Second day was spent in Northern Taiwan, in Keelung City. Since Keelung is not far from Taipei, I traveled to the city with regular train which is TRA train. I used the EasyCard that I bought and previously used from my first trip in Taiwan, I made sure that it has more than enough cash loaded into it for my round trip to Keelung. I checked the amount of train fare to the city and I knew that I am safe to travel without worries regarding the ticket fare.
I traveled from Taipei Main Station to Keelung Station. Then, arrived at Keelung City almost 10AM. I got off at North Exit, and returned. Next, I went out at South Exit of the station where the Visitor Center is located. Before I reached the Visitor Centre, a shuttle tourist bus arrived and I quickly inquired to tourism officers about the shuttle day pass available.
At Keelung Station
I bought a tour bus pass for TWD50 and has complimentary small brochure as guide to Keelung Tourist Spots where the touris shuttle bus will stop. One of the tourism officers explained to me that there are two zone options to choose when taking the tourist shuttle bus day pass in the city. The Keelung Shuttle Bus West Line route goes to Yehliu Geopark and the Keelung Shuttle Bus East Line route goes to Heping Island. I knew that Yehliu Geopark is famous tourist spot, therefore I chose another route which is the West Line Route. At that time, I was more curious to see Heping Island Park. I also learned that the tourism shuttle bus system in Keelung Station operates in one zone option. This means that, when you choose East Line Route, that means visitors can enjoy all tourist spots in the said route. If the visitor wanted to take the West Line Route, the same rules applies. But before buying tickets for both lines. Make sure you will be able to visit all the places in both zones as the ticket is only valid for the day. There is a schedule that the bus is following. It is operating like hop-on hop off bus. The two lines only meet at Keelung station, it does not intersect in other routes from other zone. If the visitor wanted to visit specific place in other zone, you will return to Keelung Station to transfer to another route and you will have to pay for tourish shuttle bus pass. When I looked at my time, I just decided to go to West Line only and see if I still have time to see the East Line route.
After quick orientation, I went out the Visitor Centre and jumped on the East Line bus. While inside the bus, I just observed that there were just few tourist. I took a seat at the back and felt excited as I was looking forward to see Heping Island Park. When we left Keelung Station, I checked again my GPS to see my current location while traveling. The shuttle bus stopped based on the route destination defined in the East Line Route. The first stop was Miaokou Night Market, second stop was Zhongzheng Park and third stop was Indigenous Cultural Hall before reaching the Heping Island Park bus stop. I bypassed the three stops as I wanted to go straight to Heping Island Park.
Heping Island Park (formerly known as Sheliao Island)
The tourist shuttle bus that I took crossed Sheliao Bridge The said bridge is one of the bridge that connects Heping Island to the mainland aside from Heping Bridge. I got off the Heping Island Park Bus Stop which still around 5-10 minutes walk to reach the gate or entrance to the park. While walking, I checked my phone to see where I was and to see the directions that I was following. I tried to approached few people along Pingyi Road to verify that I was in the right direction but some people don’t know how to respond to me, so I walked again and again following my GPS in my phone. From Pingyi Road, I reached a gate and walked inside of it. I went to the park for photography and curiosity to the place. I spent at least an hour to see the park.
At Sheliao Bridge
Heping Island was called Sheliao Island in the past. It is located at the north of Taiwan. Heping Bridge connects the island to Keelung City. In 1626, the Spanish army built castles, churches and fortresses, preparing to do business with China and Japan. The castle on the southwest is called San Salvador, the saint savior. This is the first and currently the only castle in Keelung. During the Spanish occupation, Heping Island had busy trading activities with Southeast Asia. After World War II, the island was renamed Heping Island. Today, it is a famous tourist attraction.
Heping Island is perfect for diving and sea fishing. With years of erosion by the wind and sea, the eroded rocks and coasts have formed special shapes. The Keelung government has made Heping Island a coastal park with swimming pool, tour track, tourism service center and food and beverages.
Inside the park island, the first thing that I saw was the castle fortress like structure which is the Visitor Centre of the park where the building design was imitation of the Spanish style San Salvador City since the place has been occupied by Spanish for decades. It was the place where I started my short exploration of the park. I walked not far from the Visitor Centre where I saw the mushroom like rocks in the coast where special shapes had formed due to thousand years of erosion which is one of the fascinating things to see in the park.
