Take a train to the north of Taipei, and you will find some interesting names of railway stations. They are arranged in order from Wudu, Qidu until Badu. “Du” in Mandarin means settlement; in the early days during the time of building settlements, Han Chinese immigrants resisted aboriginal Ketagalans’ attack along the bent terrain of Keelung River, so the naming of settlements counts in order.
The Keelung River, flowing through the north of Taipei, has witnessed the history of Qidu’s development. Qidu was once an important trading port on the Keelung River, serving as a gateway to the northern coast of Taiwan. The town’s unique culture and history are still evident today.
Since the Lantern Festival in 2000, Qidu’s residents on both sides of the Keelung River take the torch tied on the two sides of the river and launch rockets to the other side. The play has been just for rivalry, and now it turns to the current fireworks festival. This year, the festival of fireworks was cast over the Qidu Junde drawbridge, and the good viewpoints were from the Keelung River Trail. If you come to the area, you must visit the Japanese-colonial architecture “Old Qidu station” in the Qidu Railway Cultural Park. Qidu’s earliest Mazu temple, Qing Ji Gong, also holds a traditional ceremony on Lantern Festival Day.
Qidu is not only famous for its fireworks festival but also known for its local delicacies. If you visit Qidu in the daytime, you can do trekking on Keelung’s highest peak, Jiāng-Zi-Liu Mountain. The mountain has several trails that offer stunning views of the Keelung River and the surrounding mountains. The most popular trail is the “Qidu Great Wall,” which is a section of the ancient wall that was built to protect the town from aboriginal attacks. The wall is now a popular hiking trail, offering panoramic views of the river and the town.
After hiking, you can try the famous fried pancake, curry chow mein, and “nutrition sandwich” in Qidu. These local delicacies have been passed down from generation to generation and are a must-try when visiting Qidu. The fried pancake is a crispy pastry filled with pork, cabbage, and glass noodles. The curry chow mein is a fusion dish that combines Taiwanese noodles with Indian curry sauce, creating a unique taste that is both sweet and spicy. The “nutrition sandwich” is a healthy sandwich that includes a variety of vegetables and tofu, providing a nutritious and delicious meal.
In addition to the local delicacies, Qidu also has a rich cultural heritage. The town’s earliest Mazu temple, Qing Ji Gong, dates back to the Qing Dynasty and is still an important cultural landmark in Qidu. The temple holds traditional ceremonies on various occasions, including the Lantern Festival, attracting visitors from all over Taiwan.
If you’re interested in history and architecture, you must visit the Japanese-colonial architecture “Old Qidu station” in the Qidu Railway Cultural Park. The station was built in 1906 and is one of the few remaining Japanese colonial-style railway stations in Taiwan. The station has been preserved and turned into a museum, showcasing the history of Qidu and the railway industry in Taiwan
Apart from the rich cultural heritage and local delicacies, Qidu also boasts a variety of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. In addition to hiking the Qidu Great Wall and trekking Jiāng-Zi-Liu Mountain, the town also has a scenic bike trail that follows the Keelung River. The trail runs for approximately 14 kilometers and is a great way to enjoy the stunning natural scenery of the area.
For water sports enthusiasts, Qidu is an excellent destination for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. The calm waters of the Keelung River offer the perfect environment for these activities, and there are several rental shops in the area that provide equipment and instruction for visitors.
In conclusion, Qidu is a town rich in culture, history, and local delicacies. Whether you’re interested in hiking, trying local foods, or learning about Taiwan’s history and architecture, Qidu has something for everyone. So, if you’re in Taipei and looking for a day trip, hop on a train to Qidu and experience its unique