Keelung Tour: A Cultural Walking Adventure In The City
As a foreigner in the city, I decided to go on a Keelung Tour – and a walking one at that – to put myself in the shoes the locals. The experience was unlike no other. From discovering hidden markets, watching the day-to-day activities along the streets, here’s a glimpse into my experience on the tour.
Guiding the route in English
I was slightly worried that I wouldn’t get anything out of the experience because I don’t speak Chinese, but I was very wrong. The tour guide, Ilun, speaks wonderful English and was able to tell me a lot. The group i was in were all Taiwanese, but I never felt out of place. As it happens one of the guys was a local from Keelung, and shared with me several fun facts about the city throughout the walking tour.
I have been told Keelung is a rainy city but we got lucky. There were only a few showers and generally the weather was great! And a big section of the walk is either indoors or undercover at least. After walking through a few alleys, my favourite part came next – the traditional outdoor market right by the train tracks.
There were really fresh vegetables and fruits all around and the smells were something to behold. (Luckily I didn’t smell any stinky tofu!)
Next, we went to an indoor market to get some food. To enter the market (Renai Market), you’d have to go up a pretty discreet flight of stairs hidden among the bustling market stalls on the ground floor along the main road – if not for the tour, I never would have dared to head upstairs! Thankfully I did, because there were stalls after stalls of authentic food right, left and center. And it was there that I met these two lovely women serving us delicious curry rice.
Unforgettable Food in Keelung
The End Of The WalkTo conclude the 2-3 hour walking tour, we strolled along the river where I learnt about the 12 bridges representing 12 signs of the zodiac. It is also the first man made river in Taiwan. Afterwards, we headed to a cafe where we were given a guided tasting of some lovely coffee. And with that, the tour ended but the memories I made will stay forever. I highly recommend the tour for locals or foreigners alike.