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Looking for suggestions on what to do on your own in this port. Or do you have to do an excursion? Thanks for your help.
We caught a train from Keelung within walking distance from where most cruise ships dock to Taipei. It takes about an hour and a bit from memory. Actually just remembered that we did do a basic tour from the ship and came back on our own because we didn't want to see Taipei 101 but quite enjoyed the Longsham Buddhist temple and Chiang Kai Shek's memorial. Taipei is easy to negotiate with the underground and is worth a look. It is doable by train both ways which is what some people did.People in the train station were very helpful. Really depends how long you are in port. Not sure what there is to do in Keelung. Cheers.
Ships dock at E2 Passenger Terminal, or the adjacent open air berth E3-E4. This puts you downtown in a ten minute walking distance of the Miaokou night market which operates from 5 pm. Famous for its local food, it's safe to eat in outside stalls.
Shops are open in this area from 10/1100-2300. Bargaining is not a custom in Taiwan, but discounted prices are shown, '7' meaning a 30% discount on the original price.
From the ship you can walk up (and down) to ZhongZheng park in an hour to visit the Guanyin statue, two temples - and nearby Ershawan fort. Four other forts in the area have been restored and offer broad views of the port and the Northeast coast.
The Keelung train and bus station is on the opposite side of the narrow port: walk about ten minutes along the waterfront and use the pedestrian overpass. At the bottom of the steps is the Keelung Visitors Bureau, next to the bus station.
Taipei can be reached in 35-50 minutes by bus, train, taxi or excursion. Use the Metro Taipei MRT system to get to most tourist spots, or hail one of many metered taxis.
Nearby places to visit are Jioufen (to the South), an old gold mining town on the slopes of Keelung mountain, and the Geopark at Yehliou (to the North) - all visible from the ship entering the port and about 45 minutes away from Keelung by bus or taxi.
The Keelung Harbor Bureau offers free tourist information (by volunteers) and free city maps, as well as currency exchange and postal service in the terminal or tents adjacent to the ship. The Passenger Terminal provides fast and free internet and Wifi, ATM on the ground floor. Be aware that regular banks are one block away, but open from 1100-1500 island wide.
See also Wikitravel, a work in progress on Keelung and Jioufen
Last edited by jan52938; June 28th, 2009 at 12:39 PM.
As you exit the immediate port area, there are taxis to Taipei available. There is one person arranging the taxis, because the drivers speak no English. You can select where you want to go from a picture list, and then bargain for the price. I believe we paid a little over $100, and we could have gotten it lower, except we chose to go to six places. This cost for three of us was far less than any tours offered by the ship. We had no problems with this arrangement, and we had a pleasant day.
I'd definitely go to Taipei unless you just want a casual day at Keelung. If there's only one place to pick, I'd pick the National Palace Museum in Taipei. These artifacts were brought by the then government from China during Civil War which shows their importance. Unfortunately, there is no subway stop by NPM, so you need to stop at Shilin Station and take a bus (255, 304, or R30) to get there. LongSham Temple and CKS memorial are both on a subway stop, and thus are pretty easy to get to on your own. The One-Day pass for the metro system is only NTD$200, which you get $50 deposit back if you return the card. You can use it for the bus transit as well.
Another place I'd recommend if you don't like the cities, is Chiufen Village. It's an old gold mining village build on a coastal hill near Keelung, which is frequent by tourists, artists, and movie directors. You do need good mobility for this place though, but you get to sit down at one of the neat teahouses sipping local tea and eating snacks. I'm not sure how to get there through public transportation, but sharing a taxi might not be too bad. I couldn't find a good website for it but you can search "Chiufen Village" on yahoo and images section will give you some good idea.