Keelung is the main port city for Taipei. It is also the second biggest port in Taiwan after Kaohsiung. The city is located on the northern part of Taiwan island, and has a population of close to half a million people, making it the sixth biggest city in Taiwan.
Keelung is where the North Coast Highway, the Northeast Coast Highway and the North-South Freeway meet. It has a harbor with deep water piers that can handle container ships. Much of the activities in Keelung is connected to the harbour directly or otherwise.
Keelung is believed to be originally inhabited by the Ketagalan aboriginal tribe. The Spanish arrived here in the early 17th century, and built a fort here as an outpost to Manila. Keelung was under the control of the Dutch twice, in 1642-1661 and 1663 to 1668. The Dutch took over the Spanish Fort San Salvador and renamed it Fort Noort-Hollant.
Ming loyalist Koxinga ousted the Dutch from Keelung in 1661, but they returned and reoccupied Keelung in 1663. However, as Keelung did not become profitable, the Dutch eventually pulled out in 1668.
Keelung Fortress, now a public park http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%E7%99%BD%E7%B1%B3%E7%94%95%E7%A0%B2%E5%8F%B0.JPG Jessepylin
The government of the Qing Dynasty then administered Keelung as a trading port. During the Sino-French War (August 1884-April 1885), it was occupied by the French. Next came Japanese occupation from 1895. Under the Japanese, Keelung Harbor was constructed. It became one of the busiest harbors in Taiwan.
Today Keelung is a developed city. Its harbor is the 7th largest container harbor in the world.
Going to Keelung
Most visitors to Keelung get there by driving or taking the freeway bus or train.
Getting Around in Keelung
The town center of Keelung is small enough for you to explore on foot. Having a car would also be a practical option if you intend to visit the sightseeing spots.
Kuan Yin Statue, Keelung http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Guan_Yin_Keelung.jpg Prince Roy
Places of Interest in Keelung
Keelung French Cemetery Burial place for those who died in the Sino-French War of 1884-85.
Zhongzheng Park Park with colossal statue of the Goddess of Mercy.
Keelung Islet A small island located just off the coast of Keelung.
Heping Island Island at the entrance to Keelung harbor, with a Spanish fort built there in 1626.
Miaokou Night Market A major night market in Keelung, located around the Dianji Temple.
Kanziding Fish Market The oldest and largest fish market in northern Taiwan.
Waimu Shan The longest natural seashore in Keelung.
Lovers Lake Park Forested park at Mount Dawulun, to the west of Keelung.
Forts of Keelung
There are a number of forts built by the Qing Dynasty government in the mid 19th century as part of the defense in the Sino-French War of 1884-85. Despite the many defensive bases around Keelung, the city fell to the French.
Ershawan Fort Fort located on Mount Ershawan, on the east side of Keelung harbor.
Gongzi Liao Fort Fort located to the northeast of Keelung.
Dawulun Fort Fort on the west side of Keelung harbor
Baimiwong Fort Fort on the northwest of Keelung harbor.
Shihciouling Fort The highest fort in Keelung, with a splendid view of the harbr below.
Taiwan North Coast Tourist Attractions
Keelung is the base for exploring Taiwan North Coast tourist attractions. The following are some of the coastal sights in this area.
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