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A Glimpse of Keelung – One of Taiwan’s Major Port Cities

By Arunnapa Theerapojjanee - Published July 10, 2023

If you want to spend a day to chill out in a lovely coastal town I would recommend a wonderful destination-Keelung City in Taiwan. The city itself is one of the major port cities with a multicultural historical story.

Keelung is located in the northeastern part of Taiwan, along with its neighboring urban areas which are New Taipei City and Taipei. On a sunny day in June, I took a TRA train from Taipei, which was about 45 minutes, to Keelung.

It was hard to decide exactly which place I should visit because Keelung has so many lovely sightseeing spots. However, one of the many places that captured my interest is Zhengbin Fishing Harbor with the well-known attraction of Zhengbin Port Color Houses.

Images source: keelung-for-a-walk.com

Zhengbin Fishing Harbor was built by the Japanese in 1934. In the past, this was the biggest harbor and very prosperous. These days, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions. It’s recommended to visit Zhengbin Port Color Houses before noon, so I was there around 10 AM and was attracted by the bright colored houses near the water.

While I was walking along the harbor, I found a small store nearby Peace Bridge selling some kind of minced fish, which was put on a long stick. I later found out that it is called Charcoal Grilled Gyula.

Gyula has been really popular among local people and also tourists. It was created with the influence of the traditional Japanese fish cake called Chikuwa. I suggest you try it once if you visit. It only cost 25 NTD. I personally think the most special thing about Gyula is the smoky aroma and warmth from the charcoal grill.

Along the harbor, there are many traditional Taiwanese food stalls and cafés which create a calm and relaxing atmosphere for visitors to enjoy. I spent around two hours at Zhengbin Fishing Harbor. Then, I moved to Hebing Island Park, which is located nearby and just around five minutes by bus.

After walking through the Hebing Island Park front gate, I was excited to see the old castle named San Salvador, which is built by the Spanish a long time ago. In 1626, the Spanish built castles, churches and fortresses in the north of Formosa (the old name of Taiwan given by Portuguese explorers), preparing to trade with China and Japan.

The castle was later captured by the Dutch which ended the Spanish presence and gave the Dutch control over the whole island. Today, the castle has a small café, restaurant, souvenir shop and tourist information center.

Nearby the castle is the coast. I hiked up a little and saw many special rock shapes. The Keelung government has made Heping Island a coastal park with a swimming pool, tour track, tourism service center and food and beverages.

I walked along the coast and found a little pavilion, but I didn’t stop at this place. I just walked past it until I arrived at the bottom of the hill. There were many people swimming in the coastal park. Most of the visitors were parents with their kids. It reminded me of my happy childhood memories when I took vacations with my family back in Thailand.

I spent some more time there until around 5 PM and then took the train back to Taipei Main Station. Then, I had dinner with my friends. It was such a wonderful day!

Arunnapa Theerapojjanee

About the Author (Editorial Team)

Arunnapa Theerapojjanee

I love exploring new places and am always ready to try new experiences. My motto is: Be Happy Every Day! I believe laughing is the best make-up. And I would love to read the stories that make you happy too. Have a great day!

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