Keelung, also spelled Chilung (基隆; Jīlóng),
 is a port city in the north of Taiwan, near the capital, Taipei.
Location of Keelung City in Taiwan
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 public transport run very frequently, 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 nine stations and generally run on time on an average 50 minute journey, fare NT$ 41. There are a few express trains with reserved seats, 45 minute journey, fare NT$ 64.
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. Station and platform displays will show Southbound and Northbound departures. Many of the northbound trains actually travel along the east coast and will not pass through Keelung but branch off at Badu where the line goes south along the East coast. Only take trains with Keelung clearly shown as their final destination or you may find yourself on the train south to Taitung - the final destination after almost 20 stops on a six hour local train journey from Keelung! There are better ways to spend your time, so if this happens to you, get off at Qidu or Badu station to change trains to Keelung.
You can check the Taiwan Railway time table here
From Taipei Main station: Board at the new bus station for Kuo-Kuang Bus 1819, just outside Taipei Railway Main station's Gate East 1. Buses leave every 10 minutes and drive non-stop to Keelung harbor for NT$ 55 one way. Journey time is around 35 minutes under good traffic conditions. You'll have to buy a ticket in advance inside the bus terminal. If you have one, you can use the 'Easy Card' for the Taipei Metro and on local buses. Touch on the sensor when you get on AND when you get off, or your card will get blocked if you forget.
From Taipei City Hall Bus station: Three bus companies depart from door 8-9-10 but operate one way Taipei to Keelung only (on the return leg the stops are near the endpoint in Taipei).
Kuo-Kuang bus 1800 (painted white and purple) every 10-30 minutes.
FuHo bus 1551 (painted orange-red) every 10-30 minutes, fare NT$ 40.
Both terminate at the Maritime Plaza at the port.
Keelung Express bus 2088 (painted green), every 5-30 minutes, fare NT$ 44 - stops just beyond the northern Miaokou night market entrance at Ai 4th road, after passing the Keelung post office. A number of buses on the route also serve handicapped passengers in wheelchairs but check for the right time by calling 0800-231-035
From/to other places in Taipei city: The journey can range from between 35 minutes to two hours depending on the bus company, route taken and traffic conditions. Because of the variety of bus routes and stops, seat availability (no standing in intercity buses), the potential for delay in rush hours, and the limited English ability of most drivers, taking such a bus from other places in Taipei to Keelung is probably not a good idea if you are in a hurry - if the bus is deemed full for your stop, it will pass you by. You may be better off taking the metro to Taipei Main Station or Taipei City Hall station to connect for higher frequency as shown above.
Unless you are familiar with the greater Taipei geography and can speak some Taiwanese or Mandarin, it is wiser to take a train from Keelung and transfer to/from metro or city bus in Taipei or taxi to reach your final destination.
Keelung is one of Taiwan's busiest container ports, thanks to its long deep water harbor - second only to Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan. It is a primary cruise destination on the island, with a new dedicated cruise terminal set to open on the West side of the port. At present cruise ships dock at berth East 2-3-4.
A regular domestic ferry to the outlying islands of Matsu is also available, though it is basic and used mostly by military personnel. The nightly ferry service to Matsu leaves the harbor at 11 PM and takes around 8 hours.
Ferry services to Okinawa, Japan have ceased. Keelung is a home port for Star Cruises , which offers cruises with day visits to/from Okinawa, Ishigaki, Mijakojima island.
A twice-weekly passenger and cargo service to/from Xiamen via Taichung is available, operated by the vessel 'COSCO Star'
Public transport, ferries and cruise ships arrive near the downtown area: a number of blocks compact enough to cover on foot. Most sites are within 5 kilometers in each direction of the city.
Surrounded by hills which make up 95% of the city, you can easily take short hikes in town for great views. City buses and minibuses will take you to all districts. There is no dedicated city bus terminal. You'll need to know where to find a bus: four clusters of bus stops between the train station and post office or along major roads.
Taxis can be hailed, or ordered by phone, online or at 7-Eleven.
Before you start visit the Keelung Tourism Service Information website . The Tourism Office at the bus station is open 09:00-17:00 hours Mon/Fri, phone: (02) 2428-7664. Tourist Hotline 0800-011-765 around the clock.
