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Newer Page 686 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Taiwan Keelung Buddha Shopping Street

17 March 2012

Keelung

Getting to Keelung proved to be an adventure. Its a city on the coast not far from Taipei, so I decided to take the TRA train, which is the older system largely replaced by the high speed rail.
When I got to the station, I had no idea you could use smart cards instead of buying a ticket, so I went to the ticket machine. Chinese only. No problem, a homeless man hanging around for just such situations came over and asked where I want to go, I told him Keelung and he punched a lot of buttons and I inserted the equivalent of $3 and got a ticket. And gave him a $1 tip.
He seemed ecstatic over this.
So I go through the gate and try and work out what platform. I matched the symbols on my ticket and headed up there. Watching the scolling Chinese characters of the destinations, mine came after what I matched on the map to be the city of Hualien, which is a good 300 miles away!
The homeless guy had purchased me a ticket to a town of 500 people called Yilang or similar! This is why you are homeless, because you are useless.
I went to the ticket window and exchanged my ticket, which as it turns out cost $1 instead of $3.
The lady also told me platform tsuh, which is 4. Excellent, except theres 4a and 4b... read on for the rest of the adventure, now with the pictures.

Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - The first train that came was some sort of communist era diesel locomotive. It stopped right down the far end of the platform, the opposite end to whe

The first train that came was some sort of communist era diesel locomotive. It stopped right down the far end of the platform, the opposite end to where all the people were waiting.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - There was now a mad crush along the platform to get to the train, with furious whistle blowing and flag waving.

There was now a mad crush along the platform to get to the train, with furious whistle blowing and flag waving.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - At least I got on, many people did not! But once onboard I kind of wished I had missed it because I had to stand up with nothing to hang onto.

At least I got on, many people did not! But once onboard I kind of wished I had missed it because I had to stand up with nothing to hang onto.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - Heres my ticket. Very helpful.

Heres my ticket. Very helpful.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - I had read it takes about 45 minutes to get to Keelung. After about an hour, I spotted the ocean out of the left window. Thats not right! I had got on

I had read it takes about 45 minutes to get to Keelung. After about an hour, I spotted the ocean out of the left window. Thats not right!
I had got on the wrong train, and was now destined for somewhere down the remote east coast of Taiwan, hence the ancient train I suspect.
I got off at the next station. I guess I was lucky that the train was stopping frequently.
I asked a few people how to get to Keelung, a police man laughed at me which was great. Turns out I was only 2 stations past the station I should have transferred at. Wait, transfer? No one said that.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - The train to take me back to Badu to transfer was about 20 minutes away, there was nowhere on the platform to get a drink but there was a small conven

The train to take me back to Badu to transfer was about 20 minutes away, there was nowhere on the platform to get a drink but there was a small convenience store outside. I asked the lady guarding the gate if I could just step out to buy a drink.
She spoke pretty good English, and answered in English, sure no problem!
30 seconds later I came back with my drink, and she said.... Ticket please! So I showed her my ticket, This ticket for Taipei, you in Badu....Just kidding hahahaha!

This is actually arriving in Keelung, it didnt look particularly inspiring.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - They kind of think they are like hollywood.

They kind of think they are like hollywood.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - Here I am standing in the port. Children are fleeing in terror. Before this I went to starbucks, partially because I was amazed they had one. Before I

Here I am standing in the port. Children are fleeing in terror.
Before this I went to starbucks, partially because I was amazed they had one. Before I could get served one woman who had one of those starbucks frequent drinker thermous things was having a big tantrum and had them make her coffee 3 times before she would let them serve me.
My coffee was fine, and the view was good too.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - Wikitravel lists the statue of liberty on top of mcdonalds as a highlight. So I took a photo. According to the info in the nearby tourist information

Wikitravel lists the statue of liberty on top of mcdonalds as a highlight. So I took a photo.
According to the info in the nearby tourist information building, all attractions are too far away to walk to. Must take tourist bus or taxi. Too far to walk? Sounds like a challenge to me.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - The city does have some nicer areas, as you get away from the train station.

The city does have some nicer areas, as you get away from the train station.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - The streets are narrow and busy. Its still quite early too.

The streets are narrow and busy. Its still quite early too.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - I followed some brown signs (universal color for tourist attraction) that said there was a park. Apparently this stairway through someones house is th

I followed some brown signs (universal color for tourist attraction) that said there was a park.
Apparently this stairway through someones house is the way to go. A girl was hanging out her laundry, she seemed embarassed that I was wandering through.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - Looking back in the direction I had come from.

Looking back in the direction I had come from.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - Halfway up was this temple looking thing but I think it is actually a karaoke bar. Whatever it is, its shut.

Halfway up was this temple looking thing but I think it is actually a karaoke bar. Whatever it is, its shut.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - Once on the top you get to this giant shrine, which is actually a ghost museum. The museum was just one room, with some hello kitty merchandise?

Once on the top you get to this giant shrine, which is actually a ghost museum. The museum was just one room, with some hello kitty merchandise?


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - The view however is pretty great.

The view however is pretty great.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - I like a view, so get over it.

I like a view, so get over it.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - Off in the distance on top of this hill I could see some more interesting looking rooftops. Once I got there it turned out to be a temple and a small

Off in the distance on top of this hill I could see some more interesting looking rooftops. Once I got there it turned out to be a temple and a small amusement park.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - With more view.

With more view.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - But also a really giant buddha guarded by 2 lions.

But also a really giant buddha guarded by 2 lions.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - Apparently this was the only port in Taiwan in ancient times. Hence theres a lot of forts around the hills. I like cranes.

Apparently this was the only port in Taiwan in ancient times. Hence theres a lot of forts around the hills. I like cranes.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - Back down now, and I stood in the middle of the road to take a photo of people on scooters looking at me.

Back down now, and I stood in the middle of the road to take a photo of people on scooters looking at me.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - Theres a giant night market here, but since its day time, its not happening yet except for this bit.

Theres a giant night market here, but since its day time, its not happening yet except for this bit.


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - Getting the train back was much easier, all trains stop at Taipei main station and thats where I wanted to go. I also now knew that you could just use

Getting the train back was much easier, all trains stop at Taipei main station and thats where I wanted to go. I also now knew that you could just use the RFID card thing like you use on the metro.
Before getting on, I bought a green onion bread thing, and green tea and red bean something for dessert. Both were quite good!


Taiwan-Keelung-Buddha-Shopping Street - Once back in Taipei, I was hungry again, so time for a beef wrap thing. These are fantastic! I expected it to be half the size, I couldnt eat it all.

Once back in Taipei, I was hungry again, so time for a beef wrap thing. These are fantastic! I expected it to be half the size, I couldnt eat it all.


NewerPage 686 of 968OlderFull Trip Report