- Teapot Mountain
My sure-recommendation every time someone asks me what else is there to do in Taiwan, it is an easy climb, and you are rewarded with amazing views with minimal effort.
See the incredible views we were blessed with!!! Perfect weather, endless blue skies and coastlines that run infinitely. This picture is completely unfiltered and you really feel like you are at the top of the world! Look at how the sky and ocean join together in different shades of blue. I just couldn’t get enough of this perfect view, 百看不厌!
It is truly paradise when the sea and sky complement each other so seamlessly, you don’t even know when it starts or ends.
A local told us that it is extremely rare for this mountain to have such perfect weather and wind conditions – so time your trip properly!
2. Lovers Lake Coastal Boulevard (外木山海灘)
Why are there no tourists in this area?? Clean white beaches, and so many rocks to climb. This place is an absolute hidden gem and I am really glad we found it! There are also plenty of alfresco cafes in this area overlooking the coast. A Taiwanese we met at an alfresco cafe told us that apparently this place is even unknown to some locals.
3. Keelung Ocean Plaza
You can consider this as a pit stop in North Taiwan before heading to the other sights, I love how it exudes such chill and amazing sea city vibes. You can just stand at the pier and take in the sights. If I recall correctly there is plenty of shopping to do here too!
4. Keelung Miao Kou Night Market
One of my top favourite night markets! If not for the inaccessibility from Taipei I would definitely come back here more often. You can spot it by the trademark yellow lanterns flanking the sides of the main street. I heard so many bad things like it being too touristy, too pricey etc but I loved it, there were soooo many choices as compared to Taipei’s night markets and everything was delicious!
5. Wanli Paragliding Base
For the adrenaline junkies, do it for some sick ocean views as you paraglide along the hills of Wanli.
You will see this tourist attraction on every travel agency’s itinerary. Wanted to give this a miss but I felt like I had to do it since I was already in Keelung. The rocks itself weren’t particularly memorable, but there is a winding trail up towards a hill where tour groups didn’t frequent (lack of time probably). It will give you some amazingggg 360 degree views and insane winds!
7. Keelung Seafood Market
This is a humid and hot sheltered area only frequented by locals. Kind of like a Singapore hawker centre equivalent, but primarily selling seafood freshly caught off the sea! The seafood, as expected, was affordable, fresh and deliciously sweet. There were many stalls to choose from with similar price range, but this place can get a bit crowded and you have to wait a while to get seats. But it is a must go for an authentic local experience.
8. Bitou Cape (鼻头角)
Another easy hike with amazing views of the coast. You can take many insta-worthy photos here.
9. Nanya Rock Formation (南雅奇岩)
There are many large rocks here, formed by years of weathering and erosion, perfect if you like to climb stuff and enjoy views from atop.
Best part is this attraction is it’s just a simple stop on the side of the road along the coast, you can easily get off your car and admire the lovely views.
10. Isabella House (伊莎貝拉海灘咖啡館)
Cafes have sprouted along the coast over the years, but I guess this cafe is one of the pioneers for constructing props to make your photos extra ig-worthy. Best to come nearer to dusk where you will see hues of red and orange in the sky.
11. Laomei Green Reef (老梅綠石槽)
Essentially a long reef formed by the lava from a volcano eruption (yes Taiwan has volcanoes), years of sea erosion has shaped the rocks into what it looks like today, where sea water easily goes in and out with the tide. Photographers love to come here! For a normal traveler like myself, it is not the easiest to appreciate its beauty but still worth it to marvel at the history!
12. Ruifang Station (for the food)
Visit 保雲芋圓 (traditional taro balls), a 2 minutes walk from Ruifang Station, we ate it twice in 24 hours and was so sad every time we finished the bowl because it was just so awesome, completely unparalleled. I must also mention the most unassuming deserted luroufan shop right opposite Ruifang Station, which gave me the best luroufan I have ever tasted (wish I could recall the name…) This is usually the “pit stop” before people head to Jiufen or Shifen.
AND THAT’S IT! As you can see, there is a lot to cover just in North Taiwan alone! The map above gives you a rough idea. Recommend to stay overnight in Keelung, Wanli or Ruifang and take two day trips to cover all these locations. You can hire cabs or hire a driver. For one of my day trips I hired a driver through Dingtaxi, they are reliable and charge standard rates. You can just tell the drivers the above are the spots you want to go and they will plan the route for you! Although I bet they might have even better suggestions that only locals know about.