- Keelung's Miaokou Night Market (基隆廟口夜市) is famous throughout Taiwan for its large selection of food. It is located in the downtown area surrounding the Dianji Temple (奠濟宮) and covers a few blocks. The night market is easily accessible on foot for most travelers arriving by train, bus or ship. From the Keelung railway station walk east straight along the waterfront. Cross the road under the highway overpass to the bus stops and post office.
For cruise travelers see 'Keelung Cruise Terminals' map online to show this and other walking routes.
Follow the direction south on the side of McDonalds for one block along the main Ai 3rd road to the entrance at Ren 3rd road. This fixed food section is open 24/7, other booths are set up on Ai 4th road after sunset every day until well after midnight. The night market offers a diversity of food ranging from fresh-caught seafood to peanut flavored ice, as well as textiles, shoes, toys and small electronics.
- Kanziding Fish Market (崁仔頂漁市, also spelled Kanzihding) is the oldest continuously functioning and largest fishery distribution center in Northern Taiwan. The open-air market operates Tue/Sunday from 3 AM-7 AM right in the downtown area, at the very spot where fishing boats docked before the creek on Xiao 1st road was covered over by a shopping arcade in the 1960's.
A statue of Guanyin taken in Zhongzheng Park, Keelung City, Taiwan
- Zhongzheng Park (中正公園) The 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. Main staircase at Xin 2nd road across from the Fire Station.
Zhupu Altar in Keelung City, Taiwan
- Zhupu Altar (主普壇), No. 280, Xin'er Road, Zhongzheng District (基隆市中正區信二路280號), ☎ +886 2 2428 4242. Tues - Sun, 9am - 5pm. This impressive-looking building is along the road leading to the Ershawan fort nearby the statue of Guanyin. The building also contains a small free-to-enter museum to the Chinese Ghost Festival which has information displayed in both English and Chinese. edit
- Ershawan Fort (二沙灣砲台), also called Haimen Tiansian (海門天險), which means 'very dangerous gate to the ocean' in Mandarin, was 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 reminder of the Sino-French War of 1884-85, with a number of grave markers and a small monument. It is about 2 km from the train station, but still very close to the waterfront. It lies slightly across the Haimen Tiansian bus 101-103 stop and the stairs coming down from the fort.
- Gongzih Liao Fort (槓子寮砲臺), built in the Qing Dynasty era, the fort is a historic site located at the northeast of Keelung. This large old fort is as significant as the other forts considering its history and architecture. During the Japanese colonial period, the fort was renovated, and a garrison was placed here after World War II. The remains of the fort are well-kept. Take bus 788 to Daxiangkang stop. Walking up Lide road to the top of the hill for 30 minutes to the fort, one will see Heping Island, Badouzih, and Keeling Island right from the hilltops.
- Keelung Island (基隆嶼), is an easy-to-spot islet 5 kilometers outside Keelung port. Pleasure boats bring you on a guided tour to the island in the weekend only, tickets sold next to Starbucks at Gangxi street at the Harbor Marina on the west side of the port.
- Heping (Hoping) Island (和平島), was called She-liao island or Palm island in the past, it was the doorway to the original harbor on the south side of the island. The Spanish built fort San Salvador here in 1626, but nothing remains of that and the following Dutch period. Inside the park, you can see many eroded hoodoo rocks on the coast, formed in special shapes by the wind and sea. A bridge connects the island to Keelung city. You can take bus 101 at Keelung Railway Station, get off at Hoping Island station last stop and walk for about 5 minutes, for a 30 minutes walk around the island park. Entry NT$ 80.
- Dawulun Fort (大武崙砲台), was 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 Qing Dynasty sent military forces to defend this place. The fort was probably renovated during the Japanese colonial period. It is a historic site located on Mount Dawulun, 231 meters above sea level. The fort looks down to Lovers Lake to the west, Dawulun Bay to the north, Keelung 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. At the highest point facing the ocean, you can see Yehliu, Keelung Island, Waimu Shan seashore and Badouzih.
