Best Taipei day trip: Why Keelung is the best day trip from Taipei
Taipei is the perfect city to escape from, located just a short distance beautiful mountains and sleepy seaside villages, so there are many day trips to choose from. Keelung is a city often overlooked by tourists, yet it has so many wonderful things to offer someone looking to get off the beaten track and explore authentic Taiwanese culture and everyday life and is only a 30 minute train ride from Taipei! Here are 6 reasons why I think Keelung is the best Taipei day trip.
It is tempting to visit the beautiful towns of Jiufen or Shifen in the neighbouring mountains, but don’t be surprised when you arrive in hoards of tourist buses and tour groups. Keelung is the perfect place to escape tourists, queues and overpriced souvenirs. Keelung is an underrated and undiscovered city to experience local culture and get off the tourist trail. There are some amazing secret and unknown spots in Keelung, from untouched beaches to abandoned mansions filled with history, check out some in our articles below.
So how expensive is Taiwan for a tourist? It really depends where you go! If you want to save money and avoid tourist traps, Keelung is much cheaper day trip than Jiufen or Shifen and great for those who are travelling on a budget. Shopping at markets is great in Keelung as there are many options for food, clothes and accessories at very cheap prices. Locals are still very happy to see foreigners and don’t overcharge you, instead they may even offer you extra food as a gift!
The Best Taiwanese Food
It’s no secret that Taiwan is known for its food and night markets filled with local delicacies, but Keelung’s night market is undoubtedly one of the best night markets in Taiwan. The market covers several streets and is only a stones throw from the train station, making it a great entry point to discovering Keelung’s food scene. Yet the delicious food doesn’t end there! The streets are filled with a variety of options, from busy bakeries to the some of the freshest seafood in Taiwan. Pick up something from the fish market and take it to a nearby restaurant to cook it for you.
Beautiful Scenery and Hikes
Keelung is overlooked in favour of more ‘beautiful’ towns in Taiwan, but many tourists don’t get to experience the array of stunning scenery and hikes in Keelung, which makes them even better as they are usually completely abandoned and perfect for taking pictures! There are several hiking trails to explore, some that take you through old buddhist temples to military forts and they all leave you with the most amazing views of the harbour and surrounding coastline. Check out some of the best hikes from these articles below.
Taiwanese Culture and History
The history of Keelung is written all over its streets and architecture. It’s been through a lot, from the Japanese occupation and bustling port filled with American soldiers, to present day, it is a city that wears its history proudly. Walking around on a tour with Keelung for a Walk, you can hear all the stories from illegal smuggling to the red light district and how the locals had to adapt to new ways of life after the shipping industry reduced. The city is filled with opportunities to explore and learn more about culture and history, including a museum devoted to the ghost festival, Taiwanese aboriginal culture and the fishing and marine industry. It really is a history and culture lovers city!
A fantastic way to experience all these amazing things about Keelung is to join a Keeling for a Walk tour and learn all about the city from friendly locals!