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March 14, 2018

A trip along the Coast - on your own

Keelung's train station South & North Terminal area is a good place to start any tour on your own. From your ship, it's an interesting ten-minute walk along the waterfront. After passing by Starbucks, to the right in front of you across the road you'll find the "hop-on / hop-off" Tourist Bus T99 in front of the Keelung Tourist Information office which sells the tickets. Day tickets are NT 50 per route direction for a round trip.

So for NT 50-100-150 you can travel all along the Keelung coast. First go West between Keelung-Yehliu and then East from Keelung-Ruifang- and as far as Fulong beach, and back. The T99 bus (same number for both directions and routes) drops you off at the Maritime Plaza in sight of your ship, as do many of the regular buses.

Go West first ! to Yehliu, to see the Queen's head at the geopark, which already opens at 08:30. Check out the Dawulun area stops. Then return to Keelung, have lunch in the night market (yes it is always open).

If you want to see similar hoodoo rocks without the crowds, check out Keelung's Peace island (Heping Dao park) by bus 101. Start across from the Kodak Hotel at Yi 1st road. Just drop NT15 into the cash box, get off at the end of the line, walk for 7 minutes.

Go East and travel along the coast to Ruifang train station. Switch to the Gold Fulong shuttle bus if you want to go much further along the coast to Fulong beach (a one hour trip each way if you have the time) and pass by Jiufen Old Street, Jinguashi Gold Museum, Golden Waterfall. Buy your ticket at the OKmart next to the Ruifang train station square.

If Jiufen or Jinguashi is your destination then take local bus 788 from Ruifang which ends in Jinguashi and passes by the Gold Museum. Most shops open by 11 am - so this is a good route for the afternoon until sunset. You can take the 788 bus all the way back from Jiufen to the Keelung night market stop, next and final stop is Maritime Plaza.

Cost for two sections on a regular bus is NT 30, takes about 50 minutes. Higher frequency, but more stops on this local commuter alternative. It follows that you could take the 788 (same number) from Keelung via Ruifang to Jiufen, but you may have to stand part of the way on winding roads depending on the hour of travel.

On the plus side: the T99 bus will save you time as it only stops at our area's interesting tourist spots, which are otherwise hard to reach. I have marked them in orange (West), purple (East) and gold (To Fulong) on my map.

On the minus side, it is a chicken and egg story: current low demand versus low frequency (and the fact that the East route does not reach Jiufen anymore) - so you must time your visits, or fill the gap with a really local bus ride making many stops. In that case, you must always flag down the bus at the stop and pay the local fare of NT 15 per section. You can also travel by train from Keelung to Ruifang, but you must change trains at Badu. It's slightly faster with more seats, if you catch the trains on time.

Download the 'Keelung Bus Timetable' app to your mobile device to help you keep an eye on the buses and places around you.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Thank you Christine for the great info. As a local Taiwanese, I find it is very useful fo me, too.
Met your helpful other half on Friday at Keelung port. What a great team!