepared with finesse.
These restaurants represent just a taste of the diverse dining options available in Keelung. Whether you’re in the mood for local specialties, seafood delights, or international cuisine, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your cravings in this culinary hub.
Tours For Visitors To Keelung, Taiwan
Keelung offers several exciting tours and experiences for visitors looking to explore the city and its surroundings. Here are some popular tours to consider during your visit to Keelung:
- Keelung City Sightseeing Tour: Join a guided city sightseeing tour to explore the highlights of Keelung. Visit iconic landmarks such as Keelung Harbor, Miaokou Night Market, and Dianji Temple. Learn about the city’s history, culture, and culinary delights from knowledgeable guides.
- Yehliu Geopark and Jiufen Village Tour: Combine a visit to the renowned Yehliu Geopark, famous for its unique rock formations, with a trip to Jiufen Village. Explore the narrow alleys, old tea houses, and enjoy breathtaking views of the coastline. This tour offers a glimpse into both natural wonders and cultural heritage.
- Shifen Waterfall and Pingxi Sky Lantern Tour: Experience the natural beauty of Shifen Waterfall and the charming atmosphere of Pingxi. Admire the cascading waterfall, write wishes on sky lanterns, and release them into the sky for good luck. Immerse yourself in the picturesque scenery and cultural traditions.
- Keelung Harbor Sunset Cruise: Enjoy a romantic sunset cruise around Keelung Harbor. Relax on board a boat, take in the stunning views of the city skyline, and witness the captivating colors of the setting sun. It’s a memorable way to experience the beauty of Keelung from the water.
- Taiwanese Cooking Class: Join a cooking class and learn to prepare authentic Taiwanese dishes. Engage in hands-on cooking sessions, guided by experienced instructors who will teach you the techniques and secrets of Taiwanese cuisine. After the class, enjoy a delicious meal of your own creation.
- Keelung Night Market Food Tour: Dive into the vibrant food scene of Keelung on a guided night market food tour. Sample a wide variety of local delicacies, such as oyster omelets, stinky tofu, and braised pork rice, while exploring the bustling stalls and learning about the culinary culture of Keelung.
- Keelung Mountain Hiking Tour: Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a guided hiking tour to explore the scenic mountains surrounding Keelung. Enjoy panoramic views, fresh air, and lush greenery as you trek through trails such as Ershawan Fort or Badouzi Coastal Park.
- Keelung Ghost Festival Experience: During the Ghost Festival season (usually in August), join a tour that allows you to witness the unique customs and traditions of the Keelung Ghost Festival. Observe lively processions, folk performances, and the releasing of water lanterns to honor ancestral spirits.
These tours provide a range of experiences, from cultural exploration and culinary adventures to natural wonders and outdoor activities. Choose based on your interests and preferences, and let knowledgeable guides enhance your understanding and enjoyment of Keelung’s attractions.
Keelung Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels
Keelung offers a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you’re looking for luxury hotels, budget-friendly hostels, or cozy guesthouses, here’s a guide to help you find the perfect place to stay in Keelung:
- Keelung City Center: If you prefer to stay in the heart of the city, look for accommodation options in the Keelung City Center. This area offers convenient access to the main attractions, including Keelung Harbor and Miaokou Night Market. You’ll find a variety of hotels ranging from luxury to mid-range in this central location.
- Anle District: Located near the harbor, the Anle District is another popular area to stay in Keelung. It provides easy access to the waterfront and scenic spots like Heping Island Park. There are several hotels and guesthouses in this area, offering a range of amenities and price points.
- Ren’ai District: Ren’ai District is a bustling area with a mix of residential and commercial spaces. It’s a great option if you’re looking for budget-friendly accommodations, such as hostels or guesthouses. This area is also known for its local markets and street food stalls.
- Qidu District: Qidu District is located a bit further away from the city center but offers a more tranquil atmosphere. It’s a good choice if you prefer a quieter stay and want to explore attractions like the Nuan Nuan Suspension Bridge and the beautiful coastline. Accommodation options in this area include guesthouses and small hotels.
- Badouzi District: Situated on the outskirts of Keelung, Badouzi District is known for its scenic landscapes and hiking trails. If you’re a nature enthusiast or enjoy outdoor activities, consider staying in this area. There are a few guesthouses and bed-and-breakfast establishments that offer a peaceful retreat.
