Once more, yesterday was a fine day for a day trip out of Taipei. Luckily, Mono’tel is nicely located so close to all major bus lines, that going on day trips is super easy and convenient. We went to Keelung this time. Quickly hopped on the 9006 Keelung bus, just across the MRT Jiantan. The bus leaves every 15 minutes and the ride only takes about 45 minutes, for a return trip it will come up to a total of about NTD $120 per person, and yes, you can use your Easycard to pay. Leave the bus at the last stop, Keelung Main Station/ Bus Terminal.
We walked around for a wee while, enjoying some local bubble tea and bakery goods from right by the train station. They had a funny “under the sea” theme at the bakery and the pastries looked simply too good to walk past them.
Fully equipped with all the goodies, we entered another bus heading to Peace Island to explore Hepingdao Park, just a short ride north of Keelung city. Any of the local bus lines 101, 108 and 802 will take you there. Unfortunately, the road was blocked the last 800m, so we got off at a stop beforehand and walked the rest. A nice way to see more of the neighborhood.
At the Park you will enter through a gate passing some local guards. They are very friendly. Hepingdao Park used to be a military area and there are still some sections that are blocked off from the public, so the gates and some fences around make perfect sense. Once you start walking around however, these fences become irrelevant. You will be amazed by the beauty of the landscape! Keep walking to either side and eventually you will walk up some stairs towards a beautiful outlook. Along this short walk, on your left or right you will get to see some really interesting rock formations. A lot of them are mushroom rocks. The rock head, globe-like shaped, is sitting on a thinner shaped rock pillar. These formations trace back due to different ways of erosion given their exposure to winds and water and different contents of calcium and other particles in the rock itself, as the upper rock is more robust and does not erode as easily as the lower part, resulting in this very unique shape of the rock reminding of a mushroom.
Hopefully the weather is good and you brought your swimming trunks and bikinis. Hepingdao Park has an open ocean swimming pool and it is free of charge!! You will get to swim in real ocean water, see the waves splashing and breaking at the rocks surrounding you and life guards are watching out for your safety. Really stunning and an experience you will not get anywhere else this close to Taipei! During the summer months there is also a beach like area around the semi-natural swimming pool, so lounging around and tanning will be an option too for those not keen on getting wet. Even public toilets and shower facilities are right there.
When the sun was slowing starting to set, we decided to head back to Taipei. We took the same way back, going by bus over Hepingdao Bridge back to Keelung main station. From there the 9006 bus took off right when we arrived and we had a very quick transfer. It was a nice bus ride back with beautiful views as the sun set slowly over Taipei reflecting the last sunrays on the tall buildings’ windows lulling Taipei in a beautiful orange-red like color, a beautiful ending for a day out.