Keelung Sights and Landmarks Guide, Taiwan
Bordered on three sides by mountains and a vast ocean on the other, Keelung is regarded more as a defense fortress than a tourist destination. Nevertheless, the forts constructed along the harbor of the city grant its visitors a breathtaking view of the area. Likewise, natural geologic outgrowths create visually enticing Keelung Sights as well.
Keelung Sights – Scenic Spots
Because of its awesome geography, many beautiful sightseeing locations are found in the city of Keelung. These Keelung Sights range from islands dotting the coast of the harbor to parks having temples and priceless relics. Lakes surrounded with lush greenery are included as well.
Keelung Islet. Easily spotted from northeast of Keelung’s coast, the islet represents the port city’s chief island landmark. Ranked as one of the eight scenic spots of Keelung, the islet also serves as a guidepost for ships to and from Keelung Port.
Heping (Hoping) Island. Famous for its spectacular rock formations, the former Spanish island fort, also known as She-liao Island, is the entryway to Keelung harbor. Inscribed on the walls of one of its shallow caves are writings left by the Dutch before they deserted Taiwan, thus its name Cave of Foreign Words.
Zhongzheng Park. An attraction to this famous scenery located east of Keelung is the biggest goddess statue in Southeast Asia, the white five-storey high statue of Guanyin (Goddess of Mercy). During the 7th lunar month, people flock to the park’s main altar building for the Ghost Festival ceremony.
Shiandung Cave. Having walls adorned with realistic carvings of the 18 Arhats of the Buddhist lore, the 80-meter long sea-eroded Shiandung Cave is a favorite among visitors not only for its religious value but also for its sightseeing attractions.
Keelung Sights – Forts
Blessed with long deep water harbors, it is not surprising that Keelung is one of the busiest ports in the world. Many of the historic sites found in the city are also related to its major role in Taiwan’s history as the islands’ northern defense fortress.
Ershawan Fort. Built by Qing near the east harbor in 1840, Ershawan Fort fortified the Taiwanese northern harbors during the Sino-French War (1884-1885). The well preserved fortress gate, Haimen Tiansian (translates as ‘a very dangerous gate to the ocean’), is categorized as a first class historic site. Many replica cannons are placed where the gun emplacements originally stood.
Gongzih Liao Fort. Designated as First Class provincial site, this well-kept Qing Dynasty fort was used as military outpost during World War II and a garrison by the Republic of China until a few years ago. On the hill on the fort, a spectacular view of the Hoping Island, Badouzih, and Keelung Islet can be seen.
Shihciouling Fort. Constructed in 1884 to strengthen Taiwan’s defense against the French, Shihciouling’s location is situated highest among other forts in Keelung. Though the Shiciouling is the only remaining small fort erected during the late Qing era, the site provides a panoramic view of the entire Keelung harbor.
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