When choosing accommodation, consider factors such as location, amenities, and your budget. Check for facilities like Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and breakfast options. Additionally, read reviews from previous guests to get an idea of the overall quality and service provided by the establishment.
It’s worth noting that Keelung is a popular day trip destination from Taipei, and many visitors choose to stay in Taipei and take a short train or bus ride to explore Keelung. This provides more options for accommodations and allows for easy access to both cities.
Whether you prefer to stay in the city center, near the harbor, or in a quieter district, Keelung offers a range of accommodations to suit different preferences. Plan ahead and book your accommodation in advance to secure the best options for your stay in this vibrant coastal city.
Day Trips From Keelung, Taiwan
Keelung’s strategic location makes it an ideal base for exploring nearby attractions and embarking on exciting day trips. Here are some popular day trip options from Keelung:
- Taipei: Just a short distance away, Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, offers a wealth of attractions. Explore iconic landmarks like Taipei 101, visit historical sites like the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, wander through vibrant neighborhoods like Ximending, and indulge in the city’s renowned food scene.
- Jiufen: Known for its charming old streets and nostalgic atmosphere, Jiufen is a must-visit destination near Keelung. Stroll through narrow alleys, sample local snacks, and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains and sea. Don’t miss Jiufen’s famous tea houses and try your hand at releasing a sky lantern.
- Yehliu Geopark: Venture to the Yehliu Geopark, famous for its unique rock formations shaped by natural erosion. Marvel at the iconic “Queen’s Head” rock, explore the coastal trails, and witness the fascinating geological wonders that have captivated visitors for years.
- Pingxi: Experience the charming ambiance of Pingxi, a historic mining town known for its sky lantern tradition. Participate in releasing colorful lanterns into the sky while making wishes. Explore the old streets, visit Shifen Waterfall, and immerse yourself in the area’s rich cultural heritage.
- Yangmingshan National Park: Escape into nature by visiting Yangmingshan National Park. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the park’s rolling hills, hot springs, and lush landscapes. Hike to iconic spots like Qixing Mountain, soak in a relaxing hot spring, and admire the vibrant colors of the seasonal flowers.
- Shifen: Discover the small town of Shifen, famous for its picturesque waterfall and old railway track. Witness the majestic Shifen Waterfall, stroll along the railway tracks, and release sky lanterns into the sky. Immerse yourself in the nostalgic atmosphere and capture memorable photos.
- Wulai: Experience the indigenous culture and natural beauty of Wulai, a mountainous region known for its hot springs and waterfalls. Take a dip in the rejuvenating hot springs, visit the Wulai Old Street, and admire the majestic Wulai Waterfall.
- Houtong Cat Village: For a unique experience, visit Houtong Cat Village, a former mining town that has become a haven for stray cats. Explore the village, interact with the friendly feline residents, and learn about the community’s efforts to care for and promote cat welfare.
These day trips offer a mix of cultural, natural, and historical experiences, allowing you to explore the diverse attractions surrounding Keelung. Choose based on your interests and preferences, and enjoy the convenience of returning to the comfort of your accommodation in Keelung at the end of the day.
Keelung Transportation Guide
Getting around Keelung and exploring its surrounding areas is relatively easy thanks to its well-connected transportation system. Here’s a guide to help you navigate Keelung and reach nearby destinations:
- Public Transportation:
- Bus: Keelung has an extensive bus network that covers the city and its surrounding areas. Look for the Keelung Bus Company (基隆客運) buses, which operate throughout the city and connect to neighboring towns.
- Train: Keelung is served by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA). The Keelung Railway Station is centrally located, making it convenient for both local travel within Keelung and trips to other cities like Taipei and Jiufen.
- Taxis are readily available in Keelung. You can either hail a taxi on the street or find them at designated taxi stands. Most taxis in Keelung operate on a metered fare system, and it’s recommended to have your destination written down in Chinese characters to ensure smooth communication with the driver.
- Renting a Scooter:
- If you’re comfortable riding a scooter, you can consider renting one to explore Keelung and its surroundings. There are several scooter rental shops in the city, and having a scooter gives you flexibility and the ability to visit attractions at your own pace.
- Day Tours:
- If you prefer a guided experience, you can join organized day tours from Keelung. These tours typically include transportation to popular attractions and provide knowledgeable guides who can offer insights and information along the way. Check with local tour operators or consult with your hotel for recommended tours.