- Baimiwong Fort (白米甕砲臺), 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 Qing 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 the approach to Keelung Harbor. The scenery is refreshing and beautiful; hence, it has become a popular sightseeing and leisure place for local residents.
- Shihciouling Fort (獅球嶺砲臺, also spelled Shiqiuling Fort), built in 1884, this fort was constructed to enhance coast defense when the French attacked Taiwan to gain control over Vietnam from the Qing empire. Shihciouling is the highest fort among all the forts in Keelung. It is an essential place for the defense of the harbor and Keelung river. The fort was made with solid mountain rocks and the structure has been kept well. It is the only remaining small fort built in the late Qing Dynasty. Thanks to its ideal location, the fort offers a great view over the entire harbor and downtown area of Keelung.
- Waimu Shan seashore (外木山濱海), is the longest natural seashore in Keelung City with a total of 5 kilometers from Waimu Shan Fishery Harbor to Aoditong Village. The seashore includes open seashore and marine cliffs making a spectacular scenery. Swimming facilities are available near Waimu Shan Fishery Harbor for experienced swimmers, and to go scuba diving. 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. The nearby Octopus swimming pool is also a great choice for some fun. The seashore and the reef rocks along the coast sculptured by the ocean are also a must-see.
- Lovers Lake (情人湖), is located at foot of Mount Dawulun in the western part of Keelung. It is the only highland in Keelung with dense woods, a beautiful lake and refreshing scenery. The park offers different facilities including kiosks, a suspension bridge, observation platform, windmills and pathways for visitors to take a walk and enjoy the natural scenery, the beauty and green shower of plants. It is also a great choice to stand on the observation deck to watch the seashore. In spring and summer of every year, insects, butterflies and migrating birds often gather here.
(Source: Keelung City Government)
- Sample some of the culinary delights at the night-market - especially oyster omelet, baked crabs and fish ball soup.
- Visit Taiwan's scenic northeast coast.
- Keelung has some great events and festivals. The most spectacular of these is the popular "Ghost Festival" that runs normally around August or September depending on the lunar calender. The city lights up with parades, fireworks and red lanterns. Highlights include folk-art performances, and the release of burning water lanterns to light up the waterways for the lonely souls on the water and bring them to land.
Lee Hu Pastry Shop (李鵠餅店), 90 Ren 3rd Road, near the Miaokou night market. In business since 1882, it is the most famous traditional pastry shop in Taiwan.
Miaokou Night Market Map
- Tianbula (Taiwanese Tempura)
- Shaved ice (with different toppings)
- 35 Yuhuo Fish Market, Heping Island (turn right just after crossing the bridge). Excellent fresh seafood, the boats dock nearby. You choose the fish, they cook it for you. Reasonable. edit
- The Starbucks coffee shop across from the railway station overlooks the harbor, so you can enjoy ship-viewing with your latte.
- Bubble tea is on every corner- indulge yourself.
- Huadu Hotel Keelung (華都飯店), 307 Ren 1st Road, Ren-ai district. . Tel: +886 2 2420 2668.
- Harbor View Hotel (基隆華帥海景飯店), 108 Xiao 2nd Road, Ren-ai district. Tel: +886 2 2422-3131. Nicely situated hotel, just a few minutes walk from the train and bus stations, as well as the night market. Harbour view rooms cost about $15 more a night. Non-harbour view rooms actually have no view at all.
- E-Coast Star Hotel (東岸之星精品旅店), 20 Xin 3rd Road, Zhongzheng district. Tel: + 886 2 2422-3777 Train and bus station and bus stop 788 for Jiufen are within walking distance.
- Herb Art Hotel (香草藝術旅店), 6 Yi 3rd Road, Xinyi district. Tel: +886 2 2425-4688. Keelung Miaokou Night Market within 5 minute walking distance.
- Evergreen Laurel Hotel (長榮桂冠酒店), 62-1 Zhong-Zheng Road . Great views over the harbor from the top floor restaurant.
- Jiufen (Chiufen) is a former gold mining town south of Keelung.
- Yehliu [] is a geopark with hoodoo rocks north of Keelung.
both can be reached on a 30 minute drive.