Visitor Centre coming from the entrance of the park
Mushroom Rocks from Little Camp
Mushroom Rocks with Keelung Islet (background island)
Little Camp with View of Mushroom Rocks
With View of Mushroom Rocks from Little Camp area
One of the shallow seawater swimming pool is the Kiddie Pool where adult can safely allow young ones to play with the water without worries of waves from the sea and be drowned as they watch children from a distance. The nice thing about the pool is that sea and natural ecology can be introduced to young ones in enjoyable way.
Kiddie Pool from Angel to the Sea Marina (Upper Board Walk)
Blue Ocean Pool
Another interesting to learn about the Blue Ocean Pool aside of being part of the sea is the opportunity of the swimmer to swim together with tropical fish, crabs and other marine creatures in the blue water. Is it not that fun? The pool was transformed from natural seawater into the waterway to a pool.
Blue Ocean Pool from Angel to the Sea Marina (Upper Board Walk)
Summer Stay Beach
The island also offers beach where visitors can enjoy the scorching heat from the sun and can play with the sand. Walking the upper board walk which is called as Angel to the Sea Marina, gives the visitor a chance to explore the park in a different perspective to enjoy the scenery that surrounds it.
While exploring the park, I thought that I saw everything that was why I decided to leave the park, but before I reached the gate where I entered the park, I saw a road that seems to lead somewhere, therefore I checked it out and wondering if I could see something in that area. Wan Shan Gong and Ryukyuan Fisherman Monument were found in the area. But I really enjoyed the rock formations on the shore and the colors of it where
Wan Shan Gong
Surroundings near Wan Shan Gong
Ryukyuan Fisherman Monument
Surroundings near Ryukyuan Fisherman Monument
The one thing that I regret in my visit in Heping Island Park was unable to explore it completely. As I had rough idea what is being offered by the park, I missed to explore the mountain trail where scenic pavilion is located to be able to see more of the sea-erosion landscape which I missed. During the visit, there were some constructions going. And I was not aware that I can walked beyong the shore where most of the mushroom like rocks can be seen. If will given a chance again, I will return to this place to explore the park completely.
Shen’ao Fishing Port
I left Heping Island by taking the same East Line shuttle bus that goes to Riufang Station route as I wanted to visit Shen’ao Fishing Port. I came to the port expecting that there were too many people on it, but, to my surprise I saw few people around the port. I was not sure if it’s the port was on holiday during my visit, all I knew was it was Monday. I had a quick look of the port but this was the second place that I missed an important tourist spot because I was not aware that there was such thing in the port. What I did in the area was to walk around the port and took some couple of photos.
Ruifang District Fisheries Association
Shen’ao Fishing Port
Shen’ao Fishing Port with Keelung Mountain at the back
Shen’ao Fishing Port Viewing Platform
Shen’ao Fishing Port Bus Stop
Port of Keelung
Port of Keelung Scenery from Keelung Station (Maritime Plaza) Bus Stop
Keelung Station (Maritime Plaza) Bus Stop
Yangming Marine Culture and Art Museum (left building) and beside it is City Bus Terminal
Along Zhongyi Road with Boat Marina Harbourside Leisure Hall (right building)
Keelung Station South (left) with Yangming Marine Culture and Art Museum (right)
Keelung Station South
The last place that I visited which part of East Line Route was Shen’ao Fishing Port. From the bus stop where I went off was the same bus stop I waited for the bus that will return to Keelung Station. We took the same route and we picked-up other passengers like me in other bus stop. The bus route ended at Keelung Station (Maritime Plaza), where I had a chance to see the beauty that Port of Keelung is offering. And I really like what I saw. I can say that the center of Keelung City revolves around Keelung Station and places that surrounds it such as Port of Keelung. Before I totally left the city, I took few minutes to enjoy the port.
1. Plan to visit Keelung ? Please check latest information here. Plan to visit Heping Island Park? Check here. How about Shen’ao Fishing Port? See this.
2. Location : 360, Pingyi Road, Zhongzheng District, Keelung City
3. Directions / Transportation to Heping Island Park :
a. From Taipei Main Station, take TRA train to Keelung Station. TRA Train website here.
b. From Keelung Station, go to Visitor Centre where the tourist shuttle bus waits. Keelung Shuttle Bus website here.
c. Choose which Zone option you wanted to visit and enjoy.
d. Please visit the access link to the island park here.
Website : Keelung, Heping Island, Shen’ao Fishing Port