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Living Like a Local in Keelung

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Keelung is one of the few places I’ve visited where I’ve spent days without seeing another tourist, and it’s one of the reasons I’ve loved staying here. Sometimes it can be hard to get off the beaten track and find somewhere truly authentic; yet Keelung is a place that I feel really offers that experience (as well as being very affordable). So if you’re interested in living life as a local in Keelung, here’s my plan for what I feel would make the perfect day to live like a local and enjoy the culture here.



9:00AM Grab A Breakfast Of Scallion Pancakes

Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day in Keelung! There are so many amazing and great value breakfast restaurants around the city. The scallion [green onion] pancake in particular is a staple Taiwanese breakfast dish and it’s usually served crispy with a runny egg and chilli sauce. Typically, a scallion pancake with coffee or milk tea costs well under 100 NT$. Just remember to go before 11AM as most places close around lunchtime or sell out before then – try checking out Zhou Jia Soybean Milk restaurant!

Keelung Food Culture



9:30AM Make New Keelung Friends

Taiwanese people are known for being friendly, but it’s even more true in a small city where there are not a lot of foreigners. My go-to breakfast café even has a postcard from Scotland, a talking point with the owners every time I visit!


  keelung-market-people-shop-stall-local-life-culture   garlic-local-market-in-keelung-people-life

10:30AM Shop For Sweet & Savoury At The Local Day Market

For most, living as a local in Keelung means buying your fruit and vegetables at the day market. It’s also a fantastic place to pick up delicious treats like homemade mochi; if you’re lucky and come at the right time, you might even get some free samples! The produce is so fresh and colourful, plus the vendors are friendly and don’t pressure you into buying anything.



1:00PM Lunch With A View

If you don’t feel like cooking, you’re in the right place. There are so many food vendors around, it’s hard to choose what to eat! If it’s sunny, I like to grab something tasty from one of the many bakeries and sit at Maritime Plaza watching the magnificent black kite birds of prey swoop over the harbour waters catching their own lunch.



2:30PM Take Time Out For Coffee

One of the many amazing things about Keelung is its coffee culture. Taiwan is a country long known for its tea with coffee consumption only a leftover from the Japanese occupation yet something that still thrives here today. You don’t need to walk more than a few minutes to find a cute little cafe and there you’ll meet many other locals chatting with friends or else people watching.



4:30PM Catch The Scenery

Keelung might not be the most beautiful city in Taiwan, but it’s blessed with stunning natural surroundings. And the best way to experience this is to hike up one of its many mountains. Among the most interesting and more well known hikes is up Mount Hongdan; it offers two routes, one scenic and the other adventurous. No matter which way you choose to the top, both provide the stunning views of the harbour and city below.



7:00PM Dine At The Night Market

Keelung is pretty well known for its Miaokou Night Market. The stalls seem to go on forever and sell all sorts of mouth-watering foods; in fact, you could stay here for months and still not try everything! The Night Market is also a place locals love to experience for its exciting fairground style amusement arcades. So you can easily spend a few hours walking around just eating and playing games!

9:00PM Enjoy A Stroll Along The Canal

After eating your way through the Night Market, it’s the perfect time to take a leisurely stroll along the canal. It offers a beautiful view of the city and a lovely way to end the day.

If you feel you’d like to experience life like a local in Keelung, then why not join us on one of our walking tours!

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Catriona is an architecture graduate from the small country of Scotland. After studying for 8 years at university throughout her degrees, she decided to travel and work around Asia to gain perspective on how others live. She loves getting to know new people through food, storytelling and art. She lived in Vietnam and Germany before travelling to Taiwan and has her own public speaking organisation that she set up in Vietnam.
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