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1 Itinerary for a Foreign Students Day Trip in Keelung

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As a foreign student, you may either live in Taipei, or at least visit the capital. To escape from its busyness, I, as a foreign traveler, recommend you spend at least a day in Keelung, to discover a more traditional side of Taiwan at only half an hour from the megapolis.

A bunch of places are waiting for you, but, to make your decisions, you may need to be guided.

Arrival and morning activities in Keelung

Foreign students – How to come from Taipei to Keelung in the morning?

You can grab a seat on public buses, mainly from the MRT station Taipei City Hall. I did it a couple of times and I have never had any problems with public transportations. You can drop off at the train station.

Coming from Taipei is convenient.

You can either choose to take a local train from the main station. Keelung train station is in the city center, close to many spots.

Here you can find the different options. Note that every means of transportation begin working before 7AM.

What to do in Keelung – Take a glimpse of the city in the morning around famous tourist spots

Keelung is a historically rich city, and it is home to many monuments. I strongly recommend you to visit one (or several).

First alternative – Huzishan Keelung Landmark (for the late-sleeper who are running out of time)

You do not have hours and hours to spend during the morning. Here is a good option for you. Have a walk from the train station to this Hollywood style landmark. It is relatively easy even if it is steep for a few meters: take your time, walk around the narrow streets and follow the signs until the top.

You will be rewarded by a great view over the city center, the piers, the hills, and the port that is the second biggest of Taiwan.

A park is located next to the landmark, and you can visit many temples when you go downhill.

Taiwanese People
Keelung Sign – DJI View

Second alternative – Khóo Tsú-song Old Mansion (for the budding photographers)

It is an easy walk that brings you right above the busy center of Keelung. Take your time when you go up to admire the tiny streets, the stairs decorated with plants, and the more you get close to the ruin, the more beautiful view you have.

This mansion was built under Japanese ruling, but it is today a charming ruin that you can visit. Take your time and practice photography since this spot is remarkably beautiful, with this roots that climb on the door frames, with the vegetation that invades the exterior space on the upper floor, and with the windows that offer a great view over the city.

1 Itinerary for a Foreign Students Day Trip in Keelung

If it is rainy, the fog and the shadows create a mysterious atmosphere. If it is sunny, you will appreciate the contrast between ruins and sun.

Third alternative – Dingshige Fort (for the adventurous foreign student)

You love urban exploration, but you don’t have a precise idea of where to go ? I strongly suggest you visit Dingshige Fort, built after the Sino-French war in the late 19th century. You can take a bus from the train station that brings you closer to the place. Here is the location to help you for the several buses line that you can take.

In front of the parking lot of a high school, you have to go down the stairs on your right. On the first sight, you might not be able to find anything. However, look on your right, you can distinguish a path and a red brick wall that emerge from the vegetation.

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It is divided into two main parts. On the right entrance, you may hear some noise, and see bats flying. Actually, they are fleeing to a dark room in the back, and you will not see them again. You can walk around this big room and join the corridor on your left. If you are really adventurous, you can visit every room, but I recommend everyone to at least come inside the first room, close to the second entrance. There, a lightwell brings light in the center of this dark room. You can enjoy the atmosphere and take your best pictures. It seems scary but it was one of the best visit I have had in Keelung until now.

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It is not the only fort that was built in Keelung. I highly recommend you to visit them if you are interested about history and/or urban exploration. Here is an article that compiles Keelung forts

What to eat for lunch in Keelung?

I suggest you go on the streets near Maritime Plaza, you can discover a large variety of cuisine, local, Japanese, Western style. There are also a lot of vegetarian buffets that propose you to choose between a selection and you pay according to the weight of your plate. You can either try very local food that foreign students may have not tried before, as well as known and appreciated delicacies. 

You can find a tea shop in almost every street, and you can also enjoy a tea or a coffee in a cozy place all around the district.

For further information, articles about food and Keelung cuisine are gathered in this section.

Visit iconic tourist spots – Zhengbin Port Color Houses & Heping Geopark

Foreign Student Afternoon Itinerary – First stop at Zhengbin Port Color Houses

Keelung is home of the trading port, but it is traditionally a fishing port. Come and walk around the district, along traditional markets, and temples. Finally, come to Heping Bridge and see on your left Zhengbin Port Color Houses. You can not miss it since some local travelers also come to take a picture of it. However, it is not crowded, especially on weekdays.

Some scenic viewing points were also installed so that you can enjoy the view. 

Zhengbin Port
Zhengbin Port

Foreign Student Afternoon Itinerary – Second stop at Heping Geopark

Heping Island is famous for the Geopark that you can easily reach from Zhengbin Port Color Houses. It is home to some geological sculptures that you can see in the Northern Taiwan coastal area. Here a path was built, and you have just to chill around, with or without an ice cream that you can buy next to the souvenir shop.

If you are lucky, you can enjoy a wonderful sunset from a pavilion that is right above the sea. If you come on weekends, you may share the tiny space with a lot of people. You can either come earlier to grab a spot and wait, come on weekdays, or enjoy the view from other spots, and it is not hard to find since the path also faces the sea.

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keelung islet

The good new is that foreign students (and local) have a 50% discount when they purchase tickets.

 

What to eat at night in Keelung ? Stroll around the famous Keelung Miaokou Night Market

Enjoy snacks and local specialties in one of the most popular night market

Tourists in Keelung are for the majority local people from Taipei or New Taipei to enjoy Keelung food at the Miaokou Night Market. It is also quite foreigner friendly: on the top of each store is written in English what they are specialized on. You might meet other foreign students coming to enjoy Keelung as well.

Best time to visit Miaokou Night Market

You can reach there around 5PM, until 10PM and even later. On weekends, it is really crowded but you don’t have to line up for too long, except if you want to grab a seat and eat.

There, I strongly recommend you try braised pork rice, scallion pancakes, and every type of Taiwanese sandwich that you can find, my friends and I all love them.

Miaokou Night Market is very close to the train station, and generally, to a lot of a bus stop. It is really easy to go back, especially before 10PM. I recommend you either to take a local train at the train station, or a bus. Google maps proposes bus itinerary, but the timetable is not always right. You should download Bus+, which is more accurate.

Heping Island Tour

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