Keelung can be reached from Taipei by either freeway bus or train along the same route, or a longer bus ride along the North coast.
Both means of transport are very frequent, and stops for Keelung bound buses by various companies are located all across Taipei.
Probably the easiest way to get to Keelung from Taipei is by commuter trains, which ply the route every 15 to 20 minutes and stop at many stations. Travelers heading to Keelung should be aware that although the city lies on the extreme north end of the main Western Line it is not accessible on all trains running north, many of which are bound for the east coast and will not pass through Keelung but branch off at Badu. Only take trains with Keelung clearly shown as their final destination or you may accidentally find yourself on the train to Taitung - a six hour journey from Keelung! if this happens to you (usually on an express train), get off before the Badu station.
The bus from the East-West bus station of the Kuo-Kuang Bus company (the building also serves as the terminal for the Taipei - Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport service) just to the left of Taipei Railway station is the quickest way to get to Keelung. Buses leave every 10 minutes and go non-stop to Keelung harbor for NT$ 55 one way, it is best to buy a ticket in advance. Journey time is around 35 minutes under good traffic conditions. The bus station and ticket booths are clearly marked in English. You can also use the 'Easy Card' that operates with the Taipei Metro and local buses. TOuch on the sensor when you get on AND when you get off.
Several companies operate buses between Taipei and Keelung. The journey can range from between 35 minutes to two hours depending upon the route taken and traffic conditions. Because of the large number of bus routes and stops, the high potential for delay, and the limited English ability of most drivers, taking a bus from Taipei to Keelung is probably not a good idea. Unless you are familiar with the greater Taipei geography and can speak some Taiwanese or Mandarin, it is wiser to take a train and transfer to city buses, MRT (Mass Rapid Transit in Taipei) or taxi to reach your final destination.
Keelung is one of Taiwan's busiest container ports, second only to Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan thanks to its long deep water harbour.
A regular domestic ferry to the outlying islands of Matsu is also available, though it is very basic and used mostly by military personnel. The nightly ferry service to Matsu leaves the harbour at 11PM.
There are no longer any scheduled ferry services to Okinawa, Japan, but Keelung is a home port for Star Cruises , which offers cruises to Okinawa and other islands.
A twice-weekly passenger and goods service to Xiamen is available, operated by the vessel 'COSCO Star'
Keelung's Miaokou Night Market is famous throughout Taiwan for its large selection of food. It meanders through lanes and alleys in the downtown area surrounding the Dianji Temple (奠濟宮). The night market is easily accessible on foot for most travelers arriving from other cities. From the Keelung railway station walk east straight along the street following the harbor in the direction of the Keelung Harbor Bureau (identifiable at night by its large orange neon sign. The night market is roughly one block from the point where you cross a freeway overpass.
Kanziding Fish Market (Kanzihding) is the oldest continuously operated and largest fishery distribution center in Northern Taiwan. The market is open seven days a week from 3AM-7AM.
Zhongzheng Park This white 22.5 meter high statue of Guanyin (the Buddhist emanation of compassion and peace) overlooks the town and harbor entrance from the top of Zhongzheng Park.
Ershawan Fort, also called Haimen Tiansian (海門天險), which means very dangerous gate to the ocean in Mandarin, built by the Qing government in 1840. This fort saw action in the 1884-85 Sino-French War. Visitors can view Keelung Harbor from the gun emplacement to feel its significance. Buses: 101, 103 from Keelung Train Station, get off Haimen Tiansian (海門天險) bus stop.
Keelung French Cemetery, a remnant of the Sino-French War of 1884-85, is about 2 km from the train station, but still very close to the harbor.
Keelung Islet is an easy-to-find islet outside Keelung City. One will see the islet from Keelung, the north coast or northeastern coast, which makes it an important landmark of Keelung.
Heping (Hoping) Island was called She-liao island in the past, is the doorway island to Keelung Harbor. It was a main fort built by Spanish in 1626. Inside the park, you can see many eroded rocks and coasts have formed special shapes by the wind and sea. There is a Bridge connects the island to Keelung City, and you can also take bus 101 at Keelung Railway Station, get off at Hoping Island station and walk for about 5 minutes.