- Train and Bus to Taipei:
- Keelung’s proximity to Taipei makes it easy to travel between the two cities. You can take a local train from Keelung Railway Station to Taipei Main Station, which is a major transportation hub. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Keelung Bus Station to Taipei, with several bus lines operating between the two cities.
- Keelung Harbor is a major port, and ferries operate from here to various destinations. Ferries can take you to outlying islands such as Penghu and Matsu, offering a unique island-hopping experience.
When planning your transportation in Keelung, consider factors such as distance, travel time, and convenience. It’s advisable to check schedules and plan your routes in advance, especially if you’re visiting attractions outside of Keelung. Utilize maps, navigation apps, and consult with local information centers for up-to-date transportation information and recommendations.
By utilizing the available transportation options, you can easily explore Keelung and its neighboring areas, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable travel experience.
Keelung 1 Day Travel Itinerary
If you have just one day to explore Keelung, you can make the most of your time by following this detailed itinerary:
Start your day with a visit to Miaokou Night Market, the culinary hub of Keelung. As you arrive early in the morning, the market is relatively calm, allowing you to navigate the narrow alleys and sample the diverse range of street food without the crowds. Indulge in local specialties like oyster omelets, braised pork rice, and stinky tofu. Take your time to savor the flavors and immerse yourself in the bustling market atmosphere.
After breakfast, make your way to Keelung Harbor, one of the city’s iconic landmarks. Take a leisurely stroll along the harbor promenade, soaking in the scenic views of the bustling port and the surrounding mountains. Capture some photos of the bustling activity and the impressive Keelung Harbor Plaza, a popular spot for admiring the cityscape.
Next, visit Dianji Temple, an important religious site dedicated to Mazu, the sea goddess. Explore the temple complex and marvel at the intricate architecture adorned with vibrant colors. Learn about the cultural significance of Mazu worship in Keelung and perhaps witness some devotees engaged in prayers and rituals.
As midday approaches, head to Heping Island Park, a serene oasis just a short distance from the city center. This park offers scenic walking trails, lush greenery, and historical sites. Visit Baimiwong Fort, a well-preserved fortification that played a crucial role in protecting Keelung during wartime. From the fort, enjoy panoramic views of the coastline and the city, providing a picturesque backdrop for memorable photos.
For lunch, seek out a local eatery or a nearby restaurant specializing in seafood. Keelung is renowned for its fresh seafood, so take the opportunity to savor the flavors of the sea with a seafood feast. Sample dishes like grilled fish, stir-fried clams, and steamed prawns, allowing your taste buds to revel in the freshness and quality of the seafood.
In the afternoon, take a short trip to Yehliu Geopark, located a short distance from Keelung. This unique geological wonderland showcases extraordinary rock formations shaped by natural erosion. Wander along the designated paths, marvel at the fascinating shapes and textures of the rocks, and be sure to spot the famous “Queen’s Head” formation. Take your time to appreciate the natural beauty of this coastal landscape.
As evening approaches, return to Keelung and explore the vibrant Anle District. Make your way to Anle Market, a bustling hub where you can find an array of fresh produce, snacks, and local specialties. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, interact with friendly vendors, and sample some delicious treats. You can also browse the market for unique souvenirs to take home.
End your day by experiencing the vibrant nightlife of Keelung. Return to Miaokou Night Market in the evening when it comes alive with even more food stalls, entertainment, and a lively atmosphere. Enjoy a final round of street food, indulge in sweet treats like shaved ice or bubble tea, and soak up the energy of the market. Take the opportunity to engage with the locals, witness the vibrant street performances, and embrace the lively ambiance of Keelung after dark.
Remember to adapt the itinerary based on your personal preferences, the opening hours of attractions, and any special events happening during your visit. Keelung offers a blend of culinary delights, cultural experiences, and scenic beauty, ensuring a memorable day of exploration in this vibrant coastal city.
Keelung 3-4 Days Travel Itinerary
If you have 3-4 days to explore Keelung, here’s a suggested travel itinerary to help you make the most of your time in the city:
- Start your day by visiting Miaokou Night Market, Keelung’s renowned food haven. Explore the vibrant market and indulge in a variety of local street food delicacies. Try oyster omelets, braised pork rice, stinky tofu, and more. Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere and savor the flavors of Keelung’s culinary scene.
