Taipei is great on its own, but I’ve been in Taiwan for nearly 2 months now, and I feel like I haven’t even explored to the full extent what Taiwan has to offer…which is why we decided to plan a day trip out to Keelung, a seaside district just 30 minutes out from Taipei. It was really the perfect day for a little excursion—bright and sunny, hot, no rain in sight.
Keelung Harbor on a sunny, blue-bird day is absolutely stunning…
We walked over to Miaokou Night Market area for lunch first (only about a 15-20 min walk from the harbor). On the way, we stopped by a well-known street-side Ba-wan (glutinous meat ball) place and shared a couple bowls. As a fan of mochi, I liked the chewy glutinous texture of the dough wrapping a lot. Each dumpling was generously stuffed with a meaty mixture of pork, bamboo, and mushrooms, deep fried briefly, then bathed with a sweet/savory red sauce.
Upon arriving at the Miaokou Night Market area, I was happily engrossed by its unique offerings, quite different from the night markets I’d been to in Taipei.
After a very satisfying 2 hours of pigging out, we went down the street to a shaved ice dessert place—half for dessert and half for their blasting A/C. We ordered a grass jelly ice with taro balls, sweet potato balls, boba, and grass jelly toppings. I liked the taro/sweet potato balls the most…very “QQ” (Taiwanese for chewy, bouncy texture) 😀
The rest of our group met up with us there, and we all headed out to our next destination via taxi. Our drivers recommended going to Zhongzheng Temple Park, which is free admission, and provides great views of the city.
My first impression upon arrival was that there were a lot of kids. Like everywhere.
Kids running around. Kids making window art. Kids driving around in bumper cars. Kids playing various street stand games like kiddie beer pong (without the beer).
The atmosphere was fantastic though. The Zhongzheng Temple with its gigantic golden-plated statues and various religious figures provided a backdrop rich in Taiwanese culture, while the small area was teeming with energy from the masses of small children and families having fun there.
We spent the afternoon taking lots of pictures of the view:
Jenny and Elliott decided to try kiddie beer pong, but it proved to be so hard that a charming little fellow sitting close by decided to help them out.
It turned out that the giant statue in the center of the park was open to visitors! It was really hot and stuffy inside, and the 4 flights of stairs were perilously steep, but it was pretty worth it to now be able to say that I’ve been inside the Zhongzheng statue. Also Elliott shot an arrow out of the window at the top and probably hit some kid.
The rest of the group then decided to go to the Miaokou Night Market afterwards (it expands greatly when it actually hits nighttime), but I had to head back to Taipei to tutor and earn some pocket moolah.
If you haven’t yet seen the video version of our trip to Keelung you can check it out below!
Until next time!