Home » Places » Keelung Port and visiting the iconic Keelung sign

Keelung Port and visiting the iconic Keelung sign

posted in: Places 3

When learning that there were white Hollywood-style letters on a hill overlooking the Keelung Port, my first thought was “that’s silly.” But then I thought immediately - I want to visit those letters!

The “Keelung” sign is one of the city’s major landmarks. The history of the sign is somewhat of a mystery, but locals say it was built in 2006. The sign can be seen prominently from many parts of the city and overlooks the Keelung Port. The sign is a nice sight in the distance while walking along the river.

keelung port city

When you're at the Keelung Port, you might enjoy watching the people, ships, fish, birds. But there is also a presence to your left beckoning you up that hill. It’s not far away, so step out of your comfort zone and check it out!

How to get to the sign from Keelung Port

If you’re coming from Keelung Port, head to the Keelung Station. Leave the train station and walk across Zhongshan 1st Rd. There are multiple ways up, but the crosswalk basically runs into this one.

keelung port

Enter it and follow the signs up the hill.

The trail you are on is called the Huzi Mountain Trail. It winds between a quiet neighborhood up a pretty steep hill for a little bit.

Within 15 minutes, you will reach a school. This school is now partially converted into a bookstore with a great tea shop on the second floor. From there, which way do you think you should go?

keelung city to the keelung sign

There are plenty of signs all the way up.

And the other side...

keelung port

From here, you can get a great view of Keelung Port, Keelung Islet in the distance, and the hills and mountains surrounding the city.

The sign itself is probably bigger than you had imagined. The letters have many little holes in them and are surrounded by strips of LED lights.

keelung port

Behind the letters are a track and a basketball court.

keelung sign

You can continue going up the stairs to the very top of the hill, which seems like an old fort area and gives more good looks.

keelung port

Seems like there’s not much else up on this hill, but it’s a great place for a little bit of solitude. You can feel the waves of wind against your face and hear the gentle whispers of the city and harbor below. I would recommend a quick hike up to the sign for anyone coming to Keelung. Whether your opinion is of these white letters overlooking the city, they are fun to visit. Therefore, what are you waiting for? Come visit Keelung Port!

view from keelung sign min


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Follow Curtis Starkey:
Right now, I am a freelancer in Taipei, Taiwan doing different things including photography and writing. I have been in some crazy situations, and sometimes I have funny things to say. I’ve recently participated in storytelling events to share some of these stories, and I hope to make this more of a trend going forward. When I’m not being humorous, I’m usually taking life too seriously. On rare occasions, I stumble upon a nice middle ground.

3 Responses

  1. ergfirnolikz

    I’ve been surfing online greater than three hours today, but I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty value sufficient for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will probably be much more helpful than ever before. “A winner never whines.” by Paul Brown.

  2. Geo

    In case the origin of the KEELUNG sign is still a mystery to you, they were constructed around the time Keelung hosted Taiwan’s prestigious 42nd Golden Horse Award ceremony, which celebrates artists in the Chinese language film industry. So, in commemoration of that 2005 winter event, city officials decided to put those up as a homage to the place that famously hosts the famed Oscars and the iconic HOLLYWOOD signs. I find it weird that this information isn’t easy to find online, but apparently most locals do not know why they exist! I remember it because, like you, this idea seemed silly at first, but grew on you as years go by.

  3. My father is from Keelung, and most of father’s family still lives there or nearby Taipei. My great-great-grandparents were originally buried where the Keelung sign is today. They were moved to my great-grandparents tomb in Taipei when the Keelung sign was built. Of course, it’s quite common to see tombs in the mountains surrounding Taiwanese cities, and there are still many tombs surrounding Keelung today.

    When I was a teenager, I remember visiting Keelung from the U.S. and seeing a miniature Statue of Liberty on someone’s multistory house near the Keelung Train Station. I haven’t seen the statue in many years, so I don’t think it exists anymore.

    I always thought of this and the Keelung sign as examples of overseas Taiwanese returning home with foreign ideas adopted from the U.S. — much like the marching bands and flower floats you see in Taiwanese religious processions. Speaking as a Taiwanese American, the Keelung sign is a symbol on how far Keelungers have traveled around the world, that our “countrymen” (僑胞) have lived in places like California and New York, and how open-minded the Taiwanese can be of other cultures. Except, the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles is not lighted and cannot be seen at night, so the Keelung sign is actually an improvement over the original…

    Anyway, thanks for writing all the interesting articles. Sincerely,

    Winston Ho 何嶸.
    New Orleans, Louisiana 美國路州紐奧良市.

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