“You’re going to Taipei?” Most of my friend enquired after finding out that I am flying to Taiwan. I said “nope, will stay and roam around Keelung City”. Don’t get me wrong, Taipei is one of my fave Asian City. To which my friend replied “Where is Keelung? And what are you going to do?”
I went to Keelung City to visit my cousin who lives there and take a break from stressful work in Makati City, I thought going away would be relaxing.
Keelung or Jīlóng in standard Mandarin Pinyin or Ke-lâng in Taiwanese Romanization is a major port city situated in the northeastern part of Taiwan. It borders New Taipei which forms the Taipei-Keelung Metropolitan area along with Taipei itself. Because it is the second largest port and rain is frequent it is monikered the Rainy Port.
I spent 7days in Keelung City and stayed at her home, it seemed quite a long stay and most probably you are curious what I did. Actually there are a lot of things that you can do in the area but it would really need more than 2days if you like to get to know the city further. On my part I like immersing myself on local culture and meet people so I wasn’t really bored.
Now here are my suggestions on the best things to do in Keelung City.
My top priority and should be yours as well is Try to eat local food as much as possible. Taiwanese cuisine is really palatable, delicious and somewhat a bit different from traditional Chinese. Here are some of the food I love….
The favorite breakfast in town…. Scallion Pancake with Soy Milk!!!! This is heavenly!! I tried it in one of the most popular bakery/food stall in ZhongZhen district! Sorry guys I forgot the name of the resto but anyway it is near the Police Station and the Park 🙂
Noodles of different versions! This one is more Chinese style, my fave is the Taiwanese version which unfortunately I cannot find the photo… I will update this once I found the picture.
Taro Balls Dessert at Ah Gan Yi Yu Yuan 阿柑姨芋圆 very famous in Jiu Fen and in Taiwan.
2. Explore, walk, jog and take photos at ZhongZheng Park which is situated at Dashawan Mountain. This park has three levels which I am not aware of when I first came. Imagine me hiking at noon until 4pm all alone, feeling sweaty, thirsty, hungry and a bit scared! Who wouldn’t? I didn’t see a single soul while hiking not until I reached the third level.
At the base of the park facing Shoushan Road.. yep there are countless staircases
The park overlooks Keelung City and the harbor. On the first level is a historic canon fort. On the second level is a Buddhist library, Martyrs’ Shrine and Zhuputan Temple. I will write about this separately. On the third level is Guanhai Pavilion. Sitting in the pavilion, visitors can see the entire Keelung and the ocean.
Leading towards the library and the templesAnd this is the sweaty and hot me… resting at the second level…was so tired and worried.. sort of. Hahaha
The statue of Goddess of Mercy is the landmark of Zhongzheng (Jhongjheng) Park. It is the biggest Goddess statue in Southeast Asia. Inside the statue is a stairway leading to the top.
InInside the statue and peered through one of the holes to see the view
Overlooking Keelung City, can you spot the Cruise ship?
3. Visit Keelung City Cultural Center There is a Museum, library and their cultural office in this building. Not much to see but what I like was the cultural event held outside which is not regular though, it so happen there was activity on that day.
4. Watch the cruise ships dock at the port. Since Keelung is a major port, you would see gigantic ship docked or docking in the area on a regular basis. I was amazed how this port which I thought is small can accommodate huge sea vessels like this cruise ship. It find it entertaining to just stare at the docked ships.
5. Lounge by maritime plaza at night and watch the local goings-on. This is a very busy plaza with so many activities. Why not find a corner, watch and take photos😊 Just like what I did.
6. Explore Chupu Altar/Museum and learn about the Mid-Summer Ghost Festival. This is a very interesting museum though a bit scary cause it seems abandoned when I came. I was the only foolish tourist who visited it, but because it is so interesting I will write about my escapade here soon.
7. Don’t forget to go shopping at the famous Miaokuo Night Market (廟口夜市)! It is one of Taiwan’s more traditional food-focused night markets and get ready for some cheap, delicious seafood! Ok when I say shopping really its FOOD Shopping! Go here with empty stomach, I can assure you will not regret it.
Seafoods galore! This chubby froggy is waiting for a client and it is eyeing me…nahhhhh I declined the offer
8. Walk, swim, fish and go picnic at Heping Island Park.The island is perfect for diving which I did not try (hopefully on my next visit) and sea fishing, oh boy my brother would have loved this! What’s special about this island are the special shaped rocks along the coast due to years of erosion by the wind and sea. The Keelung government has made Heping Island a coastal park with swimming pool, tour track, tourism service center and food and beverages. Now you won’t get bored in this park I am telling you.
Tour tracks were created, so you won’t get lost
A swimming pool built in the sea! I was actually tempted to dive but wasn’t prepared though, didn’t bring a swimsuit😂
The museum and tourism service center
There are more tourist attractions in this city but I wasn’t able to see them all hopefully when I go back I might check them out.
Lastly if you have time, I suggest that you just walk around the city and immerse yourself to local culture, it is very interesting. If you are a photographer you won’t run out of subjects for your next shoot. Here are some of the photos I took while walking.
I hope my story is quite helpful and might convince you to visit this city sometime.