Many people are familiar with Taipei’s Tamsui (淡水) Harbor District due to its easy accessibility via Taipei Metro, yet Tamsui is not really a functional harbor but more a tourist attraction. To see the real harbor, take an easy 40-minute train ride to Keelung (基隆), a major north Taiwan harbor full of history and marine industries.
Industrial Harbor View
Like Seattle, Keelung is located in a bay area with steep hills and deep water. Hence it functions as Taiwan’s second largest seaport (behind Kaohsiung), exporting and importing goods between Taiwan and the rest of the world.
Keelung port view
Unlike glamorous Taipei, Keelung serves as a major industrial port and gives more of an old-time feeling with houses stacked on top of each other on the hills.
Temple Old Street
Besides its old seaport charm, Keelung is also famous for its old street in front of a temple. The street vendors gather at the street in front of an old temple, forming an “L” shaped food court.
The old street’s main entrance
Each vendor is assigned with a number for people to easily find their target
The temple at the old street’s center
Below are some famous vendor food that we taste tested.
Fish Cake Tempura (天婦羅)
Unlike typical heavy-battered Japanese tempura, here the home-made fish cake is lightly battered and fried, a totally Taiwanese-style tempura.
Wu’s DingBienTsuo (吳氏鼎邊銼)
A kind of rice noodle, the noodles are made by slowly pouring rice milk down the side of a wok, making it stiffer and more chewy with simultaneous baking and steaming.
A common type of street food in Taiwan, the sauce on the sausages was great!
“Nutritious” Sandwich (營養三明治)
A bit misleading in its name, this is one of the most popular food stands here, so popular that you had to get an ordering ticket before purchasing. The so-called “nutritious sandwich” was actually heavy-fried hot dog bun with tons of mayonnaise and toppings.
The stand’s sign said: (eating this sandwich would) strengthen your body and increase your lifespan. LOL.
Not sure if it could increase my lifespan, but for sure it increased my cholesterol level!
Crab Sticky Soup (螃蟹羹)
To finish the street food hunt in a rainy day, what can be better to enjoy a nice hot crab sticky soup?