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January 4, 2018

Taipei on your own

Keelung's port has a very unique location: where else can your ship get right into the city center? Here is some help with the next step: disembark and Go to Taipei on your own

The city is just 40-50 minutes away by train and bus, almost all signs are bilingual and there are many helpful and friendly locals to keep you on the right path.

Have a look at the map, the best pattern to follow is
  • Keelung-Taipei Main station as the furthest point, by train or buses 
  • Visit the city by metro and city bus, working your way toward the
  • Taipei City Hall Bus Transfer Station (near Taipei 101) for your return to Keelung by intercity bus.
You'll find the train to Taipei most convenient with high capacity and seats always available. The buses are recommended for the return as their departures in the afternoon are frequent and not that busy.

Study the map for the destinations you prefer. Leave town about 90 minutes before your intended return on board and you'll have time to spare for a stroll in the Keelung night market - which is always open at Ren 3rd road for delicious local food. A ten-minute walk to/from the ship.



You can find the full map and explanations here and turn off the layers you don't need. Feedback and questions are always welcome!

February 17, 2017

Keelung's Yellow Duck adventure

Ever wondered why there are so many rubber ducks on sale in Keelung?

Here is your answer: for Chinese New Year 2014 some in city hall thought it was a great idea to have a giant rubber duck in port. Designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, these ducks had become popular in Southeast Asia. There already had been some trouble with strong winds in Kaohsiung, so they set about adjusting the flotation device to a locally made submerged barge. So far so good.

After one week the duck became quite smudged by the soot deposits of heavy fuel oil burned by ships - so they scrubbed down the duck. When the weather finally improved on December 31, 2013, my husband and I decided to come down from our mountain view of the port to go have a look for ourselves. Alas, on the taxi ride down to the Maritime Plaza the news spread quickly - the duck had split open and deflated. "Forgot to install a pressure vent" for the expanding air on a first sunny day... Sorry ! Bu Hao Yi Si as they love to say here when things go wrong, bowing profusely.

Life goes on: to spin out this grand theme, the city then installed a giant Yellow Chicken ashore. After all, the city's name was literally spelled "Chicken Cage" until the Qing empire changed the characters in 1875 to read "Prosperous Base"...

Looked too much like Hofman's borrowed bathtub idea ? No problem - mei wen ti: 沒問題 (Mei2 Wen4 Ti2) so we ended up with a "black chicken". Giant Inflatables are still a craze in Taiwan for any occasion, to make things ever so cute.



December 2, 2015

Night image of Taiwan

Such a remarkable picture from the International Space Station ! On a cruise and rounding Fuguei cape - the northernmost point on the island, you'll see the hundreds of squid fishing boats with their very bright lights. Using their GPS they stay clear of the shipping lanes. Keelung is on the North coast in the center, Kaohsiung on the left in the South.


Oblique Night Image of Taiwan and China

April 24, 2013

Caledonian Sky, Keelung 18th April 2013


From our apartment on the hills, this ship looked so small compared to the container vessels coming into port all day. So we took a closer look at the Caledonian Sky just before departure at 8 pm.

Finally a ship that doesn't dwarf our Harbor Bureau... Just over 100 British and German passengers were on board, enjoying a break in the rainy weather we've had for most of this month. Hope to see more of such specialty cruise ships of Noble Caledonia !

April 8, 2013

Ocean Dream

   
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On a typical Keelung rainy day - on December 18, 2012 it looked as if a Costa ship had changed colors...  was I dreaming ? Not quite: the funnel of the 'Ocean Dream' was a 2001 retrofit of the original 'Tropicale' built in 1981 for Carnival cruise lines, which featured their red-white-blue-whale-tail like funnel.

It was the first new cruise ship built, setting a trend at the time. It still has the looks, but is missing the now so familiar private balconies, and since the launch ships have grown so much in size. Operated with a yellow funnel until 2005 by Costa.

Now the former cruise ship sails on trips around the world for Peace Boat, an international non-government organisation based in Japan. Previous visits of this group were by the 'Oceanic' in May 2012, and much earlier by the 'Topaz'. Both vessels have been scrapped since. Hope to see this historic ship again !

March 19, 2013

Nautica in Keelung 24+25 February 2013

Oceania's "Nautica" is a consistent visitor to Keelung from the days cruising to Taiwan started to be popular. On many itineraries this ship offers you an overnight stay to enjoy the night views from Taipei 101 and a stroll through our locally famous Keelung "Miaoko" night market around the temple, just a short walk away from the cruise terminal. Many passengers on board are repeat visitors, and this way I've made a lot of friends. Here is my impression of the first of two visits in 2013. You can see the outline of Yehliu peninsula in the background...


March 8, 2013

Seven Seas Voyager



















Sometimes the Keelung port looks like a Chinese painting in the early morning mist. Woke up to the view of the Seven Seas Voyager entering the harbor on March 1st 2013 at 7 am. A nice all balcony ship glistering in the sun... Welcome back !
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