- Visit Keelung Harbor and take a leisurely stroll along the harbor promenade. Admire the panoramic views of the bustling port, the surrounding mountains, and the glistening sea. Capture some photos and enjoy the fresh sea breeze.
- Explore the Anle District, known for its lively night market and local markets. Wander through the bustling Anle Market, sample delicious street food, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. Don’t miss trying Keelung’s famous seafood dishes.
- Take a day trip to the iconic Yehliu Geopark. Marvel at the unique rock formations shaped by natural erosion, including the famous “Queen’s Head.” Enjoy leisurely walks along the coastal trails, capturing the breathtaking views of the ocean and rock formations.
- Visit the historic Dianji Temple dedicated to Mazu, the sea goddess. Explore the temple complex, admire the intricate architecture, and learn about the religious and cultural significance of Mazu worship in Keelung.
- Return to Keelung and explore the bustling streets of Zhongzheng District. Visit Keelung Railway Station, known for its beautiful architecture, and enjoy shopping at the nearby commercial areas. Savor a delicious dinner at one of the local restaurants.
- Take a boat tour to the nearby Peace Island (Heping Island). Explore the island’s tranquil beauty, visit Baimiwong Fort, and enjoy panoramic views of Keelung Harbor. Take a leisurely walk along the coastal trails and embrace the peaceful ambiance.
- Discover the historical significance of Keelung at the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology. Learn about Taiwan’s maritime heritage, explore interactive exhibits, and gain insight into the marine ecosystem.
- Relax and unwind at one of Keelung’s hot springs. There are several hot spring resorts located in the surrounding areas, offering a rejuvenating experience to soothe your mind and body.
- Embark on a day trip to Jiufen, a charming mountain town renowned for its old streets, tea houses, and stunning views of the coastline. Wander through the narrow alleyways, sample local snacks, and immerse yourself in the nostalgic atmosphere.
- Return to Keelung and visit the Wangyou Valley, a picturesque area known for its waterfalls and lush greenery. Take a leisurely hike along the trails, enjoy the serenity of nature, and capture beautiful photos.
- Spend your last evening exploring the Ren’ai District. Visit the bustling Ren’ai Market, try local street food, and soak up the local atmosphere. Take the opportunity to buy souvenirs and gifts before bidding farewell to Keelung.
Remember to adjust the itinerary based on your personal preferences, opening hours of attractions, and any special events happening during your visit. Keelung offers a mix of cultural experiences, natural beauty, and culinary delights, ensuring a fulfilling and memorable travel experience.
Keelung 1 Week Travel Itinerary
If you have a week to explore Keelung and its surrounding areas, here’s a suggested travel itinerary to help you make the most of your time:
Day 1: Keelung Exploration
- Morning: Start your trip by exploring the city of Keelung. Visit Miaokou Night Market, Keelung Harbor, and the nearby Dianji Temple. Sample the delicious street food, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, and learn about the local culture and history.
Day 2: Yehliu Geopark and Jiufen
- Morning: Take a day trip to Yehliu Geopark, known for its unique rock formations. Explore the park’s trails and marvel at the fascinating shapes carved by nature.
- Afternoon: Continue your day trip to Jiufen, a charming mountain town famous for its old streets, tea houses, and stunning views of the coastline. Enjoy local snacks, explore the narrow alleys, and take in the nostalgic atmosphere.
Day 3: Taipei City Tour
- Take a day trip to Taipei, the vibrant capital city of Taiwan. Visit iconic landmarks like Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, and the National Palace Museum. Explore the bustling streets of Ximending and indulge in the diverse culinary scene.
Day 4: Heping Island and National Museum of Marine Science and Technology
- Morning: Explore Heping Island Park, located near Keelung. Take a leisurely walk along the coastal trails, visit Baimiwong Fort, and enjoy panoramic views of Keelung Harbor.
- Afternoon: Visit the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology to learn about Taiwan’s maritime heritage, explore interactive exhibits, and gain insight into the marine ecosystem.
Day 5: Pingxi and Shifen
- Morning: Take a day trip to Pingxi, a historic town known for its railway line and sky lantern tradition. Release a sky lantern, explore the old streets, and enjoy the charming ambiance.
- Afternoon: Visit Shifen Waterfall, one of Taiwan’s most scenic waterfalls. Enjoy the natural beauty and take memorable photos.
