Keelung Travel Guide
Chinese Name: 基隆市 (jī lóng shì)
Area: 132.76 square kilometers (51.26 square miles)
Location: in the northeast of Taiwan Island, southeast China
Administrative Division: 7 districts (Jhongjheng, Cidu, Nuannuan, Renai, Jhongshan, Anle, Sinyi)
Area Code: 02
Zip Code: 200
GDP (2019): CNY 61.4 billion (USD 8.9 billion)
A Seafood Paradise Know as “Little Hong Kong"
Keelung is a port city located in the north end of Taiwan Island. Due to the special location, it was frequently attacked in ancient times; numerous emplacement groups were therefore built. They nowadays have become special scenery of the city. The prosperous city lies between seas and mountains with similar landscapes with Hong Kong, hence named “Small Hong Kong”.
It is also called “Rainy Port” because it rains a lot in winter, but winter is the best season to enjoy hot spring. Remember to bring rain gears if going there in winter. In spring, the rain decreases a lot and is not heavy to affect your travel. Typhoons pass once in a while from June to Auguest, so remember to notice the weather forecast. Except for the typhoon, summer scenery is very beautiful and the Hungry Ghost Festival Ceremony is held then every year.
Top Things to Do in Keelung
Taste yummy snacks at Miaokou Night Market: Miaokou Night Market is the best-known night market in the city, where almost 200 booths gather. Dingbiancuo, Tempura, bouillons, oyster omelets, and steamed rice with red-cooked pork must satisfy your taste buds. In addition, you cannot miss butter crabs, braised eel soups, eight-treasure noodles, rice wines, and many kinds of fruit ices. The night market is not closed until 02:00-03:00.
Appreciate native plants on Keelung Islet: It is a beautiful volcanic islet without resident. Cliffs are everywhere and the flat ground can hardly be seen. It is special for its rare igneous rocks and native plants. In spring, the islet is thick with charming wild lilies, which must impress you. To get there, you can take the speedboat at Bisha Harbor. It takes 40 minutes and costs TWD 500 for a round trip. You need to book the ticket in advance. Phone numbers for booking: Blue Sky: (+02) 2422 4471; Green Sea: (+02) 2469 1136; St. Fort William: (+02) 2469 2555.
Watch odd stones on Hoping Island: The island is famous for weathered rocks and marine abrasion topographies. There are square tofu rocks, Fanzi Cave in which ancient Dutch is carved on cliffs, and Million People Pile where lots of stones that look like heads scatter. In the seaside park, you can barbecue, camp, go boating, and ride an airbike.
Enjoy nature in Nuantung Canyon: There, steep cliffs are covered by dense trees, among which pen container trees are the majority. There is a bat cave on the cliff, and it is said that some bats inhabit it. The streams are so clear that you can catch fishes and shrimps as well as play the water. The canyon is also a good place to watch butterflies and spend the summer.
See artilleries at Uhrshawan Battery: The battery was built in 1840 to defend from enemies. The battery area is on the coastal mountain peak. There you can take a close look at the artilleries and the magazine. Two tombs are located at the foot of the mountain: one for national heroes, and the other for French generals.
Overlook Keelung in Jhongjheng Park: Apart from the pavilions, chess center, and recreation facilities, a 74-foot-high (22.5-meter-high) Guanyin statue sits in the park. There are five floors inside the statue, on which you can see the entire city. It is also the landmark of the city. The shuttle bus is available to travel around the park.
Attend the Hungry Ghost Festival Ceremony in Jhongjheng Park: The festival falls on the 15th of the seventh lunar month. During the festival, people float paper lanterns to release the ghosts’ souls from purgatory and pray for peace.
Eate seafood at Bisha Harbor: A fish market and a food street lie there. A number of shops selling various fresh fishes sit in the fish market. On food street, you can not only order dishes in the restaurant but also let the restaurant cook the fishes that you bought in the fish market.
Other Attractions: Keelung Mountain, Shiqiuling, Fairy Cave Rock…
How to get to Keelung
Train: You are recommended to take the train from Taipei to get there, which costs TWD 64 with the duration of 50 minutes.
See more about Taiwan Train
Long-distance Bus: Taipei West Bus Station, Banciao, Taoyuan, Taoyuan Airport, and Hsinchu stations all have buses to get there. The bus from Taipei takes less than 1 hour and about TWD 50. It departs every 10-20 minutes.
Ship: Keelung Harbor, next to the railway station, is the chief shipping hub of northern Taiwan. Xiamen in Mainland China has a ship to Keelung Harbor every Thursday. The ship named COSCO Star departs at 18:00 and arrives at 08:30 next morning. The ticket price is CNY 528 for a standard room and CNY 590 for a deluxe room.
How to travel around Keelung
City Bus: Most buses depart from the railway station or Chungyi Road. They cost TWD 15 for each trip. For convenience, you can buy Keelung Transportation Card, Easy Card, Taiwan Easy Go, I Pass or ETC Card to take the bus. Remember to wave to the driver when the bus is coming and ring when you want to get off, or the bus may not stop.
Taxi: The starting price is TWD 70. If you want to hire a taxi for a day tour, it costs about TWD 2,000.