Gongzih Liao Fort, built in the Qing Dynasty, Gongzih Liao Fort was located at the northeast of Keelung City. This old fort is as significant as the other forts considering its history and architecture. After World War II, it was used as a military facility by the ROC government until a few years ago when it was named a provincial historic site. During the colonial period, the fort was renovated and garrison was placed here after Taiwan was returned to China. Then it was abandoned for a long time. Fortunately, the remains of the fort are well-kept. Walking up to the hill on the fort, one will see the scenes of Heping Island, Badouzih, and Keeling Island right in front of the hill. Walking straight ahead, you will see a complete fort for you to imagine all the wars occurred here.
Dawulun Fort is a very important military base to safeguard the west side of Keelung Harbor. During the Opium War in 1840 and the Sino-French War in 1884, the court of Ching Dynasty sent military forces to guard this place. However, looking at the current structure and feature, the fort was probably renovated during the colonial period. The provincial historic site was located on Mount Tawulun. Located 231 meters above sea level, the fort looks down to Lovers Lake to the west, Dawulun Bay to the north, Keelung and East Sea to the east. Walking up on a pebble footpath full of falling leaves, one will see the original structure of the fort, chassis, mechanical belt and storage room. Walls were made from stones with arched windows. Since the platform is at the high point facing the ocean, there are lots scenes to view over northeastern cape from platform, such as Keelung Islet, Waimu Shan seashore and Badouzih.
Baimiwong Fort is located in the northwest of Keelung harbor, safeguarding the harbor with the fort on the east shore. It was an important military base since the Ching Dynasty. The rectangle-shaped fort facing the sea is comprised of three sections: barbette, control center and observation station with the control center on the west of barbette and the observation station on the right. Both places are great choices for visitors to overlook Keelung Harbor. The scenery is refreshing and beautiful; hence, it has become a popular sightseeing and leisure place for local residents. Find a nice summer evening to enjoy the lights on boats in the harbor, the bright stars and the breeze.
Shihciouling Fort, built in 1884, this fort was constructed to enhance coast defense when the French attacked Taiwan for the Vietnam problem. Shihciouling is the highest fort among all the forts in Keelung. It is an essential place for the defense of the harbor. The fort was made with solid mountain rocks and the structure was kept well. It is important because it is the only remaining small fort built in late Ching Dynasty. Thanks to its ideal location, the fort offers a great view over the entire harbor of Keelung.
Waimu Shan seashore
Waimu Shan seashore is the longest natural seashore remained in Keelung City with a total of 5 kilometers from Waimu Shan Fishery Harbor to Aoditong Village. The seashore includes open seashore and marine cliff to make a spectacular scenery. Swimming facilities are available near Waimu Shan Fishery Harbor for experienced swimmers to go scuba diving and swimming. The beach near Aoditong Village is the only remaining sandy seashore in Keelung. In the summer, people often go to the beach and have fun swimming. For people who are afraid to swim in the sea, the nearby Octopus swimming pool is also a great choice for some fun. Besides, one should never miss the beautiful sunrise in the summer. The incredible sight makes people feel carefree and joyous. The seashore and the reef rocks sculptured by the ocean over a long period of time are also a must-see.
Lovers Lake is located at the mountainside of Mount Dawulun at the western part of Keelung. It is the only highland in Keelung with dense woods, beautiful lake and refreshing scenery. The park offers different facilities including kiosks, suspension bridge, observation platform, windmills and pathways for visitors to take a walk and enjoy the natural scenery, the beauty of plants and green shower. It is also a great choice to stand on the observation deck to see the seashore. In spring and summer of every year, insects, butterflies and migrating birds often gather here and your visit is mostly welcomed.
Huadu Hotel Keelung (華都飯店), No. 307, Rényī Road, Ren-ai District . Tel: +886 2 2420 2668.
Sea Point B&B Guest House (好望角咖啡民宿), 86 Sanjan road, Reifang Town, Jinguashi. Tel:+ 886 2 2496-1788 or Mobile: 0939348806 and 0939936027.
Harbor View Hotel (基隆華帥海景飯店), 108, Hsiao-2Rd., Keelung City. Very nicely situated hotel, just a few minutes walk from the train and bus stations, as well as the night market. Buses to Jinguashi leave from outside. Harbour view rooms are nice, but cost about $15 more a night. Non-harbour view rooms actually have no view at all. Tel:+ 886 2 2422-3131.