Day 6: Yangmingshan National Park and Hot Springs
- Spend the day exploring Yangmingshan National Park, known for its volcanic landscapes, hot springs, and hiking trails. Enjoy a relaxing dip in one of the hot springs and immerse yourself in the serene natural surroundings.
Day 7: Wulai Indigenous Village and Wulai Waterfall
- Explore the Wulai Indigenous Village, located in a scenic mountainous area. Learn about the indigenous culture, visit the Wulai Old Street, and take a cable car ride for panoramic views.
- Visit Wulai Waterfall, a stunning natural attraction that cascades down the mountainside. Enjoy the beauty of the waterfall and take a refreshing walk along the surrounding trails.
This itinerary provides a comprehensive experience of Keelung and its surrounding areas, offering a mix of cultural exploration, natural beauty, and culinary delights. Feel free to adjust the itinerary based on your preferences and the availability of attractions and activities during your visit. Enjoy your week-long adventure in Keelung!
Is Keelung A Safe City To Visit?
Keelung is generally considered a safe city to visit. Like any other destination, it’s always advisable to take common-sense precautions to ensure your safety and well-being. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when visiting Keelung:
- Stay vigilant: While Keelung is relatively safe, it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas or at night. Keep an eye on your belongings and avoid displaying valuable items in public.
- Use reliable transportation: Stick to licensed taxis or reputable transportation services when traveling around the city. If you’re using public transportation, keep an eye on your belongings and be mindful of pickpockets, particularly in crowded areas.
- Follow local laws and customs: Respect local laws, customs, and cultural norms while visiting Keelung. Familiarize yourself with the local customs, such as appropriate dress codes for religious sites and public places.
- Take care of your personal belongings: Keep your belongings secure and avoid leaving valuables unattended. Use hotel safes for storing important documents and valuables, and be cautious when carrying large sums of cash.
- Stay informed: Stay updated on local news and events, and follow any travel advisories or recommendations issued by your country’s embassy or consulate. It’s always a good idea to register with your embassy or consulate when traveling to a foreign country.
- Emergency contact numbers: Familiarize yourself with the local emergency contact numbers for police, ambulance, and fire services. In Taiwan, the emergency hotline is 112.
While Keelung is generally safe, it’s essential to exercise caution and take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit. By staying informed, following local laws and customs, and using common-sense practices, you can have a positive and secure experience exploring Keelung and its attractions.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Keelung?
The best time to visit Keelung is during the months of April to June and September to November when the weather is mild and pleasant. Here’s a breakdown of the seasons in Keelung to help you plan your trip:
Spring (April to June): Spring in Keelung is characterized by mild temperatures, occasional showers, and blooming flowers. It’s a great time to explore the city’s outdoor attractions and enjoy the lush greenery. However, be prepared for some rainfall and fluctuating weather conditions during this season.
Summer (July to September): Keelung experiences hot and humid summers, with July and August being the hottest months. While summer brings plenty of sunshine, it’s also the rainy season with frequent afternoon showers and occasional typhoons. If you visit during this time, be prepared for higher humidity and plan indoor activities or be flexible with your outdoor plans.
Autumn (October to November): Autumn is considered one of the best times to visit Keelung. The weather becomes cooler and more pleasant, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the city’s attractions. The autumn foliage adds vibrant colors to the landscapes, making it a great time for nature lovers and photographers.
Winter (December to February): Winter in Keelung is relatively mild, with cooler temperatures and occasional rainfall. It’s a quieter season with fewer tourists, and you can enjoy a more tranquil experience exploring the city. However, do pack a jacket or sweater as temperatures can drop, especially in the evenings.
It’s worth noting that Keelung experiences rainfall throughout the year due to its coastal location. It’s always a good idea to carry an umbrella or raincoat regardless of the season.
Additionally, keep in mind that Keelung’s climate is influenced by its subtropical monsoon climate, so be prepared for some variation in weather patterns. Checking the local weather forecast closer to your travel dates can help you plan accordingly.
Ultimately, the best time to visit Keelung depends on your preferences and the activities you plan to do. Consider the weather conditions, crowd levels, and specific events or festivals you might be interested in. Regardless of the season, Keelung offers unique attractions, vibrant culture, and delicious food to enjoy year-round.
Where To Visit After Your Trip To Keelung?
