Cruises to Taipei (Keelung)

60 Reviews
Taipei (Keelung) (Photo:ESB Professional/Shutterstock)

About Cruising to Taipei (Keelung)

Taipei is a busy city of more than two and a half million people situated at the northern tip of Taiwan. Founded by Chinese traders in the 17th century, the city became the country's capital in 1885 and, like the entire country, has been occupied at various times by the Dutch, the Spanish and the Japanese.

Today, the city is a thriving hub of business and tourism that will feel familiar to anyone who has spent time in any of the world's big cities. There are English signs everywhere, American fast-food stops and clothing and shoe shops with recognizable names like Benetton, Sketchers and Aldo. The city's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system is easy to navigate, and if you keep your eyes on the towering Taipei 101, you can usually figure out which direction to go.

Like the world's big cities, Taipei is crowded. Locals and tourists alike compete for space, motor scooters are an ever present danger and skyscrapers dominate the horizon. But interspersed among all the noise are pockets of quiet and reflection. Temples, like churches in the Western world, are everywhere, and two of the city's most popular tourist sites -- the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and Martyr's Shrine -- request respectful silence.

Not all of the city's tourist attractions are quiet, the most notable exception being the National Palace Museum, which receives thousands of visitors a day. Originally located in Beijing's Forbidden City, the more than 600,000 objects in the collection were moved, first to China's south to avoid the Japanese invasion in 1931, and then to Taiwan in 1949 because of the civil war between the Nationalist Government and the Communists. With the largest collection of Chinese cultural and artistic objects in the world, tourists, especially those from mainland China, flock to the city to visit it.

  • More about Taipei (Keelung)

  • Why Cruise to Taipei (Keelung)?

  • Taipei (Keelung) Cruise Port Facilities?

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Norwegian Spirit (Photo: Adam Coulter)

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More about Taipei (Keelung)

Why Cruise to Taipei (Keelung)?

Pros:

Although the city center is a distance away, the mass transit system makes it easy to access

Cons:

Ships struggle to navigate the narrow channel into Keelung Port in inclement weather

Bottom Line:

See temples and shrines among skyscrapers and shopping malls in Taiwan's busy capital

Taipei (Keelung) Cruise Port Facilities?

You'll find very little directly at the Keelung port because it is a relatively industrial area. However, there are a few shops a short walk away near the bus station. A large night market selling food and goods is about a 20-minute walk away.

If you're not interested in taking the hour-long bus or train ride to Taipei, there are a handful of sites to see in Keelung within walking distance of the port, including the Dianji Temple, Miaokou Night Market and Zhongzheng Park, where you'll find a nearly 74-foot tall statue of Guanyin.

Good to Know?

If you're visiting Taiwan in late spring or any time during the summer, the weather will be hot and humid. Temperatures range from mid-80s to mid-90s with high humidity. Make sure you've got enough water with you at all times, and carry a hat or umbrella to protect you from the sun.

Getting Around?

Getting to Taipei from the port of Keelung is easy. The train station is a five-minute walk away, and trains take about an hour to get to the Taiwan Central Railway Station. From there, you can take an MRT subway or metro train or grab a taxi.

The MRT system pretty much covers the beaten path (most places within city center are within a 20-minute walk of a station). In each station, you'll find bilingual wall maps pointing out that neighborhood's main attractions.

Taxis also wait outside the ship and can be hired for an entire day to take you from site to site. Keep in mind, most drivers speak limited to no English, so you should have a map of points of interest with Chinese characters to refer to.

Taxi drivers in and around Taipei have a reputation for honesty, but double-check that any taxi you get into has the meter going. Within Taipei, look for the "English Taipei Tourist" logo on taxis, which guarantees the driver will know some English.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The Taiwan New Dollar, also called NTD, is the official currency of Taiwan; coins are available in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 50, while bank notes come in 100, 500 and 1,000 NTDs. For up-to-the-minute conversions, visit www.xe.com or www.oanda.com.

Cash is king in Taipei, though large department stores, museums and some souvenir shops accept Visa or MasterCard. You can exchange money at an exchange desk at the terminal near where ships dock at the Keelung port or use your ATM card at the 7-Eleven located right across the street from where ships dock.

Language?

Most people in Taipei speak Mandarin Chinese. English is new to the country but compulsory in school, so children are more likely than their parents to know some English. Most people younger than 30 should have a basic understanding of English, as do most shopkeepers.

Where You're Docked?

Cruise ships visiting Taipei dock at the port of Keelung, about 18 miles away.


Taipei (Keelung) Cruise Reviews
A huge contrast between rich and poor, but well worth visiting. Great shopping. Read More
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markjd63
not as clean as Japan, but definitely worth visiting, nice night market experience.Read More
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3ABXO3
I loved that this port had a great location- just across the street was the train station that could take you to Taipei. Super easy, don't take a tour! I would have liked to go to Jeifun for the day, but there was Read More
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TravelDreamer75
Time in port was limited so only about 4 hours available to see Taipei. Port was 1 hour away from City but easy to get to on train that runs regularly. Buy round trip ticket in advance from ticket office to save timeRead More
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gslvanbc

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