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A Day Trip in Keelung for Cruise Passengers: 3 Recommendations

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As a cruise passenger, you may be used to visit a place for a couple of hours in only a day. Because Keelung has a lot of places that are worth the visit, it can be hard, the time of your stopover for your daytrip, to catch the essence of this very culturally and architecturally Taiwanese city. Here is a little guide for cruise travelers to organize your trip.


Things to discover in a day for cruise passengers


Temples, markets, photo spots… Keelung offers plenty of possibilities for a daytrip for cruise passengers, so let’s find a route to discover it!


Come and find an overlook of the harbor in Zhongzheng Park


As a foreign traveler staying for a while in Keelung, Zhongzheng Park was the first place that was shown when I googled “Keelung tourist spots”. Indeed, it is a large park, located on top of a hill, that is accessible by foot, bus, and even elevator! I recommend everyone to come, even if it is for a day.


How to get to this tourist spot from the pier where alight cruise boats?


Your daytrip will start from the pier, and cruise passengers have to cross Maritime Plaza and turn in the direction of the port. Finally, turn right to Xin 4th road, and the entrance is straight forwards.

Take the free elevator at Keelung Tower, and enjoy the almost 360° view over the port, Maritime Plaza, the cruise pier, the city downhill, Big Buddha, and the sea in the background. On a rainy day, the view is still superb, and it transports people into a mysterious atmosphere, with fog that extends from the port to a few houses close to the Tower. It is a good (and free) beginning for your stopover day trip.

View from Keelung Tower of the port and the pier where cruise passengers alight View of the Buddha from the top of Keelung Tower


Continue your daytrip by having a peaceful walk along some Keelung iconic monuments


I suggest you to walk through the footbridge and take a picture in front of Zhupu Altar, one of the sacred monuments built in Keelung.

Zhupu Altar

Then, continue through the bridge that offers another view of the port, where your cruise boat alighted, in between the hills, and follow the signs until Big Buddha Temple, where the 22 meters high statue faces the harbor. You can take a rest and visit the temple to enjoy the peacefulness of the Taiwanese Temple.

Keelung Big Buddha

You can choose to go downhill either by the elevator, or by the route along Shoushan Road, that brings you directly in a district full of places offering street food. You can find this type of food around Keelung Tower. 


For adventurous cruise passengers, climb up to Keelung Hollywood style landmark to discover another view of the city


I suggest you can do this activity for every cruise passengers who feel in shape. Keelung is famous for being a city with multiple hills that can be hiked by feet. If you want to challenge yourself, it is possible to begin your journey in Keelung by walking from the cruise pier to the city’s landmark.

It is not a long walk, around 15 minutes, that allows you to snake in traditional tiny streets on the slopes. However, it is sometimes quite steep. You can take breaks at the numerous attractions located there, such as Taiping Temple, which offers on the upper floor a place steeped in a pinkish light.

On the top, you are rewarded by a panoramic view of the modern and old buildings, and of the port where you began your day trip.

The path is well indicated thanks to signs and maps all along the way, translated in English.


What/where to eat in Keelung?


Enjoy Keelung and foreign cuisines all around the city 


Keelung is famous for its seafood restaurants and specialties since it is a coastal town. However, it demands sometimes for foreigners to be adventurous: food is different than in the West and other Asian countries, and menus are often in Chinese only. But, a day trip can be an occasion to try. If you want to, you can use a translator or ask for an English menu. Keelungers are really friendly, and I have never had any bad experience, use a few simple English words and you will get a reply.

If you are not attracted by eating shellfish, let yourself be tempted by other Taiwanese food. Its cuisine is very rich, and you will discover, for sure, a delicacy that fits with your tastes.

You may want to eat Western style food: no problem, Keelung has a lot of options, from pizzas, burgers, to French food and desserts. If you prefer having ramen or sushi, it is easily findable.

For more details, a whole section of the blog gathers articles related to Keelung’s cuisine and dining options. 


On the afternoon, finish you daytrip by walking around the most traditional Taiwanese night market to embrace Keelung’s atmosphere


Taiwan’s most traditional night market is Keelung Miaokou Night Market, that is a must to visit. It is not visited by many foreigners but I encourage every cruise passengers coming for a day to come. It is so famous than a bunch of Taiwanese come to Keelung to try its local specialties.

As cruise passengers, you may not have time to discover it at night, even if it gets busier around 3PM. There, I recommend you try braised pork rice, tanghulu (sticks made of cherry tomatoes or fruits deep in melted sugar), scallion pancakes, and bubble tea. There are also a bunch of fried meat, soups, dumplings, and ice creams that will, for sure, satisfy your hunger.

You can make a two-in-one visit during your visits by going to Dianji Temple, which is located inside the night market. You can not miss it, it is highly recognizable by the golden statue. It is one of the three main temples in Keelung, and you can walk around and have a look.


Come and have a rest from the cruise on a cozy café in Keelung city centre


During your day trip in Keelung, after a long walk, why not choose to sit comfortably in a cafe to rest and relax in front of a beverage, and enjoy the calm and muted atmosphere. For further recommendations, here is another article.

Cruise passengers can easily find one around Miaokou Night Market, and you are allowed to bring a snack that you have bought before coming.



What to buy in Keelung during your daytrip?


Buy local delicacies before returning to the cruise boat


I strongly recommend every cruise passengers buy some local candies that you can also find around Miaokou Night Market. Taiwan has its own sweets that can not be found anywhere else, so why not be tempted to try some.

I suggest you walk to this address: No. 37, Ren 4th Rd, Ren’ai District. You will see a tiny shop presenting a large variety of candies, Taiwanese, Japanese, and from the West, but also dried fruits. Labels are translated in English, and it indicates if it is sweet, savory, or spicy. Plus, you can communicate with the owners since they know some English. 

Follow Fiona:
Fiona is a passionated copywriter from Germany. Currently traveling the world as a digital nomad, she loves to deep dive in cultures, cuisines and costums. Her aim: To try the most delicious food on this globe (not a hard one in Asia) and to gain a better understanding of the world and its people.

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