After your trip to Keelung, there are several nearby destinations worth exploring in Taiwan. Here are some popular options:
- Taipei: The capital city of Taiwan, Taipei, is a vibrant and bustling metropolis just a short distance from Keelung. Visit iconic landmarks such as Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, and the National Palace Museum. Explore the vibrant night markets, indulge in delicious street food, and experience the city’s rich cultural scene.
- Jiufen: Located in the mountains near Keelung, Jiufen is a charming old mining town known for its narrow streets, tea houses, and stunning coastal views. Wander through the atmospheric alleys, try local snacks, and enjoy the nostalgic ambiance. Jiufen is famous for its lantern-lit evenings, creating a magical atmosphere.
- Yilan: Situated along Taiwan’s northeastern coast, Yilan offers a picturesque countryside and natural beauty. Explore stunning national parks, relax in hot springs, and visit attractions like the Lanyang Museum and the Dongshan River Water Park. Yilan is also known for its scenic landscapes, including the famous Turtle Island.
- Taipei’s Beitou District: Known for its hot springs and tranquil atmosphere, Beitou is a popular getaway spot. Relax in the rejuvenating hot springs, visit the Beitou Hot Springs Museum, and explore the beautiful Beitou Thermal Valley. The district also offers scenic hiking trails and lush greenery.
- Taichung: Located in central Taiwan, Taichung is known for its vibrant arts scene, night markets, and beautiful parks. Visit attractions like the National Museum of Natural Science, Rainbow Village, and the Fengjia Night Market. Taichung is also a gateway to the scenic landscapes of Sun Moon Lake and the picturesque Cingjing Farm.
- Tainan: If you’re interested in history and culture, Tainan is a must-visit destination. It’s the oldest city in Taiwan and is renowned for its well-preserved temples, traditional architecture, and delicious street food. Explore attractions like the Chihkan Tower, Anping Old Street, and Confucius Temple.
- Hualien: Located on the east coast of Taiwan, Hualien is known for its stunning natural landscapes, including Taroko Gorge. Explore the marble-walled canyons, hike through lush trails, and visit attractions like Qixingtan Beach and the Eternal Spring Shrine. Hualien is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
- Sun Moon Lake: Situated in the heart of Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake is a picturesque lake surrounded by lush mountains. Take a boat ride on the lake, cycle or hike around its scenic trails, and visit cultural sites such as the Wenwu Temple and the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. Sun Moon Lake is a tranquil retreat offering beautiful vistas and a relaxing atmosphere.
- Kenting National Park: Located at the southern tip of Taiwan, Kenting National Park is a popular beach destination known for its white sandy beaches, coral reefs, and vibrant marine life. Enjoy water activities like snorkeling and diving, explore the scenic Kenting Forest Recreation Area, and visit the iconic Eluanbi Lighthouse.
- Taitung: Taitung is a laid-back city on Taiwan’s southeastern coast, offering a slower pace of life and natural beauty. Visit attractions like the Taitung Forest Park, Beinan Cultural Park, and the Taitung Night Market. The region is also known for its indigenous culture, hot air ballooning, and the annual Taiwan International Balloon Festival.
- Penghu Islands: If you’re seeking a beach getaway, consider visiting the Penghu Islands. This archipelago boasts pristine beaches, clear turquoise waters, and unique basalt rock formations. Explore the charming island villages, indulge in fresh seafood, and try water sports like snorkeling and windsurfing.
- Green Island: Located off the coast of Taitung, Green Island is a volcanic island known for its crystal-clear waters, coral reefs, and natural hot springs. Dive or snorkel to explore the vibrant marine life, relax in the soothing hot springs, and visit attractions like the Human Rights Memorial Park and the Green Island Lighthouse.
- Alishan: Alishan is a mountainous region in central Taiwan known for its stunning sunrise views, scenic trails, and ancient trees. Take the Alishan Forest Railway to explore the area, visit the sacred Alishan Temple, and witness the mesmerizing sea of clouds at sunrise.
- Tamsui: Located just outside of Taipei, Tamsui is a charming coastal town with a rich history. Stroll along the Tamsui Old Street, visit the historic Fort San Domingo, and enjoy a scenic sunset walk along the Tamsui River. Don’t forget to try the famous Tamsui-style street food.
- Lugang: Lugang is a historic town in central Taiwan renowned for its well-preserved traditional architecture and temples. Explore the narrow lanes of the Old Street, visit the iconic Longshan Temple, and learn about the local culture and craftsmanship at the Lugang Mazu Temple Arts Center.
- Daxi: Daxi is a small town near Taoyuan known for its nostalgic atmosphere and historical sites. Visit the Daxi Old Street, where you can find traditional tea houses, ancient temples, and local snacks. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the renowned Daxi meat buns.
- Wuling Farm: Situated in the mountains of Taichung, Wuling Farm is a scenic highland area known for its flower fields, hiking trails, and fresh mountain air. Visit during the flower blooming seasons to witness colorful landscapes and enjoy the tranquil beauty of nature.
- Kaohsiung: Located in southern Taiwan, Kaohsiung is the country’s second-largest city and offers a mix of urban attractions and natural beauty. Explore the lively Liuhe Night Market, visit the iconic Lotus Pond with its temples and pagodas, and enjoy the modern art and cultural exhibits at the Pier-2 Art Center.
- Hsinchu: Known as the “Windy City,” Hsinchu is a vibrant city in northern Taiwan. Visit the charming Old Town, discover the city’s history at the Hsinchu City God Temple, and explore the Science Park, home to cutting-edge technology and innovative research.
- Penghu Islands: The Penghu Islands are an archipelago in the Taiwan Strait known for their beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and unique rock formations. Enjoy water sports like snorkeling, diving, and windsurfing. Visit the Penghu Living Museum to learn about the islands’ history and culture, and explore the charming island villages.
- Kinmen: Kinmen is a group of islands located off the coast of mainland China. Known for its historical sites and military heritage, Kinmen offers a glimpse into Taiwan’s complex history. Explore ancient forts, visit traditional villages, and learn about the islands’ role in cross-strait relations.
These destinations offer a variety of experiences, from cultural immersion and natural beauty to culinary delights and urban exploration. Whether you’re interested in history, relaxation, or adventure, there’s something for everyone within reach of Keelung. Consider your interests, the time you have available, and transportation options to plan your next destination after exploring Keelung.
Keelung Travel Guide: Final Thoughts
Keelung unveils itself as a mesmerizing tapestry of sights, sounds, and flavors that beckon travelers to immerse themselves in its vibrant allure. Nestled along the scenic coast of Taiwan, this captivating city boasts a wealth of cultural treasures, breathtaking natural landscapes, and an epicurean paradise that delights the senses.
As twilight descends upon Keelung, the pulse of the city quickens, drawing visitors to the legendary Miaokou Night Market. Here, amidst the aromatic symphony of sizzling woks and the vibrant tapestry of food stalls, one can embark on a gastronomic adventure, indulging in a myriad of tantalizing street food offerings. From the savory delights of oyster omelets and braised pork rice to the pungent allure of stinky tofu, the market captures the essence of Taiwanese cuisine.
Beyond the culinary delights, Keelung’s allure extends to its rich history and cultural heritage. The city’s revered Dianji Temple stands as a testament to its deep spiritual roots, where devotees pay homage to Mazu, the revered sea goddess. The intricate architectural details and the air of reverence enveloping the temple grounds offer a glimpse into the profound faith and traditions that have shaped Keelung’s identity.
Venturing further, the enchanting Heping Island Park unveils a sanctuary of tranquility amidst the city’s dynamic energy. Here, one can wander along verdant trails, tracing the contours of the island’s coastline, and bask in the breathtaking vistas of Keelung Harbor. The imposing Baimiwong Fort, a silent sentinel of history, reminds visitors of Keelung’s strategic role in safeguarding the island.
Keelung’s allure extends beyond its city limits, offering gateway experiences to neighboring destinations. A short journey leads to the ethereal landscapes of Yehliu Geopark, where nature’s artistic prowess has carved majestic rock formations, including the famed “Queen’s Head.” Delving deeper into Taiwan’s tapestry, destinations like Jiufen lure travelers with their atmospheric charm, blending history, nostalgia, and panoramic coastal views.
Keelung’s final invitation lies in the warmth of its people, who exude genuine hospitality and kindness. The vibrant streets, alive with the cadence of daily life, provide an immersive cultural experience, inviting visitors to engage with locals and uncover the city’s hidden treasures.
So, heed the call of Keelung’s enchantment, embark on this captivating journey, and allow yourself to be swept away by the symphony of flavors, the echoes of history, and the embrace of its people. Keelung promises an unforgettable sojourn, etching indelible memories upon your heart and beckoning you to return once more.